Here are some tips on launching your boat quickly and safely from two guys who practically live in boats.
If you've spent any time on the water, you probably have at least one good boat ramp story. It could be a funny one about a boat sliding off a trailer while being backed down the ramp. Or a frustrating one about an inconsiderate boater who took forever to get launched. Or a throw-down between two guys after a minor collision of boats or trucks. I have several myself.
Here in the Midwest we'll be heading back to the lake not long after the ice goes away. Long holiday weekends and fish-related events, like the crappie spawn, seem to bring out the guys who borrow a boat from their brothers-in-law once a year, the horribly out-of-practice boat owners, and the occasional, outright jerk. Craig Johnson, Fisheries Biologist, Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism says;
There's probably more divorces and fist fights...at boat ramps due to people not being prepared when they come to the lake to load and unload their boat.
This video gives a quick rundown of how to get your boat in and out of the water quickly.
The best tip, and the one I see ignored most often, is to prep your boat before you back down the ramp. Stop in the parking (or designated prep area) and put in your drain plug, remove any travel straps or tie downs, load your tackle and other gear, get out your PFDs, and do all the stuff you need to do before you back down. You're less likely to forget something, and you won't be an annoyance to others.
Do your fellow boaters and anglers a favor: Refresh your memory before you hit the water this year.
And some church parking lot practice at backing the trailer can't hurt, either. It can be a bit of a perishable skill.