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dock loading/unloading rules- had a shouting match today-gctid395433

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    dock loading/unloading rules- had a shouting match today-gctid395433

    the lake we always go to has 2 side by side launches and the parking lot is 5-10 minute walk away

    today was different because 1 of the launches had a dredger parked there...

    typically to dock and load your boat you wait in line, tie up your boat when its your turn and walk to get your truck.

    today i ran into a situation where i waited 15 mins and then it was my turn to dock my boat....i get it tied up and someone else is backing his empty trailer into the lake....its for a boat thats coming the distance(i assume they called him w/ cell phone)......i told him we were there first and he needs to back up his trailer...he said since we only have 1 launch that he needs to be efficient and get his boat out...we shouted back and forth for 30 seconds and i partially backed down...he asked me to get my boat off the dock...i refused...i un-tied it and pushed it back to the edge of the him room for his boat...his wife was driving the boat and was in full PMS mode too...shouting at me....i ignored her...they had an large inflatable towing behind their boat and it caused them to take extra time to load...i thought it was ironic that they worried about time when they took twice as long to load the boat because of the inflatable...

    ok they are now loaded, so i leave my wife with the boat.....then i look....2 more empty trailors and 1 full one now in one was dropped off at the launch, so i assume the other 2 cell phone'd someone to pick them up when i was first to dock im really 5th in line...WTF

    while i walked back to get my trailer i calmed down and thought about the situation....and realized everyone cant just sit there while i walk to my boat, but at the same time why should i sit for 45 mins for 4 people to load/unload their boats when my boat was at the dock first....its a grey area to me.....your all going to tell me i should sit and not dock and that i was wrong??? the truth is i dont know...this is my 2nd year boating and i dont know

    when i arrived at the dock with my trailer they let me ahead of them to get my boat off the dock.....should i have got my boat off the dock and waited in line? was i at least partially right? (i got so angry over this stupid thing....i didnt know i had that much testosterone left in just glad it didnt turn into a fist fight...if he would have come at me i wouldnt have hesitated)

    That sucks, sorry capt.

    usually in ye olden days, the admiral would drop me off at the dock, I would walk to the truck and get in line. He who has is trailer in the water is next.

    Maybe you have some unique protocol at your ramp. Take it easy don't waste a good day of boating over it. Ramps frequently suck.


      thats what i inexperience got me PO'd


        When I trailered it was simple, use the dock to offload the driver and then get the heck out of the way - stand off until your trailer backs into the water.

        Anything else is just plain rude.

        If you think about it you can easily see that this gets 10-15 boats out of the water while you dick around getting your trailer in the water.

        There was an exception to this in Everett, where there a buttload of very long docks - in that case you queue up on the dock.


          When we first gout our boat, my wife had -0- experience with them, since then she has gained several valuable skills (like getting the truck, i wait in boat if need be). I highly recommend getting her comfortable/ proficient with certain things. 2 people are way more efficient than 1.

          If it were the early days for us, and if i am picturing your ramp setup correctly.... I would have parked the boat so others can launch/retrieve, walk to the truck, get it, and wait. Boating is about fun, whoever is right or need for shouting matches.

          45 min for 4 load and/or launches is way to long per boat....5 min tops, i (actually my wife would, she is WAY more outgoing than me) would be offering assistance to anyone who looks like they are having a hard time to expedite things.

          Dont get me wrong, I get super frustrated at times to, especially when we beach with 500 other ding dongs out there....but i just repeat over and over "I'm here to have fun, I'm here to have fun......"


            There is another courtesy on small ramps, when you get your boat on the trailer and out of the water - keep going so others can use the ramp right away. Do not stop and tie it down while others are waiting to use the ramp. Do all the other stuff in the parking lot, like taking down the Bimini, moving coolers, or whatever else you need to do to prep for the ride home.


              PugetMike wrote:
              When I trailered it was simple, use the dock to offload the driver and then get the heck out of the way - stand off until your trailer backs into the water.

              Anything else is just plain rude.

              If you think about it you can easily see that this gets 10-15 boats out of the water while you dick around getting your trailer in the water.
              Ditto for us when we trailered. I only tied up my boat on the dock when trailering or untrailering by myself.
              2002 2855 350MPI Bravo III on Lake Champlain -> SOLD!
              Shameless lurking on Lake Keowee with a Harris Cruiser 210 Tritoon/Mercury 150XL EFI


                I won't repeat what everyone else has said WHEN you have someone else that can pilot the boat.

                The only exception would be if you were boating alone - now you have no choice - you have to tie up, get out, get your trailer and get in line. Hopefully the ramp is long enough, (or enough room on the land side) that you can tie up and leave room for others to get their boat past yours.

                As everyone else has said - it's about who has their trailer waiting that should get priority - it keeps everything else moving more efficiently.

                And FWIW - I had a similar experience except it was the other way around. 4th of July coming back after the fireworks display. I got dropped off, my wife and our guests waited on the boat away from the dock, out of the way. I get my trailer, start pulling into position, tell my wife to start heading in, and sure enough someone decides to pull his smaller boat right up in front blocking my wife- While I've got my trailer already in position!!!!

                He was a solo boater, and it's the end of the night 4th of July. How the h377 did he think he was going to tie up a lane with his boat, get his trailer, and then cut in front of everyone else??? while everyone else is in their truck with trailer waiting in line to get their boat out of the water??? It was at least a 40 minute wait to get your vehicle to the front of the line.

                Luckily I didn't have to get into a shouting match with him - the difference here, the loading ramp has hired staff specifically for busy weekends. He made the guy move his boat to the end.


                  IMO, proper etiquette for pulling out of the water, would be to keep your boat at/near the end of the finger dock, since we really don't know who will be next in line with truck/trailer.

                  I think that the next truck/trailer in line should have precedence over dock position.

                  Occasionally this may mean shifting one's boat around another boat........ just do it, and don't argue over it.

                  Truck/trailer staging is another part of this.

                  When you are in line, and if the truck/trailer behind you has a boat in the next finger dock over (ready to come out), your move would be to pull out into your staging lane as soon as it clears, allowing that next truck/trailer to pull out into his staging lane.

                  You'll just wait in your staging lane until the launch ramp clears.

                  Perhaps look at it like this:

                  He who is tied up at the finger dock, does not necessarily come out next.

                  He with truck/trailer in line has earned the position.

                  He with truck/trailer in his staging lane, is definitely the next one out.

                  There are no written rules that I have ever seen. We simply rely on etiquette and brains built from common sense..... and common sense is often lacking at boat launch sites... and probably more so these days.

                  This whole dog gone lack of instructions, that could otherwise lead to proper and polite etiquette, is one reason that I get so dang mad at our state's silly boater's education card requirement.

                  Not only is there ZERO on-the-water operator testing, there is nothing that covers actually launching and retrieving one's boat.

                  Plus, you can take the test on-line with someone looking over your shoulder giving you the answers.

                  It's a revenue generating device only.... not much else. :thumb

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                    Based upon my understanding, I would have to say you were in the wrong.

                    Without seeing the layout of your boat ramp facilities, it's hard to say exactly what the correct protocol would be, but typically, you would want to park your boat at the courtesy dock, if present at your facility, and not to be confused with the loading docks. Tie up your boat and go get your trailer. Once you have your trailer backed into the water, you would go over to the courtesy dock, get your boat and navigate it over to the ramp area, get it on your trailer, haul out and drive away. And for the love of god, don't stop at the top of the ramp area getting your boat prepped for trailering. Pull well clear of the ramp area (ideally back to the parking lot) and make whatever preparations are necessary for trailering.

                    Around here, tying up to the loading docks and then strolling off in search of your truck and trailer, effectively shutting the ramp down in the process will get your boat untied and cast off in most cases.

                    The only time it would be appropriate to tie up to the loading docks would be if there were no other boats and no other trailers anywhere near the ramp area waiting to load/unload. Occasionally, I tie up to the loading dock to go get my trailer, but only in the middle of the week and only if the ramp is an absolute ghost town.
                    2002 Bayliner 195 Capri
                    Mercruiser 5.0L V8 / Alpha I Gen II
                    MMSI: 338091755


                      Been there done that with the bow rider, one year only, then we got a slip at the marina and now we watch the people argue about who's turn it is.

                      300SD all options sold.


                        That's why my boat is in a rack. No more ramps. We also sit back and watch the mayhem unfold at the ramp
                        1999 Bayliner 1750 Capri. 3l Mercruiser Alpha

                        2014 Yamaha VX Cruiser


                          Fortunately I keep my cool when someone jumps in front of everyone... now... I had an incident where we had tied up on the ramp finger and we got in line with our trailer as those that were in front of me pulled or dropped their boats off. When it was my turn some bozo ran his boat up on the ramp, tied it off and went for his trailer as my wife told him to move behind her as we were pulling out next. He refused so I just backed my truck and trailer down the ramp and waited for him to return with his trailer. He was pissed that I was in his way. The others behind me were glad a message was sent to the bozo. They were mad at him and not me... he thought he would be a wise guy and leave his trailer in front of me so I told him that if he got out of his truck, I would push his boat off the ramp with the lines and all. He finally got the message and removed his truck. Others moved his boat off the ramp and we all proceeded to pull our boats out or drop them in.

                          To me, the guy that has his trailer on the ramp has the #1 spot. Other boats on the finger should move forward one boat at a time as more boats took a spot on the finger.
                          Doug ;}
                          MMSI: 338068776
                          "Go Aweigh to" Photos < click on red letters... 2001 Bayliner 2452 w/6.2 HO (paid for)



                            How about the guy who launch's his boat fills it up with people, parks his truck comes back and sits waiting for a gal to show up for over a hour in effect blocking that side of the ramp. I chit thee not, happened to me at miami's public launch. Six lanes and 3 shut down cause of a guy's working on there boat " no start conditions " one shut down cause the cops had a boat in that slot, in effect one lane open out of six.

                            Or how about i'm backing down the ramp with my boat on the trailer to launch and a guy pulls his trailer and boat in behind me. Says to me you will just have to wait till he launch's. After being nice for 30 seconds i get a baseball bat pulled on me, i stuck a colt python barrel in his right nostril and walked him and his 3 giant hulking friends backwards into there truck, they pulled out and didn't see them at the dock when i got back nor there truck or trailer they went elsewhere.

                            Or how about at a ramp i pull up to with my boat to launch, a woman and 3 very young kids sitting on the boat tied up while the husband walked to the truck about 30 seconds away and in sight of the ramp, and a guy is screaming all kinds of dirty words at her to pull the boat around the dock so he can launch. I pulled up clear or the staging area but this guy pulled his boat and truck so the woman's husband couldn't. The guy screaming started screaming at the husband and was about to do battle, when the cops showed up. Maybe i'm old school...but if that was my wife in that position the screaming guy would need a whole mouth of dental work before he gets to eat anything solid.

                            The list goes on and on.
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                              I always hold my breath when using the ramps. It seems to bring out the worst in people. Unless you have thick skin, it can ruin your day. I think the best thing is to know the etiquette and keep your cool; Unless someone gets nasty then don't take it.

                              I remember once I was using a ramp for the first time. It had two launching lanes. I was about to back my trailer down the ramp where my boat was tied, when a van pulling some Jet Skiis decided to launch. You are probably thinking the same thing I did - how rude! I kept my cool and asked the guy if I was missing something - why he did that. He pointed at a sign. It read: "This dock for Jetskiis Only". Doooh!