One Sea Tow member, Randall, recently reached out to tell us about his recent fiasco at his local boat ramp. He wanted to share it as a learning experience with his fellow members far and wide.
Randall and his family were finishing up a fun day of jet skiing on their local waterway. Upon returning to the ramp, he and his son-in-law were loading the jet skis back onto the trailer when peril struck.
With constantly changing conditions – whether it’s the weather, water current, or something else – no two boating excursions are identical. The same can be said for loading and unloading at the boat ramp. Randall approached the ramp, got out of the vehicle with the engine off and emergency brake set – however, it was low tide. The ramp was wet and the algae that had accumulated throughout the summer made the surface extremely slippery. Long story short, the truck had slid into the water.
In light of the situation, Randall wanted to share a few tips to help boaters who might find themselves in a situation similar to his.
- Before backing down a ramp, note where the algae begins and attempt to keep your vehicle off this area. You may not have the traction to recover your boat and trailer with the extra weight. It may be necessary to wait until a higher tide, use a different lane of the ramp, or use a different ramp altogether.
- Have a buddy help you load up so that someone is readily available to react if things don’t go according to plan.
- Wheel chocks are a great tool to prevent any sort of sliding, but only if they are used against the wheels that are NOT on algae.
- Take the time to load and unload your boat the right way. Don’t become preoccupied with busy ramps or rushing to get home. Give yourself plenty of time and space.
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