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How’s your boat ramps and lakes ,crowd wise ?


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So I’ve been going out in boats since I was born in ‘59 ,parents had a cottage till my late 20s and I’ve towed a boat every year since . I would have sold my old tub this year , but our youngest in Buffalo wants to come back and use it this year . Well the state ramp on the Bay ( which I don’t use ) had like a two hour wait last weekend, with many new boaters, who don’t know to remove canvas and load it at home not on the ramp ..... Marinas added slips and have waiting lists, all of which tells me I don’t want to even go out on a week end, I’ve actually never have  gone on weekends , for the most part , and when I did it was early to ski and off by noon .

Whats it like where you boat ? I realize many here fish and I’m guessing that at 5:30AM it’s not to bad , but mid day week ends it sounds bad . I’d consider not going to Irondequoit Bay ( 5 minutes away) to Canandaigua or another close finger lake, in hopes they’re not as bad .

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last weekend after 10:30-11;00 the launches were a mess on Oneida.  There is one I go to that isnt too bad but its real shallow for larger boats and is mostly fisherman.  But the launch in town was crazy busy with jet boats, pontoon boats in the afternoon.  Our saying here is "Fisherman off the lake by 10:30" .  cause it gets so busy and honestly not only the launch but boat traffic, jet skis etc.  I generally launch at first light and off by 10:30 then the second shift of speed boaters and jet skis can have the lake.  But thats for an old fisherman that gets up early anyway.  If pleasure boaters go out later theres no real way to miss it all unless you have a boat dock/private launch of your own.  I dont enjoy the afternoon fishing except in early or late season or on weekdays before July 4th. 

although sitting at the launch could be entertaining. lol  

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Same here Rob, for me it was off before noon, I’d try to hit the ramp 11 ish to take out .But now with so many more boaters I’m trying to gage if I even want to try that.

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We tried getting out last Sunday about 10:30 am at the Hemlock lake north launch as the south launch is unusable due to low water level.

Well, parking ran down the road for 7/10 of a mile and the launch was a circus with people trying to get out and get in at the same time. Normally not an issue as it's a wide area, but tow vehicles were getting squirrely trying to navigate around each other and with folks who parked at the end of the line, it was a 10 minute wait at least for people beaching their boat and then the long walk to the car. Plus there were a couple guys cranking their tempers up. We went over to Canadice and it was close to the same thing.

We just wanted to get out for a couple of hours for some quick fishing and I wound up saying screw it and went home as I didn't want to deal with the crowd. We wound up walking over to the neighbor's pond and had some fun and a couple of cold ones. I caught about 50 dinks and my wife was catching catfish. So at least we got our couple of hours in, but the little boat stayed dry.

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More and more, state boat launches are a nightmare, and I try to avoid them when possible. I will gladly pay more to launch at a smaller, less crowded marina or private place. Just too much of people who have no clue to boating etiquette, or even basic knowledge of how to back a trailer. It only takes one numbskull to tie up an entire launch for half an hour, making the line behind them longer, and more frustrated! Funny how during a tournament, 40 boats can be launched in half an hour!!! Also, I prefer very early in the morning times, and off the water before the "crowd" hits. Along with going mid week fishing, whenever I can swing it. 

I have at times tried to help people at the launch. Usually new boat owners, or women trying to take the kids out by themselves. Just to help keep the line moving! A favorite tip I give for backing a trailer is... "Put your hand on the bottom of the steering wheel.... Move your hand in the direction you want the trailer to go"!! SIMPLE!

Other tips......

Take a boating course if you are new to boating to learn the rules. Also about boat launch etiquette.

Is the plug in???(don't laugh, this is important! Captains sole responsibility here!) Is the motor ready to start/primed??? 

Have the boat loaded with everything you will need, and ready to go, before moving to the launch. 

Have the boat unstrapped, except for only the winch strap before moving to the launch. 

Keep a long rope tied to the boat, and pull it off to the side, out of the way after launching. Reverse this when loading. 

When possible with two people, after launching start the motor and SLOWLY move out of the launch and circle, until your partner comes back from parking the trailer. Then SLOWLY move back in, and pick him or her up. Teaching your significant other, or a buddy how to back and park the trailer, or to load the boat, is well worth the effort!!!

As hard as it is, try to keep patient and help when you can. This "may" speed up the process, but many times not. Too many take exception to someone just trying to help!

For some really good free entertainment, just go to any state boat launch around noontime on a weekend, to just sit and watch!!! 

 

 

 

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I pay $25 bucks to launch at a private marina. Never a line and if there is it moves fast. If you don't know what you are doing, they flat out tell you not to come back.  That $25 bucks is worth every penny too not start and end the day annoyed. 

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No simple solution. Wonder if it is even feasible for the state to buy extra property next to and build an extra boat ramp next to an existing boat ramp and designate one ramp for entering and one for exiting. I have never owned/ trailered or put in a boat, so what do I know. Just a thought.

NYS seems to want people to stick around the state and do things, but maybe they are not as committed to the people who try to use the outdoors, through hunting/fishing, etc.  State can find money for other things, like the Lucy building/comedy building in Jamestown, but not so much for leisure activities, such as boating, fishing, etc...nothing against Lucy, but...C'mon man!

 

 

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32 minutes ago, ApexerER said:

I pay $25 bucks to launch at a private marina. Never a line and if there is it moves fast. If you don't know what you are doing, they flat out tell you not to come back.  That $25 bucks is worth every penny too not start and end the day annoyed. 

$25 for each time?

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I pay ten at a single ramp at a marina , ( leaving now ) once the state ramp across the outlet opened It freed up the marina , as parking there is very limited .

My concern  is not the ramp as much as the boat traffic ,our daughter will be pretty much limited to weekends on a crowded bay full of newbies like her . Sure she’s gone out with me since she was born , and “ driven “ the boat on week days with no traffic , or giant wakes , or had to take it into the ramp more then a couple times with me .

I see no joy in this .

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54 minutes ago, Merlot said:

No simple solution. Wonder if it is even feasible for the state to buy extra property next to and build an extra boat ramp next to an existing boat ramp and designate one ramp for entering and one for exiting. I have never owned/ trailered or put in a boat, so what do I know. Just a thought.

NYS seems to want people to stick around the state and do things, but maybe they are not as committed to the people who try to use the outdoors, through hunting/fishing, etc.  State can find money for other things, like the Lucy building/comedy building in Jamestown, but not so much for leisure activities, such as boating, fishing, etc...nothing against Lucy, but...C'mon man!

 

 

The launch in the Buffalo small boat harbor is a thing of beauty. All redone, several ramps for in and out, fish cleaning station etc. And I think its still $8?

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37 minutes ago, Nomad said:

I pay ten at a single ramp at a marina , ( leaving now ) once the state ramp across the outlet opened It freed up the marina , as parking there is very limited .

My concern  is not the ramp as much as the boat traffic ,our daughter will be pretty much limited to weekends on a crowded bay full of newbies like her . Sure she’s gone out with me since she was born , and “ driven “ the boat on week days with no traffic , or giant wakes , or had to take it into the ramp more then a couple times with me .

I see no joy in this .

The online boat course may really help her Larry. Lots of things in there to help a new boater keep safe. 

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27 minutes ago, The_Real_TCIII said:

The launch in the Buffalo small boat harbor is a thing of beauty. All redone, several ramps for in and out, fish cleaning station etc. And I think its still $8?

I saw on the news yesterday, that they are closing it down on opening weekend of bass / fathers day this year to make more parking available for the Air Show.

Many fishermen are pretty upset about that.  2 cars at $ 40 each for a parking space trumps the $ 8 they get for a truck and boat trailer.  

Edited by wolc123
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1 hour ago, Steuben Jerry said:

$25 for each time?

Yup, every launch is $25.  I look at it this way. I can spend an hour plus and get super annoyed at the public launch or pay the $25 and have the boat in the water in less than 2 minutes. If i kept my boat at the Marina it would cost me $3000 for the season. To me its a no brainer and i gladly pay it. It was $20 till last year.......

If i decide to spend the night on the lake. My truck and trailer isn't in a public lot all night either.

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Sounds like for some people who only go out a handful of times, it would be easier/cheaper to just sell your boat and rent one each time you go out with some friends and split the cost. I think locally its $500-$600 for the day and 8-12 people. 

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10 minutes ago, ApexerER said:

Yup, every launch is $25.  I look at it this way. I can spend an hour plus and get super annoyed at the public launch or pay the $25 and have the boat in the water in less than 2 minutes. If i kept my boat at the Marina it would cost me $3000 for the season. To me its a no brainer and i gladly pay it. It was $20 till last year.......

If i decide to spend the night on the lake. My truck and trailer isn't in a public lot all night either.

It's a no brainer to go to South Shore Marina on Saratoga Lake, and pay a bit more. As opposed to using the state launch which is always a nightmare!!! SSM is a breeze to put in and take out! Worth every penny extra! Same is true for most all popular lakes. Pay more.....stress less.

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My sister is going in on a boat with a friend. Some old beat up thing that I'm sure they will regret purchasing. Neither one has ever owned a boat. Neither one has ever backed up a trailer before. They work Monday-Friday, 9-5 jobs and are not morning people so they will be launching the boat during the weekend choas. I tried to talk her out of it but she insisted. I told her the least that she can do for me is let me know when and where they plan on launching for the first time so I can show up with a lawn chair and a cooler full of beer to watch. 

P.S. they do at least have the common sense to take the boating course to at least learn a little bit about what they are getting into. 

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42 minutes ago, wolc123 said:

I saw on the news yesterday, that they are closing it down on opening weekend of bass / fathers day this year to make more parking available for the Air Show.

Many fishermen are pretty upset about that.  2 cars at $ 40 each for a parking space trumps the $ 8 they get for a truck and boat trailer.  

That is outrageous! Sportsman get crapped on every turn in this state

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30 minutes ago, Moho81 said:

I told her the least that she can do for me is let me know when and where they plan on launching for the first time so I can show up with a lawn chair and a cooler full of beer to watch. 

Charlie Berens video, worth a view for some chuckles.

5 Stages of Launching a Boat - YouTube

Edited by Steuben Jerry
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1 hour ago, grampy said:

The online boat course may really help her Larry. Lots of things in there to help a new boater keep safe. 

Ya my buddy who’s been on the Marine Unit of the Sheriffs dept. for idk 35 years ? taught my other daughters class many moons ago  . He even drove her to the class . This one wants to take it as well .

Just got back from an hour cruise, first since the carbs were rebuilt, that 1985 Johnson ran like a SOB ! The ramp I had to drop the trailer wheels off the sharp drop down, but my Subaru’s 4 wheels were on dry pavement , so no issues . Actually better then with high water when my tailpipe is under water and my wheels are well into the water and loose traction .

So boat seems ok but it’s a ‘64 and you never know ! Still think the weekends will just be a dangerous zoo, heck now there’s powerboats, Jetskis , kayaks, sailboats ,wind and chop .

This marina has day slips for a few bucks I may end up launching early and getting a slip ,so she can just hop on later in the day , then pull it out prior to dark I guess .

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1 hour ago, Biz-R-OWorld said:

Sounds like for some people who only go out a handful of times, it would be easier/cheaper to just sell your boat and rent one each time you go out with some friends and split the cost. I think locally its $500-$600 for the day and 8-12 people. 

There also,boat clubs cheapest for her is 4K for 20 times ,just show up hop in and go . She’d never use it anywhere near that though . Day rental for her May work out for a handful of times, except her friends dont have much $$$ to chip in .

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2 hours ago, The_Real_TCIII said:

The launch in the Buffalo small boat harbor is a thing of beauty. All redone, several ramps for in and out, fish cleaning station etc. And I think its still $8?

it sure is. All those boats in there and no wait at all.  the fish cleaning station is amazing.  

I pay $150 a year for unlimited launches and its good for 2 different Marinas.  So its not a bad deal.  

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Posted (edited)

I used to be a pro backer . Here’s the ramp,I use , I could back out of the parking spot, right into the ramp with no corrections fast and straight .

Now I have issues , oh not to bad but no longer one smooth motion . I can’t turn to see as well and can’t always see the damn trailer from the new car/ truck . Oh I’m still better then you guys though ! 

EEB8F07C-41B6-4174-A4CD-0AC8C9D332A7.jpeg

Edited by Nomad
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