Before entering the active ramp, there are actions you can take to make launching more convenient for you and others in line. Most launch facilities have areas where you can pull over and out of the traffic to disconnect transom tie-downs, remove the boat cover and transom saver and install the drain plug.
While at the staging area, pack into the boat any items that need unloading from the tow vehicle. Coolers, watersports gear and everything needed for the day should be loaded up. This includes all safety gear, e.g., personal flotation devices. Now is also the time for everyone to use the restroom facilities before arriving in the active launch lanes.
Before you back down the ramp, have everyone leave the vehicle and lower the window of the tow vehicle. In the event it goes into the water you will be able to escape through the windows. This is the one time when it’s okay to remove your seat belt should you need to take that step.
Drive to the top of the ramp to align the boat trailer and vehicle in a straight line.
Look out for anything blocking the lane between you and the end of the ramp at the lake. Begin backing down the ramp if the view is clear.
Drive back up the ramp if the trailer jackknifes or becomes difficult to straighten. It’s much easier than trying to adjust nearer the water.
When you reach the water, but before the boat is wet, put the vehicle in park, set the parking brake, get out and remove the winch strap and hook from the bow eye. Have someone on your crew hold docklines that are attached to the bow and stern. Make sure the lines are long enough—at least two boat lengths—so the boat can float off the trailer and be pulled to shore or the courtesy dock. If you have someone with you to drive the boat over to the courtesy dock, the line is not necessary.
Move the boat to the end of the courtesy dock and if possible, on the opposite side from the ramp.
With the boat safely off the trailer, you can park your vehicle in a designated area that is reserved for boat trailers. Raise windows, hide valuables and lock doors.