With summer officially rolling, boat ramps are a busy place on the weekends. It is essential to understand the importance of being quick and efficient at the ramp. Whether you’re an experienced boater or just starting out, here are a few tips to make your ramp experience enjoyable for everyone.
- Drain plug inserted.
- Transom straps are removed.
- Turn the batteries on.
- Start the boat up to assure all things are working correctly before getting to the ramp. This gives you time to troubleshoot if the boat will not start.
- Dock lines are ready for use.
- Safety chains and winch straps are fully attached.
Loading your boat with everything you need for your day on the water before getting to the ramp is a time efficient step. If you fail to do so before leaving, pull over to a “staging area” and load your boat prior to approaching the ramp.
When launching your boat, here are a few things to consider:
- Launch quickly and efficiently. Bringing others along to assist you can make the process smoother and stress-free. There is no shame in having a friend with some experience in boating tag along.
- Take your turn. This refers to the car aspect of the launch. Being courteous of the people who were there before you is an unspoken rule at the ramp.
- Remove your truck and trailer from the ramp as soon as your boat is safely off the trailer. This is where assistance comes in handy. Have someone either on the boat, or using the dock lines to move the boat from the launching area to a clear spot on the dock. Don’t be a boat blocker.
When retrieving your boat, here are a few things to consider:
- Drop the trailer driver off at the dock, and idle away from the dock awaiting the trailer. This allows room for prepared boaters to either launch or retrieve in the time between your trailer arriving at the ramp.
- Never “power load” your boat onto the trailer. This is when you apply the throttle to force the hull up the trailer. This causes erosion on the ramp, creating holes the trailer can get caught on.
- When the boat is secured on the trailer with the winch and safety chain, pull away from the ramp immediately. Don’t hold up the line. Pull away to a staging area to drain bilges, unload coolers, etc.
These are only a few helpful tips from the Two Rivers Boatworks team. We want to assure your experience at the ramp is stress-free, and help you avoid any unpleasant situations. Whether you’re an experienced boater, or new to the scene, mistakes can happen. Always be aware of your surroundings, and have courtesy for others.