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Thread: Whittier boat ramp

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    Member ACBMAN's Avatar
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    Default Whittier boat ramp

    Memorial day I was retrieving my 29' boat from a weekend out, no room at the very west ramp but the middle ramp was empty. After doing the boats don't stay in one spot float I got up to the west ramp, I quickly stopped at the ramp shack and talked to the gal "sitting" inside, she said the west and middle ramps were both open for retrieval, I said there is no way to know that, she said there is a sign, I said there is always the same sign. Bottom line is that would be great to have both ramps open for retrievals on busy afternoons, how many boaters know and use the middle ramp? How is this done at other very busy harbors? Signs, employee out side the shack working talking with the boaters? Next thing that will happen is someone will launch on the middle ramp when it's being used for retrievals. I called to talk with the harbor master, I was told he will return by call. Thoughts?

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    Member Music Man's Avatar
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    Member Frostbitten's Avatar
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    You couldn't pay me enough to try and deal with the Memorial Day craziness in Whittier. Did it once about 7 years ago, never again...ever! Best bet is to avoid Sunday afternoons at all costs, it's much less stressful to recover your boat at off times, meaning late mornings, and/or on weekdays.

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    Sponsor potbuilder's Avatar
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    few years ago i come into the ramp after a 5 day shrimp trip(middle of the week)tie up go get my truck/trailer and back down to haul out. The launch nazi girl comes up to me asking if i need help getting my boat on the trailer(nice gesture) since i'm alone. I say no thanks but thanks for asking and proceed to put my boat on the trailer get in truck and start up the ramp. Nazi stops me 1/2 way up ramp and sternly tells me " this side is only for launching" !! Whiskey Tango Fred you just wanted to help me put the boat on the trailer !! I just kept going up the ramp. Another candidate down the yellow brick road to see the Wizard(all together now "if i only had a brain") .
    I just can't figure out what draws so many numbskulls to that town??

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    Member Rob B's Avatar
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    Well we decided to come back in Sunday afternoon around 7 PM. It was actually good. Pulled right up to the dock. Didn't even have to wait to load up the boat. What a shocker. Memorial weekend and no line.
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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frostbitten View Post
    Best bet is to avoid Sunday afternoons at all costs, it's much less stressful to recover your boat at off times, meaning late mornings, and/or on weekdays.
    I try and stagger my trips so I'm not launching or retrieving on Saturdays, Sundays or Holidays to keep me half sane. Coming backing in with a breeze blowing down the canal and finding boats 10 deep lining up at the end of the ramp is more fun than I can handle.
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    Member alaskabliss's Avatar
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    Whittier is the most confusing Harbor around yet it is the only one with rules on when and where to launch and retrieve. Valdez during the salmon derby is easier. They need to stop trying to direct traffic and let us do what we have to to go out or come back.
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    Member Frostbitten's Avatar
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    Very good points on the so-called rules for when and where to launch/retrieve. Rather than to sporadically try and direct traffic at the top of the ramp, the harbor master could limit the charters and bow pickers from tying up at the ramp. Directing trucks with trailers does no good when the dock space at the ramp is filled with big boats with no people in them.

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    Member JR2's Avatar
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    You just have to lower your expectations of Whitter. I expect it to be confusing, expensive and miserable. Once in a while it's worse.
    I wonder if we made them some signs and gave them to them if they would use them. What would make more sense us to have a sign by the entrance to the harbor with launch/retrieve lanes on it so we could plan ahead instead of getting real close and guessing.
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    Member Frostbitten's Avatar
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    I've been there a few times when they had signs on the ends of the docks, but true to Whittier fashion, they were poorly thought out as they said "In" and "Out". Depending on which end of the dock you are looking at, folks interpreted "IN" as either "I'm putting my boat in the water (launching)", or "I'm coming into the dock to retrieve". Simple "Launch only" and "Retrieve only" signs would be much clearer.

  11. #11

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    Cones at the top of the ramp and at the end of the docks. Green on one side, red on the other. If you see green, then proceed. If you see red, then don't. How hard would that be?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frostbitten View Post
    You couldn't pay me enough to try and deal with the Memorial Day craziness in Whittier. Did it once about 7 years ago, never again...ever! Best bet is to avoid Sunday afternoons at all costs, it's much less stressful to recover your boat at off times, meaning late mornings, and/or on weekdays.
    100% agree. The issue is that people have to walk a mile to get vehicle and that slows stuff down a ton.

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    Member Jimw's Avatar
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    I deal a lot with the "public" and what i have found is no matter how fool proof you try to make it the "public" will screw it up. case -n-point warning lable on the lid "Caution Contents Of Cup Will Be Hot" when you get a cup of coffee. Most peple just dont get it.... I must admit i have only one expirence with Whittier, and it wasnt to bad except holding in the conga line with the wind blowing and jocking for an open slot at the dock. Make it like Seward there is one line, whether going in or out it is just one line. Plus to make it more "enjoyable" help the person that cant back up a trailer to save their life. When they are crossed up in two lanes, dont get pissed off, lend a hand. I have straightened out and backed down a few trailers when they couldnt get it right-no big deal-
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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FishKing View Post
    100% agree. The issue is that people have to walk a mile to get vehicle and that slows stuff down a ton.
    I've tried to speed things up by hopping off on one of the docks and grabbing the truck and trailer while a friend or my kids bring the boat to the launch. The only thing that seems to do is gurantee the boats ahead of us will have the slowest moving crews getting their boats and vehicles.

    I look at the the Whittier ramp rant as an annual tradition, kinda like the return of the mosquitos. It's annoying, but it lets you know summer is here
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

  15. #15

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    It also helps things move more smoothly if you don't forget that just because you've made it into the dock and tied up, that's no time to think you're done. Keep moving your boat up as others are retrieving to make space for others that are trying to make it to the dock to tie up. So often I've come around the corner, wondering if there's going to be space for me to tie up and there are one or more people who could make space if they'd just move their boats up. One thing that causes me less stress is coming in with lines and fenders on both sides of the boat, so now I don't have to frantically change lines and fenders to the other side because I guessed wrong on which lanes would be for retrieval. But it all must not be too bad because I just keep going back for more abuse

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    As Steve The Potbuilder would say "Wittidiots!" Nuff said.............

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    I will also add don't screw off as you go up to go get your truck. Those in front of you and behind most likely aren't going to. If you walk a normal pace to your truck and don't screw off most likely your boat is next in line to be retrieved. Off course who ever you left with the boat has walked it up the dock as each boat in front of it comes out of the water. I came out tonight (ok it's after midnight now). The dock was very busy. 3 lines to the end. Went and got the truck. Drove down to the ramp. Peek over the edge and sure enough the boat in front of mine is coming up the ramp. Couldn't have been smoother tonight. Maybe it's because the Nazi wasn't there "helping" us tonight? Who knows? Point is be ready and do as you should. It ain't rocket science people.

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    Member Rob B's Avatar
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    One thing I try to always do is ask the person handling the boat ahead of me what their truck looks like. That helps see when I'm next in line to pull mine out.
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