A Course for Safe Boating
Launching your boat:
Check the ramp to make sure that it’s clear.
Back the vehicle and boat down the ramp until the boat begins to float. If
you do not back down the ramp far enough, the boat will be hard to get off
the trailer when you are ready to leave. If you back down the ramp too far,
the boat will float off the trailer and might get in someone’s way or hit the
dock and be damaged.
If the ramp has room for more than one boat, back straight down on one
side of the ramp. This will make it possible for others to launch or recover
their boats at the same time.
Do not start the engine until the boat is in the water, because engines that
are supposed to be cooled by circulating water may be damaged.
Once the boat is off the trailer, you can remove the winch cable.
Quickly move the boat out of the launching area using the engine or the
tag line. Take the vehicle and trailer to the parking area so that the ramp
If you must leave the car while on the ramp, set the parking brake and put
blocks under the wheels. If you have a manual (stick shift) transmission,
turn off the engine and put the car in low or first gear.
Pulling your boat out of the water:
Back the trailer down the ramp so that the trailer is partially under water
and you attach the winch cable to your boat. Pull the boat up using the
winch so that the bow of the boat contacts the bow rest. Carefully center
the boat on the trailer so that it rests on the cradles evenly.
Raise and secure the outboard or inboard/outboard engine.
Drive up the ramp in low or first gear. If the drive wheels spin, add weight
over the drive axle and try again.
Take the boat to the staging area and remove the drain plug.
Use your tie downs to secure the boat to the trailer.
Plug in trailer lights and check to see if they work.
Check the tongue, hitch, safety chains, and other parts, as you did before.
Help prevent the spread of aquatic
invasive species and plants that cause
a nuisance in California waters. Boats
that are not properly cleaned, drained
or dried can transport species to
a place where they’re not native,
and can cause problems for native
organisms and upset the natural
Remove all aquatic
plants and drain water from
your boat and trailer when you
pull your boat out of the water
Aquatic invasive species and plants
in California include water hyacinth,
hydrilla, Egeria densa, zebra and
quagga mussels, Amur River clam,
Chinese mitten crab, European green
crab and the New Zealand sea slug.
For more information about aquatic
invasive species, visitwww.dbw.ca.gov/
REPORT MUSSEL FINDS TO 866-440-9530
LOOK FOR MUSSELS HERE
CHECK YOUR BOAT, TRAILER AND VEHICLE
DON’T MOVE A MUSSEL!
When leaving the water:
all exposed surfaces - small mussels feel like
sandpaper to the touch.
the hull of each watercraft
all plants and nimal
all water and
of all bait in the trash.
5 days in hot weather and up to 30 days
when cool and moist. Keep watercraft dry
between launches into different fresh waters.
Mussels will ruin your boat,
fisheries and California waters!
Smartphone scan for more information.