LAUNCH RAMP ETI­QUETTE

Boating - - MAKING WAVES - —John Tiger

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

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