Boat Ramp Reality

BY Richard Leder

This gorgeous photograph of the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission boat ramp the busiest boat ramp in North Carolina was taken by Wrightsville Beach Magazine photographer Allison Breiner on a sunny Saturday at 11:20 a.m.; a perfect day for boating as you can see from the action in the water and the boats unloading on the ramp. As the boating season moves into full swing Wildlife Officer Fred Gorchess reminds us that there are important ramp rules and regulations in place to keep traffic moving safely across the parking lot and in and out of the water.

There are 65 spaces for vehicles with attached trailers two of which are labeled handicapped. Parking without a trailer is prohibited except in four designated spots. Follow the posted traffic pattern and don’t park in the boat ramp lot overnight with the boat still on the trailer. If the lot is full and it often is paid on-street parking is available in front of Redix.

There’s a designated lane for prepping your boat before reaching the ramp. Prepping your boat anywhere else in the lot is against the rules. And though this one seems obvious there’s always someone who doesn’t do it: Know how to back your trailer down the ramp properly before getting in line and using the ramp.

While you’re on the water make sure at least one of the passengers knows how to operate the boat in case of an emergency and all vessels must slow to a no-wake speed when passing within 100 feet of a law enforcement vessel (50 feet in a narrow channel) that is displaying a flashing blue light.

Just in case you think you won’t see any law enforcement vessels once you’re out there that’s Wildlife Officer Fred Gorchess himself in the middle of the channel.