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Boat ramp etiquette in Perth

Perth is spoiled for choice when it comes to locations to launch your boat or jet ski. Follow the link for a full list of boating ramps and guides. Fun fact! The South Perth boat ramp on the Swan River is reserved just for jet skis!

There are a few set rules when it comes  boat ramps, like ensuring you use the correct launch or retrieval lanes, but to avoid making enemies it is good to understand the basic boat ramp etiquette. Here are a few pointers to help you out.


Prepare your jet ski or boat before getting to the ramp

One of the easiest ways to save time at the boat ramp is to prepare your boat or jet ski as much as you can in advance. Even if it’s going to be a quiet day this is a good habit to get into anyway. Before leaving home, we recommend loading up everything you can on your vessel that won’t get damaged in transit and ensure the fluid levels are correct and the engine turns over.

When on site, pull up into the car park and prepare for the day. There are usually plenty of available spots, even Hillarys on a perfect summer’s day will have plenty of parking. Load up the rest of your possessions (life jacket, dry bag, water etc.), apply sunscreen and take off the straps or D shackles that were used to secure your vessel during transit (leave the winch attached in place). Turn the engine over again and do the final checks on bungs and securing your belongings in your car or on the ski.

Then head to the ramps to start your day and if its busy remain patient.

Stay patient and don’t rush

After you have waited your turn patiently and wished a few people g’day it is time to get ready to launch. As the launch lanes become available pull up straight while the boat before you launches, giving them time to get it right.

When you are reversing remember to take your time. Trying to reverse a trailer quickly will lead to more dramatic turns and therefore more corrections. Reversing slowly with small adjustments very often removes the need to stop and reposition yourself, which results in a quicker and smoother launch. If you do need to reposition though, pull up as straight as you can and slowly reverse again.

If you are reversing into a boat ramp with two or more lanes, be cautious of your spacing so you do not block other lanes.

If you are not confident with reversing you will very often find somebody that is willing to help if you ask.

Once your vessel is in the water move it out of the way quickly. If there are two of you, one person can move the vessel to a nearby jetty or beach to wait while the other person parks the car. If there is just one of you, tie the vessel out of the way of other users and then proceed to park your car safely.

Load with the winch and use the right lane

When it comes time to load (or retrieve) your vessel back onto its trailer, first ensure you tie up away from other users while you collect your vehicle and ensure you are using a retrieval lane.

When loading the vessel onto the trailer, use the winch to pull it on, rather than trying to drive onto the trailer. This prevents damaging your hull, or your hand slipping and hitting the forward throttle, causing an accident which could damage your boat, car, ramp or even other people.

Once you’re loaded onto your trailer with the winch secured in place, return to the car park to complete your post day checks. Reattach the D shackle and straps, take out your bungs to help drain excess water, and unload your storage compartment or dry bag. Then be on your merry way!

Things to do in Perth

If you don't have a vessel to take on the water we are here to help just head over to our jet ski hire page to see our range of jet skis.

We have also prepared some insights for days out when you hire a jet ski in Perth.
Things to do in Perth: Jet ski hire Perth Swan River
Things to do in Perth: Restaurants to Visit on Your Jet Ski
Things to do in Perth: Jet Ski Fishing