Without question, one of the busiest places along the shores of the water is boat ramps over the weekends. That being said, it is important to remain courteous to fellow boaters. One of the biggest reasons for delay are boaters being unprepared. If you’re planning to launch your boat, you must park out of the way to load your equipment and gear. Here is where to park the boat and trailer when prepping the vessel for a day on the water. 

Why Gear And Equipment Must Be Loaded At A Boat Launch

Unfortunately, boater owners who trailer the vessel have found out the hard way by losing equipment and gear on the roadways. 

The combination of nature’s wind and the force of the air driving down the road causes the gear to become airborne. 

Undoubtedly, expensive gear has gone missing before arriving at the launch. It is important to place anything that can blow in the tow vehicle itself. After arriving at the launch, equipment, and gear must be transferred from the vehicle to the boat.

Common Items That Are Lost While Trailering A Boat

No question about it, some items are more likely to be lost compared to others while trailering a boat. Here is what frequently goes over the side of the vessel while it is being towed. 

Common Items
Plastic Bottles
Maps And Charts
Fishing Gear
Life Jackets

You’ll want to make sure that these items in particular are moved from the boat into the vehicle while being towed. 

Gear And Equipment Transfer Location At A Boat Launch

It is imperative to park in the correct location when moving items from the tow vehicle into the boat. Remember, this should be done before beginning to back down the boat ramp. 

The proper location to transfer boat gear and equipment is off to the side in the boat launch parking lot. 

I recommend finding a spot that is out of the way of the flow of traffic. Remember, vehicles and trailers will be lined up, waiting in line to back down the ramp and splash the vessel into the water. 

Move Out Of The Way

The last thing that you want is for fellow boaters to scream at you because you’re in their way. Yes, boaters will become angry. I have seen it many times while launching my boat and ramps. 

Prevent causing a stir at the boat ramp and move well out of the way. 

Don’t Disrupt The Flow Of The Launch

It is important to take into consideration the flow of traffic at a boat ramp. The ramps are designed with organization in mind. The last thing you want is to disrupt the flow of traffic. 

Taking this into consideration, you must keep your tow vehicle and trailer out of the flow of traffic when both launching and retrieving boats. 

Never unload the tow vehicle while in line or on the boat launch ramp. Unquestionably, this will slow the pace, especially on weekends and holidays. 

Avoid Areas Where You Are At Risk Of Being Hit

As a former captain, I spent a lot of time at boat ramps. I can tell you from my personal experience that the drivers of tow vehicles are in a hurry to get on the water. 

That said, the combination of the traffic and distracted driving puts pedestrians at risk of being hit. During the weekend and on holidays vehicles are whipping down the ramp, up the ramp, and around the parking lot. 

Keep yourself safe, and if you’re with children, make sure to hold their hands. A child can easily dart in front of a moving vehicle. 

Get In Line After The Boat Is Has Gear And Equipment

Once the gear and equipment are loaded on the boat, it is time to enter the lineup of launching vessels. 

Before entering the line, make sure that you’re not leaving anything behind in the tow vehicle. Leaving something behind will cause a delay if you need to run back to the truck after it is parked in the parking lot. 

Be Smart When You Launch Your Boat

In order to keep things moving as they should at the boat launch make sure to transfer your gear before getting in line. I have get frustrated waiting for unprepared people. Furthermore, most weekend boaters are running late which amplifies the need to get the boat in the water as soon as possible. Be smart and move your gear in advance.