143035_DBW Course_r3

Chapter 3 X Vessel Operation

Launching your boat: ƒ Check the ramp to make sure that it’s clear.


Help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species 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 ecosystem. Remove all aquatic plants and drain water from your boat and trailer when you pull your boat out of the water . Aquatic invasive species in California include plants such as the: • Water hyacinth • Hydrilla • Egeria densa • Zebra and quagga mussels • Amur River clam

ƒ 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 too quickly and may cause damage. ƒ If the ramp has room for more than one boat, back straight down on one side of the ramp to leave space for other boats. ƒ 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. ƒ Once the boat is off the trailer, you can remove the winch cable. ƒ 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 is clear. ƒ 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: ƒ 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, and secure the bow tiedown to the trailer. ƒ Raise and secure the outboard or inboard/outboard engine. ƒ Drive up the ramp in low or first gear. If the drive wheels spin, add weight over the drive axle and try again. ƒ Take the boat to the staging area and remove the drain plug. ƒ Inspect your boat and remove aquatic plants or animals before you leave the ramp area or take-out point. ƒ Use your tie downs to secure the boat to the trailer. ƒ Plug in trailer lights and check to see if they work. ƒ Check the tongue, hitch, safety chains, and other parts, as you did before.

• Chinese mitten crab • European green crab • New Zealand mud snail

WEBSITE For more information about aquatic invasive species, visit dbw.parks.ca.gov/StopQZ


California Course for Safe Boating

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