Missouri Outdoors

Trouble at the Boat Ramp

Trouble at the Boat Ramp

09-05-2017

If you ever thought all the world was finally rid of the idiots, o­ne trip to the lake to unload your a boat will make you realize - they're still here...

Imagine if you will a nice day just right for fishing, boating, and swimming. Your expectations are high and you are patient but anxious as you pull up to the staging area to get your boat ready to launch.

You spy a couple of fisherman across the way that have pulled out for the day headed back to clean the day's catches. They pass a grin as they head for the truck cab, wore out but satisfied having conquered another day o­n the water.

You are now ready, your heart racing, to launch the boat and get in the lake. You pull up to the ramp and what do you see? Two jet skis and a ski boat tied to the inside of the ramp blocking everyone's access. The owners are no where to be found. You look up the hill and they are taking their sweet time coming down, but not with their trailers to load up. You see they just stopped at the ramp to use the bathroom.

The line of tow vehicles waiting to launch is growing steadily as the offenders slowly creep o­nboard their vessels totally unaware or just not caring they have denied many families the Corp of Engineer's given right to launch their boat quickly.

A simple matter of having tied their vessels to the outside of the ramp would have saved many a lot of teeth grinding.

Then there is the family lacking in organizational skill that backs down the ramp.  When they finally get the boat in the water using all three lanes, they THEN begin to load the boat with artciles from their vehicle. HELLO? Understand what the STAGING area is for?

My all time personal favorite is the family that goes out and buys a small version of the Titanic, pulls it into the ramp area with small under-powered sport utility vehicle and proceeds to back into the water. Having a circle drive at home has prevented them from ever having to back any kind of trailer before, so the ramp must be the perfect place to learn. These folks can quickly turn a 3 lane boat ramp into a 1 lane by using all the lanes. Scary stuff folks... and by the way, you are meeting these folks o­n the road too.

Here are a few tips for those of you that can relate to the above, because it is you. We want to help make you a better person, and save you the grief of being hollered at o­n the boat ramp. Futhermore I am sure you don't want to be a boating idiot anymore than the rest of us.

Loading and unloading boats doesn’t have to be complicated. The entire process should take just a few minutes if you are organized. First off, if you have trouble backing a trailer, find a place to practice, BEFORE you come to the lake.

When you get to the ramp area, remove tie-downs and transom savers from the boat/trailer and load all your gear into the boat before you even approach the ramp in the staging area. This is a great time to put the drain plug in also. (If you aren't sure where this is, just back it in the water and look for the incoming water - that is where the plug goes.)

When possible have o­ne person in the boat and o­ne person backing down. If you go alone, then after launching, tie your boat up to the outside of the ramp so others can continue to unload.

Use hand signals, don’t yell. Yelling can confuse other people who are also backing down. Yelling at your kids may seem prudent at the time, but they aren't listening anyway, so would you quit screaming at the rest of us...

When loading the boat, just reverse the process making sure the boat is securely fastened to the trailer PRIOR to taking back off up the ramp.

Enjoy your day o­n the water. We could fill volumes with your driving out o­n the lake too - but we will save that for another time.

Have a great boat ramp story?  We would love to include it. .

Tight Lines,
Dan

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