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Boat Ramp Chaos


pdxWAKE.com

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So we were pulling the boat out of the water on Saturday and had a interesting yet not surprising scenerio happen at the Chinook Landing boat ramp east of Portland on the Columbia River.

My wife went up to get the truck and trailer and was waiting in line for her turn to use the next ramp available. She pulls down the ramp and there is a boat tied up almost up against where we need to be to get the boat onto the trailer.

The wife and kids holding this boat against the dock realize that they are to close and walk their boat back a few feet I'm assuming to give us room.

As I maneuver toward the trailer our board racks touch theirs. Minimal damage to theirs and tore mine off as well as put a pretty big gash in the surfboard.

I was the one moving so I assume I am at fault. I dont have an issue with this and once we all got out of the water and up into the parking lot I went up to the boat owner and said "let me know if you have any damage and we can exchange information". He quickly says he is all good and no big deal .

I then said just as a common courtesy you may want to explain to your wife and kids that if they are going to hold the boat against the dock at the boat ramp that they may want to try and give a clear path for people loading and uploading their boats.

Of course this quickly turned into him spouting off that my wife cut him off and that that lane was his because he parked his boat there first. I have been boating for 20 years and I havent seen this type of chaos in years. The guy and his wife got pretty verbal and sad to say it got pretty colorful around their 4 kids. At this point we just ignored them

He threatened to call the Sherriff and I told him to go ahead. I was really curious to get an answer about whether I was totally off base.

As we were finishing wiping down the boat the guy has his wife jump into the car and they drive off. (Funny that she was now driving the truck)

Not sure I will be gong back to Chinook Landing anytime soon. This was a new ramp for us and we went out again Sunday and decided to launch somewhere else.

Am I totally off base? Doesnt the tow vehicle determine your place in line when pulling the boat out. I get that not everyone knows how to back a trailer and that not everyone knows how to load the boat on the trailer but maybe its a good idea to at least have some common courtesy when you dont have one of each.

I think there is a question in there, sorry for the rant.

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tow vehicle definitely determines order on the ramp.

I launch in Kirkland on lake Washington and was battling the moron throng holding their boats against the dock all weekend. Infuriating.

Sorry about your rack/board.

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I think it is the truck and trailer. That is the only sensible way, anyway.

If not, you would have people moving in and out of the vehicle line depending on who's boat was at the slip!

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tow vehicle is what determines order at the launch I use.....fortunately it has five lanes and the dock is not really in the way........

using the boat would be hard as alot of people would simply drop driver off at dock and get out of the way...yes? if so it has to be tow vehicle

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tow vehicle definitely determines order on the ramp.

I launch in Kirkland on lake Washington and was battling the moron throng holding their boats against the dock all weekend. Infuriating.

Sorry about your rack/board.

:plus1: On trailer being the order.

Our ramp is off the side of a dead end road. Basically you pull forward and turn right until your front pass. tire hits the curb, then back down the short ramp. The ramp is double wide and there is almost always kids fishing or swimming off both piers. There was already a launching boat pulled forward to the curb and unstrapping (which he should have done up the street), so we pulled up next to him and put the truck in reverse to use the other side of the ramp. Well, a boat decided to pull inside the two piers on the ramp and the guy jumped out to go get the truck. As he walked slowly by he said "you better move those trucks, I'm next." The other truck and I looked at each other, laughed and said simultaneously "B.S., move your boat." I kept backing down the ramp, and the other guy got in his truck and started backing, as well. Wife and kid had to push the boat around to the outside of the pier to get out of the way. This guy really expected us to both back halfway down the ramp and then pull out up the street so he could load, then get back into the positions we were already in when he was done. :Doh:

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I don't know if its all boat ramps but the ones around the PDX metro area just seem to be clusters! One of the best around here(for chaos) is Speelyia at Lake Merwin. 2 weeks ago there was a brand new X80 attached to a brand new King Ranch F350 taking up half of the launch for 35min. 35min!!! They just couldn't get it on the trailer for some reason, likely very new to boating, wanted to help but it seems like half the world was already giving their 2 cents. Always kids swimming and fishing off of the launch fingers, genuine mess.

Not sure why people think that their boat marks their spot in line. Keep boats clear for those loading and your turn comes when your trailer is wet!

I do think though that I probably would've let this one pass considering I just hit their boat. Not a dig at all just my thoughts.

EDIT: After thinking more about this I guess thats the whole point! They were being morons and in the way, thus 2 boats collided.

I'm pretty sure we saw you yesterday when we were pulling out. The Marine Park area was a mess too as we were leaving due to a drowning off of Tomahawk Island. They weren't letting people in and telling us to get a move on to make room for EMS vehicles.

http://www.kgw.com/news/Divers-searching-for-missing-swimmer-in-Columbia-River-128153728.html

Be safe out there all!

Edited by Rechromed2
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I agree that the tow vehicle position determines who takes the ramp. Any other way would just be a train wreck.

Not to hijack your thread, but just sharing your pain. Earlier this summer we brought the boat back to the boat ramp dock at dusk only to find a drunk and a 11 or 12 yr old boy and the boy's momma had their towels spread out on the boat ramp dock. The man and the boy were floating on an inner tube in the boat ramp. As we came in, I said something, semi urgent, about moving out of the way so I didn't pinch them between the boat and dock. Drunk guy lays into me with a blue streak of profanity. After I get through with that, I go to get the trailer and when I start to back down, the boy's mom blocks the ramp with her car, but only after boat ramp dude gets into it with a man in a bass boat who had to abort his launch to keep from grinding up the kid. Several people called 911, five police cars respond and haul Boat Ramp Dude in over his protest that they had a right to swim in the boat ramp.

So boats over swimmers at the ramp, and tow rigs over boats for position.

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I was down at Chinook on Sunday and it was just as bad as Saturday. There were several wrecks and people bumping into each other all over the place.

You can usually avoid any issues if you are out before 9-10 and plan on being out until 8 or 9 pm at Chinook. Otherwise it is some good people watching!

Definintely the order will be which trailer/truck is ready to pull first. In an efficient system, trucks would come down in pretty much the same order if the trailer fetchers roll up to the dock, and fetch the truck. That doesnt happen though. People find a ton of reasons to be unprepared while on the active docks versus the transient dock or even floating in the channel.

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I agree that the tow vehicle position determines who takes the ramp. Any other way would just be a train wreck.

I don't know about other states, but in Washington state this is a written rule (learned it in the boaters ed course.) It's common sense, but it's also enforceable...

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Stories like this and the many others make me so grateful to have our own ramp to pull the boat in and out every weekend. My bro-in-law and I actually have it down to a science now. I can't imagine dealing with idiots at a public launch.

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It blows me away how some people just don't get it....why would you swim at a boat ramp in the first place? Pdx....i feel your pain and that whole guy's issue was he either needs to teach his wife to learn how to drive the boat or learn how to back the trailer...luckily down here in Sac we have a number of different ramps along the river that we can launch from....some like the one you experienced and others that are great...never had a problem. Good luck to you my friend and sorry to hear about the boards...

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jkendallmsce

I agree that the tow vehicle position determines who takes the ramp. Any other way would just be a train wreck.

Not to hijack your thread, but just sharing your pain. Earlier this summer we brought the boat back to the boat ramp dock at dusk only to find a drunk and a 11 or 12 yr old boy and the boy's momma had their towels spread out on the boat ramp dock. The man and the boy were floating on an inner tube in the boat ramp. As we came in, I said something, semi urgent, about moving out of the way so I didn't pinch them between the boat and dock. Drunk guy lays into me with a blue streak of profanity. After I get through with that, I go to get the trailer and when I start to back down, the boy's mom blocks the ramp with her car, but only after boat ramp dude gets into it with a man in a bass boat who had to abort his launch to keep from grinding up the kid. Several people called 911, five police cars respond and haul Boat Ramp Dude in over his protest that they had a right to swim in the boat ramp.

So boats over swimmers at the ramp, and tow rigs over boats for position.

PDX's problem is that he has been boating for 20+ years, and KNOWS the rules of the water...and is probably courteous to his fellow boaters...the new bunch of tattooed freaks are loud, rude, oblivious to those around them....add in a few beers and they turn into morons.

There should be a time limit....it takes us no more than 2-3 minutes to have the misses back the trailer into the water, and if folks/boats are outta the way, I am on the trailer within a minute.. With crash pads on the trailer, you don't even have to hook up the boat, just pull out slow and easy and up the ramp.

Maybe ramps should have the same SOP as aircraft carriers... if the first plane lands and has problems, you push it overboard as there are another dozen needing to land cause they are running outta fuel. Say after five minutes seems to be a reasonable timeframe to get in and out.

Too bad there is no law against being stupid.

Edited by jkendallmsce
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I always put my wife or son in the boat, back them in and they drive off the trailer, come back and nose in to the dock to pick me up, hop in and go. I just don't understand holding the boat to the dock taking up a lane. My wife had never driven a boat before we got ours 3 years ago but I gave her some simple lessons and she was docking like a pro within 3 outings. I feel sorry for the guys that have to do all the work while his wife just stands there.

On a side note how about the people fishing from the loading dock with all their poles and tackle boxes that refuse to move to let you board your boat :rant:

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Brady, what kind of surfboard? If you need it, I think I have a ding repair kit you can use. Sorry to hear about this. I had a run in yesterday at the ramp and then parking. Guy opened up his window cussing me out about driving in his yard. No curb, barely on the parking strip: dude, it's a parking strip and it's PUBLIC right of way!

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the one that really got me going was the boat tied off on the dock (blocking one of two lanes) while the owner is in the latrine for 20 minutes!

really?

launch, tie it off (w 2 in the boat waiting) then go to take a dump!

it would be funnier if i wasn't one of those waiting my turn.

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I have been doing this for over 25 years, You were totally right on this one, That has got to be one of my biggest pet peeves, People holding there boats right near where we have to load or unload, We have always dropped a guy off to get the rig and waited in the water till they arrive, and are backing in the water, seems like you handled it well, I'm curious as to what type of boat they had, Seems like I run into a little attitude with some people because I have this Flashy boat, almost like what a bunch of punks, Sorry to hear about your board, No boat damage I hope... Funny i almost had that same situation at Willamette park a month ago, Lady holding the front of her boat and the rear drifted right where i needed to go, She saw me coming and I was able to dodge her but it was tight, Maybe same Family....

Edited by Wakesetter67
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You cant tie a boat off in a ramp's lane, (unless there is absolutely no one around).

What if there are 10 trucks in line? and their boats are out hovering, waiting for their truck to be next at the ramp? A boat pulls in, parks, and expects to go next? I dont think so.

What if the person's boat who is tied off, goes up and decides to use the public restroom and start chatting it up with other folks on shore? He is then going to pass by the 10 trucks in line just because his is tied up?...again I don't think so.

Steve B.

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martinarcher

Totally agree - trailer order = boat order.

I also agree - if there are two people with the boat and one knows how to drive a boat and the other knows how to back up a trailer, there is no excuse to be at the dock for more than a minute. Dontknow.gif I never got the - lets hang onto the dock for 20 minutes drill. Frankly it's the reason I T-bone the end of our launches dock, step off the bow, and turn the boat over to my wife when I get the truck.

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PDX

You were videoing and now relaying my experience at ramp Sat aft were'nt you. The only difference was that I politely asked the lady who's boat was blocking my exit to move her boat back 5 or ten feet. She started say no way she was next and that I'm an idiot with no launch edicate. That was when I pointed out my trailer in the water awaiting my boat. Well she lost it!!! Started cussing up a storm infront of my kids, my buddy's kids and her own. I politely said I could not hear her over the motors and the music and thanked her for begrudgingly complying. When she called us newbies our kids burst out in hysterical laughter (60 years of combined experience between me and buddy) . I think she was suitably embarrassed but didnt want to let it go. I remided her that it was a beautiful day to be boating and enjoy her weekend on the water with her family. She just would not accept the car/trailer that determines the entry/exit order.

Too bad about your equipment....you were 100% correct imo.

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I get frustrated when I occasionally Launch solo. Back trailer in and climb in boat, back off trailer and can't tie to dock because 2 other boats full of people are waiting for their truck/trailer/boat driver to return. I now have my trailer and truck blocking a lane on the ramp but can't get to dock to tie boat so I can move trailer off ramp.

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I think boat launches are crazy everywhere. At our launch you have to be in the water before 930 or its crazy. If you are out at approx. 330-4, it's not too bad, any longer than that and you're looking at 45-60 min wait with tonnes of boats drifting until about 7 or 8. There's never room at the dock. What kills me is when both sides of the dock are taken and then some moron decides to tie his boat across the end of the dock so now there's no way to even drop someone off to the get the truck and trailer!!!! One time we were launching and this happened. My wife had no way to pick me up so I looked at the guy at the end of the dock and asked if I could hop on his boat to get to mine. He was good about it and said yes, but still I shouldn't have had to do that. But my major pet peeve at the launch are the people that drift about 30 feet from the launch and don't move. :mad: They just sit there right in everybody's way while they wait for their driver.....just KILLS me!!! :rant: Sorry to hear about your board rack. That really sucks. And I've never heard anywhere that boat determines the order. They're out to lunch

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It's amazing to be a part of the boat ramp mess. Especially when you are trying to be considerate. But, really no different than going to Home Depot on a Sunday.

A few years back on a guys weekend there were 7 of us in the Echelon. At it all day. Get to the ramp at 7pm, lots of boats. We get in line behind one guy actually launching a fishing boat (as compared to all us trying to get off the water). He backs it in, and is cussing his wife up a storm, who is just trying to get the boat started, then backed off the trailer, then up to the dock. A real jerk. She's horribly embarrased by this guy, he's really making a scene. So he leaves to park the truck, and she's holding the boat with a rope. My buddy gets on the pier and walks up to her, puts his arm around her, and asks "You want us to kick his a**?" She said yes, and laughed very hard at that. Then repeatedly said "no", making sure we knew the answer was really "no". He got in the boat to leave with her while we were docking, pretty sure she told him we were going to beat him up, as he turned back to look at us while we are staring him down, then turned back and zipped away. Classic.

Edit: On beautiful Walloon Lake, BTW!

Edited by Michigan boarder
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Ok, here are the Oregon ramp rules! Its official, at least in Oregon, its the order of the vehicles that controls.

http://www.oregon.gov/OSMB/miscfiles/RampRules.shtml

Are you a Boat Ramp Hog?

Waiting in line at the boat ramp is a fact of life, but when someone blocks a ramp while they load their boat with fishing gear, have problems getting the motor started or experience some other delay, tempers can flair. Follow these guidelines to help keep the line moving. Or, print a copy and hand it to others who might need some "education."

Boat Ramp Etiquette

The following tips are offered to assist you when launching and recovering your boat. To avoid unnecessarily blocking the ramp, conduct as much of the operation in the lot as possible.

Launch (Recovery is basically in reverse order)

Be sure all required safety equipment and registration are on board. Load your food, fishing gear or other equipment before you get to the ramp.

Ensure tongue is securely fastened to ball hitch, remove tie downs.

Check condition of battery, motor and angle of drive unit.

Ensure boat plugs are firmly in place.

Move to ramp and launch. Check drive unit prior to backing down ramp. (Having a lookout or someone in the boat is helpful)

If possible, use two people to launch your boat - the driver and the boat tender.

Unhook bow safety restraint, power or pull off trailer.

Run blower, start boat, move to dock for passenger pickup. (If alone, secure boat quickly and move vehicle off ramp.) Be courteous, the less time you spend on the ramp or at the dock the more other boaters will appreciate you.

If you have an assistant, instruct the person tending the boat to move it far enough away from the ramp and adjacent dock that it doesn't impede other boaters launching or loading.

Please remember these points, too.

When ready to load, don't pull your boat into the launch lane until your vehicle and trailer is in the water. It is the order of the vehicles that determines the order of loading.

Never block the ramp with an unattended vehicle or boat.

After the boat is on the trailer, secure the bow safety restraint, and move the vehicle and trailer to the tie-down area so you don't impede traffic trying to launch or retreive.

Carefully tie down your vehicle, check that your hitch is secure and lights are plugged in, remove all items that could blow out of boat during travel and move out of the tie-down area to make room for others.

Disconnect your tail lights while preparing the boat for launch. That cools the bulbs so they don't burst when submerged.

Edited by Bozboat
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It's amazing to be a part of the boat ramp mess. Especially when you are trying to be considerate. But, really no different than going to Home Depot on a Sunday.

A few years back on a guys weekend there were 7 of us in the Echelon. At it all day. Get to the ramp at 7pm, lots of boats. We get in line behind one guy actually launching a fishing boat (as compared to all us trying to get off the water). He backs it in, and is cussing his wife up a storm, who is just trying to get the boat started, then backed off the trailer, then up to the dock. A real jerk. She's horribly embarrassed by this guy, he's really making a scene. So he leaves to park the truck, and she's holding the boat with a rope. My buddy gets on the pier and walks up to her, puts his arm around her, and asks "You want us to kick his a**?" She said yes, and laughed very hard at that. Then repeatedly said "no", making sure we knew the answer was really "no". He got in the boat to leave with her while we were docking, pretty sure she told him we were going to beat him up, as he turned back to look at us while we are staring him down, then turned back and zipped away. Classic.

Edit: On beautiful Walloon Lake, BTW!

Wow I just relived my childhood nightmare's at the ramp. That would be my Dad I regret to say...But On a Up note, He is personally responsible for my 30 Second launch and 60 second load...If someone went off on me about my launch or load, I'm afraid I would unload 35 years of anger and embarrassment...
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We now need a boating license up here in Canada..perhaps there should be some questions added to the exam regarding this exact item. You gotta wonder what rock do these people crawl out of before they come to the boat lauch!!

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