Have you ever sat at a boat launch waiting to launch your boat only to wonder how the person in front of you ever got the rig he was driving to the lake in the first place? He backs down the boat launch, right to the lake. He then proceeds to take the cover off of the boat and undo the tie downs. Next he takes his time to fold the cover and place it in his truck. He pauses, takes a sip of his coffee, admires the view and makes a comment on how great the fishing is going to be.
Now this person takes the rods out of the back of the truck and places them in the boat. Next the retrieval of the tackle box. His partner barks an order about the bait and that gets unpacked and gets placed into the bait well. He gets into the boat and does a “quick” systems check and asks his friend to back the boat into the water.
They back the boat into the lake and the operator is about to start the main motor when you here this; “Where’s the plug!!??” Out comes the boat again! Once the plug is in place and the boat is in the water, the truck and trailer head off to the parking spot. The boat operator moves his boat and parks it right in the middle of the boat launch.
We now sit and wait for his friend to try and park an empty trailer. The person from the boat is yelling instructions and the truck finally gets parked. He walks down to the boat and now they both decide that this is the time to use the facilities…
This is a nerve wracking time for those who are waiting to use the launch. Common sense and being prepared ensures a quick launch. When you arrive at the launch pull over to the side so you do not obstruct the launch and turn around area. Pack your boat and get necessary items ready. Make sure your drain plug is in place. Do a quick check while the boat is on the trailer. This avoids any delays while trying to launch your boat. This is also a good time to use the facilities if need be.
Once your boat is in the water, pull it off to the side while you are waiting for your fishing partner to park the truck and trailer so the next person may use the launch. If you are by yourself, still pull the boat off to the side to beach it while you park your vehicle.
When you are finished for the day you should send your partner to either get the truck or hold the boat off to the side of the launch. Pull the boat up the slip and park your vehicle out of the launch area to pack your boat and items. This will allow others to pull their boat out or put their boat in.
By completing your preparation off to the side will role model proper launching etiquette and provide quick boat launching for everyone.