5 Tips For Launching Your Boat
The sun is shining, and boating season is in session, which means refreshing your memory with these 5 tips for how to launch your boat, that could have gone missing during the off season. Bringing calm to what could be a chaotic experience, these tips for launching your boat focus on tasks that could easily be missed. Always come prepared to the boating docks, especially public one's because there are plenty of eager boaters that want to get into the water quickly, and will be using the same ramp as you.
- Be courteous to other boaters. Pre and post-launch activities should take place off the ramp so you do not congest, or hold up other boaters. This tip will also help you not feel rushed when preparing to launch your boat into the water if a line starts to form. While driving around the dock always be aware of surroundings and never drive fast or recklessly for the safety of pedestrians, especially smaller children walking around. Never blast off from the launch because it can make waves for other boaters.
- Check the ramp pre-launch. Before launching your boat into the water, prepare it away from the ramp for safety of you and the boat. Knowing the ramp before launching will help you learn if there are sharp drop-offs and slippery spots covered with algae. During periods of bad weather the ramp could have been harmed, and become too dangerous to use, so check it before every launch even if you have used it before.
- Check little things twice. Certain tasks before launching your boat may seem minuscule, but are extremely important and must be double checked. Your boats drain plug(s) needs to be securely fastened, so double check that it is tightened. Make sure to check how much gas is in your boat to avoid being stranded in the water. The best tip is make sure the gas tank is full to ensure you will not have to cut the boating trip short because you run out of fuel. Before entering the water double check the engine by test-starting it prior to launching your boat.
- Backing boat down ramp. If you have little experience backing up with a trailer, practice before launching your boat to ensure no accidents occur. Do not break suddenly, and always back the boat slowly, and cautiously down the ramp because at this point your boat is only resting on the trailer. Looking out your side and back window while backing down the ramp will help make visibility clearer, and more accurate. The boat should be backed down until the trailer wheels are submerged or if the ramp ends.
- Launch with an assistant. Launch with an assistant. Launching your boat with someone in it, and with someone on the water's edge can help make things run smoothly. The extra help on the sideline can guide and give direction to the driver while launching your boat. Having someone in the boat while backing into the water can be helpful because they can start the engine right away, and move out of the docking area to make room for other boaters.