LAUNCH RAMP ETIQUETTE
With millions of boaters flocking to the water each weekend, what do you know about the do’s and don’ts when launching and retrieving? To keep tensions to a minimum and help everyone enjoy their boating experience, here’s a quiz on launch-ramp etiquette.
1. When preparing your boat to launch, it’s best to:
A. Load all your gear into the boat away from the ramp, before lining up to launch. B. Attach retrieval lines and fenders before backing down the ramp. C. Start the engine and run it at home, just for a moment in the driveway (with a flush attachment, of course), to ensure a smooth start at the launch. D. None of the above E. All of the above
2. The last thing you should do before backing down the ramp is:
A. Wave at all the people in line. B. Install the hull drain plug and secure it. C. Put beach towels aboard. D. Switch backing/ driving chores with your spouse. E. None of the above
3. Backing a boat trailer down the ramp can be intimidating. What’s a good way to conquer this task?
A. Practice first, preferably in an open parking lot away from the ramp. B. Place one hand on the wheel, at the bottom center of the rim. Moving your hand to the left will make the trailer move to the left, and vice versa. This is an easy way to back a trailer. C. Turn your body so you’re looking out the rear window at your trailer, over your right shoulder. This makes it much easier to back the trailer. D. Use your vehicle’s backup camera, if equipped. E. All of the above
4. Before heading to the water, a checklist might ensure a trouble-free day. What should be on that checklist?
A. Fill the boat tanks (and the tow vehicle) with fuel. B. Remember the drain plug. C. Charge the boat batteries. D. Check engine starting, cooling, idling and shifting by running it on a flush attachment in the driveway. E. All of the above F. None of the above; just head to the lake!
5. At the ramp, you’ve launched your boat and it’s running and ready. Now what?
A. Idle in the middle of the ramp area while you wait for your family to board. B. Move your boat to a dock away from the ramp so you’re not blocking others. C. Tilt your engine up to expose the propeller, and floor the throttle to produce a huge shower of spray for others. D. None of the above
6. At the end of the day, you’re ready to retrieve your boat and head home. What do you do first as you approach the ramp?
A. Pull up to the dock away from the ramp and go get your vehicle and trailer. B. Drop off your spouse to get the truck and trailer while you idle away from the ramp. C. Pull up close to the ramp and wait. D. All of the above E. A or B above