Navigating Icy Boat Ramps

February 7, 2019

Ross-Boat

Early and late season fishing can be very productive, but extra caution needs to be taken when both launching and loading your boat.

  • 4x4’s are great, four wheel drive makes all the difference in the world as your vehicle struggles to get up and down the ramp. A rear wheeled truck with a light or empty bed is almost as useless as a car under these circumstances.

  • When conditions are such that problems are almost imminent, keeping another vehicle in line at the top of the ramp can keep a truck from going in. Almost like having a tow truck ready. Having an anchor line hooked to one vehicle, ready to be hooked to the other in trouble is key. This is common practice for duck hunters.

  • An eight foot section of chain link fence is easy and cheap to keep rolled up in the back of one’s truck. It can quickly and easily be unrolled to provide grip for slipping tires. Best part being that it is reusable.

  • When backing in make sure to not unhook the bow eye strap until the boat is in the water. Additionally make sure to submerge the trailer, as bunk carpeting can become frozen to the hull bottom, ripping it right from the trailer. Submerging the trailer will de-ice it just enough to eliminate potential issues.

  • Perhaps the most commonly used tactic to combat icy ramps is rock salt. I have seen several rigs go in that were using rock salt due to not enough being used. Being generous with the salt is critical.

  • GO SLOW: Much like driving the roads under icy conditions, going slow allows you to react to problems before it's too late.
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