Whether you have launched a boat or just like to pull up your lawn chair and cooler as a spectator, any boat ramp in America is the source of some of the most mind numbing humor a human can take. Literally. You’ll see it all. Grizzly veterans with Bass Pro Shop sponsorships, Thurston Howell the Third, bikinis both good and bad, everyman just trying to relax or catch dinner, gazillionaire gear heads, Disneyland water toys, penis extention exhibitionists, gomers, and junk collectors.
Mix this character list with all kinds of expensive and not so expensive equipment, potentially lethal doses of PBR & gasoline, and the rush to launch and retrieve said heavy equipment on a peak July 4th or Labor Day Saturday morning on a small boat ramp - and you got yourself an explosive situation. If you haven’t experienced this, just type in “Boat Ramp Humor/Disaster/Comedy” on YouTube. Think I'm kidding?
Even the most knowledgeable tow rig operators and boaters stress in frenzied anticipation of getting one’s rig launched quickly and without damage amongst the lower gene pools, rookies, and drunks that congregate at the boat ramp. Meanwhile, minutes and hours tick by as the boneheads struggle to get their sheit together and get outta your way with the pressure of everyone watching. Moreover, the kids/girlfriend/wife/outlaws are yelling at you to get moving, the fish are jumping, the water is like glass for that slalom run, or the weather is threatening. Next thing you know your blood pressure has topped out, boat ramp rage has set in, and you could make diamonds with your sphincter. It’s gonna be a great weekend on the water.
Tip: Tow rigs are a highly effective way to gain an edge in all the madness. Those who try to tow their boats with a Prius or a rear-wheel drive compact are doomed. You’d be better off just driving your vehicle into the lake at full speed , or unhitching a 5k pound boat and trailer at 75 MPH on a crowded highway. Just stay home. Some folks effectively deploy Mad Max style beaters for towing under the theory that who cares if anything gets demolished? Others gear up to have the most powerful, largest, highest 4WD vehicles so as to avoid getting stuck, swamped, or hydrolocked on a snot slick concrete ramp covered in algae.
Though it was at the lower end of my priority list prior to purchase, the WK2 Hemi looked to have the tow rig category nailed: power, traction, adjustable height, rear view camera, solid hitch and wiring, and maneuverability with a trailer. Sure enough, the WK2 can engage the trailer hitch in one swift reverse move thanks to the camera (the crowd will go wild with applause at this magical move). Despite its moderate size relative to the F250 dualies, the WK2 also has enough height to avoid plunging to entire rear half of the rig into the water to get the boat in and out.
Sure enough, it’s so damn easy to launch and retrieve with the WK2, I even started letting the wife pull the boat out upon retrieval once all was secured on the trailer. No sweat, it’s just a strait pull out of the lake up to the parking area. She handles it with ease now, and I can even stay in the boat catching admiring glances from the peanut gallery. That’s one thing you can’t buy, a wife that can drive the tow rig.
Then on one particularly crowded Saturday night after sunset, with a ramp overstuffed with all forms of cretins and rednecks, and a small armada of boats waiting in line to get to the ramp, I was faced with the common dilemma of either: (1) creating a small riot by having to temporarily dock the boat myself, run up the ramp to the parking area to retrieve the tow rig and trailer, back her down the ramp, load the boat, and then get back out to clear the rig away from the mob, or (2) let the wife go get the WK2 and back it down the ramp.
Nice choice, eh? So what’s a guy to do - either face the torches and pitch forks, or risk destruction?
How stoopid do you think I am? NFW, I’d ever risk my lovely wife, the WK2 or the ski boat that way. The hillbillies will have to wait and watch in shock and awe as the WK2 Hemi snatches the Good Ship Moose outta the lake like a minnow.
Fifth in a Series of WK2 Vignettes. Characters and storylines may or may not resemble real life situations. Wherever possible, names have been changed to protect the innocent.
I have been boating and racing boats most of my life and agree with Moose. Finally bought a place on the lake with my own dock so I only have to deal with the ramp twice a season, to put the boat in and take it out. Wouldn't own one anymore if I had to do the ramp routine every time I wanted to use it!
Our local ramp is quite steep and has a bit of a turn to it at the bottom. We have a restaurant/bar at the top of the ramp, which is a great place to watch the goings-on. I've enjoyed many a snicker. A friend even watched a newbie release his entire trailer with the boat still attached into the lake, pull the truck out, and then go driving off in the boat with the trailer still beneath it! I guess it didn't plane too well! Sorry I missed that one.
I keep mine in the lift all summer but it is incredibly comical to see people both put in and take out their boats for the season. The best shows are people who rented sea-doos and made the poor decision to tow them to the ramp themselves with the car they've never towed behind.