FAQs

The friendly and knowledgeable team around the Balex®-ABL is happy to help you with all your questions around the automatic boat loader. If you can’t find your question below, please send him an email on the contact box below and he will get back to you as soon as possible.
We hope you will enjoy your new stress free boating experience – where launching and retrieving goes hands free!
GENERAL
How does the Balex-ABL work?

The Balex®-ABL is a hydraulic driven system that enables a person to launch and retrieve their trailer boat using a remote control.

Do I still have / need a winch on my trailer?

Yes, it's just like a spare tyre or a tie down device to hold the bow of the boat when travelling.

Is is safe?

The Balex®-ABL eliminates the need to clamber down slippery boat ramps to hook or unhook your boat, improving safety and enjoyment. It allows a controlled launch and retrieval of your boat.

Where do I get it serviced?

Servicing annually must be done by our authorized Balex®-Marine Dealer. You can easily do it together with your annual boat service.

What does the Balex-ABL weigh?

The total installed system weighs 71kg / 157lb

Does the Balex-ABL upset the balance of the trailer?

No. The drive units at the rear of the trailer balance the power unit and battery at the front of the trailer.

How much does it cost to fit the Balex-ABL on my trailer?

Your authorized Balex®-Marine Dealer can give you a price.

How does the Balex-ABL fit onto my trailer?

The drive units are attached to the rear of the trailer, the HYDRA4 power unit and battery enclosure are mounted to the winch post. The hydraulic hoses run along or internally through the chassis.

Do I have to alter my trailer?

Standard trailers don't usually have to be altered, your authorized Balex®-Marine Dealer will advise.

Is it easy to use?

The Balex®-ABL is designed to be safe and easy. You don't need strength to operate the ABL, it is simple and intuitive to use and will speed up the launch and retrieval process in a smooth and controlled manner by remote control.

I am going to sell my boat, can I get a Balex-ABL fitted now and then fit it to my new boat trailer when I get one?

Yes, you can uninstall the Balex®-ABL and re fit to a new trailer. You may need to check if the hoses are the same length for the new trailer.

Do I have to get a Balex-ABL authorized dealer to fit it or can I fit it myself?

We insist that your authorized Balex® Marine Dealer fits it to validate the warranty.

Is it a New Zealand product?

Yes, the Balex®-ABL was invented and designed in New Zealand.

Will the ABL lose traction on very steep ramps?

Excessive slopes will leading to loss of traction. The average NZ boat ramp is 7.5 degrees and our unit is recommended for up to 9 degree’s (and validated to 11 degree’s). The ramp in question is 13 to 17 degrees.

For some guidance on ramps see - http://marine.marsh-design.com/content/proper-dimensions-boat-launch-ramp
A slope of 12% to 15% (7° to 8.5°) is ideal. On a ramp shallower than 12%, a typical car will have its rear axle in the water by the time the boat is in far enough to be pushed free. Any steeper than 15% and people are likely to slip and fall, plus it's hard for front-drive vehicles to get enough traction on steep, wet slopes.

The Australian Standard recommends The grade for boat ramps is recommended to be between 1:7 and 1:9, with 1:8 preferred (6.3° to 8°).

LAUNCHING
How do I learn to use it?

Your authorized Balex®-Marine Dealer  will demonstrate how to use the Balex®-ABL after purchase. See also the user manual and you can watch our videos online.

How far into the water or down the ramp will I need to back the trailer?

About the same depth as you normally launch and retrieve although you only need water just half way covering the Balex®-ABL drive unit. We find that 1/2 to 3/4 of the ABL ultra grip belts need to be under the water for most launching and retrieving situations.

At what stage do I push the on / off remote buttons?

For the launch - when you are ready and at the right place and depth. Watch launch video

For the retrieve - either just before or when the hull engages with the ABL. Watch retrieve video

Will the ABL stop my boat from rushing off the trailer?

Yes, the Balex®-ABL offers a controlled launch. Depending on the size of your boat it will take about 20 seconds to launch. You can stop / start at any stage using the remote control.

Will the Balex-ABL assist with launching in shallow waters?

Yes, the Balex®-ABL will assist, but you will still need to be deep enough to launch and float the boat.

I have heard that power loading in New Zealand is either banned or soon will be?

There are already a lot of countries and councils that ban power loading, some even have large fines - the Balex®-ABL will stop you from having to power load.

Will the ABL help to get the winch hook and safety chain off the bow eye more easily?

The Balex®-ABL will help with this. When you are at the water's edge about to launch, you push the remote "retrieve" button momentarily and the weight will come off  the chain and winch hook to allow you to unlatch them. The boat will stay there until you push the launch button.

How many tie downs do I take off the trailer before backing down the ramp?

All but the winch hook and safety chain attached to the boat and then remove them once you are at the water depth you require for launching.

At what point will I unhook my boat?

Unhook the winch hook and/or safety chain only when the boat and trailer are at the correct depth and you are ready to launch.

RETRIEVING
At our ramp there is always a current and wind, how will the Balex-ABL cope with this?

The Balex®-ABL will assist greatly with this process.  Wind can upset the loading on any trailer but it is easy with the Balex®-ABL to back off the boat a little and bring it back on again.

Will the ABL help to get the boat on to the trailer straight?

The biggest single reason that boats go on their trailer off to one side or lopsided is the need to “balance the boat” prior to loading. The boat is always lopsided / heavier to the helm side, so before you load the boat, shift the fish box, your gear or fuel cans to the other side which will help balance it. You could even leave one passenger on board to balance it.  Driving slowly onto the ABL whilst pressing the retrieve button, will also assist in straight loading.

What happens when I am on a really steep ramp and the Balex-ABL will stop short of the V-block. Can I attach the winch hook to help assist the Balex-ABL for a full retrieve?

Yes, the combined used of the winch and the Balex®-ABL will fully retrieve your boat.

Also please read here about Loss of Traction

Will the boat run away backwards off the trailer if I stop halfway through unloading or loading?

Although you shouldn’t rely on it, the Balex®-ABL is engineered not to run away up to a boat ramp of 9 degrees. Your authorized Balex®-Marine Dealer will fit the Balex®-ABL to ensure this runaway doesn’t happen.

When do I need to re-hook my safety chain?

When the retrieve is completed and the boat is at the winch post, immediately connect the winch hook and safety chain, before driving up the ramp.

Do I have to pilot / drive the boat in the water to the rear of the trailer at the ramp or can I pull it up to the trailer with the bow rope from the jetty?

It is your choice depending on the ramp / beach conditions and your comfort zone.

I have heard that power loading in New Zealand is either banned or soon will be?

There are already a lot of countries and councils that ban power loading, some even have large fines - the Balex®-ABL will stop you from having to power load.

BATTERIES
How many loads and unloads will I get before I need to charge the Balex-ABL battery?

Approximately 5-10, depending on battery condition and size of the boat, ramp angle, etc. However that is not the best way to treat the battery so you should charge it at the end of the use period.

What happens if the main battery or the Balex-ABL fails for some reason at the ramp, can I still winch it on the trailer?

Yes, put the trailer into the water deeper than you normally would and the boat will float over the Balex®-ABL roller tracks.

Does the Balex-ABL come with a battery?

No. Please see your authorized Balex®-Marine Dealer to supply and fit.

How long do the remote batteries last?

12 months generally, depending on frequency of use. If it fails, then the Balex®-ABL power pack has a manual launch and retrieve button on the dashboard.

Can I charge the Balex-ABL battery off my car?

Yes, your authorized Balex®-Marine Dealer can advise.

Do I have to have another battery or can I run it off my car battery?

Your authorised Balex® Marine Dealer has car kit options for you. These need to be installed by your Marine Dealer or an Auto electrician.

How do I know if the Balex-ABL battery is charged?

Remembering when you last charged it and by checking the battery condition LEDs on the dashboard. It should show a green light for fully charged.

What voltage is it?

12 Volt for the Balex®-ABL 2500 model.

How long does it take to unload and load?

Depending on the size of your boat and ramp angle, 20-30 seconds on and 10 -20 seconds off.

Is it the same sort of battery as my boat / truck / car?

Yes, as a general rule. We have a specified battery for best Balex®-ABL performance. For more information, see your authorised Balex®-Marine Dealer.

Could I put my 1 year old marine boat battery in the Balex-ABL and use the new one for the boat?

Yes, you can.

Can I use my regular car / truck 12 volt mains battery charger for charging the ABL?

Yes, however your authorized Balex®-Marine Dealer can advise you. Chargers have changed and the modern charger now has extra benefits for battery life cycles.

Could I use my car / truck jumper leads in an emergency if the Balex-ABL had no charge?

Yes, but you need to take care of polarity and correct voltage.

I keep my boat and trailer outside, can I put a solar battery charger on the Balex-ABL?

Yes, see you authorized Balex® Marine Dealer for more information.

Do you recommend any battery chargers?

For all charger options, please see your authorized Balex® Marine Dealer.

REMOTES
What happens it the remote controller battery goes flat?

Use the manual button on the power unit dashboard.

How many remotes are there with the Balex-ABL?

Two, plus another manual button dashboard control on the power pack box.

Can I use the remote while I am still in my boat or car/truck?

Yes, you can.

MAINTENANCE & SERVICE
How long is the warranty?

A 2-year limited warranty is provided on all Balex®-ABL 2500 parts & installations.

You can purchase an additional 2-year extended warranty for 10% of the purchase price and is available on all mechanical & hydraulic components excluding the ultra-grip belt and electrical components. See warranty section here 

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I use my boat in fresh water - will I need to wash the Balex-ABL

Yes, like you wash your trailer.

I use my boat in sea water, will I need to wash the Balex-ABL?

Yes,like you wash your trailer, with fresh water.

Will the Balex-ABL rust or corrode?

The sea is a very hostile environment however regular servicing will help corrosion prevention. Together with regular washing with fresh water after use and your authorized Balex®-Marine Dealer servicing once a year with your boat service, we recommend using Prolan HD or Corrosion X HD on any metal components BUT take care to avoid getting any on the ultra-grip belts.

I use my boat in sub / extreme temperatures, will the Balex-ABL still work?

Yes, your authorized Balex®-Marine Dealer will provide for the right fluids at installation.

My trailer is very long - can I get an extra long hose set?

Yes, see your your authorized Balex®-Marine Dealer and they will help you.

Does the Balex-ABL need servicing?

Yes, annually at your authorized Balex® Marine Dealer - together with your annual boat service.

Do I need to use any form of lubricant / anti corrosion sprays on the ABL for general maintenance?

We recommend using Prolan HD or Corrosion X HD on any metal components BUT take care to avoid getting any on the ultra-grip belts!

WATERPROOFING & RATINGS
Are the remote controllers water resistant?

Yes, they are.

Note: water resistant means that the item will survive a splash of water but not any form of prolonged exposure. Water proof suggest that it is.

Is the Balex-ABL battery box water resistant for when it rains while I am driving?

Yes, they are.

Note: water resistant means that the item will survive a splash of water but not any form of prolonged exposure. Water proof suggest that it is.

Is the Balex-ABL power pack box water resistant if I get a wave or spalshes over it when I am at the ramp or beach launching?

Yes, it is

Note: water resistant means that the item will survive a splash of water but not any form of prolonged exposure. Water proof suggest that it is.

Is the Balex-ABL suitable for beach launch and retrieving?

Yes, the boxes are splash proof, however it needs to mounted higher on the winch post.

What do I do if I suspect water in the Power Unit or battery box?

Remove the lid, take the water out and leave the lid open to dry it out.

SERVICING & SPARE PARTS
Does the Balex-ABL need servicing?

Yes, annual servicing is recommended by an authorised Balex®-Marine Dealer You can do it together with your boat service.

Do I need to do anything to it to service it or grease it each time I use it?

Make sure the battery is charged before use and all nuts and bolts are tight.

Still have unanswered questions?

Email Lex by filling out the contact form below.

Product information

With enough torque to pull up to 2.5 ton, the patented technology uses a powerful hydraulic system to drive your boat quickly and safely on and off the trailer in a controlled manner.

Read more

See it in action

No winching, no slipping on the boat ramp, no stress! Want to see the ABL2500 in action? Click below to view the video online.

Watch video

Get your own ABL2500

The delivery estimate for new reservations is Spring 2015. For more information on how to order your own ABL2500, click below.

Get yours