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Boat Launch Etiquette

Updated: Feb 18, 2021

Its a beautiful day. You and your family are excited to spend a day of fun on the lake. However, getting your boat in the water may be somewhat troublesome and intimidating.

Here are some helpful tips to get you on the water with less irritation for you and others also waiting to launch.

1. Prepare Your Boat Ahead of Time

Be courteous of others and prepare your boat prior to launching your boat. Park somewhere away from the launch to pack all your gear on the boat, remove all tie downs, rigging's and swim platform straps. Do the same when pulling your boat out of the water; get your boat on the trailer, pull out and park somewhere away from the launch before tying everything back down and unloading. Holding up the boat launch, creates line ups and frustrated fellow boaters.

2. Practice Backing Your Trailer Up Before Hitting the Launch

Nothing is more stressful than the growing lineup of onlookers scrutinizing you as you fail to back your trailer down the launch. Practice in your driveway first or empty parking lot. Take it slow and steady. Set up obstacles to improve your ability to maneuver your vehicle and trailer. Familiarize yourself with your vehicle and equipment. Here is a video link to Instructions on How to Back A Boat Trailer on YouTube.

3. Know Your Role - Drivers of Both the Boat & Vehicle

Backing the trailer down the launch is only half the battle. The boat driver must also be aware of their role in driving the boat off the trailer. Be in the drivers seat as you back down the ramp so you can start the boat as soon as you hit the water. Make sure your path is clear. Be familiar with the boat operation; blower, batteries, trim function, etc. Clear the lane way of the launch as soon as possible. Know where to pick up your passengers. Typically there is a courtesy dock to tie up to at the launch to pick up passengers, or you may need to idle away from the dock until the passengers are ready to board.

4. Be Courteous and Patient of Others

It may be someones first time launching. Be kind, courteous and patient of others.

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