Boat Ramp Etiquette is Always Important
I’ve been to my boat ramp a few times during the “off season” and I find myself hoping that the boaters that were there with me won’t be there when it gets busy!
What NOT To Do
Let’s not beat around the bush and get right to the things you shouldn’t be doing at the boat ramp that will draw the ire of the other boaters there:
- If you’ve read my previous posts, you’ve seen the words “DO NOT FORGET TO PUT YOUR PLUG IN!” Well, when your at the ramp and launching, that is a terrible time to realize your plug isn’t in. Now everyone waiting behind you to launch has to wait for you to recover. That could encompass everything from pulling back up to put the plug in to recovering a sunken boat.
- Don’t load up your boat on the ramp. You’re going to have coolers, flotation devices, recreational devices like tubes or wakeboards, fishing equipment, etc… to load on the boat from your tow vehicle. Get all of that loaded BEFORE
you get on the ramp. Want to anger a boater waiting in a long line to launch their boat? Delay them by not having your equipment loaded.
- For all you kayakers out there – DO NOT park at the top of the ramp and off load your kayaks (or re-load them). Most ramps that have kayak access have areas off to the side intended for off-loading of kayaks. Please use them.
- Don’t get into conversations with other boaters while on the ramp. I’ve seen two boaters, one on each side of the ramp, chatting at length while I was waiting to launch. The ramp was completely blocked and I was put into the position of asking them to move or just sit patiently and wait. I asked them to move (very politely) and they were apologetic and moved quickly. Not everyone has that amount of patience.
- Do not use your launch to be practice time on how to back a boat! Find a store that’s closed on Sundays (Chik-Fil-A and Hobby Lobby are good examples) and practice in their parking lot backing the boat into parking spaces. Once you’ve got that down pat, you’re ready for the ramp.
Unpleasantness At The Ramp Doesn’t Need To Happen
I’m certainly not one that says “if you take more than two minutes on the ramp, you should go home” but I do believe it is every boaters responsibility to expedite their time on the ramp. If you avoid the five things listed above, you’ll keep everyone happy except, of course, for that occasional boater that just doesn’t know how to be happy. Take a look at my downloadable Pre-Launch Checklist
Just One Last Thing
Be patient with other boaters! That person taking a while to get the boat un-tethered might be launching for their first time. We’ve all been there. Help them if you can but don’t approach them in a condescending or superior way. Just offer to help. If they refuse your help just know that it’s out of pride and they’ll probably be much better next time. Boating and fishing are activities we partake in to relax so…Relax!
Tight Lines, My Friends!