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IamN2Speed

Ramp Ettiquette

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IamN2Speed

I had this on my myspace blog from last year, and just got a comment on it and thought it might be a good time to post for the crew's humor. I'm sure we can all relate.

So I realize I've only been a boat owner for a year and a half, but being the anal retentive and perfectionist individual that I am, I've already developed a couple of pet peeves while being out on the lake, that seem to piss me off consistently while loading & unloading the boat. I searched on Google just to see if there was any widely distributed information on Boating Etiquette, and came up empty. So maybe it's not the fault of all the gapers out there on the lake. Maybe they're genuinely intent on being a good marina mate, but just don't get the general laws of etiquette which should prevail. After all, someone did actually sit me down and give the the brief tips of docking.

Nahhh... If you just sit and watch for a moment, you can get the flow. Therefore, anyone should be held accountable to "Boating Etiquette 101"

The below rules and information are to apply while loading & unloading your boat. (at the ramp)

Rule 1) If you tie your boat to the dock for more than enough time to let one (1) person in/out of the boat you should be pelted with rocks or debris

Here's the deal, when you are on the lake on a weekend, it's busy. Your goal should be to get in, and out of the water as quickly as possible, causing as little disruption to flow of boats on & off the launch ramp as possible. This means, you get your boat prepped for launch BEFORE you get to the ramp. Get everyone that's going to go out with you ON the boat before you hit the water. The only person that should be left behind is the person parking the trailer. This same theory should be used when leaving as well. Putt up to the dock, let your "trailer fetcher" off the boat to go get the trailer, and drive around so they can wait in line for the ramp. Meanwhile, you backup, back out into the marina, and putt around and wait for them to get their spot on the ramp. Note: While awaiting your trailer to get the appropriate lane on the ramp, DO NOT crowd the dock. There's no reason for you to 'stay close' to the dock waiting for the trailer. Leave room for others with their trailer in the water, or letting their "trailer fetcher" out.

Rule 2) Never launch your boat on a busy weekend when YOU are the only person that knows how to A) drive/maneuver the boat in the marina, and B) drive/maneuver the trailer down the ramp and into the parking area.

See "Rule 1" Doing this will force you to dock your boat, and just PISS ME OFF! (and remember, it's all about me!) Tease.gif ...

Rule 3) The truck/trailer is the one that waits in line. Not the boat.

This means I don't care who got to the 'dock' first. If you're trailer ain't in a ramp lane, your boat should NOT be in the way of the dock! (Again, see rule 1)

Rule 4) Don't crowd the dock

C'mon folks, it's busy enough trying to get in/out. Not everyone may have the experience to maneuver a 7' wide boat into an 8' wide space. Again, if you're not directly dropping a person off, or loading/unloading your boat, please stay far enough away from the dock to allow boats the room to get in/out without running the risk of hitting each other.

Rule 5) Use "Ship shape lane"!

If you are prepping your boat (regardless of if it's before or after your day on the lake), don't do it in a lane (or somewhere that impacts the traffic for the lanes) on the ramp. This is real simple folks. This is the place to load everyone and all your s*** into the boat. Or, if you're on your way off the water, leave everyone on the boat, and get it on the trailer. Then, when the boat is out of the water, clean out the boat, and do your cleanup away from the ramp. Easy stuff, right?

Rule6) Guests can help too...

If you're invited on someone's boat, keep a couple of things in mind. Maintaining a boat is a bit of work. If you're invited on someone's boat, try to keep it clean. If you're bringing your kids, pick up after them. Make sure they're not getting in/out of the boat with dirty feet, shoes, or walking on the boat surface with sand on their feet. (it scratches).

Tip 1) Everyone appreciates treats... Things that are well appreciated, and will make you a desired invitee multiple times over.

Gas money is good. I'll never ask for it, but if you leave it somewhere I don't have to approve of (like ashtray, visor, boat glove box, etc.) it will be well appreciated. If we just putt to the swim area, and lounge all day, probably not necessary. But if we've been skiing/wakeboarding, a full tank of gas is about $100, and a day will easily burn 1/2 tank. You do the math.

Extra drinks. If you're going to drink 6 beers/sodas while on the boat, bring a 12pack, and leave the rest behind. (Same goes for snacks) I now have a stash I just keep for the boat, and I don't even empty out the ice chest. I just keep filling it with ice on the weekends, and drain the water when I'm done.

Help on the boat. I had one guest that every time we were going to move, 'he' got up to pull in the anchor. Looked for things that needed to be done to minimize the Captain's work. Not only did I notice, it was very much appreciated.

OK, I'm done now. Go enjoy the coming summer.

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Malibudude

All those rules and pet peeves are constantly broken and ignored at Folsom...lol

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DIE2SURF

Often at the River too. I hate Discovery Park sometimes...some guy almost hit me on Sunday from breaking rule #4 in a Bayliner. Needless to say, he got an earful from me. Biggrin.gif

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SacRiverRat

Shouldn't rule #1 be patience? We're all out to have a good time

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Bill_AirJunky

Rule 3) The truck/trailer is the one that waits in line. Not the boat.

This means I don't care who got to the 'dock' first. If you're trailer ain't in a ramp lane, your boat should NOT be in the way of the dock!

I actually had someone get pissed at me last year about this.

We were out riding one evening after work. When we were done, we pulled up to the boat ramp, mosied thru all the waiting boats to the dock, dropped off the truck driver, and then backed away. Conveniently, our truck was parked not very far away from the ramp, so he returned in a short time with the truck & trailer, and stabbed the trailer down the ramp as I pulled the boat in.

Well, some guy who had been waiting for his driver to return got a bit upset & told me "thats not how we do it here on this lake" (I've been living here a while & we always did it this way). I backed up to listen some more & asked him how I should be doing it. He said he'd been waiting & his truck should be next (single lane ramp). So I said that was fine, we'd wait for him. To which he acknowledged that his truck & trailer were not there yet. So I asked him how he suggested we do this. He just told me to "go ahead & get out".

So WTF you freakin hillbilly??? Do we all just sit & wait at the empty ramp for your driver to find his car keys & navigate his way back to the ramp????

I can't wait to run into this pinhead again this year. Thumbup.gif

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bigD

There's always some guy tied up to the inside of the launch ramp dock loading the mother in law a bunch of ice chests or something and blocking the ramp and it's almost ALWAYS an IO with a huge inflated tube tied to the back and then they ask for a jump start Frustrated.gif

When I have help loading or unloading I don't even touch the dock, I nose up to the dock taking up very little room stop a couple of inches from the edge and let people step in to or out of the bow of the boat and I back away. People think I'm going to hit the dock or their docked boat and are amazed that you can load people with taking up dock space or using a bunch of bumpers and rope.

Last Memorial Day after helping secure the House boat I was on my own to load my boat and go home , the 2 launch ramp docks both sides where full of coarse and the large T shape courtesy dock was full so I had to anchor swim to shore get my truck get in line dunk the trailer and swim to the boat load and go. and I was still faster than most.

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99response

Where I launch there is a difficult side of the ramp to back into....guess which side of the ramp I use!

Edited by 99response

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RTS

I put up with the ramp nonsense for two summers while I waited for admission to a private club.

Limited membership, two double ramps with docks either side...and most importantly employees who make sure people follow the rules, including proper ettiquette, which every new member is made aware of.

New members that decide Saturday afternoon would be a good time to take a half hour to teach their 16 year old son to back a trailer cloggging a whole double ramp are politely told to come back and practice when the crowds are gone...mornings, evenings, anytime weekdays.

And I've seen employees 'commandeer' a members vehicle and put the trailer in the water for them if the driver is 'having a rough time' with backing it down.

If I lost my membership to this club, I would sell my boat. It sure makes for a less stressful day on the water.

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nubu4me

This is hilarious, but sadly true. I fortunately have a small amount of waterfrontage, but the public ramp is well within view of my home. It is terrible there sometimes, all the things you talk about.......and more. There are a lot of bass boats putting in, including tournaments twice a year. You should see that one! Not pretty, except the great entertainment value of them trying to drive their boats on the back of their truck, over top of the trailers. lol. Do they not understand what that winch is for? Instead they have a huge hole made behind the ramp, so those of us who want to load our boats properly, have a hard time to do it. It is truly amazing how absolutely unwitting some people can be. Crazy.gif

But i think the worst one of all is one of the guys that has an "off water" property. He makes everyone wait, PLUS when he's not boating he will swim out through boat traffic in the main waterway. Real bonehead. Someone will hit him one of these times.

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kb3

So let me get this straight....if I can't follow the rules that you posted, I should not launch my boat that day. Biggrin.gif

RULE #1 and #2 - There are times that my wife, our son and I like to go out for a day....just the three of us. The wife is not comfortable driving the boat in close quarters.....say around a dock or other boats in the marina and she is just learning to back the trailer in. SO....according to your rules, I should stay home that day as opposed to tieing the boat to the dock for FIVE whole minutes while I park or retrieve the trailer???????

Let me guess....you don't like sitting at a railroad crossing for the train to pass as well because it is stealing a few valuable minutes of your time.....go ahead, go around the gates...you can beat the train.

RULE #5 - There are occasions when my mother (71 years old) and/or my mother-in-law (handicapped) like to join us for the day. There is no way either of them can get into or out of the boat when it is on dry land....the 247 is over 5' tall when sitting on the trailer. SO I guess I shouldn't tie on to the dock long enough to safely get them aboard......maybe I should make them swim for it.

I like SacRiver's rule #1 - Patience....you are not the only one paying to enjoy the lake that day...so relax!

Rockon.gif

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bofer84

agreed. Rule 2. OK, so your saying you should be an absent father, and not take your son who is 10 or so years old out on the lake, merely so you dont break this rule?? Im in college and dont have kids, and it just so happens i dont have to trailer my boat, but i remember when i was younger trailer our older boat with my dad to the ramp and he would do all the work till i learned how to drive the boat. Granted, there are those idiots, and i understand what your saying. But i just give people the benefit of the doubt sometimes :)

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srintx
Shouldn't rule #1 be patience? We're all out to have a good time

DITTO!!!! DITTO!!!! Biggrin.gif

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Bill_AirJunky

I wish it were like that, kb3. Typically the ones I see have 2 able bodied guys (maybe a little drunk) holding the boat at the dock (blocking the ramp), a wife doing absolutely nothing & 3 kids running up & down the dock while the other guy walks up to get the truck. If it were only 5 minutes, it would be great. But 15 minutes later, people get restless, including his drunk buddies holding his boat, and the kids running around getting into things. This is EXACTLY what we saw a couple years ago in SoCal. I only wish I had a video camera.... would have been classic Youtube material.

If he had bothered to show his wife how to drive the boat, or made sure his buddies could do the job safely, then maybe the problem would not have been so bad.

I mean how tough is it to learn to drive the truck or boat? Practice a few times somewhere it's not so busy & your better than most.

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SacRiverRat
So let me get this straight....if I can't follow the rules that you posted, I should not launch my boat that day. Biggrin.gif

RULE #1 and #2 - There are times that my wife, our son and I like to go out for a day....just the three of us. The wife is not comfortable driving the boat in close quarters.....say around a dock or other boats in the marina and she is just learning to back the trailer in. SO....according to your rules, I should stay home that day as opposed to tieing the boat to the dock for FIVE whole minutes while I park or retrieve the trailer???????

Let me guess....you don't like sitting at a railroad crossing for the train to pass as well because it is stealing a few valuable minutes of your time.....go ahead, go around the gates...you can beat the train.

RULE #5 - There are occasions when my mother (71 years old) and/or my mother-in-law (handicapped) like to join us for the day. There is no way either of them can get into or out of the boat when it is on dry land....the 247 is over 5' tall when sitting on the trailer. SO I guess I shouldn't tie on to the dock long enough to safely get them aboard......maybe I should make them swim for it.

I like SacRiver's rule #1 - Patience....you are not the only one paying to enjoy the lake that day...so relax!

Rockon.gif

Totally with you Ken - I usually have to launch/retrieve by myself. I think I can do it without inconveniencing anyone at the ramp. I'll just tie the boat off at the back of the dock, allowing space in the front part, for someone else to back in and launch & use the front part of the dock. I'll park, and jog back down to the boat, and be out of everyone's way.

There are definitely people that spend too much time hogging up space on the ramp. Sure comes off a little arrogant to me to say that if you don't have a second driver, you should stay home. I know this list was all in fun, but there are so many posts about j-holes at the ramp, and how everyone must do it perfectly. Just be courteous & patient - karma comes around..

Shoot – I even know of someone (who we allll know) up in Oregon, and they removed their bow strap before backing down, and their boat prematurely slid off the trailer into the shallow water… :Doh: Happens to the best of us

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SCOTTDOMINE
There's always some guy tied up to the inside of the launch ramp dock loading the mother in law a bunch of ice chests or something and blocking the ramp and it's almost ALWAYS an IO with a huge inflated tube tied to the back and then they ask for a jump start Frustrated.gif

When I have help loading or unloading I don't even touch the dock, I nose up to the dock taking up very little room stop a couple of inches from the edge and let people step in to or out of the bow of the boat and I back away. People think I'm going to hit the dock or their docked boat and are amazed that you can load people with taking up dock space or using a bunch of bumpers and rope.

Last Memorial Day after helping secure the House boat I was on my own to load my boat and go home , the 2 launch ramp docks both sides where full of coarse and the large T shape courtesy dock was full so I had to anchor swim to shore get my truck get in line dunk the trailer and swim to the boat load and go. and I was still faster than most.

I do the exact same. Just can not believe these people that have to pull up to the dock, then dock and tie up, and wait for people and gear to be loaded. Everyone and everything (except the truck driver) should already be in the boat!!!!!!!! Pull up (nose first) load the driver and go. What the h#*l is so hard Dontknow.gif

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Sandbagger

I have seen it all at the ramp and I agree with the procedures outlined in a perfect world. Many have circumstances where not all the perfect procedures can be followed and there is a need to dock the boat while retrieving the trailer or loading/unloading, taking up valueable space. If as the boat owner I determine that it is safer for my boat, other boaters etc to dock the boat rather than let someone else skipper the boat while I get the trailer then that is what I do. I will not risk damage to my $60K+ boat or someone else's to save an extra couple minutes.

The key to the ramp has already been mentioned and that is patience (perhaps even lending a hand to others if they look like they need it) and treat other people like you would like to be treated.

We all know that the ramp is busiest as the day gets later and everyone wants to go home. I would recommend that anyone who does not have a lot of patience might consider leaving a little earlier before the rush begins. The same goes for the guy who may need to dock his boat for any time to get the trailer, leave early before the rush, for the least amount of disruption to fellow boaters.

BTW; heavy drinking, impatience and a busy ramp is a recipe for disaster.

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BB LSV
Shouldn't rule #1 be patience? We're all out to have a good time

DITTO!!!! DITTO!!!! Biggrin.gif

Plus1.gif on the patience Last weekend while my wife was in line to pull the boat out a guy in a mini van ran out of gas after he loaded his boat, and this is a one lane ramp. It was comical to say the least. Eventually a guy pulled him and his boat up the ramp. I would say the worst part is the people that have no common sense.

I dont mind someone taking their time, its their investment and thier right. Its the guy that has no clue he is even doing anything wrong, that makes it tough to deal with.

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Dan P
There's always some guy tied up to the inside of the launch ramp dock loading the mother in law a bunch of ice chests or something and blocking the ramp and it's almost ALWAYS an IO with a huge inflated tube tied to the back and then they ask for a jump start Frustrated.gif

Dang that's funny......and so true!

Edited by Dan P

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IamN2Speed
So let me get this straight....if I can't follow the rules that you posted, I should not launch my boat that day.

YES! Tongue.gif

I hope you all can tell this was written with an attempt at humor, as well as trying to be helpful. I think there are really nuggets of information in the write up that can cause people to think about 'how' they launch or leave, and just THINK. Although posting here on the Crew Forum is kind of an excercise in futility, and a bit like preaching to the Choir. If there is a forum out there called "cluelessboaters.com" let me know, I'll join up there and post too... Whistling.gif

RULE #1 and #2 - There are times that my wife, our son and I like to go out for a day....just the three of us. The wife is not comfortable driving the boat in close quarters.....say around a dock or other boats in the marina and she is just learning to back the trailer in. SO....according to your rules, I should stay home that day as opposed to tieing the boat to the dock for FIVE whole minutes while I park or retrieve the trailer???????

Let me guess....you don't like sitting at a railroad crossing for the train to pass as well because it is stealing a few valuable minutes of your time.....go ahead, go around the gates...you can beat the train.

I get this... And as long as people in this situation are curtious, and are making the best use of time, I don't get too antsy. One thing I did, even though my GF wasn't comfortable backing down the trailer, I would drop her off at the dock to go get the trailer, and have her drive it to the top of the lane, then I only had to jump out for a minute to back it in the last 50'... Just a thought. But yes, I hate trains!

RULE #5 - There are occasions when my mother (71 years old) and/or my mother-in-law (handicapped) like to join us for the day. There is no way either of them can get into or out of the boat when it is on dry land....the 247 is over 5' tall when sitting on the trailer. SO I guess I shouldn't tie on to the dock long enough to safely get them aboard......maybe I should make them swim for it.

Well, I wouldn't have any issues waiting for you to safely load your 71yo mother-in-law at the dock. But if you tie up there and bring your ice chest down, and towels, and skis, and vests, and 7 other family members, then yes, bottles will start flyin...

I like SacRiver's rule #1 - Patience....you are not the only one paying to enjoy the lake that day...so relax!

I have plenty of patience for curtious, and knowlegable individuals that know what they're doing. Things happen, and sometimes things take longer than we expect. What I don't have patience for, is inconsiderate people that don't spend the very short amount of time it would take to learn good ettiquette, and pick a busy Saturday afternoon to try and bring the whole fandamily down and make a mess of the whole process, which in my opinion, is really quite simple.

Example: Two weeks ago, I went to launch, and got everything ready. Back the boat down, and when I got to the water, I realized my battery was dead. Instead of taking up ramp time, (because the dead battery was my fault, not the 15 other people waiting) I pulled my boat back up, and got out of the lane. Then, after everyone got out, and I asked everyone to wait on the beach for me, I lowered the boat, back in the water, (after three other boats went in my original place) and pushed it off, and floated it around the dock, where I could get it jumpstarted without impeding the flow of the lanes. It took a little longer, but I certainly didn't try to take care of my problem in front of others trying to launch.

Rockon.gif

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CLOUT1

I'm with you all the way but you lost me at Tip#1...a full tank of gas this summer will run us a grand at this rate not $100!!!!!!!!!

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IamN2Speed
I would say the worst part is the people that have no common sense. I dont mind someone taking their time, its their investment and thier right. Its the guy that has no clue he is even doing anything wrong, that makes it tough to deal with.

Plus1.gif

Exactly!

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IamN2Speed
I'm with you all the way but you lost me at Tip#1...a full tank of gas this summer will run us a grand at this rate not $100!!!!!!!!!

Well, I did write that last year originally, and my tank was only 30g. Now in the LSV it's 52, and the price of gas is gunna be at $4/gal. So yea, it's SUBSTANTIALLY more now...

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Clutch-n-Throttle

Great thread!

Now, I just got my first boat recently. I will be doing both the unloading and loading of the boat and trailer duties. Gonna train the wife in the ways of the BUForce to take some of the duties off of me.

I hope I can remember all these tips. Remember rule #1 - Patience, when you see me out there this summer.

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Bobby Light

One of my favorites is the 2 lane boat ramp where someone is putting in their 1980 bayliner and their 4 kids are playing in lane #2 swimming around, not paying attention you know. When you say something you get looked at like a big ahole.

I also like when someone waits until the boat is in the water and tied up to the dock to load all their crap into it.

I like it when people wipe down their boats at the lauch, don't want to drive up 50' to get the hell out of the way.

Another good one is the guy waiting in the boat while his old lady makes 52 attempts to back the trailer up while he yells at her, or vice versa.

Bottom line is some people have no clue and shouldn't own a boat.

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winddawg
I would say the worst part is the people that have no common sense. I dont mind someone taking their time, its their investment and thier right. Its the guy that has no clue he is even doing anything wrong, that makes it tough to deal with.

Plus1.gif

Exactly!

To bad in California they legislate restrictive and ridiculous laws to protect those challenged by the lack of common sense.

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