From 8/3/01</font id=blue>
A couple of weeks ago I had a craving for some extra crispy Kentucky Fried Chicken. I stopped in around three o’clock in the afternoon on a Sunday and ran into some friends of my parents. They were dressed casually in some shorts and t-shirts and large brimmed sun hats. I said hello and asked if they were headed to the beach with their bucket of chicken. “No we are headed over to Wappoo Cut boat landing for the show.” “Show?” I asked? Mrs. Kirkland responded “Yes, when we need a good laugh we go over to the boat ramp, sit down at the picnic table and watch people come in off the water.” “You would not believe some of the stupid and funny things people do when launching and retrieving their boats!”
Mrs. Kirkland was right! I have seen some crazy things occur at the public boat ramps over the years. There is always the guy that forgets to set the parking brake and rolls his car into the water, or the guy who is attempting to pull a 25 foot Bayliner out of the water with a Pinto, or how about the guy with the wave runner who is attempting to back his trailer for the first time ever with 20 people telling him how to do it, 30 people waiting, and 50 people cussing. It is like a mini version of road rage at the dock.
The truth of the matter if there is, if there is one thing every boater dreads more than filling up at the gas station, it is launching and retrieving their boat at a public boat ramp! Combine a little bit of disrespect, with a tired sun burnt boater and tempers will flare and arguments are sure to ensue. With a little bit of patience, some common sense and courtesy, launching and retrieving a boat could be much easier and less stressful for all of us. Here are a few tips that will make life at the boat ramp easier for you and others.
Before leaving home…
Preparing to launch a boat actually begins at home before you leave your yard. Attach a set of “ear muffs” and a garden hose to your engine and warm up the engine before you leave for the ramp. (Not