Boat launch idiots!
I'm currently in the process of reading through all 9 years and 2600+ posts, and I'm having a blast! It's also reminding me of some of the boneheaded things I've seen (and more frequently, done myself) over the years. I'm working on a list and I'll share it when I'm done.
Not so much launching, but last night in the no-wake channel getting out to Okauchee, some pontoon cut me off with a pretty decent wake. I figured he was late for a reservation at the Golden Mast since that's the direction he was going in, so I shrugged it off and moved on with my life. Two minutes later, same boat, still creating a bunch of wake, cuts me off again going in the opposite direction. He smiled and waved at me and I just returned the wave and tried not to give an evil eye. Ignorance really is bliss. By the time I thought I should say something, he was way ahead of me and I didn't feel like yelling since he was out of my hair.
I was getting off the lake a little after sunset. The guy that cut me off to get to the dock was taking his time unloading at the launch while I went and got my truck. Perfect timing, the other side of the dock opened up right when I pulled up. Of course, I couldn't see because the guy that was unloading his boat had backed his car in and left the headlights on. I almost drove onto the dock itself and ended up relying on where the grass ended on the opposite side to guide my trailer in.
I jumped in my boat as my wife got in the truck to pull me out once I loaded. As she got in, I yelled to my daughter loudly enough that the entire lot could hear, "TELL MOM TO TURN THE HEADLIGHTS OFF SO PEOPLE BACKING UP AREN'T BLIND!!!" The other guy obviously thought I was yelling at him (which I kinda was), so I repeated it, again to my daughter. I hope he got the hint for the future.
Love this thread. My wife and I actually might start going down to the launch just to spectate as a date night.
Out tonight with my son. 30 seconds in and 30 out.... a few jaws on the ground watching how it's done.... not a parking lot, it a launch and recover No, lie. Team work is relevant with your roles upfront. Lucky, i'm dad and dictatate the rules.
Driving the trailer off the edge is one of my biggest fears! I already have a game plan though... get the boat off the trailer, finesse the wheels back onto the concrete, and hope it's still deep enough to get my boat back on.
My wife refuses to even learn how to back a trailer, let alone try it at a ramp. I guess it's better that way... she's more than happy to hop in and back the boat off once I dump her in. Hopefully soon she'll be willing to drive the boat back on.
Was recovering my boat last weekend at Pewaukee, so it was the usual craziness, and per the norm I was launching by myself. Small talked with the attendant, shared stories, and realized I better not screw this up after talking about some of the things we've seen.
Interestingly, some people just aren’t cut out to drive a boat...
As touch on earlier, my wife is very uncomfortable, especially around a bunch of other boats in a hectic environment (which is many boat launches) For instance, take a new Ranger boat, it’s $60-$80,000, and my wife doesn’t feel comfortable driving around that...
Driving a boat is not for everyone...
As I said before, the wife is gutsy enough to drive the boat onto the trailer. She does an awesome job in my opinion and I’m grateful for her bravery and adventurous nature. One thing I know she wants no part of is backing the trailer anywhere!!! Lol I‘m just thankful she can drive our boat like a champ. In a certain way I understand people that don’t want to do it. It can be a little tricky at times depending on launch location and wind/waves. Always wish everyone the best. Even the BLI’s. Lol
Ever get your axle past the end of the concrete ramp?
Years ago when L. Michigan's water levels were really low, I watched a guy drop both of his tandem axles off the concrete in Kewaunee while launching his boat. He couldn't get them back on so he backed up a little bit to get a running start. He tore both of them off of the trailer. Probably not one of his finer days.
I have a roller trailer and fish 95% of the time by myself. Same issues with my wife. She is afraid of damaging something and won’t even try.
By myself it’s easy getting off the trailer, but getting back on is a different story when alone. I have no problem driving right on the trailer, even in wind and waves. But everyone knows you have to leave the motor in gear on a roller trailer to stay on the winch roller. Then run to the front and lay dow to reach over and connect the winch strap. I have seen more than a few people smash there hands, or worse have the boat jump to the side and come off the winch roller.
I usually ask somebody who looks like they have half a brain to connect the strap when I drive up, but that can bite you in the but if they have no clue.
Most places I launch have signs that say “No power loading”, and I don’t need the ticket.
Been doing the game for 30+ years as a boat owner and never had anyone ever say anything to me, but I usually run back and forth to keep things moving.
I have no shame in asking for help or giving help or advice when needed. It’s just not worth the argument to me if people don’t understand.
Sure can be fun to watch some people launch though!
I drive my boat onto the trailer at most launches now. If it's too shallow though it's useless and it's way easier to just get my feet wet and attach the line.
Ever get your axle past the end of the concrete ramp? Happened to my dad once and I remember his two wheel drive truck on a steep launch could not get the trailer wheels back onto the ramp. We had to go into the resort and find someone that had a winch to connect to my dad's truck to get his truck and the trailer back onto the road. I've heard a number of people have snapped their axle that way. We got lucky that day and didn't have any damage.
My wife won't drive my boat or back the truck/trailer in. I wish she'd learn to do one of them but she's afraid of screwing something up. I always have her move the boat out as far as she can on the dock so another boat can launch. I move along as fast as practical and respect others to the best of my ability. If that's not good enough, tough. I pay the same launch fee as everyone else.