Boat Launch Etiquette

Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial kickoff to summer here in Destin. People are outside enjoying the beautiful weather, soaking up some sun, and spending time with family and friends. Crab Island is always packed, but even more so during holiday weekends. The fishermen will be out as well, trying to haul in some fish to take home. Locals and visitors alike will be out on their boats enjoying everything this area has to offer. Needless to say, there is a good amount of boat traffic around the Destin area.

With the boat traffic comes the boat launch headache. Busy weekends like Memorial Day weekend are particularly hectic at the boat ramp. But it doesn’t have to be! If you’re planning to take your boat out this weekend (or anytime for that matter), here are a few tips to help your boat launching experience go smoothly.

1. Listen to the dock attendant.

Destin Marina will have a dock attendant on hand to assist you with launching your boat. And while we certainly appreciate that you know your boat very well, and that you’ve launched your boat a thousand times, every launch ramp has its own little quirks. That’s why it’s important to listen to the dock attendant’s instructions. Our dock attendants assist with a variety of boats and hundreds of boat launches in a given day, and are much more familiar with the currents, tide, and depth of the ramp (among many other things) that you may not be aware of. By listening to the attendant’s instructions, you will spend less time in the ramp, more time out on the water, and avoid potentially damaging your boat, your trailer, and the dock.

2. Have your boat ready!

This is the easiest way to get you out on your boat fast! Make sure you have everything ready on your boat before it’s your turn to launch. Make sure you have your cooler, snacks, drinks, sunglasses, sunscreen, beach towels, beach toys, fishing gear, anything you think you’ll need while you’re out on the water. And don’t forget to make sure your boat plug is in! But don’t worry…if you forgot something, we have just about everything you might need inside the marina.

3. Be patient.

As previously stated, busy weekends like Memorial Day weekend can get pretty hectic at the boat ramp. Everyone is excited and anxious to get out on the water. But understand that on a busy weekend, it may take a little longer than usual to get your boat into the water. There may be several vessels ahead of you. Destin Marina will always have a parking lot attendant on duty to let you know when it’s your turn to launch. Listen to the attendant’s instructions, have a little patience, and you will be in the boat ramp in no time. Our advice – plan ahead and get to the boat ramp early! Parking spaces fill quickly on busy weekends.

4. Once you’ve launched/loaded your boat, pull your vehicle clear of the ramp.

As soon as you’ve launched your boat and when you’ve pulled your boat out of the water at the end of the day, make sure you pull your vehicle out of the ramp to clear the way for the next person waiting to launch. This will allow for everything in the parking lot and boat ramp to continue to run smoothly.

Following these tips will ensure that you spend less time getting ready to go out on the water and more time out enjoying the water! We hope everyone has a fun, safe Memorial Day weekend.

In honor of Memorial Day, we would also like to express our sincerest gratitude for the men and women of our Armed Forces who have paid the ultimate price to give us the freedoms we have today. We will always remember your commitment and sacrifice, and we are eternally grateful.

Thank you,

Your friends at Destin Marina