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Did you ever use Retractable Ratchet Straps? I used to think to myself every time I fastened my two Sea-Doo GTX 155 watercrafts to my Triton PWC Trailer, “There must be a better way!” As experienced Sea Doo riders and jet ski beginners, I have used ropes, regular tie down straps, and ratchet straps. None of these options are as fast or as easy as I would like.

Sure, if I take my time, I can secure my personal watercraft. I saw a Triton trailer with tie downs built in (now included on most Triton PWC trailers) and discovered the functionally named “Rear Retractable Ratchet Straps”. Here’s my product review…

Ratchet straps work by retracting

The Rear Retractable Ratchet Straps are a great addition to any 2-bed trailer, being easily bolted onto the frame; they are always in the right place and ready to use. The ratchet mechanism works similarly to other ratchets, allowing me to easily adjust them with minimal effort.

Thanks to gravity this makes them superb for securing Sea Doo’s as their own weight helps do some of the job. I’m very pleased so far and I don’t have remove or worry about my old tie-downs anymore. But is there anything that may stop me fully utilising them on an adventure or recreational boat trip?

The potential downsides of retractable ratchet straps

One of the problems is that since Rear Retractable Ratchet Straps are permanently installed, I have to be careful with the hooked ends after I remove them from each Sea Doo.

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When a PWC is backed off (or driven on) the trailer, they might get sucked into the impeller. Or they might be dragged down the highway. To avoid this, I hook the loose ends onto the trailer frame and tighten them with the ratchet.

Getting the ratchet mechanisms wet is another potential downside. Over time, this could lead to rust and seizure.

I guess the same goes if it is driven on dusty roads where grit and sand might jam it up. WD40 is being sprayed go now liberally on the ratchets in order to avoid either complication. However, only time will tell if this will work.

It’s happened before with other ratchets that I’ve used for my PWCs: upon reaching my destination, the lever would not release. After a bit of experimentation, I realized that it was because the jet ski had shifted forward slightly and thus put extra strain on the mechanism when it was originally closed.

To resolve this problem, either a small adjustment to the unit or having someone sit on its end to lower it slightly works well. If all else fails, make sure you fasten up the front end of your trailer first before securing the back with your Rear Retractable Ratchet Straps.

Retractable Ratchet Straps: Verdict

Apart from these considerations, I no longer have to worry about losing a tie down. Furthermore, it is easy to release and fasten my Sea Doo watercraft during any launch. Especially if you do a lot of towing for your Sea Doo tours, this added value product is a must-have for the convenience and ease of jet ski riders. Rear Retractable Ratchet Straps can be obtained from your Triton dealer and are included with most of their PWC trailers.