As you probably know, boat
ramps can provide more entertainment value than any late night comedy show
today. You have Gladys on the sidelines, chewing her gum and admiring her new
nail color while Bubba begins to back up the trailer. With Gladys as the
MonBack, you can probably understand why it takes Bubba at least 15 tries to
finally line up the boat to the ramp and back it down. The fact that Bubba is
juggling a can of chew and his pack of juicyfruit in one hand and his beer in
the other certainly hasnít helped. He finally gains Gladysí attention but
chucking the empty can at her head, who slowly finds her way to the boat in her high
pink shoes. She gingerly holds the rope Ė after all, it IS a new nail job!!
By now, Bobís Fishing Hole
is the top traffic news on the morning report, with traffic backed up three
miles down the road. It takes Bubba at least 20 minutes of monkeying with the
trailer to finally get the boat in the water. Nearby, mothers are holding hands
over innocent childrenís ears, as Bubbaís musical mouth exudes a song most foul
with each passing second. This is when Gladys begins to hobble back to the
truck to retrieve Fluffy, her pink poodle. With Fluffy comes dog toys
and treats that must be loaded into the boat. Traffic builds to a near state of
emergency as Gladys cleans up the mess Fluffy made in the truck while Bubba
attempts at least forty times to start up the boat. And so it goes, another
happy day at the boat ramp!
When you are ready to
launch your boat, the last thing you want to be is a Bubba or Gladys. The most
important tip we can give you is be prepared BEFORE you get to the boat ramp.
At a public boat ramp you want to be courteous, quick and efficient. Donít
prepare ON the boat ramp, but rather at home. Have your boat loaded before you
leave, with everything tied down for
safety. Once your boat is in the water, move
it out of the way immediately so the next boat can begin launching.
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To keep things easy as you
back up your boat, keep one hand on the bottom of the steering wheel. If you
want your trailer to go left, move the hand to the left. Time to move the
trailer to the right? Turn your hand to the right. Use your mirrors and back
up slowly, until your wheels touch the water. You only want to submerge the
trailer enough to enable the boat to float or be rolled off. If your trailer
has multiple rollers, your boat should roll off easily. This type of trailer
does not have to be in the water as deeply as a bunk style trailer. Remember
that with a multiple roller trailer, the outboard or drive until should be in a
slightly upright position so it wonít hit the ramp as it rolls into the water.
If you have someone with
you, have that person double check that nothing is still attached to the trailer
before you pull the trailer out of the water. Once your boat is safely in the
water, get your truck up and out while your fishing buddy immediately moves the
boat out of the way. Again, the key to excellent boat ramp safety and etiquette
is courtesy, speed and efficiency. Have your boat loaded before you leave, and
make sure you have practiced backing up your boat during slow times or in an
empty parking lot. Happy Boating!