Friday, December 28, 2007

Boat Ramp Etiquette

I found this great little article during my web surfing this morning and thought I would share it with my readers. I recommend reading the whole fishing and boating article here.

A good day on the water can be spoiled by a lack of ‘boat ramp etiquette’. This refers to someone who has insufficient consideration or understanding for other ramp users, isn’t prepared and takes too long to either launch or retrieve a vessel.

Prepare your boat before approaching the ramp. This includes loading all gear, checking fuel, removing tie-downs, fitting bungs, turning on battery switch, finding the key, etc. There is nothing more frustrating for other boat ramp users than watching someone drive onto the apron of the ramp and begin doing all the above jobs whilst everyone waits.

When you boat is completely ready to launch, get in line and wait for your turn to use the ramp.

Always check a boat ramp before reversing down it. Check for length of ramp, drop-offs, etc.

Carefully back down the ramp and get the boat in the water quickly and calmly.

When launching use a long rope secured to the bow to control the boat and clear other boats and trailers. On larger boats an additional rope on the stern will assist in windy or wash conditions.

Have someone on board to immediately start the boat and/or move it way from the ramp so the next person can proceed. Park your car and return to your waiting boat that has been moved away from the ramp (the sand or nearby jetty) is a good option.

Extra care and patience are needed when returning to the ramp at the end of the day. Tempers can fray easily after a day of sun and excitement. Children will be tired. Alcohol can cause unhelpful behaviour so try to stay calm and be as prepared as you possibly can.

Organise your gear whilst underway back to the ramp, not once you get there.

Approach slowly in congested areas for the safety of yourself and others.

Queue on a sandy beach if possible or make sure you identify who is before and after you. Honest mistakes can occur but good communication prevents unnecessary aggravation and “pushing-in”.

Unload passengers and have someone get the car and trailer and wait in the car queue until it is your turn, whilst you stay with the boat.

When it is your turn, move quickly and carefully to get the boat out of the water.

After retrieval, immediately move well away from the ramp before unloading gear and preparing the boat and trailer for the trip home.

Check tyres, lights, tie-downs, wheel bearings and couplings before leaving home and on arrival and departure at the ramp, also at any stops on the way (check bearings by touching the hub with the back of the hand - if too hot to touch - the bearing has failed).

As a quick check on the bearings, jack the trailer and spin the wheel. Any noise or roughness indicates trouble.


Anonymous said...

It is certainly interesting for me to read the post. Thanks for it. I like such topics and everything that is connected to them. I definitely want to read a bit more soon.