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View Full Version : Private Launch/Ramp


Holtrodj
12-26-2006, 09:34 PM
Has anyone created their own (paved) launch? I'm considering buying a lot on a private lake, but would like the flexibility that my own ramp would allow. It's not a large lake (just big enough for a course) so I'd want to take the boat out fairly regularly to go footin', etc., on other waterways nearby. Is this as easy as droping a slab of concrete in the water or are there some complexities I'm not considering? I'm in Michigan so I'd imagine the DNR would need to approve??

Any help would be appreciated.

TMCNo1
12-26-2006, 09:46 PM
I think it will depend how much DNR is involved. If they are, they probably will require some type of permit and the construction of the slab will have to follow their specifications as far as the psi concrete required, any reinforcing rod and or welded wire mesh for strength and whether the bottom has to be graded and lined with gravel first at a specific angle and the ramp length. Some DNR's require the ramps to be poured in place when/if the water level is low enough to do so or slid into place with a bulldozers or set in place with a crane. It appears you have some serious research to do.
Our local boat ramp was redone a couple years back and it took them 5 months, working most everyday to install (2) 16' wide ramps with curbs and with a floating pier between the ramps. The easiest part was driving the pipes for the pier and setting the pier.

JohnnyB
12-26-2006, 09:59 PM
Holtrodj....let us know what you find out.

I'm hopefully going to go to look at a lake lot the weekend after new years and would be in the same predicament......

ski_king
12-26-2006, 10:26 PM
My family has leased the same piece of riverfront property for 30 some years now. When we got it there was a rough cut in the river bank that had been used for a ramp. We got a excavator to smooth out the cut and make a ramp. We then added concrete to the rivers edge, but not into the water when it at "normal" pool level. This works well in most cases as the river bottom is gravel at that point. Power loading does cause the middle to wash out somewhat, but during the winter off season it seems to fill back in.

A friend put in a ramp a few years ago and added in the water concrete by forming slabs about 2 foot wide that were tied together with cables and then he pulled them into the water for the trailer to sit on.

T Scott
12-27-2006, 12:16 AM
The ramp I use inmy subdivision is barely a ramp. It is more like a clearing in the cattails (tall lake weeds) that is wide enough to back the truck/trailer down. I usually can get the boat in/out with my 4x4 Dodge Ram 3500, but if the lake is low, it gets real mucky and the truck just sinks (in the soft mud) and I am unable to get any traction. To remedy this, it was as simple as putting down a double path of 18 inch patio stones all the way into the lake. (About 40 patio stones in all) It was all I needed to keep from sinking in the muck and has worked well for me.

Rich_G
12-27-2006, 12:57 PM
Another low tech version is to use bags of Sak-crete. Just place the bags in rows using the width of the trailer as a guide. The bags WILL SET UP underwater, and the ones above the waterline just need several good soakings.

Recess the bags into the dirt / mud as much as possible. You can also drive pieces of rebar thru the bags into the dirt to keep them from shifting (especially below the waterline). Make a bend in the rebar at the top and drive that part down flush with the bag.

Power loading should be avoided, or else you will create a big hole that everthing will crumble into.

Sodar
12-27-2006, 01:03 PM
When we poured out launch ramp, the HOA lowered the lake level for a month during the winter, so we could fix retaining walls, docks and launch ramps... About the only advice I have it to give the ramp a broom finish at least. we gave ours a broom finish on the angled portition of the ramp and left the flat slab at the top of the ramp smooth for washing and wiping the boat down in barefeet!

east tx skier
12-27-2006, 01:42 PM
When we poured out launch ramp, the HOA lowered the lake level for a month during the winter, so we could fix retaining walls, docks and launch ramps... About the only advice I have it to give the ramp a broom finish at least. we gave ours a broom finish on the angled portition of the ramp and left the flat slab at the top of the ramp smooth for washing and wiping the boat down in barefeet!

I think ideally, you'd want to creat a little dam and pump water out around the ramp so you could make it smooth and put a little tread on it with a rake or similar tool. Anything to keep the tires from spinning. Prepare to dig it out periodically if you have a silty or muddy bottom.

ski_500
12-27-2006, 02:36 PM
Check out this link.

http://www.dgif.state.va.us/boating/building-boat-ramps.asp

Doug Meeker
12-27-2006, 04:53 PM
We just put a concrete ramp in last summer. We poured in two stages. First was a 12' wide x 16' long section that was 5 - 6" thick. We poured it on dry ground. Before we poured we loosened up the dirt with a track hoe hoping that would keep the slab from sticking to the ground (I've since talked to somebody who poured on a bed of pea gravel for the same reason). Once dry, we took the bucket and pushed it into the water. I was amazed at how easy it slid. We left about 6" out of the water (dry). We then poured a second section on dry ground to complete the ramp. The first section had rebar sticking out of the "dry" end to connect the two section together. It is working perfect.

Good luck.

Sodar
12-27-2006, 05:09 PM
We just put a concrete ramp in last summer. We poured in two stages. First was a 12' wide x 16' long section that was 5 - 6" thick. We poured it on dry ground. Before we poured we loosened up the dirt with a track hoe hoping that would keep the slab from sticking to the ground (I've since talked to somebody who poured on a bed of pea gravel for the same reason). Once dry, we took the bucket and pushed it into the water. I was amazed at how easy it slid. We left about 6" out of the water (dry). We then poured a second section on dry ground to complete the ramp. The first section had rebar sticking out of the "dry" end to connect the two section together. It is working perfect.

Good luck.


Great Idea! Have you had any issues with the ramp cracking or is the bottom of the lake nice and flat?

Rich_G
12-27-2006, 06:09 PM
RE: PUSH IT IN

I'm on a public lake in Texas and we've been at record low levels this past year. They extended our public ramp by 20' feet this year using this method. One of the guys told me they use twice the amount of steel reinforcement vs. a normal poured-in-place ramp. They also had some big equipment to move it into position.

Doug Meeker
12-28-2006, 10:47 AM
Great Idea! Have you had any issues with the ramp cracking or is the bottom of the lake nice and flat?

We used the ramp virtually every day last summer and didn't see any cracking.

Before we started, we tried to use the track hoe to smooth the slope into the water. It worked a little....Then, as the ramp moved into the lake, the leading edge worked as a plow and leveled the rest of the ground. After we were done, there was a mound of dirt covering the last foot of the ramp. I was able to walk around and push most of it off the edge.

After the water cleared up, I placed rip rap by hand around the border of the concrete to fill in any valleys between the ramp and the slope of the shore.

Sodar
12-28-2006, 11:04 AM
Thanks for the idea! I really think I am going to attempt in the future. My family has been looking for new vacation homes on the Colorado river, but none of them have private ramps like our current house does. (Current House: http://www.tmcowners.com/market/showproduct.php?product=1121&cat=11) The problem is that the water drops a significant amount, but still not enough where I can guarantee my trailer will not fall off the edge. If I could do this, dump it in at low water level and then build the remaining ramp the conventional way, I would be set!!

jimmer2880
12-28-2006, 01:09 PM
We just put a concrete ramp in last summer. We poured in two stages. First was a 12' wide x 16' long section that was 5 - 6" thick. We poured it on dry ground. Before we poured we loosened up the dirt with a track hoe hoping that would keep the slab from sticking to the ground (I've since talked to somebody who poured on a bed of pea gravel for the same reason). Once dry, we took the bucket and pushed it into the water. I was amazed at how easy it slid. We left about 6" out of the water (dry). We then poured a second section on dry ground to complete the ramp. The first section had rebar sticking out of the "dry" end to connect the two section together. It is working perfect.

Good luck.

My neighbor (an excavator/concrete person) has built a couple ramps & this is the way he does it. However, one time, he said the ramp actually ended up with a belly in the bottom of it. When he pushed it into the river, it actually started to FLOAT! Luckily, it didn't go far enough "off course" to be a real problem.

So, a word to the wise - be sure the dirt/gravel where you are poring the concrete is 100% flat, or even high on the edges so that no air can get trapped beneath the concrete.

Holtrodj
12-28-2006, 08:19 PM
We just put a concrete ramp in last summer. We poured in two stages. First was a 12' wide x 16' long section that was 5 - 6" thick. We poured it on dry ground. Before we poured we loosened up the dirt with a track hoe hoping that would keep the slab from sticking to the ground (I've since talked to somebody who poured on a bed of pea gravel for the same reason). Once dry, we took the bucket and pushed it into the water. I was amazed at how easy it slid. We left about 6" out of the water (dry). We then poured a second section on dry ground to complete the ramp. The first section had rebar sticking out of the "dry" end to connect the two section together. It is working perfect.

Good luck.

This was what I had in mind as well. Anyone know if it would be more efective to have the slab that was pushed in poured on site, or delivered (precast concrete) and dropped in?

jimmer2880
12-29-2006, 02:20 PM
This was what I had in mind as well. Anyone know if it would be more efective to have the slab that was pushed in poured on site, or delivered (precast concrete) and dropped in?

I'd say that it would be very expensive to have it delivered, since you'd have to worry about cracking it as you lifted it off of the delivery vehicle.

The club I belong to about 10 years ago used a crane & placed 3' wide by ~15' long x 6-10" thick sections on our ramp. They all have moved now & we have large gaps where they seperated. Not a smart move.

Sodar
12-29-2006, 02:32 PM
I'd say that it would be very expensive to have it delivered, since you'd have to worry about cracking it as you lifted it off of the delivery vehicle.

The club I belong to about 10 years ago used a crane & placed 3' wide by ~15' long x 6-10" thick sections on our ramp. They all have moved now & we have large gaps where they seperated. Not a smart move.

I'd guess if you embedded threaded rods and bolted the sections together, a few precast panels would work well. I too think that the cost of delivery would kill the idea however...

phecksel
01-01-2007, 04:44 PM
MI DNR wants to get involved in everything you do :( City or Twp may also want to have a say so, and collect their fees too. Personally, I'd quietly drop the cement bags and drive the rebar. Don't do it all at one time, just quietly add it. If it gets question and you're ordered to remove it, it shouldn't be too hard, and it's not like you're out a bunch of money.