April 2012

Launching made easy

Tips for a hassle-free time at the ramp

Launching made easy

When launching your vessel at a boat ramp, does it seem like the whole world is watching your every move? Here are some tips for happier boating:

  • Transfer what you need from the tow vehicle into the boat before backing down the ramp. Trailer boaters who wait until their vessel is in the water cause delays and get nasty stares.
  • Concrete and fiberglass don’t mix. Unhook the boat from the winch after the vessel is in the water, not before. Once your boat is splashed, have your crew secure it to the dock while you park the tow vehicle and trailer, leaving the ramp open for the next launch.
  • Don’t make others wait while you discuss where you’re going with your crew, or those waiting in line behind you will happily offer suggestions.
  • If you’ve never backed down a ramp, practice in a large parking lot before launching.
  • If you’re on the ramp and would like help, be succinct. This is not the time to ask questions about bleeding the brakes or to debate the advantages of bias ply tires.
  • Trailer parking spaces are for tow vehicles and trailers only. Have guests park elsewhere.
  • Get into a routine at the ramp, and use a checklist. It will make your life easier.
  • When returning to a ramp, first drop off the person who will get the tow vehicle and trailer from the parking lot, and wait in an out-of-the-way location while the vehicle is retrieved.
  • Once the boat is on the trailer, secure a safety chain to the bow eye and move up the ramp. Secure the remaining tie-downs, and transfer stuff back to the tow vehicle when you get to the parking lot, not on the ramp. –BoatU.S.



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