5 Boat Ramp Rules - Boat Ramp Etiquette

5 Rules for Boat Ramps

Get to know essential boat ramp etiquette

Boat ramp etiquette is a set of rules that every boater should follow when using a boat ramp. These rules are set in place to ensure the safety of everyone around the ramp as well as for you.

  1. Stay off the ramp while it is being used by other boaters
  2. Follow the instructions of the boat ramp attendant
  3. Never stop a boat on the ramp
  4. Get out of the way when another boat is coming in to land
  5. Don't take up too much space or time

Boat Ramp Etiquette

It's a good idea to make sure you're aware of the standard rules and assumed etiquette of using a boat ramp, bearing in mind that etiquette might vary from one boat ramp to the next. By brushing up on the rules and being courteous you can ensure you have a smooth splash and perhaps make some friends along the way.

8 Tips for Good Boat Ramp Etiquette

  1. Complete your preparation work in the staging area so you don't waste time or hold up others whilst on the boat ramp
  2. Respect queues. Don't barge in, join the line when you arrive, especially on busy days
  3. Follow local boat ramp rules - bearing in mind they may vary from one ramp to another
  4. Limit chatter. It's nice to speak with others about your love for boating but ensure this doesn't distract others from launching or hold up the queue
  5. Stick to your own boat. Don't start working on someone else's boat or helping them unless you're asked to as it may be seen as rude
  6. Be efficient, recruit the help of other people or friends to help make your launch quick and smooth
  7. When your boat has launched remove your car and trailer as soon as possible, parking in the designated area
  8. Park your boat out of the way on a courtesy dock until you're ready to ensure it's not in the way of others using the boat ramp

5 Tips When Prepping Your Boat for Launch (pre-launch)

  1. Inspect your boat to ensure there's no damage, the key is in the ignition and the drain plug is in place
  2. Ensure all safety equipment is available and onboard including lines and fenders
  3. Remove the tie-down
  4. Make sure the battery and engine are operational
  5. The drive unit needs to be angled correctly for the approach to the water
  6. Inspect the ramp and landing for any obstructions to consider
  7. Observe traffic to get an idea of how quickly the queue moves
  8. Check for fees to ensure you have the right amount of money on you if needed
  9. If you're launching at night ensure you have sufficient lighting

Launching Your Boat

Once all your checks are done you'll want to line up the boat and trailer so that you can back straight down the ramp. It's a good idea to have a helper who can act as your spotter to make sure there are no obstructions in the way and let you know that you're okay to proceed as you go down the ramp. It's important you manoeuvre slowly so there's plenty of time to correct the position of the trailer if it starts to go crooked. Back down the ramp until the tires of the trailer touch the water, then slowly keep backing down until the boat is low enough in the water the be able to float.

Boat Ramp sign

Removing Your Boat from the Trailer

Secure your vehicle in park mode then remove the safety chain from the bow before releasing the trailer winch so that you can unclip the boat from the trailer. Ensure you have footwear on as some ramps require you to stand in the water during this process. Ideally, you can then hand the bow line to your helper who can help you give the boat a nudge to dislodge it from the trailer so that it's floating on its own. Your helper can then use the bow line to move the boat as far away from the ramp as possible, usually on a courtesy dock. They can then lower the engine fully and double-check it's in working order.

Parking Your Tow Vehicle

Once your boat is afloat and safely in the hands of your helper it's good etiquette to remove your vehicle and trailer as soon as possible to as not to hold up the queue of other boaters waiting to head out on the water. The boat ramp area will usually have a dedicated parking facility where you can leave your car and trailer securely out of the way before heading down to your boat.

Get More Information About Boat Ramp Etiquette Rules

There are loads of resources online to help you stay informed about boat ramp etiquette, if you liked this article you may also find this article on the Do's and Dont's of Boat Launching useful! Equally, Discover Boating has some great tips too.

View Boat Ramps in the savvy navvy App

It's now possible to view the location of boat ramps near me in your savvy navvy app, simply look for the boat ramp icon nearby to you! We all like a giggle, so why not have a look at these boat ramp fails.

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