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Launching etiquette
05-02-2012, 08:21 AM
Post: #1
Launching etiquette
This was posted elsewhere but thought it deserved sharing.

Loading and Unloading Your Boat by Bob Jensen

How you load and unload your boat at the boat ramp may not have an impact on how many fish you catch, but getting it in the water can set the tone for the day, for you and for any other angler that’s waiting to put their boat in the water.

Unloading your boat should be a quick and easy process, but often times it isn’t.

Following are some things you can do to get your boat off and on the trailer quickly and safely. By doing these things you’ll be fishing quicker, and you won’t be tying up the ramp and preventing others from going fishing sooner. Here we go.

When you arrive at the boat ramp, pull into either the parking lot or the rigging lane. Do not go directly to the ramp.

All preparations for launching should be done in the parking lot or rigging area. Transfer gear from the truck to the boat now. Don’t do that while you’re blocking the ramp.

Remove any boat covers, tie-downs, or transom savers. Put the key in the ignition. Make sure the plug is in the boat.

If your trailer is a bunk style trailer, and if you’re comfortable doing so, you can unhook the winch strap from the boat now. I run a bunk RangerTrail trailer. It’s an outstanding trailer that provides great support for my boat. Lots of anglers who use this style trailer unhook the strap in the rigging area unless the ramp is very steep.

Some anglers have roller trailers. The winch strap on roller trailers should not be unhooked until the boat is in the water. The boat will roll off onto the concrete ramp if you do. Not good!

When everything is ready, we approach the ramp. One angler is in the boat, the other backs the rig into the water. When the boat is in the water, if the winch strap hasn’t been unhooked, now is the time to do so. Back the trailer into the water until it rolls off or floats off. The angler in the boat idles away from the dock while the truck driver parks the truck. Don’t tie up to the dock, that just blocks it for the next person. When your partner gets to the dock, you pull up, he or she hops in, and off you go. Easy deal.

Some will say that their partner isn’t comfortable driving a boat or driving a truck with a trailer on the back. They need to get comfortable with doing both. That’s part of the responsibility of fishing from a boat.

When it’s time to go home, we just reverse the process. We pull into the dock, the truck driver gets out and goes to get the truck. If the ramp is busy, again, idle away from the dock. Don’t tie the dock area up. When the trailer is in the water, either drive or winch the boat onto the trailer, hook the winch strap, and pull out. Go to the parking area or somewhere away from the ramp to prepare the boat for the trip home. It shouldn’t take more than a minute or two to get your boat out of the water and out of the way.

I’ve seen many, many, many interesting and sometimes uncomfortable situations at the boat ramp. If you keep the above ideas in mind, you won’t be part of one of those interesting or uncomfortable situations, and you’ll enjoy your time on the water even more.

The hardest thing in life is knowing which bridge to cross and which one to burn.
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05-02-2012, 08:40 AM
Post: #2
RE: Launching etiquette
(05-02-2012 08:21 AM)Ron Wrote:  Some will say that their partner isn’t comfortable driving a boat or driving a truck with a trailer on the back. They need to get comfortable with doing both. That’s part of the responsibility of fishing from a boat.

It shouldn’t take more than a minute or two to get your boat out of the water and out of the way.

Most of what you said was good Ron but these 2 statements are complete bull $h!t!
It's the boat owner responsibly to know how to load and unload his boat. I don't expect my wife or anyone else in my boat to drive my boat or drive my truck. Especially if they feel uncomfortable doing so. I have to much invested to let someone wreck it!
And it takes me a lot longer than 1 or 2 minutes to load my boat back on the trailer. Mainly because I don't do it enough. I try to load it as fast as possible but if it take me 5 minute well so be it. If you're in that big of a hurry to get somewhere you should have got there before me. I worry about M.E. - My Enjoyment
I saw a bumper sticker once on an old woman's car that said... "I may drive slow but I'm still ahead of you"

Yesterday, I knew nothing... Today, I know that!

(05-27-2012 01:32 PM)IxR IcE Man Wrote:  If you have friends or family members and your uncomfortable with them driving either your truck or your boat i think its time to find new people to go fishing with.
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05-02-2012, 08:52 AM
Post: #3
RE: Launching etiquette
Please note my disclaimer at the beginning of the post.
Not my words, rather a fellow who posted it elsewhere.
Just thought it would make for some interesting reading/thoughts.

The hardest thing in life is knowing which bridge to cross and which one to burn.
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05-02-2012, 08:53 AM (This post was last modified: 05-02-2012 09:06 AM by hootch.)
Post: #4
RE: Launching etiquette
Actually those are Bob Jensen's comments, I've never watched his show but I know a knucklehead comment when I see one. Common sense (which is no longer common) is all you need to apply. You don't need to memorize War and Peace to do what makes sense.

LUCK IS THE RESIDUE OF DESIGN.
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05-02-2012, 08:56 AM
Post: #5
RE: Launching etiquette
Geez Hootch, this Jensen guy speaks quite highly about you.Undecided

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05-02-2012, 09:09 AM
Post: #6
RE: Launching etiquette
He's never met me, Bob wouldn't know me if he saw me......... I guess I should have said a knucklehead comment, I don't know Bob...... some people just can't back up trailers that's where I disagree. I would add to that instead of standing there watching someone struggle go help..... you may improve the whole atmosphere and maybe even make a friend, pay it forward.

LUCK IS THE RESIDUE OF DESIGN.
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05-02-2012, 10:42 AM
Post: #7
RE: Launching etiquette
Slow loading doesn't make me upset, but I do get quite antsy waiting.

What DOES upset me, is folks cutting in line, and not being prepared.

I'd say that ~1-2 minutes would be correct to load/unload a boat from the time you start backing up to the time you are cleared so someone else can use the ramp. If I'm on my own, maybe a little longer.

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05-02-2012, 10:56 AM
Post: #8
RE: Launching etiquette
The guy who's truck was sunk at bay point last month must have read this. Letting his lady friend back it in tied up the launch several hours. I don't fish weekends or popular launches but I still have to deal with special olympics boat backing and guys that back up to the water cover on gear still in the truck.

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05-02-2012, 11:12 AM
Post: #9
RE: Launching etiquette
(05-02-2012 10:56 AM)Dufek Wrote:  guys that back up to the water cover on gear still in the truck.

That's what horns and curse words are used for.....

"Handing out toothaches, one fish at a time." - Me
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05-02-2012, 11:28 AM
Post: #10
RE: Launching etiquette
(05-02-2012 08:52 AM)Ron Wrote:  Please note my disclaimer at the beginning of the post.
Not my words, rather a fellow who posted it elsewhere.
Just thought it would make for some interesting reading/thoughts.

When you posted it, it became your words. If you didn't want your name associated with it you shouldn't have posted it.

You have to remember that not everyone has been backing a boat up for 60+years. I would rather take my time and do it right than wreck my shit.
Also remember that at one time everyone was bad a backing their stuff and learning how to do it. Nobody is a pro at anything right away.

Yesterday, I knew nothing... Today, I know that!

(05-27-2012 01:32 PM)IxR IcE Man Wrote:  If you have friends or family members and your uncomfortable with them driving either your truck or your boat i think its time to find new people to go fishing with.
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05-02-2012, 01:08 PM (This post was last modified: 05-02-2012 01:24 PM by Ron.)
Post: #11
RE: Launching etiquette
Good lord, we are not talking rocket science here. Regardless of age or gender, if you do it a couple times, you should have it down and if you still can't then let someone who can do it for you. Or go practise someplace quiet until you can manage it.
If your partner, buddy, wife, whatever, can't learn, then don't let them.
At least adhere to the other points, having boat loaded with gear so you aren't holding up others.

The hardest thing in life is knowing which bridge to cross and which one to burn.
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05-03-2012, 07:06 PM
Post: #12
RE: Launching etiquette
I have seen seasoned pros spend 30-60min loading on openner weekend. Usually weather plays a huge part in this. 30mph winds and darkness usually meant someone needed to get wet. When I was younger and there wasn't access to radar, seemed every Saturday night meant loading a half dozen boats before they were thrashed against the rocky shores.
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05-27-2012, 01:32 PM
Post: #13
RE: Launching etiquette
I would have to agree with the forementioned comments about launching and landing a boat. For example. My dad owns a 1996 lund Pro V 1775 with a 115 johnson motor, roller trailer. Im 28 and my dad is in his mid 60s and for the last 10 years or so my dad and i have been loading and unloading a boat at the ramp in less than 5 minutes both in and out of the water. I dont even own a boat. and due to my dad living on mille lacs i am lucky to trailer a boat 5 times a summer. so the excuse about "i dont do it enough to be fast at it" is A load of crap. If you have friends or family members and your uncomfortable with them driving either your truck or your boat i think its time to find new people to go fishing with. Its all in the prep. if you prep everything before your boat gets backed down the ramp it wont take you long at all even if you have to back the boat in, get out of the truck and then back the boat over and have your company hold the boat while you return the truck and tailer to the parking lot.


I will finish by mentioning... common sense isnt common anymore but it doesnt take a genius to launch and land a boat.
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05-27-2012, 02:56 PM
Post: #14
RE: Launching etiquette
Patience is a long lost virtue. One to two minutes to load? When I go fishing I'm there to relax. I'm not gonna jump out of my truck sprint to the winch and unload it like I'm chasing chokers on Ax Men. People can complain all they want but I'm not gonna feel bad about costing someone two casts of their day when they probably went a couple hundred casts on the day in between bites. Common sense isn't the only thing not common anymore...patience,courtesy, a helping hand. Maybe that guy in front of you that's taking so much time happened to have lost his leg serving our country and you didn't realize he had a fake one he's hobbling around on. Someone else can be that AHole, but it won't be me.

(09-15-2010 08:41 PM)D.T. Wrote:  Try to keep up Hansel.
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05-28-2012, 08:42 AM
Post: #15
RE: Launching etiquette
Was at Bass Camp today, and there was quite the line when we were ready to pull out. We were probably about #6 in line, and I know we didn't wait more than 10min. Everyone was ready to go, backed in straight and cleared quickly.

One thing I noticed there that would be helpful at some of the busier ramps was a dock away from the ramps where you can drop off/pick up your vehicle driver in order to clear the ramps quicker.

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05-28-2012, 04:15 PM
Post: #16
RE: Launching etiquette
(05-27-2012 01:32 PM)IxR IcE Man Wrote:  If you have friends or family members and your uncomfortable with them driving either your truck or your boat i think its time to find new people to go fishing with.
You and Ron can both lick the back side of my sack! So my wife can't back a trailer or drive a boat I should just fish with someone else??? Or my son can't back a truck up yet so fuckem and leave him at home to fish with my "buddies"?
You're a pompous prick if you really feel this way.
This is one of the dumbest fuckin post on this site! Who cares if it takes me longer to load and unload my boat. It's a public launch and I will take all the time I need and or want. Like Hanson put it you don't know that guys story that is hobbling around at the launch so judging him.

Yesterday, I knew nothing... Today, I know that!

(05-27-2012 01:32 PM)IxR IcE Man Wrote:  If you have friends or family members and your uncomfortable with them driving either your truck or your boat i think its time to find new people to go fishing with.
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05-28-2012, 05:58 PM (This post was last modified: 05-28-2012 05:59 PM by Matti.)
Post: #17
RE: Launching etiquette
Deep Thoughts...by Taylor Hanson

(05-27-2012 02:56 PM)Hanson Wrote:  Patience is a long lost virtue.

Guys, I don't believe anyone here is worried about someone taking some extra time during the actual process of launching/loading to do it safely.

What I was suggesting is that it is your responsibility to make sure your stuff is ready when its your turn to launch. For me, that means cover off, everything out of the vehicle, rope hooked up (if being used), transom saver/straps off, plug in, boat driver in/ready to go (if applicable).

Things that really slow things down at the ramp are not having everything loaded in the boat, tying your boat to the ramp side of dock, waiting for boat driver to get out of the shitter, and the 1954 Evinrude that they haven't used for a couple of years.

I learned the finer points of team launching from Tyler, and solo launching from Dave G. I believe that if you do not launch/load your boat often, a rope is the way to go. Guide-ons are nice to have as well.

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05-28-2012, 09:28 PM
Post: #18
RE: Launching etiquette
The ONLY time you are in the launch lane is when your are ready to launch. If you are not ready to launch then stay the hell out of the way of people who are. Never take up two spaces in a dual launch ramp either . . or you are an idiot.

People who don't fish a lot or use their boats a lot need to study those who do and apply that knowledge.

Unfortunately there are only minor prerequisites to operating a boat and prepping at landing sites. I never use busy ramps because if I did I'd be in prison.

LUCK IS THE RESIDUE OF DESIGN.
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05-28-2012, 11:50 PM (This post was last modified: 05-28-2012 11:51 PM by magicstix.)
Post: #19
RE: Launching etiquette
What's the big rush? big hurry? Relax, it's only a few minutes.
I don't hit the water that frequently so it takes me a little longer to load because if the boats not on the trailer straight you can't tie it down. If guide-on's were an option it'll make life a lot easier. Launching is the easy part.
As much as Hootch fishes he can probably back it in blind folded. It just takes practice,practice, just like everything else. People didn't become great fisherman the first time they hit the water, it took practice.
If the people that are waiting are frustrated, how frustrated do you think the guy loading/unloading is? Tempts me to really take my time just to piss people off, after all it's not my blood pressure that skyrocketing.

The best backing up driver I've ever seen was a guy from BMI trucking. We were doing Hyd. conversions on the trailers. He'd bring a trailer up back it in the door at mach1, unhook, pull out, and back into next door, hookup to completed trailer, sign paperwork, gone and I don't think he was there longer than 5 minutes. Crazy fast!
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05-29-2012, 06:43 AM (This post was last modified: 05-29-2012 06:44 AM by hootch.)
Post: #20
RE: Launching etiquette
No trouble with slow backers, they aren't a problem.....just do your prep work out of the launching lane.

I usually help anyone struggling to get out also, be part of the solution.

LUCK IS THE RESIDUE OF DESIGN.
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05-29-2012, 08:21 AM
Post: #21
RE: Launching etiquette
(05-29-2012 06:43 AM)hootch Wrote:  .....just do your prep work out of the launching lane.

You hit the nail on the head right there. Please, don't wait to load your cooler / kids / monkeys uncle into the boat while you're sitting in the launch lane. Either get loaded up before you start the launch sequence, or wait till your boat is in the water and out of the way.
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05-29-2012, 09:42 AM
Post: #22
RE: Launching etiquette
(05-28-2012 05:58 PM)Matti Wrote:  Deep Thoughts...by Taylor Hanson

I was in the zone

(09-15-2010 08:41 PM)D.T. Wrote:  Try to keep up Hansel.
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05-29-2012, 09:55 AM
Post: #23
RE: Launching etiquette
REMINDER

"Handing out toothaches, one fish at a time." - Me
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05-30-2012, 07:30 AM
Post: #24
RE: Launching etiquette
I am pretty sure backing a boat in poorly is not engrained in the DNA because for the life of me I cannot figure out why my old man, who has been around a lake and boats his whole life cannot back up a boat trailer to save his arse. All three us of (my brothers and I) are world class boat trailer backer inners, and can get in and out of the launch withing seconds (o.k. just a little humor).

His epic backing up sessions when we were kids that let to curse words and 10-15 minute unloading sessions, are still a hot topic around the campfire when my brothers and I are sharing time together. It always seemed like the boat lines got him flustered too, he just couldn't back 'er in when there was a crowd there.

He was always prepared before we backed up into the water though, and that is where I learned it from.

I am sure even then there were passive aggressive people who wouldn't say anything to him, or help him, but still get a high blood pressure count and fold their arms in disgust with red faces like they were really mad.

So like previously mentioned, pay it forward. If you see a person having a hard time backing in or unloading solo with kids, give them a hand or offer some help instead of standing there acting like it's the end of the world that you can't get in the water yet.....you'll be ok and the fish will still be there.

Fishing is much more than fish. It is the great occasion when we may return to the fine simplicity of our forefathers.
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05-30-2012, 12:05 PM
Post: #25
RE: Launching etiquette
(05-30-2012 07:30 AM)22lex Wrote:  I am pretty sure backing a boat in poorly is not engrained in the DNA because for the life of me I cannot figure out why my old man, who has been around a lake and boats his whole life cannot back up a boat trailer to save his arse. All three us of (my brothers and I) are world class boat trailer backer inners, and can get in and out of the launch withing seconds (o.k. just a little humor).

His epic backing up sessions when we were kids that let to curse words and 10-15 minute unloading sessions, are still a hot topic around the campfire when my brothers and I are sharing time together. It always seemed like the boat lines got him flustered too, he just couldn't back 'er in when there was a crowd there.

He was always prepared before we backed up into the water though, and that is where I learned it from.

I am sure even then there were passive aggressive people who wouldn't say anything to him, or help him, but still get a high blood pressure count and fold their arms in disgust with red faces like they were really mad.

So like previously mentioned, pay it forward. If you see a person having a hard time backing in or unloading solo with kids, give them a hand or offer some help instead of standing there acting like it's the end of the world that you can't get in the water yet.....you'll be ok and the fish will still be there.

Made me chuckle to myself as I know exactly what you are talking about. Dad will still open the back hatch of the blazer to see while backing down. Claims he can't see sh&t in the mirrors! In school I'd stand on the dock and watch the forward and back, forward and back about 6 times before the trailer was straight enough to launch the boat. And we were at the ramp 2-3 times a week. But as a man...he would never take help if offered. Done it a thousand times and still can't quite get it right in the first take. Its just part of the experience now and wouldn't know what to do if he did drop it in on the first shot.
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