Monday, July 20, 2009
ProperBoat Ramp Etiquitte- Helps To Avoid Ramp Rage!
Just recently, I witnessed a terrible scene at a local lake boat ramp, boaters getting into a fist fight and cussing each other because of impatience and inexperience at the ramp! While entertaining to some, ramp rage is aggravating, dangerous, and time consuming, and can easily be avoided!
While this can be a sensitive and delicate subject, especially at the ramp, on the lake, it needs to be addressed in a way that makes sense to all boaters. It is a matter that we all deal with every time we access the lakes and streams where we fish or boat.
We get up early in the morning and drive to our favorite lakes and streams and anticipate a wonderful day on the water. By the time we get to the boat ramp we are wired for sound and the Adrenalin is flowing good. When we pull into the ramp access parking lot, we immediately see that there are 10 or 15 rigs waiting for their turn to untrailer and go fishing, or boating which ever the case might be!
Now while there are no set rules for unloading your boat, everyone has their own routine they go through to get from point A, boat on trailer to point B, boat in water! Some people are very quick and some are very slow. Some are slow deliberately, while some just don't have the experience yet, usually a new boat owner!
Here are a few pointers to make your trailering and untrailering experience go a little smoother at the ramp.
Pull into the parking lot and get your boat ready to launch BEFORE backing down to the ramp! This is the best procedure even for the most experienced boater and down to the least experienced boater! This is where you tie on lures, put in drain plugs, organize your gear, and transfer gear from truck to boat.I know while this is going, on a few boats might get in front of you and cause you to get a later start, but in the long run , avoids hassles, and ramp rage, which can quickly ruin the atmosphere of the day, making an unpleasant experience!
If you are a new boat owner go to a large parking lot and practice backing up your rig, as this is tricky, for new boat owners, and can cause you a lot of anguish at the ramp with other boaters waiting their turn. If you have a new boater in front of you , remember, you were inexperienced and slow when you first started out with your new rig. Practice being patient and offer the newbie, assistance with untrailering his new rig. Offer practical advice in a friendly tone of voice, so that his next experience along with the present experience , can be more pleasant and enjoyable.
It is hard enough to untrailer and trailer your boat, without someone chewing on your keister, and arguing, and quite possible even fist fighting! I have witnessed these very unpleasant situations and I am sure you all have witnessed them too!
If you have properly readied your boat and trailer, all you have to do is back it into the water, unhook the bow hook from your boat, and pull your vehicle out of the lake and up to the parking lot. With 2 people this is rather simple, and if you fish alone, there is always someone who will pull your rig up to the parking lot for you. After you dock your boat, you can always go get your keys and lock up your rig or reposition your rig where you want it. Drop your access fee in the box, and off you go fishing!
Now I haven't given you a check list , on what all needs to be done, because to me, this is just common sense. Before you go to the lake get a routine that works down, and practice it till you are quick and efficient with this procedure, and when you get to the access you will appear to have experience, and will not slow down anyone waiting behind you! No one will ever no you are a newbie!
While we wait our turn, be patient, and offer assistance, nicely, and make this part of boating as pleasant and enjoyable for all involved.Another thing, if you are easily agitated, and don't like to wait, then leave earlier and arrive at the ramp before all the other boaters, this will help to insure, you don't have to wait.Remember, one day you will be in front of an impatient boater and what you have put out in the past will in fact come back to haunt you.
While there really is no set rules or secrets on launching your boat, a little common sense goes along way. So until next time, boat safely, and enjoy the "Great Outdoors!" See ya Out there!