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Today's AC Press:
June 30, 2005

Boating tips
1. Before backing down the ramp, have everything that needs to transferred from the towing vehicle put into the boat. Those who wait until the boat is in the water before transferring things from the trailer will cause delays.

2. Unhook the boat from the winch after the craft is in the water, not before. Once your boat is in the water, have your crew secure it to the dock while you park your tow vehicle and trailer. That will leave the ramp open for the next launch.

3. Don't cause a delay by having a discussion with your crew on where to go.

4. Offer assistance if someone there needs help, and if you're new at backing down a ramp, practice in a large parking lot prior to launching.

5. If you're on the ramp and need help, ask for it.

6. Trailer parking spaces are for tow vehicles and trailers only.

7. Get into a routine at the boat ramp, and use a checklist.

8. When returning to a ramp, first drop off a person who will get the tow vehicle and trailer from the parking lot, and wait for them in an out-of-the-way location while they get the vehicle.

9. Once the boat is on the trailer, secure the safety chain to the bow eye and move up the ramp. Secure the remaining tie downs, and wait until you're back in the parking lot before transferring things back to the tow vehicle. Don't transfer your things while still on the ramp.

10. If you'd like to discuss launch ramp etiquette with other boaters, or talk of your experiences at boat ramps or about other boating-related topics, go to the messages boards at

Pat Piper, the author of "Chapman's Boating Etiquette," provided the 10 tips for launching your boat.
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