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Old     (p_e_ski)      Join Date: Jul 2004       05-30-2005, 6:37 AM Reply   
When you are in line at the ramp and see a couple in front of you that have no idea how to launch their wakeboard boat, do you offer advice? Saw this couple on Memorial Day Sunday, hog up the ramp getting ready. Guy backs boat into the water, then the 300 lb girlfriend/wife attached the rope to the cleat, and walked the boat into the water. She walked/swam into 6 feet of water. The funny thing was, their boat was not more than 2 feet from the dock which ran parallel to the ramp and went 60 feet out into the water. If she wanted to walk it, why didn't she just stand on the dock and walk it out. Then of course, my wife and I launch and leave and they are still sitten in the way and and she's still in the water. Do you make suggestions or not.
Old     (nvsairwarrior)      Join Date: Aug 2003       05-30-2005, 7:02 AM Reply   
I think suggestions for doing things better is always a good idea.....if the people are open to hearing it. If they are not, and you can usually tell right away, then it can only make things worse.
I've given some advice from time to time and if you do it while actually helping out it seems to be better recieved.
Some ramps have bleacher seating nearby just to entertain the guests....and it usually is entertaining.
Old     (wakeme884)      Join Date: Jul 2004       05-30-2005, 7:57 AM Reply   
When I was first new to boating, I was having trouble getting my boat onto the trailer with the wind blowing. A guy launching next to me came over and made a few suggestions-worked perfectly and made it easier to retrieve in the future. If suggestions are made in a corrective way, most will accept them without thinking youre bagging on them.
Old     (millerda31)      Join Date: Dec 2004       05-30-2005, 1:49 PM Reply   
First thing I did was train my wife on how to drive our boat. She's an old pro now! I just unhook everything and back it into the water with everyone on board but me. Then she circles around and gets me from the dock. Entire process takes less than a minute.

Bonus....she can also drive it back onto the trailer when we're done for the day. This takes about two minutes since I have to hook it to the trailer. I haven't used bumpers except to moor it overnight.

Teach your significant other to drive the boat is my advice!
Old     (p_e_ski)      Join Date: Jul 2004       05-30-2005, 5:44 PM Reply   
Dave, my wife does the exact same as yours. Guess we trained them right. I just wish that people at the ramp would watch the more experience people and copy what they do.
Old    warren            05-30-2005, 5:49 PM Reply   
Better yet, train em to go get the truck! LOL
Old     (hamkj)      Join Date: Apr 2002       05-30-2005, 7:07 PM Reply   
I just politely mention the 30 second maximum launching by-law and hope that the by-law enforcement doesnt issue them the minimum $500 fine or worse off, impound their boat. People usually tend to speed it up.
Old    warren            05-30-2005, 11:53 PM Reply   
OOh, Rough! I usually just try to go help um out. Met alot of nice folks that way. By the way,that sounds like California! They got some kind of law for everything don't they?

Just for grins: Once my wife was trying to pull our class A motorhome out after launching the boat. Everytime she tried the Motorhome would roll back a little further into the lake. What she didn't realize is that the motor she heard running was the generator, not the motorhome. Finally some nice person suggested that she start the engine! True story!
Old     (peacock)      Join Date: Jan 2005       05-31-2005, 2:40 PM Reply   
ABSOLUTELY NOT! I would never help educate dock minions.
The entertainment value cannot be measured. I've had some of my best belly laughs watching boatards. (new word) If someone is floundering about and it is obvious they have never done it before, I offer to load or unload it with a lesson for only $20.00. (joke) What I usually find is people who are terribly offended that you would try to give them advice, since they sure know more about it than me or anyone else. I'm just very patient for my turn at the ramp, and spend my wait watching and laughing (to my self).
Old    warren            05-31-2005, 5:11 PM Reply   
The other day we were helping a young couple get their pontoon boat on their trailer. It wasn't a very good trailer, (no guide rails) and I must admit it would have been a chore for anyone. The wife was driving the truck, but it didn't seem to have enough power to pull the boat out. I went over to the window and calmly told her to release her emergency brake and wallah! While she was pulling it out she asked if we thought she could collect life insurance on her husband if she gunned it and knocked him off the boat. I told her better not, she would probably just end up having to take care of him the rest of her life. Hilarious!
Old    powaman            05-31-2005, 6:12 PM Reply   
I don't trust people and often times I go with different people that don't always come with. My tranmission and parking brake work, I like to do everything myself. I have them help me remove the ratchet straps, then back it in, unhook the winch and safety straps, then throw the loops in our ropes over the two posts. Then just park and come back and fire it up.
Old     (mikeski)      Join Date: Aug 2003       05-31-2005, 6:40 PM Reply   
The launch ramp drill should always be done with two people, one in boat one in car, all others stay on the dock.

For unloading all straps should be removed before backing the boat down the ramp (carpeted bunks, not rollers), and the boat should be ready to start. Back down to the predetermined point at which the boat floats off the trailer at which point the boat driver knows to fire it up and put it in reverse. If it's a Nautique aim the trailer slightly toward the boat driver, all other boats aim the trailer slightly away from the driver side of the boat so it will back off straight (Nautiques rudder full right, other rudders full left). When the bow clears the uprights move the trailer off the ramp so the next boat can launch. Car transmission never needs to go into park and parking brake doesn't ever get set. The cars rear brakes should never get close to the waterline.

For loading, the trailer gets sunk to the predetermined level, usually just the tops of the fenders showing. Boat driver powers the boat up on the trailer for the last 1.5-2'. When the boat is all the way up the car driver pulls away SLOWLY (without straps). All straps are attached after the boat is off the ramp, the weight of the boat will keep it on the trailer if the bunks are carpeted. If the ramp is unusually steep or long and bumpy only the bow strap should be attached by the car driver. Here is the clue, if your tow vehicle does not require 4wd then your boat won't fall off the trailer.

Never takes more than 30 seconds, expect a standing ovation on busy days. If you cannot back down the ramp in less then two attempts you need to practice backing before you return to the ramp. Wakeboard boats are not designed to float onto the trailer, they should be powered on. Been doing it this way for 25 years.
Old     (hamkj)      Join Date: Apr 2002       05-31-2005, 6:43 PM Reply   
I come into the lot and back down the ramp half way, jump out, and undo the strap and back in and the boat floats away... I go park the truck and then run off the dock and swim to the boat... depending on my swim time... I am down the ramp and parked and in the boat in less than 30 seconds... People watch and applaud... I never have to wait... they see me coming and say "go ahead". It is the same loading the boat... I swing the boat just outside the boat launch area... swim to the shore... set the boat buddy loading system, back down the launch... swim to the boat... drive onto the trailer... drive up the ramp... attach the strap... drive home... DONE....
Old    warren            05-31-2005, 6:58 PM Reply   
I'm clapping!!
Old     (mikeski)      Join Date: Aug 2003       05-31-2005, 7:06 PM Reply   
If you angle the wakeboards just right on the tower, the wind will sail it to the dock too...
Old    powaman            06-01-2005, 4:29 AM Reply   
All straps should be removed before bakcing up on bunk systems? Umm you do as you please, I'd like to be sure that my boat will stay on the trailer untill I want it off.
Old     (laptom)      Join Date: Apr 2002       06-01-2005, 6:02 AM Reply   
I'm with you Travis...
One person in the boat, 1 person in the car. Backing the boat until it floats and hit the start buton. Then the boatdriver unhook the bow strap and drive the boat backwards as the car driver pulls up the ramp.
No sweat, it doesn't matter if you do it in 9.6 seconds or it takes 2 minutes. If it's that busy at the ramp it's to busy to wakeboard on the water anyway...


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