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When Retrieving a Boat at a Ramp What Should Be Avoided?

Written by J. Harvey / Fact checked by S. Numbers

when retrieving a boat at a ramp what should be avoided

Taking the boat out of the water is something boaters have to do after having their fill of boating fun. However, while retrieving the boat should be done as carefully as launching it, there can be times when we get careless. It’s important to know when retrieving a boat at a ramp what should be avoided.

In this article, we’ll cover what to avoid as we retrieve a boat at a ramp. We’ll look at things not just from a safety perspective but also from a boat ramp etiquette perspective as well. Stick around and keep reading to learn more.

Things to Avoid at a Boat Ramp


Safety is always a priority for boating, but etiquette is also important. By maintaining proper etiquette, we can help other people feel safe while using the boat ramp. Things like keeping to the right of way at boat ramp should be properly maintained.

Below are several things people should avoid at a boat ramp both for safety and for maintaining proper etiquette.

1. Occupying or blocking the ramp

One common mistake that people make at the ramp is occupying it too long. While most people don’t intend to do so, we may end up doing it because of numerous reasons.

While we can’t help taking time to launch or retrieve the boat carefully, we can still manage to reduce the time we occupy the ramp. One effective way is to make sure you’re ready before approaching the ramp.

Most places have a preparation area where you can prep the boat, including unloading or organizing your items and supplies, so make use of these areas.

2. Cleaning out the boat at the ramp

Nobody wants to go home with trash on the boat, since it could become an even bigger problem. However, we should not do the cleaning at the ramp itself. Remember that other people may be waiting to use the ramp as well.

Cleaning the boat at the ramp may also make a mess, which can endanger other people who would use the ramp afterward. Make use of prep areas to clean out the boat and get your things ready for the trip home. You’ll appreciate it too when others do the same.

When we do clean our boats, we should also remember that other people will want to clean their boats as well, so don’t occupy the wash area for too long.

Establish an effective routine for getting nasty things off the boat and try to work through it quickly. Most people won’t appreciate it if someone looks like they’re going through the wash process slowly while occupying the wash area for so long.

3. Power loading the boat onto the trailer

Power loading can get your boat onto the trailer quickly by using the boat’s engine, but this can result in damaging the ramp. The force of the boat along with the weight of the trailer may end up damaging the ramp’s structure and endanger everyone using the ramp.

We can still use the boat’s motor, but be sure to keep the output low. Alternatively, you can use the trolling motor if you have one on the boat. Just make sure to use the winch to pull the boat in securely instead of relying on the boat’s motor to get the bow on the winch’s roller.

4. Tying off to another boat or getting too close

There may be times when it seems like a good idea to tie off to another boat since it may be quicker than having to tie to the dock or wherever, but do not do this without permission. Some people may be offended by this, and it’s always better to keep things peaceful for everyone to get home faster.

Coming too close to another boat is also not a good idea. Make sure to always be mindful of your distance to other boats even when you’re certain that you won’t hit them.

Good Practices


In order to properly address the question of what should be avoided when retrieving a boat at a ramp, it’s important to stick to boat ramp rules and regulations.

Below are a few things that will make it easier for us to adhere to the rules and maintain order at the ramp even when there are a lot of people using it.

1. Use the loading and unloading dock

Some ramps, especially busy ones, have docks exclusively for loading and unloading. By using these for letting off your passengers, you’ll be able to save time and will be able to retrieve the boat at the ramp faster.

2. Always be mindful of your surroundings

As mentioned earlier, getting too close to other boats can get you into trouble. Be mindful of your surroundings as you approach the ramp and load the boat onto the trailer. Remember that the boat ramp tends to have more people, since everyone will be using it to get their boats out of the water.

Don’t be too relaxed thinking that nobody else is around. Constantly check your surroundings to keep accidents from happening.

3. Establish a routine

As mentioned earlier, establishing a routine will get you through everything faster. If you don’t already have a routine, work on establishing one. Try to establish a routine for everything you do at the ramp.

As you get more used to your routine, you’ll naturally get through your tasks faster. Boating is all about routine, so it’s just a matter of time until you get it. Just make sure that your routine keeps to both rules and etiquette.


After reading this short boat ramp guide, you should have a better idea of what to do and what not to do. These are things we should be mindful of when retrieving a boat at a ramp what should be avoided and the like.

Please share this with others as well and spread the word about maintaining safety and etiquette when going out on the water. We’d also like to know your thoughts about boating safety and etiquette, so leave your comments below.

Remember to boat safely.

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