Boating Tips: Proper Boat Ramp Etiquette

Welcome to Boating Tips with MarineMax! The boat ramp can be an intimidating place for some, but it doesn’t have to be! In this week’s episode of Boating Tips, Captains Keith and Nick provide some tips on how to follow proper etiquette at the ramp so that things can go as smoothly as possible.  Ask your questions, make comments, and learn a thing or two about your favorite outdoor activity.

Be Ready

Time is of the essence at the boat ramp, you don’t want to be the slowpoke that is holding everyone up, that’s why one of the most important things that you can do regarding boat ramp etiquette is to come prepared.

Before you even leave your house, make sure that all your plugs are in, you have gas, your switches work, you have all your supplies, etc. Check and organize everything at home so that when you get to the boat ramp you’re ready to go so all you have to do is launch!

Backup with Confidence 

As we have previously said, time is important at the ramp, everyone is itching to get out there! Don’t be the one person that is jackknifing their trailer and can’t seem to get it into the water. There is an easy way to solve this; practice.

You may never have backed up a trailer before, that’s ok! Go to an open field or empty parking lot and practice. Just like when you were learning to drive, get some reps in before you hit the ramp for real and you’re boat will be off the trailer and into the water in no time. 

No Loitering 

Once your boat hits the water, don’t tie up on the side of the dock, this will block that part of the ramp from others looking to use it. Have your significant other, friend, passenger etc. park the tow vehicle while you idle out of the ramp. Once the vehicle is parked, they can walk down the dock to the end where you can pick them up.

Launching your vessel this way ensures that others are able to launch and keeps traffic flowing. If you are alone, get your boat off the trailer, idle out of the launch, tie up at the end of the dock thus freeing up the launch, go park your vehicle and then head on your way. 

In Conclusion 

The boat ramp is a scary place to some, but it doesn't have to be! All it takes for a smooth boat ramp experience is remembering a few simple pieces of etiquette, communication and consideration for your fellow boaters. Looking for a place to get on the water near you? Check out our Marinas. We’ll see you out on the water.


You can see or hear more episodes of Boating Tips and our sister podcast, From the Helm Boating Broadcast, on The MarineMax Blog, accessible on the website or via mobile phone through the MarineMax App. You can also access more episodes on Amazon, Spotify, Google Podcast, Apple Podcast, or wherever you get your podcast news. See you out on the water! 

Looking to find your perfect boat for summer fun? Check out available inventory!

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