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Ziesmer

Boat Ramp Help

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Ziesmer

I bought a new boat and have only had it out once. I am fairly new to boats and am really pretty slow getting on and off the ramp. Any tips for me on the ramp that won't get everyone that has done this a 1000xs mad at me while they are waiting? I have heard that some people get pretty rude at the public access. Thanks!

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bturck

I think one of the area's that irrates people more than anything, whether you are a pro or a rookie, is not being ready to launch. By that I mean have your drain plug in, tie downs removed, tackle boxes, coolers, life jackets etc in the boat prior to backing onto the ramp. that is not the time for housekeeping. If you are launching alone it will take a little longer than if you have someone who can back you in and then pull your rig out right away. I used to put on hip boots, depending on the ramp, and wade out if needed to push the boat off the trailer if I was alone. I had a rope snapped off to the bow eye, so I could pull it back to shore out of the way, get in my vehicle and move for the next person. The biggest thing is to be prepared for what you are doiing. A little practice and you will be just fine. Good luck with your new ride.... smile

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Ebiz

I launch by myself quite a bit and unless it's flip flop weather I always throw my hip boots in the truck. Only takes a second to put them on and you don't have to play the trailer balancing act to get the boat back on.

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Ziesmer

Ebiz

When you launch it do you just tie it to the dock and then go park your truck? I am a little concerned about it banging against the dock and scratching it all up. Also, I have a roller trailer so should I just drive it right on the trailer and then hook the strap?

thanks for the assistance all!

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Scott K

My recommendation is to stay away from busy landings until you get a little more practice. Take someone with you that has some experience, or go with someone else, that knows what they are doing, and pay attention.

OPening weekend is not the day to practice your ramp skilz.

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ALL_IN

I agree with the being ready, that is the biggest thing that I see. Plug in, rope attached and ready to go. I would not unhook the boat on a roller trailer unless you have someone in the boat ready to drive when it floats off the trailer.

ALL-IN

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BoxMN

Key thing, as stated already, is don't do all your prep work "in line" and making people wait for you to find stuff, pack stuff, etc. If itis just connect line, put in plug, then that is fine.

But adding coolers, tackle boxes, rods, clothing, etc. - that should be done before you even get in line. You can stop at the parking lot entrance to do that, and let the folks that are prepared scoot past you.

Also, DON'T leave your boat tied up in the area where boats load and unload. That is probably the worst thing you can do. Park it on other side of dock, or pull up on shore, or anything. Only leave it there as last resort. With that said, have the bumpers out BEFORE you get to the dock, so you are ready to tie up fast and go.

Good luck, it isn't as rude as some people think, it is all common sense. You will do fine I am sure.

-edit- oh yeah, and don't be afraid to ask for help. Most people at the ramp, the seasons guys anyway, are usually happy to help people out. It is the ones who don't want help that get the evil eye wink

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fisherman-andy

Practice makes perfect. Choose a body of water where there is less traffic to get use to launching. Noob or not 'THERE IS NO REASON FOR SOMEONE TO BE MAD AT YOU IF YOUR SLOW' due to being experience and not doing it on purpose. They can wait their turn. Unfortunately some people dont have manners.

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elkhuntingfan

I wouldn't unhook your strap until the boat is backed in if you have a roller trailer. My brother unhooked my sister's brand new boat at the top of the ramp. The minute he started backing in, the boat rolled off the trailer onto the cement. Pretty funny if it isn't your boat.

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Down Deep

Good info provided thus far. The only thing I can add is get some boat bumpers and throw them out before pulling up to the dock.

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rupprider

I wouldn't unhook your strap until the boat is backed in if you have a roller trailer. My brother unhooked my sister's brand new boat at the top of the ramp. The minute he started backing in, the boat rolled off the trailer onto the cement. Pretty funny if it isn't your boat.

Unhook your transom straps, NOT your winch strap.

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raymondk

If I am by my self I always crank it on the trailer faster and usally straighter on your trailer until you get good at it.Also have some boots along just in case.

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Summett

Not much more can be said that hasn't already, but i'd agree with others when talking about practice. I recall getting my first boat many years ago, and i had your same concerns, and really the only thing that makes it easier is practice. I remember taking the boat out on week nights on very slow lakes just for a quick ride, but mainly to practice loading and unloading prior to going to very busy lakes.

All accesses are different. Some have one dock (1 side or both sides), others multiple docks...some no docks. Others have areas to beach next to the docks to park just after launching or prior to loading to leave, so the "local rules" can all be different

And there is no shame in asking for help. I helped a lone guy once who was a bit disabled unhook his boat off his trailer after he got in it and he asked me to park his truck after he launched. His request took me back a bit...but i happily obliged! smile

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Whopper Stopper

People at boat ramps a lot of times seem to forget that they were green once also. Then throw in some beer and sunburn and yep, it can get ugly.

What lakes do you fish? I certainly would meet up with you and get you going. Sometimes just having some hands on guidance pays big dividends.

WS

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tunrevir

ll good advice here already. First, always be ready to launch when you get to the landing. Nothing peeves other folks as someone loading their boat as they are supposed to be dropping it in. Have a checklist.

1. Do I have everything I need for a day on the water? Net?, tackle?, PFD's? Paddle?

Tackle? anchor? Bait? Make sure everything you need is in the boat before you get to the launch or get ready to drop in.

2. Is the plug in?

3. Is the motor raised to prevent it from hanging up?

4. Are the lights diconnected and is the launch ready to drop in?

5. Do I need someone to rope the boat to the dock or can I drop it and go myself?

6. If everything is in order, drop the boat, move it away from the drop zone and tie it off and park the car.

Some things to keep in mind before you ever leave the house: #1-5!.

Always check your boat electronics(batteries are a big one!) and make sure they work prior to dropping in.

Always make sure you know how to start the motor in the most efficient manner before you drop it in(ie;the motor will start and run when it is dumped in) before you dump it in.

If you need help, ask for it or wait for a less busy time to put in.

Some helpful hints. If you are dropping it in with a pickup without a camper top, turn on and put the stern light in place. It helps you to see where the boat is headed when backing it in. With a tonneau cover, roll the cover back and drop the tailgait as it give you a better field of view. Landings in the dark can be rather daunting, especially if you are dropping in the boat by yourself. Have enough anchor line to put into the bed of the truck or the trunk to allow the boat to move off the trailer and float if you are there by yourself. Once you launch, move the boat to the outside of the dock so others can drop in, blocking the launch while others are waiting for you to park and come back is frustrating, move aside for the next guy that is ready to go. Reverse this when you are pulling out. Always be ready to lend a hand to the other guy especially if they are launching by themselves! I can drop and dock my 17' crestliner by myself in about a minute and a half and have it out of the way of others in that amount of time. Always be courteous to others, even if they aren't to you. You never know when you may need a tow or to tow someone else in. Putting in and out shouldn't be stressful but it can and often is, especially on opening day. Good luck on the water! Hope this helps.

Tunrevir~

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Sonicrunch

NEVER unhook the winch strap before the boat is in the water lest the boat roll off or tip off the trailer on the ramp's down-slope.

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amateurfishing

i was in exact same spot as you with my new used 16 crestliner.

1. i asked a lot of questions on here just like you and printed off my owner personal checklist from starting at home (checking batteries, pdf's, bait, cooler, sunscreen, etc) to launching & trailering. this is a great idea cause when wife tells me i can go, im out the door soo extited i forget half immediately.

2. find a small local lake with very little traffic, spend some time there just practicing, maybe do morning & evening runs so you can practice twice/day

3. i also have all roller trailer....pre launch is everything in boat, motor slightly up, plug in, transom ties off, and 50 ft of dock line loose & ready tied to bow. for launching i loosen my winch slightly (foot or 2) just enuff to unhook from boat, give a good push and hang on with my bow mount dock line, then the boat rides & i hang on with my dock line, pull out of way if necessary & tie it up & go pull truck out. done in 2 min.

4. for trailering i dock boat,lift motor a little bit, make sure trolling motor is secured, tie to dock, loosen bout 10-15 feet of winch strap on boat trailer but leave right next to winch, back in to dock, untie boat and use bow tied dock line to guide boat onto trailer, i pull as much of boat onto trailer as i can myself (usually half on trailer) grab winch & attach to boat and pull rest of boat with winch. pull out, and finish proper trailering (transom straps, lights, everything secure, AIS check, etc) .......i will admit handful of times last year i did have a little difficulty trailering when winds were heavier and boat wanted to sway back & forth a lot, just dont panic and dont be afraid to take your time.

i also like to keep an "eye" on lake traffic..i try to time my quitting time when docks are less busy or dead, if im heading in and 3 or 4 boats go by me, i generally will wave people to go ahead of me, that way i do not feel pressured or hurried. launching should not be a problem, but remember to control your boat, trailering you will want to practice if possible for your own safety & peace of mind. and the more you do it, the more you start remembering things to do that you did not do b4. Good luck

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slipperybob

No matter how many times I do it. I still do it slow = at my own pace. If I feel like I'm being rushed, chances are I will forget something. Just get comfortable and become more efficient every time you do it.

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TonkaBass

I also get in the habit of ALWAYS rolling down my window on the truck. Never had it happen to me, but Ive seen guys lock their keys in their truck, halfway in the lake while its still rinning. Not Good!

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KidMoe

On windy days, try and dock your boat on the downwind side of the dock. It'll keep it from getting bashed up.

The most important thing is to have a routine and stick to it. Once you get a routine down you'll find it much safer and quicker. When i take other people with me i don't let them help, other than holding the dock line. This way nothing gets forgotten!

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Hoffer

do you feel you are being "slow" when you are backing the trailer in and out? If thats the case, practice a bit by home in a empty parking lot.

Also, tunrevir kind of eluded to it - but if you have a van or a vehicle with a back door that swings up and open - open it up just before you are starting to do your backing in! With the tailgate open you can see so much more when looking behind. Also, others may disagree - but get used to backing it in looking over your shoulder. With the tailgate open ( if you have one) you can easily see right down to where the tires are on the trailer and how far the trailer is in. Its much easier when you are assured the trailer is in the right spot/depth in the water for both launching and picking it up.

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Wish-I-Were-Fishn

I wouldn't unhook your strap until the boat is backed in if you have a roller trailer. My brother unhooked my sister's brand new boat at the top of the ramp. The minute he started backing in, the boat rolled off the trailer onto the cement. Pretty funny if it isn't your boat.

No, actualy not funny at all. This is very good advice. You would be surprised how often this happens.

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Grum

If there isn't a boat launch on a non-busy lake near home and you don't have a lot of experience backing a trailer up, you might want to find an empty parking lot and do some dry runs there. That way you won't feel rushed and can practice backing up your boat and going through your check list and routine in peace.

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Wish-I-Were-Fishn

When I launch alone, I crawl out the back hatch of my SUV and into the boat after its backed in. I drive it off the trailer and beach it, or dock it on the opposit side of the ramp. I do the reverse when loading it.

I've found this to work better for me because most days I fish are so windy that the boat gets blown out of control while trying to use a rope to guide it some place safe.

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Ziesmer

Thanks for all the tips. I have an F150 without a camper top with a 17' Crestliner. I won't have any issue backing the trailer as I have plenty of experience backing trailers. It looks like the most important thing is to have all your stuff ready and in the boat, straps off etc. before you get in line. It seems from these posts for the most part everyone is pretty good about the process at the access. I have been at W. Rush before and saw 2 guys almost get into a fist fight. It seems everyone will need some patience especially this weekend. I am going to a private resort near Emily this weekend so I hope that I will have plenty of time to get in and out. Good luck to everyone this weekend!

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