If you are unsure of what, exactly, is proper etiquette when positioned near the boat launch ramp, you are not alone. Most people have a general idea of what to do when at the boat launch ramp, yet are not completely clear about expectations.
There is plenty to consider between turning on/off boat propellers, prepping the boat, loading it up and beyond. Here is precisely how you should approach the boat launch ramp.
1) Do not Jump the Line!
If others are waiting to load or launch, do not jump the line ahead of them. Doing so has the potential to create drama that ruins your reputation in the boating community or even leads to a physical altercation.
2) Be Mindful of Prepping and Loading
The launch ramp lanes are not the proper place to prep and load a boat. Make-ready areas are suitable areas to prep and load boats.
3) Wash Your Boat. Quickly!
Do not lose sight of the fact that other boaters are waiting to use the wash-down rack. This reality is not to say you have to rush through the process. Instead, it would help if you were mindful of the time you spend washing your boat and being considerate of others waiting to do the same.
4) Do not Delay at the Courtesy Dock
There is no reason to tie up while at the courtesy dock. Keep your tie up at this dock as brief as possible, ensuring other boaters can move in after you depart.
5) Clear the Ramp Promptly
The launch ramp lane is not meant to serve as a position to secure your vessel for the ride back. Do other boaters a favor by clearing the ramp area in a safe and timely manner.
6) Back Your Trailer With Grace
The launching process will prove quite stressful unless you have practiced beforehand. Practice backing the trailer along the ramp over and over again in the early hours of the morning when no one is around to ensure you get it just right. This way, when the area is busy, and everyone is watching you, you will be able to back your trailer with real grace and timeliness.
7) Remain on the Side Unless You are Truly Ready
The worst time to check your boat for launch is while amid a lengthy line at a busy boat ramp. Between boat propellers, life jackets, supplies, food, gas, lights, graphs, and beyond, there is plenty to worry about. However, you should have checked these items before reaching the ramp.
If you are not ready, head on over to the side, permitting others to move ahead and dump their vessels. Remaining on the side facilitates the timely and orderly flow of traffic while simultaneously ensuring you have done everything safely and correctly instead of rushing through your checks and re-checks.
8) Mind Your Lights
Have you ever tried to back your boat trailer while another vehicle’s lights are shining bright in your mirrors? If so, you know how difficult it is to drive while nearly blinded by another driver’s lights.
Turn off your headlights as your vehicle moves into reverse. This way, those who are backing down their trailers in neighboring lanes can see with ease.
9) Bring at Least One Friend
Boating alone is no fun. Furthermore, boating alone is quite difficult. The help of a friend or loved one who understands how to properly launch a vessel will make a meaningful difference at the ramp. One of you can remain with the boat while the other stays with the vehicle.
This way, when the boat launches, the boat driver will secure the vessel in a safe area away from other boaters, waiting for his or her friend who has parked the vehicle. This approach reduces the ramp’s time while freeing up the lane so another person can hit the water that much quicker.
Before Heading to the Boat Launch, Stock Up On Supplies at Delta Propeller
If you’re looking to buy only the best boat hardware, Delta Propeller has you covered. Our experts will match you with the right items for your unique situation. We also provide repairs for boat owners in the Cleveland, Ohio area.
Shop our online inventory today or call us at (513) 467-0601 with any questions. We’re here to help you get the most of your time on the water!