Being an avid boater, you must have seen people competing for a spot on the public boat ramps; tempers flare in such situations because of the unnecessary hold-ups. This scenario becomes more common especially during the peak boating season — the ramps get crowded by people looking forward to spending their time on the water.
However, these crowds can be easily dispersed only if everyone makes a conscious effort to do things in advance that can be performed easily in their driveway or the staging area instead of the ramp. That said, here are some fundamental dos and don’ts of using public boat ramps that all boaters should know about:
1- Always Use the Staging Area for Preps
To avoid congestion at public boat ramps, you should prioritize making all your final preparations in the staging area before entering the ramp lane. Here’s a to-do checklist you can tick off before making your way to the ramp:
- Everything, including your emergency equipment, is loaded onto the boat.
- The drain plug is fixed in place.
- The motor and battery have been checked for operation.
- Tie-downs are removed from the boat.
- The drive unit is angled appropriately for the approach.
2- Be Mindful of Others
While some ramps have designated lanes and dividers, many of them don’t. When that’s the case, it’s better to be courteous to those around you and take only the space needed to launch or retrieve your boat instead of hogging the ramp. In short, respect the invisible traffic lines and be mindful of the other boaters trying to make their way on the ramp.
3- Don’t Block Other’s Way When Parking Your Boat
Moreover, many public boat ramps have a designated dock to pick up or drop off passengers from the boat. Try not to use it to tie your boat or park there since it blocks the person behind you from launching their boat on the water.
4- Don’t Tie Onto Someone’s Boat without Permission
It might seem like a harmless thing to do to tie up to another boat when the ramp is packed, and you’re looking for a spot to pick up passengers before setting off. However, some people might not be okay with that, which is why it’s essential to ask for their permission first to avoid confrontation. Moreover, if you do tie onto someone’s boat with permission, ensure that your fenders are appropriately placed to prevent damage.
5- Bring a Companion for Help
Bringing a companion with you on your trip who’s familiar with the process can be a significant help when using public boat ramps. While the boat driver looks for a safe place out of people’s way to park and wait for their friend, the other individual can park the vehicle in the meantime. This saves your time while opening the ramp lane for the next boater.
By keeping these five dos and don’ts of using public boat ramps in mind, you can make your summer trips significantly more fun and stress-free! Questions about EZ Dock? Surf through our website check out our options, or contact us at (800) 654-8168 for more information!