Boat Ramp Etiquette Quick Tips

For many, the boat ramp is the first and last stop of a boating day. And when too many people are pulling their boats and personal watercraft to the water, it can turn access to the ramp into a bottleneck. 

Boat ramp etiquette

But there are a few things you can do to help yourself and others get out on the water more efficiently and shorten the wait for the next boater ready to pull in.

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Come Prepared

Nothing is more frustrating while you’re waiting to use the boat ramp than seeing someone who doesn’t have their (expletive) together, so don’t be that guy/girl and be prepared before you get there. 

Boat ramp etiquette be prepared

Run through a short checklist before you leave the house to save time when you’re on the ramp. Make sure that:

If you have these things taken care of, all you have to do is drop your boat off in the water, park the car, and head on out.

Practice Backing up Your Boat Trailer

The boat ramp isn’t the place to hone your skills backing up the trailer into the water. If you’re on the ramp and can’t quite get your boat down into the water correctly, you’re going to jam things up for everyone behind you while you’re figuring it out

Boat ramp etiquette backing up trailer

Practice backing up your trailer somewhere else before attempting to do it on a busy boat ramp. Find an abandoned parking lot or a ramp nobody is using and practice accurately positioning your boat trailer. When you get it right once, do it again. And again. Get it down pat before you go try it at a busy boat ramp.

Don’t Tie Up Next to the Ramp

It’s not uncommon for people to pull their boat away from the trailer and then tie up on the side of the dock while they wait for whoever to go park the car and come down to the boat. All this does is jam up one side of the boat ramp, making you look like a jerk while pissing off those next in line.

Boat ramp etiquette tips

Here’s a better move: idle out of the ramp, go to the end of the dock, and wait for your driver to come meet you there. That way you’re not holding up anyone trying to get their boat into the same space where yours is parked. It’s simple boat ramp etiquette