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Loading and Unloading

Tilting Your Rails Up and Down

Our Tilt-Up Rails are the most popular option for obvious reasons. They make it easy to load your PWC and always have it handy. But when you want to use your swim platform for swimming, fishing, or general play, you can tilt the Rails up to a vertical position where they will stay until you are ready to load your PWC. The thin-profile winch-mount-frame bolts to your swim platform, and the shock-lift-arm makes it easy to lift the rails up to the "storage" position, and secures it there until you are ready to lower it and load your PWC.

This is also a significant advantage when you are maneuvering around the marina or in a cove. With the Rails tilted up, there is nothing extending beyond your swim platform. Another big advantage is that you can bring a runabout, ski boat, wakeboard boat, or fishing boat up along the end of your swim platform for easy loading and unloading.

Loading Your PWC

NEVER load your PWC with a rider. It adds a significant amount of weight, resistance, and wear on the winch and hull.

To load your PWC, pull out enough cable so that it is about 2 feet longer than the end of the Rails. You can “free-wheel” the winch by lifting up on the top knob and turning it 1/4 turn. When you have enough cable pulled out, lift-and-turn the knob until it clicks back into the locked position.

Bring your PWC up to the edge of your swim platform, kneel down, reach under and clip the hook to your PWC. Then push your PWC back out beyond the Rails and then pull it into the curved end of the Rails. With one hand on the winch power control and the other holding the cable as pictured, lift the front of your PWC up so the curved portion of the hull engages the end of the Rails and begin winching it in.

One of the advantages of the vertically-mounted winch is that you can guide the cable up and down the drum by lifting up or pushing down on the rope/cable. When you first begin winching, the cable will want to go all the way to the bottom of the drum. Lift it up enough so that it doesn’t rub against the sides of the drum. As your PWC rises up over the end of the Rails, the cable will want to go all the way to the top of the drum, so you will push it down. It is very easy to maneuver the cable up or down.

If you have ordered the optional synthetic Dyneema cable (highly recommended because you will be handling the cable so often), it will come with the first 3 layers wrapped around the drum using an “overlapping wrap” method rather than a straight parallel wrap. Click here to see pictures of a cross-wound winch drum.

Although not the prettiest looking, cross-wrapping is the most secure way to connect to a drum, and it avoids “layer burying” as tension increases. As you are winching in your PWC, you can distribute the cable/rope so it continues the same crossing pattern. As your PWC approaches the winch, you can remove your hand from the cableand push down on the front of your PWC. The farther down the drum you wrap the cable, the higher the rear of your PWC will be out of the water. In other words, the curved hull of the PWC allows you to "rock" it and lower the front of it quite easily which can make quite a difference to the rear in relation to the water. This, in addition to the fact that you can raise or lower the winch several inches using the multiple hole options provided in the Frame gives a lot of control over the angle of your loaded PWC.

AS STATED ABOVE NEVER WINCH IN YOUR PWC WITH A RIDER. It adds unnecessary weight, resistance, and wear.



Because of the angle of the Rails and the “slickness” of the UHMW-covered Rails, your PWC will always want to slide off. So you will need to unload it using the OUT button on your control since you can't disengage the free-wheeling feature while under load. As soon as it is off the Rails and you have let out enough slack, pull the PWC back to you on the swim platform and unhook it. You can then either wind up the cable, or leave it laying on the swim platform or draped over your deck-railing until you are ready to load your PWC again.

Installing Your PWC Cover

One of the challenges with traditional PWC Rails is getting the cover on when part of the PWC is out over the water out of reach. But with our Tilt-Up Rails, it is a snap! All you have to do is raise up your Rails, bring your PWC up along side your swim platform, and putting the cover with your PWC within easy reach.

Installing the Winch Cover

With your PWC loaded and the cable connected, the Sunbrella winch cover is slipped over the bottom of the winch first, then over the top, then the snap is connected around the cable line. If you did not purchase a Sunbrella winch cover, although the winch is designed to get wet, we recommend that you cover it with something so it isn’t constantly exposed to rain.

Securing Your PWC

While your cable and winch are designed to hold the load, most customers want to secure their PWC with another tether as a safety, and then let out a little cable to take the load off the winch. We think that is a good idea and recommend it. Since there are a variety of ways to do this, we don’t include tethers or chains in the kit. Some customers prefer to wrap a chain or bicycle-type cable around the Frame or a post, and pad-lock it to their PWC which not only provides the benefits of a safety chain, it is a way to lock their PWC securely while they are away from their houseboat. If you just want a safety chain, there are several places to which you can connect a chain or cable tether such as the frame of the winch (circled in red in photo #2), the aluminum Frame of the PVC Rails, or a railing pipe on your rear deck.

Our Recommendation

We recommend a short chain connected to the winch-frame with a padlock with as little slack as possible. After you have connected it, you can relax the winch with the "Out" button so the chain tether holds your PWC to remove the constant stress on the winch and cable.

Tilt-Up Safety Tether

When your Rails are tilted up, we also recommend that you use the winch line as a safety tether as described in picture #1 below.


If you have any questions about loading or unloading, please don’t hesitate to ask. You can reach me personally at 937-384-0003 or send an email.


Click here to see more pictures of our Tilt-Up Rails

Click here to see Fabrication and Welding Details

Click here to see Installation Instructions

Click here to read the FAQ's

Extra Long Rails for High-Deck Mounting Applications

Click here to see Prices and Ordering

Click here to see Options

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