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Learning Boat Ramp Etiquettes

Feb 22, 2022 | Blog

Etiquette is thought to be very important in our society. It is defined as “the customary code of polite behavior in society” by the dictionary. We all learned table manners as children- “Use your utensils”; “Don’t stuff your mouth”; “Chew with your mouth closed.”- and we are probable experts on those etiquettes now. But do you know the etiquette of using a boating ramp?

Yes, they have etiquettes too. Here are 5 good boating ramp etiquettes to remember next time you use one.

1.  Get your boat ready before entering the ramp. You do not want to be in the way of other boaters that are ready to launch their boats.

  • Have your key in the ignition

  • Load all your needed gear for the day into the boat

  • Attach fenders to the dockside of the boat

  • Remove the tie-down straps

  • Attach dock lines to the bow and stern cleats

Be ready and head to the ramp when all you have left is to launch your boat into the water.

2.  When launching, be quick and efficient. Start the engine before getting into the water.

3.  Once the boat is off your trailer, pull back up the ramp swiftly. Watch out for other trailers with boats nearby.

4.  After a satisfying time on the waters, use a courtesy dock as a waiting area until your trailer is on the ramp and ready for retrieving. Have the passengers get off the boat. There is most likely a line of boats near the ramp waiting for their turn to retrieve their boats. Don’t cut in line.

5.  Load up your boat on the trailer. We also advise only securing the bow and putting the safety chain while on the ramp. Once you get to the staging area, you can finish securing the whole boat for the ride back home.

Remember to “Clean, Drain, Dry.”

  • CLEAN and remove any visible plants, animals, and mud on your boat (it is the law in most places to do this) before you leave the ramp

  • DRAIN the watercraft’s bilge, live well, motor, and other devices that contain water before you leave the ramp

  • DRY everything for at least five days to reduce damage or wipe with a towel before reusing

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