10 Tip for boat ramp launch

10 Tips to Launch Your Boat With a Boat Ramp

A boat ramp is a structure or system that allows boats to be launched into the water. Some boat ramp sites are public and often require a payment fee to use the landing whilst others can be private and therefore are only for personal use.

It's always worth double-checking the quality, accessibility, facilities and fees associated with a prospective boat ramp before you arrive to avoid any nasty surprises. It's also worth considering that whilst a free boat ramp might be tempting it is often the case that paid ramps have many more benefits as they are usually safer, provide easier admission and can cater to a wider range of boats and activities than a free one. You could use a boat ramp finder to try and establish the details of the ramp you have in mind but often it might be easiest to simply ring the management company and enquire.

savvy navvy boat ramp 10 tips

Boat Ramps and Access

Boat ramps can be made from a variety of materials, such as concrete, metal, or wood and are often used in a variety of locations such as on a creek, lake, river or marina. It's worth checking what material the boat ramp is made of to ensure you're wearing appropriate shoes to avoid cuts, snags or slipping whilst manoeuvring your boat down the ramp.

Before deciding where to launch it's also important to consider whether there are likely to be large queues of people trying to use the ramp and if so whether there is a sufficient holding or parking area that you can use whilst you wait.

Boat Launch Tips

How to Launch a Boat

  1. Insert the drainage plug: make sure your boat has been drained of any residual water and that the drainage plug is securely in place.
  2. Put the key in the ignition: momentarily put the key in "start" mode to double-check the battery isn't dead, if the battery is okay switch the key back to off and leave it in place.
  3. Gear: ensure all the equipment and gear you need is onboard before launching down the boat ramp. Once you've splashed into the water it's much easier if you've ensured everything you need is already on board rather than looking to carry extra items down to the boat later.
  4. Fenders: attach fenders to both sides of the vessel and remove the securing straps from the transom. After launching you may take your boat to a courtesy dock and you don't always know which side you will park up so it's best to put your fenders on both sides to be safe.
  5. Lines: attached docklines to the bow and stern cleats so they are ready to use once you are in the water.
  6. Unplug any trailer lights to avoid water damage.
  7. Ensure you have a second person helping out and back your vehicle slowly down the boat ramp at a straight angle until the stern of the boat starts to float.
  8. Place your vehicle in park mode, release the trailer winch and safety chain.
  9. Ensure a helper holds a line tied to the bow and gently give the boat a push to float it off the trailer
  10. Your helper can now walk the boat down the dock and secure it whilst you drive your car and trailer back up the boat ramp and over to a parking/storage area.

More Information About Boat Ramps

Find more helpful tips on how to launch a boat from Discover Boating. Also, savvy navvy now has an icon to identify boat ramp locations? Take a look!

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