Get off a Slippery Boat Ramp

Have you ever gone to the lake and gotten stuck on a boat ramp because it was too slippery or your boat was making your tires spin? Read on here to learn ways you could get yourself out of that situation.


  1. Have somebody in the boat use the boat motor to help push you out. Be sure the prop will not hit anything and that the boat is well attached to the trailer. Be sure to stop the boat motor as soon as the prop leaves the water.

2WD Vehicles

  1. Get your boat off the trailer. (rarely do people have problems getting off the ramp once the boat is off the trailer.)
  2. Check to see if everything is ready for road travel, things like making sure your boat is properly locked to the trailer so it won't fall off while being towed.

For Trucks

  1. Get as much as you can into the bed of the truck for added weight over the rear wheels for better traction. People are a good help to sit in the bed right over the wheels. People have more weight than other things you'd usually have on hand.

For SUVs

  1. Again, put things right over the rear wheels if possible. SUVs already have more weight over the rear wheels because it's not just an open bed.
  2. Get in your vehicle and put it in drive while holding the brake so your vehicle won't go backwards into the lake.
  3. Slowly give the vehicle gas, still holding the brake just enough so you want roll backwards.
    • If your rear wheels start spinning try to get more weight in the back if possible.
    • If all else fails then you'll have to do a burnout to get the tires hot so they will stick to the ramp better.

Burnout on Ramp

  1. Put the car in 1st gear. On Automatic cars just put the Shift Handle all the way down to 1 or L in some cars.
    • Give it gas and hold the brake a little too so you won't slide back into the water.
    • Give enough gas to get the wheels spinning real fast but don't over rev your engine. Watch the RPM meter to make sure it doesn't redline.
    • Shortly your vehicle should start inching forward up the ramp. If you're still not moving then let off the gas and hold the brake. Then slowly give it gas trying not to burnout.
      If all this fails then you'll need to find someone that's capable of pulling you out.

4WD Vehicles

  1. Load up your boat.
  2. Make sure everything is ready for towing.
  3. Put your vehicle in 4WD. 4WDL will help too, it's a lower gear so it will help give you torque for climbing the ramp hill.
  4. Put the vehicle in drive and give it gas to get up the hill. If 4WD isn't enough, load as much as you can into the back of the vehicle for more traction and get as much weight out of the boat as you can so it will be easier to pull out.


  • Use both your feet to hit the brake and the gas when going up the ramp. If you start sliding backwards hit the brakes!
  • 4WD or AWD vehicles are GREAT for ramps, they have more traction to help get up slippery and slimy ramps.
  • Before you even go make sure you have a vehicle that can pull the boat normally. Take it for a short drive before you go on your trip to the lake, does the vehicle struggle on hills? If it does then you should get a more powerful vehicle.
  • Some vehicles are equipped with an option called "Rear Locking Differential". This locks the drive to the drive wheels so both will spin giving more traction.


  • Boat ramps made of clay/dirt. These are hard to get up a lot of times. If you are going to use a dirt ramp then get a 4WD vehicle.
  • Slimy ramps are hard to get up.
  • Don't get a big boat and then try to pull it with a light duty vehicle. A V8 or V6 is always good. Usually 4 Cylinder cars aren't enough.
  • Burnouts are sometimes hard on cars. Be careful when trying it and only use it as a last resort if all else fails.
  • Beware of rolling backwards into the lake.

Things You'll Need

  • Vehicle capable of towing.
  • Boat/Watercraft
  • Lake
  • Boat Ramp

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