Most boat ramps are designed to be used by motorboats towed by a vehicle, and as a result the normal process used by motor boatists doesn't easily apply to paddlers. And an unfortunate fact is that many paddlers often overlook all of the rules of courtesy rather than just the ones that don't make sense for them to follow. Here are some guidelines to help everything run smoothly, and these apply both to putting in and taking out:
- Do not use the boat ramp as a staging area: It's common to see a paddler uload their boat, then start rummaging through their car to find all of the gear they need. It's better to unload your boat, park, then carry the gear you need to your boat.
- Launch quickly: It's quite common for paddlers to stand on the boat ramp with their boat and gear blocking access to the ramp while waiting for the rest of the group to get ready. Keep you, your boat, and gear off the ramp until you're ready to launch.
- Do not leave equipment unattended blocking the boat ramp: When unloading your boat and parking, do not leave your boat or other gear on the boat ramp. Set it to the side of the ramp out of the way for everyone else.
- Carry your boat to the ramp if possible: You can reduce traffic on the boat ramp by carrying your boat down. And since kayaks usually don't need much space to launch, you can generally avoid waiting in line.
- Avoid using the boat ramp durring busy times if possible: Most boat ramps have other places nearby that are also suitable for launching and taking out kayaks. Such as a dock, or a bank right next to the boat ramp.
- Dot not cut in line when taking out: It's not always obvious that there's a line to take out. If you see a vehicle with an empty trailer backing down the boat ramp, a motorboat behind you has already been waiting for a while, so stay out of their way.