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Best Asked Questions

Doesn't a $10 rope do the same thing?

No...not unless a $10 rope can launch your boat and park your car/truck at the same time.  Look, we're not saying you can't use a rope to launch a boat - you can - in fact we ourselves have done it that way for decades! And, still do in some instances - but, MOST of the time having a DBR is a better way.  Invention is always about safety and/or convenience.  A house alarm is about safety.  A microwave oven is about convenience.  A Dakota used at the ramp when you are alone is about convenience and safety. So no, a simple rope does not do the same thing as a Dakota Boat Retriever.

Are Dakotas sold at any Big Box stores or online at Amazon?

No, and that is intentional on our part. Dakotas are sold only through this (our corporate) website.  Selling products through Big Box stores or other online platforms adds 20%-40% extra to its selling price and are onerous to deal with - for us and you the customer.  This site offers buyers the best Price and Service for a Dakota.

The price of Dakota seems high, why?

It's pretty simple.  Price is the sum of many variables but is always a function of material costs.  And material costs are always a function of component quality.  Cheap prices are the first sign of cheap products.  We will not sell you a cheaply built product!  We stand behind Dakota with a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee and a Limited Lifetime Warranty.  You can only make this offer this with quality built products.

So, is Dakota like a big dog leash or something?

No, not really.  A dog leash is designed to only bring back the leash - not the dog.  Imagine a dog leash that would do both - bring back the leash...and the dog!  Safely.  In effect, that's what a Dakota Boat Retriever does by bringing back the rope...and the boat! BUT, the design considerations and construction that go into every DBR are 100x more complex than any simple dog leash.  P.S. our dog logo just happens to be a well loved golden retriever from our past.  He name was Dakota.

Does Dakota run on batteries?

No. Dakota uses the momentum of your boat launch to store the energy needed in our proprietary "spring motor" (a mechanical device) for retrieval.

Can Dakota be used in saltwater environments?

Yes. Saltwater or freshwater. Also, in all seasons hot or cold.

How do I know which Dakota model is right for me?

There are 4 models (strengths) of Dakota.  Use our Look-Up Tool on this website to help you find the right model for your boat.  Dakota is designed for use with the lightest of water vessels (jet skis, canoes, kayaks, etc.) or boats up to 26 feet in length.

How does Dakota handle high winds or strong water currents?

Each Dakota model is designed to handle its size of boat operating in environments with wind gusts up to 15 mph or water currents of 4 mph.  In weather exceeding these conditions we advise using a manual (hands-on) method so you can stay constantly with your boat.

Can I use Dakota a crowded ramps?

Yes.  With or without a Dakota it is always advised that courtesy and respect for other boaters be your guiding principle.  If you are experienced using your Dakota you will easily be able to navigate most any situation of traffic at the ramp.  The one thing to remember is you will be 4-5 times faster than any other boater launching solo.  This will be greatly appreciated by everyone at the ramp!

How long & how strong is the rope?

Dakota comes equipped with 80 feet of specially made (DYNEEMA) 3/16" rope.  The rope's breaking strength is ~1,800 lbs.  For calibration - once afloat, most boats can be moved across the water by applying 5-25lbs of force.

How does Dakota protect my boat from hitting the dock or shore?

Ask yourself, "how do I protect my boat now?"  More than likely that's how you'll protect your boat when using a Dakota.  Keep in mind, Dakota retrieves at 6-9 inches per second which is not fast enough to cause damage at most docks.  Dakota also provides a Rope Stop that allows you to halt rope retraction at whatever distance from the dock you choose.  Obviously every dock & ramp are different and the weather is ever changing - so you'll want to use your own judgment and experience.  Boat fenders, bumpers, gunwale covers, etc. all work well with Dakota if needed.  When no dock is present, the best practice is to allow Dakota to retrieve your boat to the nearest beach/gravel area away from (or back to) the ramp - again, like you do today. 

How will Dakota mount or be used with my boat?

Dakota can be used with any boat!  Check out the videos under the Mounting Videos or Shop Adapters sections of this website (each mounting adapter has a link to its respective video) for ideas and instructions of how Dakota can be used with your boat.

What if 80 feet is not long enough?

In those cases when 80 feet is not long enough, we recommend you keep on board a single piece of 1/4" 10 foot bungee cord - with clips on both ends.  Bungee stretches 2.5 - 3.0x its resting length.  Clipping this to the lead line of Dakota will provide you with an extra 25 - 30 feet of rope.

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Benefits of Dakota

  • No more injury (or associated risks) from climbing, balancing, jumping, or falling from trucks and trailers

  • No more slipping and falling on dangerous slick ramps

  • No more wet feet - period.

  • No more blocking the ramp while other boaters wait for you to clear your boat or vehicle-trailer

  • Launch 5x faster than your current rope methods

  • No more - countless - troubles from tangled rope

  • User quote: "I was a little nervous the 1st time I used Dakota, but all went well.  The 2nd time...I just stood and smiled.  The 3rd time I realized I'll never go back to a limp rope again!"

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Dakota Specs

Engineered for Lifetimes of Use

  • No Batteries Required

  • Powered by Proprietary Spring Motor

  • Military Marine Grade Polymers

  • All Stainless Steel Metals

  • 6 Sets - Stainless Steel Ball Bearings

  • 80' DYNEEMA Rope

  • Safety Braking System

  • EXTREMELY DURABLE

    • Impact Resistant​

    • Fresh & Saltwater Resistant

    • Works In All Weather Conditions

  • Quality Construction Backed by Lifetime Warranty

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  • Dimensions:  13"L x 6"H x 4"W
  • Unit Weight: 8lbs 
  • Rope:  80 feet of 3/16" Ultra-High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (tensile strength ~1800lbs)
  • Pull Strength: Variable depending on Dakota model (adequate for boats up to 26' in length)
  • Mounting Options: Virtually unlimited
  • Safety Rope Braking System:  Yes
  • Weather Proof:  Yes (sun, rain, sleet, snow)
  • Quality Components: Yes
    • Housing and internal components made of marine grade polymers,
    • All stainless steel operational components including 6 roller bearings,
    • Ultra High Modulus Polyethylene rope [i.e. stronger than same size steel cable)
  • Durable: Yes (absorbs 10' drop shocks, heavy loads, underwater submersion, harsh abrasions, etc.)
  • Estimated Life: 7,500 boat launches 
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