Avoiding “Ramp Rage” – Boat Ramp Etiquette Tips

by Ian Kuhl on October 6, 2017

in Fishing Adventures, Fishing Tips, Franklin Boats, Franklin Marine, Huon River, Huon Valley, Marine Safety, Sailing Adventures, Trailer Boats, Trailer Boats Accessories

We’re sure you’ve been here – at the boat ramp, ready to launch… Stuck behind someone who is taking their sweet, sweet time to get their boat in the water!

Southport Boat Ramp

It’s a frustrating situation, but it doesn’t have to end in tears – or ‘ramp rage’.

The most common cause of ‘ramp rage’ comes about when people back their trailer onto the launching ramp and then stop to load their gear, untie their tie-down straps, screw in the bungs, prep the engine and more. This all happens while there are people, waiting to launch or retrieve their own boats, more than likely with their patience wearing thin.

This issue is easily avoidable if you go through your ‘pre-launch checklist’ before hitting the launching ramp!

Pre-Launch Checklist

You want to be spending as little time as possible on the launching ramp. This pre-launch checklist should give you a good starting point, but build on it if you need to.
  • Make sure all of your gear is stowed securely in the boat.
  • Undo your travel tie-downs
  • Screw in your bungs
  • Tilt the motor off its travelling rest
  • If your boat hasn’t been run in a while, fire up the engine for a few seconds to ensure all systems are operational. A few seconds of dry running won’t hurt the engine, and it’s better to know if you have a flat battery or have lost the kill switch lanyard before you launch!
  • Make sure you have a line tied to the bow cleat
  • Leave the winch cable and any other bow fastenings attached, but ensure they are able to be undone quickly and with your fingers. If they’re too tight, loosen them now
  • Have a final check and make sure you have everything covered
  • NOW you are ready to hit the launch ramp!

If you’re new to launching a trailer boat, don’t stress! We all had to learn the ropes once.
Here are a few “Boat Ramp Etiquette” tips…

  • Devise a ‘procedure’ as to how you launch and retrieve.
  • Head to the ramp on a quiet day and just practise launching and retrieving your boat.
  • It may sound silly, but how did we all learn to park? Practise, (hopefully) somewhere quiet!
  • Once you are comfortable doing this, it’s time for the real thing!
  • Don’t get overwhelmed. A busy boat ramp can be stressful, boat don’t let it get the better of you. Remember your practise and how comfortable you were by the end of that. The only thing that has changed is that there are more people around now. Stick to your procedure and you’ll be fine!
  • You’re bound to hit some snags when you’re still getting used to it, so don’t be afraid to ask for help if you get stuck and there are other people around. They’ll usually be delighted to speed things up so they can get their boat in or out quicker!

To everyone that has their launching procedure down pat…

Don’t forget we all started somewhere – if you’re watching someone take their time and they could clearly use a hand, offer your help rather than getting frustrated. A little can go a long way!

Don’t forget to share this article with your friends that could benefit from these tips!

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