Boat Ramp Follies

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Harritwo

Chief Petty Officer
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Oct 4, 2011
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Today, took the grandson fishing. I launched with the Grandson and the First Mate (My 4 YO Cocker Spaniel) while waiting for the Cheng (My Son). The Admiral didnt want to go today. After being on the water for a few hours, we headed into the ramp. It was standing room only. I dropped the Cheng off to bring the truck and stood off.

This is when the fun and interesting part started.

1st person on the ramp backed in, forgot to remove the transom straps and wondered why it would not come off the trailer.
2nd person on the ramp forgot to put the bilge plug in. Figured it out before he got off the trailer.
3rd person on the ramp was backing down and his trailer fell off the ramp.
4th person on the ramp decided to drop off his driver, then stood off. When the trailer was back, he pulled up to the dock and offloaded 6 people before pulling on to the trailer.
5th person on the ramp forgot to trim his engine up on the way out. Skeg scraped fairly hard.
6th person on the ramp managed to clear the ramp with his boat and trailer in 4 minutes, went to the staging area.
My turn, on the trailer in 4 minutes and pullled to the staging area for tie down.

If i had another hour to kill, no telling what we would have seen. Part of me wonders if people dont have an idea on the courtesies or if because the ramp is so crowded get nervous and make mistakes.

I would rather be slow and be safe than feel pressured and make a costly mistake.

Even though all we did was drown some bait, the entertainment aspect was comical.

Next weekend looks good for some more entertainment and fishing/tubing.
 

robert graham

Admiral
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Apr 16, 2009
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6,908
A busy ramp is a unique place for sure!....often thought of filming a movie there...call it "Ramp Fever" or "Ramp Zombies"....or some catchy name....might get rich, like Steven Spielberg!.....
 

dennis461

Chief Petty Officer
Joined
Aug 11, 2011
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516
I sometimes visit a ramp near me at low tide rather than watch TV.
I chat with the ramp clowns and find out most people failing are new to the boat or new to the ramp or all around new.
So they don't know basics, let alone etiquette.
 

honda400ex2003

Petty Officer 3rd Class
Joined
Aug 3, 2010
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81
im also a fan of watching, although the ramps by me in central wi are usually slow when i am on them. if they are busy, i will use the one in my back yard if i have to as i live on the lake. my small fishing boat is always on the ramp on the trailer when im not planning to use it for a while. i take my bayliner to the landing just down the road lately.

i believe that the crowd makes most nervous, they forget what they plan and forget how to execute the plan when they get there. usually newer people as well. my closest ramp doesnt have a dock, so you might as well plan on getting wet right from the start. this often surprises some unless they are familiar with the ramp. so right off the bat, they dont want to get wet, then it goes down hill from there.

i always do a once around my boat before i launch, even when it is in my driveway all week long waiting to go. it will remind me of things i have to check once more before launch, just in case i did forget something.

steve
 

poconojoe

Lieutenant Commander
Joined
Sep 10, 2010
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1,966
Yeah, i don't know what's up with all the noobs at the ramps. When i was learning, i read and read until I felt Confident I wasn't going to break any rules or ediquette. Some people are just clueless. Some to the point that they are dangerous. I've seen my share of these idiots. Most of the time I try to help them, but some of them are down right stupid with no regard for others.
That's my rant....
 

gm280

Supreme Mariner
Joined
Jun 26, 2011
Messages
14,602
I know we've all seen funny and even serious issues at the ramps. But I probably was that comic relief as well when I first started out with zero knowledge. And it wasn't that I was trying to be mean or showing no ramp etiquette either. Some serious just don't know and therefore seem to show no etiquette. I mean I am certain lots of folks are taking their boat out for the first time and are very nervous and just simple have no idea what to expect or show common courtesy or even know what to do at ramps yet. So I tend to give them a break and even offer to assist them. Of course then you have the know-it-all's that know nothing and those are the ones to enjoy watching. I do have to say some of the boats I've seen at the ramps shouldn't have been on any type water. :facepalm:
 

honda400ex2003

Petty Officer 3rd Class
Joined
Aug 3, 2010
Messages
81
for those in wi, we say they leave their brains south of highway 29. LOL that is a mid-state east-west highway that divides the upper half of the state. they are officially on vacation in the northwoods when up and they forget to think when they arrive " up north". the follies run rampant with crazies all summer long.

not to say that i havent had blunders on the ramp, just not when others are around. hahaha ive been boating my whole life, grew up on a lake, live on a lake now, and am 28 tomorrow. :/

steve
 

StingrayMike

Petty Officer 1st Class
Joined
Aug 17, 2014
Messages
355
Sometimes it might not be ramp etiquette, or even noodness, but just things go astray.
I have aall the ramp etiquette in the world, and have been on the water for awhile now, but every once in awhile when pulling up to a dock or a slip, something in my "master plan" goes out the window, then its all down hill from there:facepalm:
 

Sherminator

Petty Officer 3rd Class
Joined
Jul 8, 2007
Messages
84
A few years ago i witnessed some fairly intoxicated men trying to pull their 21ft fiberglass boat out with a front wheel drive minivan.. oh yeah lots of front tires smoke.. eventually 2 of the guys sat on each front fender/hood and it still couldnt pull the boat out.. had to hook a 4x4 pickup up to it.. everyone got a good laugh and lots of smiling shaking heads..
 

Harritwo

Chief Petty Officer
Joined
Oct 4, 2011
Messages
586
Went out on the Same Lake again today. Took the Grandson tubing. The Admiral, First Mate and Cheng were all with us. Had a blast on the lake, the grandson was his first time on a tube by himself.

Finally time to head in. Getting tired, getting hot, and low on fuel. As we approached the ramp, the left lane had a boat attempting to launch, the right lane had a boat tied off to the pier and there was a boat on the ramp.

Got close to see that the one on the ramp was indeed on the ramp. Dropped the Cheng off to fetch the trailer, he went over to assist the gentlemen who had their boat on the ramp. Seems an elderly gentleman owned the boat, was getting ready to launch, his son/grandson did the make ready. They took the straps off, took the winch off and the boat was on a roller trailer. When he started backing down, boat rollers worked. Boat came off trailer.

there were 6 of us that lifted on the stern, used the winch to pull it back on the trailer. First inspection revealed just minors scrapes on the transom to hull. He left to head for a marina to see about an inspection.

This is on Lake Goodwin, a county owned boat ramp. Resized_20160814_120622.jpg Resized_20160814_120619.jpg
 

MH Hawker

Vice Admiral
Joined
Jul 13, 2011
Messages
5,516
i honestly am glad i am on a 9.9 lake my ramp is very slow on most days the worst i have seen is some one who backs in and then just sits there loading all of their stuff on the boat the worst is the kayakers, its a 4 lane ramp and they spread out taking up all the 4 lanes and give you looks if you want to actually drop in a boat
 
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brokenwrist

Seaman
Joined
Feb 17, 2016
Messages
73
A couple of months back I was out fishing on one of our local lakes, with my dad, sister and her boyfriend. This lake doesn't have a dock, just the ramp with a large gravel area to beach. As we crest the hill and get ready to idle down to the launch, I see a truck sitting on the launch with the trailer in the water. This guy was so (well I don't know what he was), he launched his boat, and then left his truck and trailer sitting on the launch while he went and did who knows what with his bass boat ( I'm assume he was fishing). The best part was not only were we sitting waiting to launch, there were two guys wanting to bring their boats out of the water. This guy finally shows up and leaves, all the while getting death glares and nasty looks from everyone. The other two who wanted to leave asked if I could give them a couple minutes to get their boats in their trucks. I politely said yes, Next thing I know they're both backed down, and loading up. It took 20 minutes, I assumed they would throw the boats and stuff in the trucks real quick and gtf out of the way. Nope they spent 20 minutes breaking down the gear, loading the boats, and tying them down. Some people just amaze me. When I roll up, most of my gear is all ready in the boat ready to go. Roll up, stop in staging, finish staging the boat, when it's my turn back down, get it off the trailer and out of the way, get off the ramp and park.
 

gm280

Supreme Mariner
Joined
Jun 26, 2011
Messages
14,602
A couple of months back I was out fishing on one of our local lakes, with my dad, sister and her boyfriend. This lake doesn't have a dock, just the ramp with a large gravel area to beach. As we crest the hill and get ready to idle down to the launch, I see a truck sitting on the launch with the trailer in the water. This guy was so (well I don't know what he was), he launched his boat, and then left his truck and trailer sitting on the launch while he went and did who knows what with his bass boat ( I'm assume he was fishing). The best part was not only were we sitting waiting to launch, there were two guys wanting to bring their boats out of the water. This guy finally shows up and leaves, all the while getting death glares and nasty looks from everyone. The other two who wanted to leave asked if I could give them a couple minutes to get their boats in their trucks. I politely said yes, Next thing I know they're both backed down, and loading up. It took 20 minutes, I assumed they would throw the boats and stuff in the trucks real quick and gtf out of the way. Nope they spent 20 minutes breaking down the gear, loading the boats, and tying them down. Some people just amaze me. When I roll up, most of my gear is all ready in the boat ready to go. Roll up, stop in staging, finish staging the boat, when it's my turn back down, get it off the trailer and out of the way, get off the ramp and park.

I know exactly what you are saying. When I was avidly fishing years ago now, I had everything so ready that I was in and out like a blink of an eye. And at the end of the fishing day, I loaded the boat and pulled the entire boat and trailer so far away before I secured everything to trailer home. I never held up anybody.
 

brokenwrist

Seaman
Joined
Feb 17, 2016
Messages
73
My father taught me well. He used to be the guy who when opening day for lakes rolled around was up at like 4 am to beat everyone else to the water. He also used to change the line on the rods every season
 

72fj40

Petty Officer 2nd Class
Joined
Jul 16, 2013
Messages
142
I keep the boat at the marina on a trailer. We load the boat up with gear at our parking spot, then hook up the truck and head to the ramp. The marina has a 2 lane ramp. On Sunday me and a friend load up the boat, he stays in the boat for the launch and I drive over to the ramp. Launching for us typically takes about 3 mins. We pull up and there's about a 32ft twin engine Baja in 1 lane and about a 28ft Fountain in the other lane. There's 2 guys and a girl pulling off the mooring/hiway cover off the Baja, then they have to pull off the snap on cockpit cover. They are in no particular hurry, stopping to BS a little bit, every once and a while. Then one of the guys and the girl get into the Baja. The other guy, who is the owner, is grabbing coolers and other stuff out of the back seat of the truck, and handing it to the folks in the boat. This takes probably 20 minutes or more. There is nothing happening with the Fountain, its just parked on the ramp with its cover on. So, finally the owner backs the Baja in to the water, the guy in the Baja fires it up and pulls it off the trailer and heads toward the dock, the owner parks the truck and then heads to the Baja. Great, now we have a clear lane to launch. While we are launching, I see the guy who pulled the Baja off the trailer and docked it, slowly walk from the dock over towards the Fountain, he gets into the truck and leaves. It takes 2 ramps, 2 trucks, and 2 boats, to launch 1 unprepared boat. The huge boat parking/staging area was empty, they could have parked these things anywhere, but NO they had to park them both on the ramp.
 
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brokenwrist

Seaman
Joined
Feb 17, 2016
Messages
73
I absolutely hate people like that. Like I just want to get my boat in the water, and go have fun for the day. Not wait around for some pokey a**, who decided that he's more important than anyone else.
 

G_Hipster

Petty Officer 2nd Class
Joined
Sep 24, 2016
Messages
131
I'm not new to boats, but new to trailer launch and retrieve and have only done it a few times on calm days so I'm cautious and a bit nervous. Last time out I creep up to the ramp(4 ramps ,2 out board docks with 1 in the middle) tide was really low so I'm just in from the end of the dock on the far right side. Wife hops off to get the line, I shut it down and raise the drive, closing the cabin up etc. when my wife and bro in law start screaming. I turned around and he's got one leg over the transom and a boat pole fending off a 20 something foot CC that's behind me sideways about to back into my out drive. We got pushed forward. My crew and a half dozen other people screaming forward.. He gooses it reverse and the corner of his transom strikes the dock behind me. We got him pushed off and he headed for the far left dock. The first guy who jumped made it off the bow, the second ended up in the water. The boat was in there sideways, again in reverse, and he nails the middle dock dead on with his outboard. By the time they got a handle on it the boat was tied bassackwards on the middle dock with prop in the concrete. 4 guys in the water yelling at each other in a language unknown to me turned the boat around. I had passed the ramp earlier and decided to wait till there was less traffic. He and I were the only ones there. No wind, no current, no rush and still almost had a disaster. It happened so fast. Crazy! Although against it, it kind of makes you think licensing is necessary.
 
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Hashi

Chief Petty Officer
Joined
Sep 19, 2007
Messages
502
I keep the boat at the marina on a trailer. We load the boat up with gear at our parking spot, then hook up the truck and head to the ramp. The marina has a 2 lane ramp. On Sunday me and a friend load up the boat, he stays in the boat for the launch and I drive over to the ramp. Launching for us typically takes about 3 mins. We pull up and there's about a 32ft twin engine Baja in 1 lane and about a 28ft Fountain in the other lane. There's 2 guys and a girl pulling off the mooring/hiway cover off the Baja, then they have to pull off the snap on cockpit cover. They are in no particular hurry, stopping to BS a little bit, every once and a while. Then one of the guys and the girl get into the Baja. The other guy, who is the owner, is grabbing coolers and other stuff out of the back seat of the truck, and handing it to the folks in the boat. This takes probably 20 minutes or more. There is nothing happening with the Fountain, its just parked on the ramp with its cover on. So, finally the owner backs the Baja in to the water, the guy in the Baja fires it up and pulls it off the trailer and heads toward the dock, the owner parks the truck and then heads to the Baja. Great, now we have a clear lane to launch. While we are launching, I see the guy who pulled the Baja off the trailer and docked it, slowly walk from the dock over towards the Fountain, he gets into the truck and leaves. It takes 2 ramps, 2 trucks, and 2 boats, to launch 1 unprepared boat. The huge boat parking/staging area was empty, they could have parked these things anywhere, but NO they had to park them both on the ramp.


I hate people like that too. Where I sometimes go, there's only one ramp that free, others are pay to launch. So you can imagine how crowded it gets. One day, I was waiting on the water for another boater to load their boat onto the trailer, another boat pulls up and cuts in front of me and I yell out "You better be power loading because I'm waiting". He nods his head "Yes" so I let him go. What's he do....He docks his boat and walks up the ramp. I was about to drive towards his boat and cuss the living daylights out of him but I had my wife and grandson and just let it go. Some people I swear are a-holes.
 

Old Ironmaker

Captain
Joined
Dec 28, 2015
Messages
3,050
Ramp Rookies is why I never launch on weekends and have bit the bullet and rent a slip. The last time I did 2 guys in a 14' tinny cuts the 5 boat lineup and pulls right behind a guy when he pulls up. Lots of yelling at them but they ignore everyone and say "no English speak:. They try and back their mini van in and the trailer jackknifes, This happens no less than 6 times and the guy has hit the front fender against the concrete blocks a few times too. Finally they unhook the trailer and walk it down the ramp. 1 idiot goes back to back up the truck but the other guy can't hold the trailer and it slides underwater. People are now gathering including the Marina owner. They finally with help get the tinny out, then stop at the top of the ramp to unload and strap the boat. The Marina owner told them never to come back, all of a sudden they spoke English.
 

jakedaawg

Rear Admiral
Joined
Jun 26, 2012
Messages
4,275
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This was my favorite moment front this past summer. The 85%er stalled out his right and had to be towed out by a friend of mine.
 

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