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May 19, 2017

Boat Launch Safety Tips

With the nice weather finally here, many Cape boaters will be launching their boats this summer. As much fun as it is, there's also certain risk involved.

Boat Launch Safety Tips

Cape Cod Times reported on Wednesday, May 17, 2017, that a truck with trailer rolled into water off Barlows Landing in Bourne.

Our Marine Department head Roger Michniewicz, P.E., who has extensive experience designing boat ramps, including a new Bay Street Boat Ramp in Barnstable, explains: “Even though engineers carefully account for the tidal range, friction, and other factors that influence boat ramp performance, and put measures in place that help prevent accidents like this from happening, it's important to consider some basic safety rules when launching or pulling a boat”

Here are 3 boat launch safety tips from Roger:

  1. Check your brakes in advance. That way you have an opportunity to prevent brake failures before it's too late.
  2. Do use a handbrake if you get out of the vehicle while it's on the ramp. Even if it's a truck, it might still roll down if it's not secured properly!
  3. Consider the tidal range. This may sound obvious, but best time to launch a boat is high tide. Cape Cod tides can be checked on the Massachusetts Marine Trade Association website.

Have fun and be safe this summer!