Drama at the Boat Landing

Hot and hazy days of summer

With the growth of population in Charleston we have seen already busy traffic become pretty much ridiculous, as our local politicians seem to forget that with every neighborhood and apartment complex comes more cars and yet, no new roads or lanes.  Its frustrating, to say the least!  Well, the situation on our waterways has mirrored what we see on the streets.  More and more boats, many with inexperienced captains, and a complete lack of new or expanded boat landings.  A new landing to replace the all-but-useless Bushy Park landing is a can that continues to get kicked on down the road, for example.  

I’ve recently seen plenty of arguments about boat landing etiquette and I think on a Saturday morning about 10 AM in the summer, there is just no way to NOT have problems, simply because there are too many people trying to launch and you know, shit happens.

Often, I think to myself that if people understood one cardinal rule about boat landings, that everything would go a lot smoother.  And that rule is….

Get in and out of the landing ramp as soon as possible!

Most arguments on the landing arise because something prevented the above.  Done right, with two people, a boat can be launched or loaded in under 3 minutes.  One person, maybe 5 minutes.  Some things people do that cause problems are:

  • Using the loading lane as a make-ready area (there are designated make-ready areas available for this purpose, if not, make-ready in another place before pulling up to the landing)
  • Docking on the inside of the lane, thus blocking people from launching (dock on outside of lane.  If two people, have one idle away from the landing then do a touch-and-go pickup after your vehicle is parked)
  • Not knowing how to back a trailer down (this can be learned in an empty parking lot.  Most people try to make too big of a correction with the wheel, in my observation)

Just think to yourself, what can I do to make sure I’m in and out of the landing lane in the absolute minimum amount of time?  This will help immensely!

What are your thoughts on things people can do to make things more efficient at the landing?

2 comments

  1. Drew says:

    I used to go at night and practice until it became where I could do it myself efficiently … then when I had another able body it only would go better

  2. Ray says:

    Yes! If I might expand on the ‘Make Ready”. Things to think about:
    1. Is the boat plug in?
    2. Did I take the boat straps off
    3. Did I put slack in the winch strap
    4. Take the pigtail for your trailer light out and out it in your vehicle(they will get stolen)
    All of this is accomplished before you approach the launch/recovery lane.

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