Boat Ramp Mistakes: Top 5 Blunders That Cause Fights [VIDEO]
By: Luke Simonds on July 9, 2018
If you’ve ever spent time at a boat ramp, you know it can be one of the most frustrating parts of going fishing — especially on a busy weekend. Most of this frustration comes from boat ramp mistakes.
One of the biggest problems at the boat ramp is that many boat owners don’t know the proper etiquette on how to launch their boat.
Tensions can build quickly at the ramp and it’s not uncommon for two boaters to get into an argument because one individual is causing a problem for other boaters trying to launch.
No one goes to the boat ramp wanting to get into an argument and getting into one can put a damper on your whole day of fishing.
We wanted to delve into this topic a little bit more to show our followers the top five boat ramp mistakes and to help them avoid their own boat ramp fight-fiasco.
The Top Five Boat Ramp Blunders
This section will go over the boat ramp mistakes you want to avoid and offers a solution to make sure you avoid these mistakes.
1. Don’t Block the Launch Lane
This is the number one biggest mistake you can make at the boat ramp.
Many boaters park their boats in front of the boat ramp to prep it for their day on the water. Similarly, they’ll take the boat out of the water and park it in the ramp lane area as they pack up their gear into the car. Doing this will drive other boaters at the ramp crazy.
Blocking the ramp lane prevents other boaters from launching their boats and creates long lines and frustrated people. Some people will confront others who block the ramp, which is how most boat ramp arguments are started.
So don’t be that guy. Prep your boat for your day on the water in the parking lot. The ramp lane is for business only — aka to launch your boat.
Check out the graphic below to see the “business only” zone at the boat ramp:
2. Be Prepared with Your Gear Before Launching
This mistake ties back into the first mistake. You want to make sure you prep all your gear for fishing BEFORE you begin the boat launching process.
The best way to get ready before launching the boat is to pull into a space in the parking lot. Once you’re in the spot, pack your rods, coolers, tackle boxes and any other gear you need for your outing in the boat.
This allows you to prep your boat with the necessary gear without blocking anyone from the boat ramp or being in the way in the parking lot.
The biggest thing that makes people blow their stack at the boat ramp is being unnecessarily held up from getting on the water. Taking time to prep your boat before launching will help you avoid a situation that could lead to a boat ramp-argument altogether.
3. Don’t Block the Ramp in the Water with Your Boat
Are you picking up on a theme here?
After you’ve launched your boat, you want to make sure you park at the dock in a way that does not block others from utilizing the boat ramp.
Parking the boat in the water too close to the ramp will prevent others from being able to launch their boats.
This is easily solved by either parking your boat near the end of the ramp dock or parking your boat out of the ramp lane.
The graphic below shows you the where you should and should not park your boat after you’ve launched it:
By parking your boat at the dock but out of the ramp lane, you allow other boaters to launch without causing an issue.
4. Don’t Cut the Line
This next mistake is not only a boat ramp etiquette tip, but also a tip that basically applies to all walks of life.
If you pull up to a boat ramp and see a bunch of people parked in a line getting their boats ready, don’t think that you can just cut ahead of them to use the ramp because you’ll be ready to launch sooner than them.
The line is there for a reason and it’s courteous to wait for the boat ramp just like everyone else is.
Cutting a line can also cause a major issue with other boaters at the ramp who might perceive you as being selfish for jumping to the front while everyone else was waiting patiently (or worse).
Be respectful and mindful of the line to launch your boat at the ramp.
5. Don’t Gun it onto the Trailer
This final mistake is one that is not generally well known among anglers or boaters.
When most people put their boats back onto the trailer at the end of the day, they use the engine at a high rate of speed to drive their boat as far onto the trailer as possible. Many boaters keep their engines completely down in the running position when putting their boat back on the trailer.
The force from having the motor down in the running position and gunning the boat onto the trailer causes water pressure down the ramp. This water pressure erodes the bottom directly below the concrete ramp and creates a hard ledge.
Hitting this hard ledge with your trailer or motor can cause irreversible damage to both and is a hazard for all boaters using the ramp.
Easing the boat onto the trailer will get your boat loaded and will also protect the ramp from erosion.
Top 5 Public Boat Ramp Mistakes Video
In this video, Luke goes over the top five mistakes people make at the boat ramp and why making these mistakes can be problematic:
Following these tips will help you avoid making these common mistakes at the boat ramp.
Boat ramps are a place for starting amazing days on the water, not for arguing, stress and frustration.
Knowing these simple mistakes will help you get your boat into the water quickly and without issues.
If you’re ever in doubt about what you should be doing at a boat ramp, just remember to be courteous and try not to block other boaters from doing the things they need to get on the water.
If you have any questions about boat ramp etiquette or how to launch your boat, let us know in the comments below.
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