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Boat launch idiots!

6/26/01 @ 1:05 AM
USER SINCE 6/16/01
Why is it that every time I go to a public launch I have to contend with someone who has no clue what they are doing? One time After fishing in the morning I get back to the launch, on lake winnebago in the big hole, and on one side of the dock I see a car and trailer in the launch, no boat or a person. I get to the dock and get out and look around and see a boat coming into the harbor. Didn't think much of it. Came back with my truck and trailer, just as two other rigs pull up to launch. I get my boat on the trailer and the boat I saw coming in behind me pulls up onto the trailer parked on the other side of the dock. This guy backed his rig in, got in his boat and went out on the lake without parking his car and trailer in the parking area!!!!!!!!!!! This launch is only a one dock two ramp deal. He had no problem with plugging one side with his car and going out on the lake! I'm sure we all have a few stories about jerks at the boat landings so here is a place to vent!


11/15/20 @ 7:31 AM
USER SINCE 10/6/09

I agree I pull my plugs all the time. I did write with a paint marker on my transome saver check plug although I never really forget to. It should be on your checklist anyway.

11/14/20 @ 8:54 PM
USER SINCE 12/26/10

So far in WI,drain plug out(dry bilge)is a suggestion.Not the case in MN,they will throw the book at you,a hefty fine.Few years ago,I got the what for in Winona for plug in.So now I have clips on the transom straps to hang the plugs.So if I now leave the plug out when launching,I WOULD be an idiot.MN will also leave a note on vehicle if you have visible weeds on trailer when parked.The same has happened in WI. 

11/14/20 @ 6:56 PM
banjo dan

I'm too lazy right now to look through the reg's, but we should all be able to agree that having a drained, dry bilge is usually a good thing between lakes. Thinking, "I know they're aren't zebra mussels or VHS or Eurasian millfoil between these two lakes" is why so many lakes have those.  

I never tow my boat with any plugs in, because sometimes I encounter rain on the road, and I don't own a cover that's suitable for high speeds. So I don't want the added weight on the axle. 

I also don't have indoor boat storage, so pulling the plugs makes sense for my situation.

My soapbox stance is that if we love our lakes, and I think we all do, we should be pulling our plugs after leaving every boat launch, whether it's required by law or not. 

I don't need a law to tell me what's good for lakes. 

11/14/20 @ 8:09 AM

Thanks for educating me. I’ve been a boat owner 30+ years and knock on wood have never left it out. Now I know it will happen sooner or later. Kinda like saying I’ve never run out of gas, then I did the following week!

I did however back my boss in with his first used boat. I park the truck 1/4 mile away and see him yelling as I walk back. He got the plug in and then we just got it up on plane and pulled the plug to get the water mostly out. 

Makes for a good story as long as everyone involved makes it back to the dock safely!

11/14/20 @ 6:21 AM

I believe that the “ pull the plug” law only pertains to the live well.  You can leave your boat plug in if you want to.   I always pull both.  CARPIO 

11/14/20 @ 6:01 AM

We have all done it.   First time new boat launched in 1993 w my brother.  Yup forgot plug.  We both yelled at each other then laughed as we thought the other put it in.

Better one for all. Up in the UP about 8 years ago and launch boat.  Friend puts his in and they can’t get on plane, bow way up in the air.   I hear a few expletives across the lake.  Go back to launch as his boat going on trailer....he put plug in the wrong hole and pressure kept it in.  He kept saying I put it in.  Think it was live well drain.  I still bust his chops.  That boat drained for about 20 minutes as all of us laughed our butts off!!!

11/13/20 @ 11:11 PM

Interpret that law however you want.  All water drained from the boat.  Some boats are bone dry, but mine gets water in it if I am on plane cause the transducer produces a rooster tail.  So I pull the plug and twice since that law has gone into effect I have forgotten to put the plug back in! Once it happened with my son fishing with me and we hadn't left the dock yet, the second time happened to me when my daughter was with me and I had just pushed off from the dock.  After that the wind pushed my boat away fast and it was a rush to try and get the plug back in.  I couldn't reach the plug hole easily so next I tried using the bilge pump - it broke.  Next I tried starting the main motor, but the battery shorted! So I rushed to the front of the boat to hook up the trolling motor.  The water started rushing to the front of the boat from my weight up there, but I got it hooked up. I set the motor down in the water and it got buried in the mud! So I raised it up a bit and struggled to get it back to the dock, but I made it. Took almost a half an hour to drain all of the water that had gotten in the boat in just a matter of ten minutes!  But my daughter still wanted to fish so as soon as all of the water drained we went out fishing.  The motor started too, so it must've just gotten shorted out while the battery was under water.

11/13/20 @ 8:40 PM
USER SINCE 5/17/11

Actually 12Pack you are incorrect. Page 25 of the Wisconsin boating handbook.

Wisconsin law requires draining all water from a boat before leaving that body of water. Has been that way for many years.

Edit: sorry page 23

11/13/20 @ 10:20 AM

I thought in Wisconsin it was the law that you have to pull your plug after leaving any body of water? Because they don’t want to spread disease or zebra muscles etc. to other lakes. I thought I had heard of people being pulled over and ticketed driving down the highway with the plug in. I always pull my plug out when leaving the launch.

Please correct or educate me if I’m wrong.


11/13/20 @ 10:13 AM
USER SINCE 9/27/01

262, I gotta hand it to you for going back out. I forgot the plug on my old Alumacraft Lunker a few years ago. I was up north fishing in early November. Hardly anyone out on the lake but me. That old boat didn't have the foam floatation that newer boats have and I was well away from the dock when I realized the boat was sitting way too low in the water. My 25 hp barely got me up on a plane. I got it to the dock and ran to my truck. By the time I got the trailer in, the boat was bottomed out on the ramp. I managed to get it on the trailer but my confidence was shaken to the point where I just went home. Forgetting the plug has only happened to me once but it was a good lesson. I now double-check my double-checks. 

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