IF THE RAMP IS STEEP, ENSURE SOMEONE “SPOTS” FOR YOU AS YOU DRIVE UP THE RAMP. BE AWARE OF PEDESTRIANS AND OTHER BOATS.
Proper etiquette: Unload fuel and equipment away from the ramp, if possible. Prepare vehicle and trailer for retrieval, and wait your turn.
Back the trailer into the water until two-thirds of the bunks or rollers are submerged. (Make sure the towing vehicles’ wheels stay out of the water, if possible.)
Attach a bow line to steady the retrieval.
Maneuver the boat close to, or drive it onto, the trailer and attach the winch line.
Shut off the engine, and trim or raise the outboard or stern drive.
Pull the boat completely onto the trailer by cranking the winch line. Stay out of the direct path of the winch line, in case it should break.
After retrieving the boat, pull the trailer out of the water and well away from the boat ramp, out of the way of others.
Begin your preparation for the road once more, remembering to remove the drain plug and pump or drain any water out of the bilge first, and drain the live wells or bait wells, if applicable.
Be sure to rinse off any aquatic nuisance species if present before you leave the water way.