Be respectful of others at the boat ramps


A few weeks ago I spoke to people who backed up boat trailers that I witnessed over the 4th of July weekend, and I have to admit I saw some great examples of drivers who knew what they were doing. I also saw people who reminded me of my youth when I could cut a trailer with the most incompetent I’ve seen at the boat launch recently.

Today’s talk is about the launching etiquette we all need to practice in marinas and on all boat ramps. Labor Day will be here in a few weeks, so let’s take the time to review our manners.

It’s summer here in Southeast Texas and there’s no shortage of boats on any lake, especially on weekends. On Labor Day, many will take part in one last great hoorah for the summer enjoying all the water sports offered by our beloved lake.

I know that much of 21st century humanity has little or no concept of etiquette and manners, but there are still a greater number who not only know the meaning of words, but practice them daily . I’m writing for the ignorant and narcissistic, so be careful.

Rude, self-centered behavior might well describe a kindergarten sandbox at recess, but it also fits the description of the chaos that will be seen at some boat launches this holiday weekend. Here are some launchpad etiquette rules that can make it much easier and faster for everyone.

Be communicative with any guests who go out with you. Speak up and let them know that they should avoid parking in spaces designated for trailers/tow vehicles. Tell them how you will load and unload. Before you return to the dock from the launch pad, let your crew know what they can do to help you and for another friendly tip, be calm.

Know where to load and unload, so if you don’t know where to go once you get there, call the boat launch or marina before you leave the house and ask them, they want you to be as efficient and knowledgeable as possible so that everyone is happy.

Unloading your gear at the bottom of the boat ramp which could have been accomplished by queuing at the top of the boat ramp shows a lack of courtesy. It’s also an all-too-common mistake boaters make when launching and one of the main causes of delays. Plan ahead. Create a checklist at home if needed.

Don’t be the pig of the launch pad. Tethering your boat to the boat launch just off the ramp and then parking the tow vehicle means the next person in line won’t be able to launch until you get back. Save everyone time by immediately moving your boat to the end of the dock so there’s room for the next person to launch or retrieve.

Don’t be guilty of late launch. Not launching the boat immediately when it’s out of the trailer and instead waiting for the crew to come back from the lavatory again adds delays and simmering moods.

This is also true at the gas dock. Moor up at the dock, refuel the boat, and set off as quickly and safely as possible. Don’t make others wait to refuel because your crew walked to a nearby restaurant or shopped in the marina – this identifies you as ignorant and thoughtless.

We all need help from time to time. So if you see someone in trouble who might need some help getting in the water, be nice to your boatmate and ask if you can help. It might make everyone’s day a little bit better.

These listed items will make everyone’s launching experience much more enjoyable and will certainly speed up your own get away from the boat ramp or marina quickly and efficiently and on your way to frolicking and having fun on the lake.

So much for public boat ramps and marinas, let’s move on to one of the heights of disrespect and exploitation of other people’s property. This would be illegally launching your boat at a private launch.

There are many lakeside communities on Lake Conroe that are not gated and have private boat ramps, parks, and landlord parking lots that have been built by homeowners’ associations for residents and guests. Unless you are a guest of a resident with proper written documentation prominently displayed on your vehicle, you are a trespasser.

It is not uncommon for usurpers of the property of these owners to abuse the facilities by leaving trash all over the launch area.

To such usurpers, allow me to offer this little information. If a homeowners association wishes, they can have your vehicles towed and impounded – trucks, trailers and any undocumented vehicles of your guest – leaving the usurpers on foot and facing substantial towing costs in order to get their wheels out. from the hock the next day. business day.

So before you go down this road, be aware that most homeowners associations post all the necessary and legal signage to let those who don’t belong know which towing company has their property and the phone number that may be called to claim their property at the start of the next business day.


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