Boat show season has come to a close creating a new generation of happy boat owners. For guys, you're happy, but your spouse may be doubting. For gals, you're keepers. The next step is getting the boat in and out of the water and not being the knuckleheads that clog up the landing.
DON'T BE A YAHOO
There is nothing worse to experienced boaters than having to wait on "yahoos" at the boat ramp. If you're the person that forgets to put in their plug, waits to unstrap the boat until it's on the ramp, can't back the boat down the ramp, then you're public enemy #1. Here are some simple tips to help you be confident and successful at your local ramp and not piss off the other people in line.
PRACTICE HAULING/BACKING YOUR BOAT AND TRAILER
Driving a trailered boat may sound simple, but it can be extremely tricky. Backing the boat into the water takes a good bit of practice and skill. Before heading to a packed boat ramp, practice your backing skills in an empty parking lot. See how the trailer reacts when you make turns. Begin to master the basics of backing into a spot. Get some confidence before trying to go live in front of a bunch of spectators.
PREPARE YOUR GEAR PRIOR TO ARRIVAL
Make sure you have all of your gear prior to heading out. Keep it easily accessible and minimize your gear. The quicker you can move items from your truck to the boat, the better.
LOAD AND UNSTRAP WHILE WAITING
While waiting your turn for the ramp, load your gear and unstrap your boat from the trailer. Make sure you take care of all of the small details prior to backing down. Plug, straps, transom mount, etc. Make sure all are ready prior to backing down to the water.
MAKE YOUR PATH SIMPLE
When you're finally ready, make it as easy as possible to back your boat down the ramp. Make your approach as straight as possible by pulling forward in line with the ramp.
TAKE YOUR TIME BACKING DOWN
When beginning to back down, take your time. Slow and steady wins the race. At faster speeds, corrections turn into over-corrections and lead to starting over.
Getting your boat in the water can be the most stressful part of going fishing. With these tips, you should be able to get your boat in and pull off in 10 minutes or less. If you have a buddy that can handle the boat, you can be in and out in 5 minutes or less. You're responsible for being prepared at the boat landing. Do not be the knucklehead that holds everyone else up for a good time.