Faux pas from the launch ramp

Trailer boaters are generally a pleasant, easy-going lot.

That doesn't mean it's impossible to frustrate them, though. If you really want to be the bane of the local boat ramp, try any (or all) of these behaviours... and see what happens. (These are all real incidents from recent years, some of them disturbingly common. Names and registry numbers have been omitted to protect the guilty.)

Moor to the side dock

Tie your boat to the ramp's only side dock, then go into town for most of the day. Will your boat still be there when you return, or will the other boaters have dragged it over to the beach?

Use half-throttle to get on the trailer

In those cases where you absolutely have to power the boat onto the trailer, normal boaters will power on at a dead idle and use the trailer's winch to finish the job. To earn douchebag points, try gunning the throttle as your keel hits the rollers. Your prop wash will scour the lake bed at 30 knots, stirring up a cloud of dirt and gravel from the foot of the ramp. Marina owners love this; it gives their staff thousands of dollars a year of overtime work repairing the erosion damage around the ramp!

Fish from the side dock

Oil spills. Turbid water. Scum. Engines. Noise. Water that's saturated with exhaust smoke. Sharp heavy objects moving quickly. Propellers (and their shaft seals). Clearly, the big fish are going to love this place.

Park a normal vehicle in a trailer space

You've just launched your boat. You're circling the marina with your trailer. There it is- the last trailer sized parking space! And... there's a Jeep filling the back one-third of it. Well, there are six free regular-car spaces in a row over there. If the Jeep didn't get towed from the trailer spaces, your trailer is surely welcome to occupy six car spaces.

Do your road prep on the ramp

Most trailer boaters, when they haul out, will drive 50 or 100 feet to find an out-of-the-way spot before dealing with their tie-downs. But why bother getting out of everyone's way? You're already on the ramp, you may as well stay there for ten minutes while you pick the weeds out of your prop and fold up your canvas. It's not like anyone else is in a hurry to get to the ramp.

Don't do your road prep

Breakaway chains? Lighting umbilicals? Cam-buckle straps? That suff's for sissies. A wrap of yellow poly rope around the boat and trailer frame is more than enough to keep everything together on the highway.

Park on the ramp.... to deal with canoes

You paid your launch fee, you're just as entitled to a ramp slot as everyone else, right? They can't expect you to move quickly when you have all those tie-downs to undo before taking your 20 kg boat off the roof of your car, or when you have so many little bags of gear to take out of your trunk, or when you have to spread the charts out on the hood of the car to review your route with your paddling companions.

Make 17 attempts to back down the ramp

Backing up a trailer takes a lot of practice, and a lot of trial and error. That's why God gave us empty cardboard boxes in the mall parking lot. You're eager to test your new boat, though, and understandably so- clearly, everyone will cut you some slack when you show up at the marina on a holiday weekend and need a few tries to figure out that the trailer goes the opposite direction of the steering wheel.

Obviously, this is snark.

There's always someone who sees a list like this and thinks it's an instruction guide. If you try any of the above, don't be surprised if your boat is the one with syrup (and flies... and birds...) all over its deck the next day.

Have a boat ramp pet peeve of your own? Chime in below....



Add new comment