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Thread: Boat Ramp Etiquette

  1. #1
    Member AlaskaHippie's Avatar
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    Default Boat Ramp Etiquette

    I wasn't really sure where this particular topic should be placed as it applies to all watercraft. But since I spend most of my time, when not floating out West, rafting the road system rivers here in SouthCentral that I'd toss it in the Rafting section.

    We've all seen "That Guy" at area boat ramps, you know the one, he's the guy who illicit's eye rolls and under the breath muttering from all of the folks who are either waiting to launch or retrieve their boat.

    Don't Launch or Retrieve Until EVERYTHING is Ready

    Boat ramps have staging areas, use them! Whenever I roll into a launch I pull over in a staging area and get everything ready, and I mean everything, before I even approach the ramp. I wader up, get the ratchet straps holding the raft to the trailer either loosened or removed entirely, unplug the trailer lights, make sure everything that is in the vehicle that will be going on the float is unloaded either into the raft or off to one side of the bottom of the boat ramp (out of the way of those launching/landing), PFD's either on or in the raft, etc.

    It's a boat ramp, not a "Hey everyone sit there and watch me try to organize my crap" area.

    The same is true when I float into a boat ramp at the end of a trip. Jims Landing on the Upper Kenai is a great example of how so many folks become That Guy. It is a small ramp, with a large staging area a few steps downstream, and yet more times than not you'll float in there and folks are parked all over the ramp, sometimes sideways, while other guys are breaking down frames and deflating inflatables in the middle of the ramp.

    #!@**!!

    Float PAST the ramp, and pull in at the staging area. Break down and secure gear to be stored in the boat, haul the rest of it up to the parking area in an out of the flow of traffic spot.
    Whenever myself and my daughter or friends pull in there it is common knowledge BEFORE we get to the haul out what everyones role will be. Some will haul gear, others will secure the raft, and someone will hike for the rig and trailer. Until the trailer is there and backing down the ramp, my raft remains in the staging area. Once we see the trailer backing down, we walk the boat upstream and meet the trailer. All told I strive to be in the ramp itself for no more than 3 minutes. Once the raft is on the trailer and a strap is securing it, we pull out of the ramp, load the gear in the parking area, and then slowly drive over to one of the many staging areas to properly secure the trailer for the road, get out of waders, make sure the rig is properly loaded, etc.

    Boat ramps are a busy and heavily used place up here, and treating others and you'd like to be treated is vital to avoiding clusterfarks that can really ruin what should be a fun and relaxing experience. Minimize your time at the ramp, be ready, lend a hand to strangers when needed, Karma comes around fairly regularly, good and bad.

    And most importantly.

    Don't be That Guy.
    “Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.” ― H.S.T.
    "Character is how you treat those who can do nothing for you."

  2. #2

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    A simple solution that is often overlooked is a checklist. Print a launch checklist on one side and a takeout list on the other make a couple copies and laminate them. Put one in the boat for sure and another in the vehicle. Review the lists and assign responsibilities even before you ever get to the launch. Even the most considerate person can forget something at one point or another and a thorough list will help you avoid becoming "that guy".

  3. #3
    Member 0321Tony's Avatar
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    The boat launch is not the place to practice backing a trailer. Practice in your driveway, a parking lot, anything just know how to do it when you get there. I hate it when you have some ******* taking up three lanes of a ramp because he can't back a trailer.

    Sent from my SGH-M919 using Tapatalk

  4. #4
    Member JR2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 0321Tony View Post
    The boat launch is not the place to practice backing a trailer. Practice in your driveway, a parking lot, anything just know how to do it when you get there. I hate it when you have some ******* taking up three lanes of a ramp because he can't back a trailer.

    Sent from my SGH-M919 using Tapatalk
    I actually saw the ramp attendant in Whittier tell a guy who was on his fourth attempt at backing down to go back to the parking lot and practice for a while, your holding everyone up.
    2007 Kingfisher 2825 - Stor Fisk

    Civilization ends at the waterline. Beyond that, we all enter the food chain, and not always right at the top. -- Hunter S. Thompson

  5. #5
    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    Default

    Stay way from the "ramp" at Mud Lake out Maud Road for the duck season opener on 9/1. Its pure insantity within a hour of shooting time.

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