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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The jet ski/tower boat thread got me thinking of this little thing I wrote a while back. It's actually an expanded version of a post I wrote on here a few years back. It's been submitted and rejected by every outdoor and boating magazine in existence, so there's no sense letting it languish on my flash drive. Here it is. Let me know if it's good, funny, sucks, or whatever:

Boat Ramp Champs

This weekend I launched my skiff at a crowded urban ramp, rather than at the quieter nature coast ramps I’m used to. While stressful, the experience gave me an opportunity to observe some of our local Florida boat ramp inhabitants in their natural habitat. Read along and see if any of these are familiar to you.

First, we have Pontoon Paul. Pontoon Paul has no concept of a make ready lane. He backs his pontoon boat right down to the water, where he proceeds to start loading the boat. Coolers, life jackets (optional), pool noodles, beer and sometimes a barbeque grill all go aboard right there at the ramp. While Paul is working on this task, his entire 15 person party begins to pile out of the van. As soon as you think they’re all out, another one appears. The process is reminiscent of clowns exiting a Volkswagen at your local circus. Once the entire crew has cleared the van, they aimlessly mill about the area while Paul continues his preparations.

At some point, Paul has finally stowed the kitchen sink in his boat and is ready to go. He manages to get it launched with the help of two or three members of his group shouting contradictory instructions at him from the dock. Now that it’s safely in the water, Paul moors as close to the ramp as he can using no less than five tangled lines. The idea that someone else would like to launch after him never crosses his mind. His crew begins to board and spends ten minutes playing a loud and argumentative game of musical chairs while Paul attempts to fire up his outboard which was last started the previous September.

It is at this point that we meet Tower Boat Tommy. Tommy roars into the boat basin in his sweet new bay boat with custom tower, hull wrap and maximum rated horsepower. His skeg still carries bits of grass and manatee hide from his full throttle forays across the flats. Tommy’s on board sound system is killer; the thumping beats of the latest top 40 country song carry across the water, turning this small community park into a first rate concert venue. Tommy skillfully eases up to the courtesy dock to drop off his partner and then circles while said partner retrieves the tow vehicle. His buddy soon returns with their custom lifted ¾ ton 4x4 pickup with gleaming 24 inch chrome rims, trailer in tow. Once the trailer is at proper depth, Tommy takes careful aim and hammers the throttle while executing a magnificent power load. Why else would one have a 350 horsepower outboard if not to do this? Tommy throws a ten foot rooster tail of sediment and creates a large, tsunami-like wake which races across the boat basin. Within moments the wake crashes full force into Pontoon Paul, throwing roughly half of his crew to the deck. Paul, still trying to coax his outboard to life, barely notices.

As the first round of excitement winds down, Jet Ski Joey makes his appearance. The experienced eye will always be able to pick up on the signs of his presence. You will initially notice the BMW coupe towing a twin jet ski trailer in the parking lot. Moving to the water’s edge, one observes a thin film of hair gel floating on the water like a small oil slick. When these signs are present, Jet Ski Joey can’t be far behind. As he eases into the boat basin, we are initially blinded by the gleam from his gold chain necklace, which is heavy enough to completely negate the buoyancy provided by his PFD. After doing a few gnarly 360’s for any babes who might be watching from the shore, Joey decides to head to the dock. Unfortunately, Joey forgets that his craft loses steerage when he comes off the throttle and he hits Pontoon Paul in the stern with a solid thud just as Paul was coaxing that old outboard to life. Tempers flare on both sides, but Joey quickly realizes he is outnumbered and makes a tactical retreat. Paul finally manages to start his outboard and the party eases away in a cloud of blue smoke.

With Pontoon Paul gone, our old friend Snowbird Saul takes center stage. Saul makes a bold fashion statement in his seven inch inseam shorts, and sandals with navy dress socks. The Sanibel Island logo hat acquired at a beach shop is optional. Saul starts by moseying up to the fish cleaning table where he asks what each fish is, then loudly proclaims to anyone who will listen that the ol’ Smallie fights harder than any of these fancy Florida fish. When no one seems very interested in his gems of wisdom Saul and his wife make their way to the first available courtesy dock. They are able to take up the entire dock for five minutes while they film a brown pelican sitting on a piling. A budding David Attenborough, Saul dramatically narrates the video as the pelican preens itself and takes a massive dump on the dock. I’m sure the grandkids back in Jersey will be riveted.

When all was said and done, I finally managed to get my skiff launched without any damage, heart attacks or fist fights. Rather than getting angry or frustrated, I just had to laugh, enjoy the free entertainment and be thankful that I usually launch before sunrise on practically deserted nature coast ramps.
 

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OMG, sounds like my every weekend.

You forgot Kayaker Kyle who shows up with a kayak so large that it must be unloaded right on the ramp. So Kayaker Kyle backs his Toyota Tacoma with custom kayak rack right down the ramp where he first unloads and assembles the cart that is required to get the kayak to water's edge. Then he huffs and heaves to get the kayak on the cart where he then proceeds to unload bait buckets, fishing rods, a battery and trolling motor into the kayak, somehow taking up more than a single lane of the boat ramp.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
OMG, sounds like my every weekend.

You forgot Kayaker Kyle who shows up with a kayak so large that it must be unloaded right on the ramp. So Kayaker Kyle backs his Toyota Tacoma with custom kayak rack right down the ramp where he first unloads and assembles the cart that is required to get the kayak to water's edge. Then he huffs and heaves to get the kayak on the cart where he then proceeds to unload bait buckets, fishing rods, a battery and trolling motor into the kayak, somehow taking up more than a single lane of the boat ramp.
Truth!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
You forgot about Jon boat Jon rolling in after his 18 pack of bush light. Falling down trying to get out of the boat on on to the dock.
I've seen him in person at Steinhatchee. He's named Melvin, definitely has an alcohol problem and definitely has the trout in the suicide hole dialed in.
 

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Wake boat Warren pulls up with his Ferrari orange and chrome Nautique after an interesting afternoon. He’s so busy playing grabass and drinking that he forgets he’s in a craft that drafts 36” on plane but he decides to follow a skiff out of the channel and over a foot deep grass flat...thank God for the local airboat that charges $800 to jerk jerkoffs off the flats with his hundred foot snatch strap but one of the five playboy fine drunk bimbos is missing...probably somewhere up in the mangroves with a broken neck after being tossed out from the abrupt stop. Good thing he has four more to spare!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Wake boat Warren pulls up with his Ferrari orange and chrome Nautique after an interesting afternoon. He’s so busy playing grabass and drinking that he forgets he’s in a craft that drafts 36” on plane but he decides to follow a skiff out of the channel and over a foot deep grass flat...thank God for the local airboat that charges $800 to jerk jerkoffs off the flats with his hundred foot snatch strap but one of the five playboy fine drunk bimbos is missing...probably somewhere up in the mangroves with a broken neck after being tossed out from the abrupt stop. Good thing he has four more to spare!
I lost it at "chrome and orange Nautique"!
 

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Wake boat Warren pulls up with his Ferrari orange and chrome Nautique after an interesting afternoon. He’s so busy playing grabass and drinking that he forgets he’s in a craft that drafts 36” on plane but he decides to follow a skiff out of the channel and over a foot deep grass flat...thank God for the local airboat that charges $800 to jerk jerkoffs off the flats with his hundred foot snatch strap but one of the five playboy fine drunk bimbos is missing...probably somewhere up in the mangroves with a broken neck after being tossed out from the abrupt stop. Good thing he has four more to spare!
He is the one driving a matching F250 with 7" of lift, 26" chrome wheels, and mud tires that double as rubber bands around the wheels right?
 

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Wake boat Warren pulls up with his Ferrari orange and chrome Nautique after an interesting afternoon. He’s so busy playing grabass and drinking that he forgets he’s in a craft that drafts 36” on plane but he decides to follow a skiff out of the channel and over a foot deep grass flat...thank God for the local airboat that charges $800 to jerk jerkoffs off the flats with his hundred foot snatch strap but one of the five playboy fine drunk bimbos is missing...probably somewhere up in the mangroves with a broken neck after being tossed out from the abrupt stop. Good thing he has four more to spare!
Also you forgot he will be down to two bimbos by the time they get back to the ramp because one will be passed out and the other puking over the side giving that orange gel coat a nice new brownish green hue.
 

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Don't forget Bow Rider Bill and his 8 friends! He'll probably ask for a jump and some tools to get his boat started after not running for at least 6 months.

My favorite is Off-shore chad, one of his 5 outboards cost more than my whole boat combined.
 

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Don't forget Bow Rider Bill and his 8 friends! He'll probably ask for a jump and some tools to get his boat started after not running for at least 6 months.

My favorite is Off-shore chad, one of his 5 outboards cost more than my whole boat combined.
I told Somali he needs to start a thread on this so we can all post up characters with their profiles and shenanigans for the day based on real life experiences. It could be the next Netflix movie.
 

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We all are forgetting about Bass Boat Bob. Bob never gets in anyones way at the ramp but don't get between him and his next fishing hole. Has all the latest gear and electronics including one flush mount 16" unit and one more mounted off to the side incase he needs a second opinion along with a 12" or 16" unit at the bow, a rod for every lure he owns cause who want to tie lures on while you are fishing, and a boat that rivals stock car racing with both appearance and speed.
 
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