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Launching & Retreiving Your Boat
Are you a Boat Ramp Hog?

Waiting in line at the boat ramp is a fact of life, but when someone blocks a ramp while they load their boat with fishing gear, have problems getting the motor started or experience some other delay, tempers can flair. Follow these guidelines to help keep the line moving.


 Launching and Retreiving Protocol to Prevent Conflict

Boat Ramp Etiquette
Courtesy Dock
The following tips are offered to assist you when launching and recovering your boat. To avoid unnecessarily blocking the ramp, conduct as much of the operation in the lot as possible.

Launch (Recovery is basically in reverse order)
  1. Be sure all required safety equipment and registration are on board. Load your food, fishing gear or other equipment before you get to the ramp.
  2. Ensure tongue is securely fastened to ball hitch, remove tie downs.
  3. Check condition of battery, motor and angle of drive unit.
  4. Ensure boat plugs are firmly in place.
  5. Move to ramp and launch. Check drive unit prior to backing down ramp. (Having a lookout or someone in the boat is helpful)
  6. If possible, use two people to launch your boat - the driver and the boat tender.
  7. Unhook bow safety restraint, power or pull off trailer.
  8. Run blower, start boat, move to dock for passenger pickup. (If alone, secure boat quickly and move vehicle off ramp.) Be courteous, the less time you spend on the ramp or at the dock the more other boaters will appreciate you.
  9. If you have an assistant, instruct the person tending the boat to move it far enough away from the ramp and adjacent dock that it doesn't impede other boaters launching or loading.

Please remember these points, too.
  1. When ready to load, don't pull your boat into the launch lane until your vehicle and trailer is in the water. It is the order of the vehicles that determines the order of loading.
  2. Never block the ramp with an unattended vehicle or boat.
  3. After the boat is on the trailer, secure the bow safety restraint, and move the vehicle and trailer to the tie-down area so you don't impede traffic trying to launch or retrieve.
  4. Carefully tie down your vehicle, check that your hitch is secure and lights are plugged in, remove all items that could blow out of boat during travel and move out of the tie-down area to make room for others.
  5. Disconnect your tail lights while preparing the boat for launch. That cools the bulbs so they don't burst when submerged.