A safe and reliable boat ramp can have a significant impact on the longevity of your boat. It can also prevent you from having to spend money on regular maintenance and will help preserve your shoreline while also preventing you from tracking mud into your boat or other vehicles.
That said, designing a boat ramp isn’t as simple or easy as it sounds. So, if you’re in the market for a new boat ramp, there are a few things you need to consider, including location, materials, ramp size, and dimensions.
Here’s everything you need to know about designing a boat ramp.
Choosing a Ramp Site
The site you choose for your boat ramp design can determine how much construction effort will need to go into building the ramp. For instance, you’ll want to select a location that’s as close to nearby roads as possible to minimize the amount of construction necessary. If you have to build a road leading to the boat ramp, that may require a lot of time and money.
The average water conditions should be favorable, as well. A location with too much wind, violent waves, and other ramps nearby can pose a considerable safety risk. If you’re building with concrete, the ground should already be level so that less digging and filling will be required.
Choosing Your Ramp Size
The two main factors to consider when designing your boat ramp are slope and depth. The slope should be sharp enough to lower boats into the water without the boat trailer touching the water. However, the slope should not be so sharp that the towing vehicle is in danger of accidentally slipping into the water. A 12% to 15% slope is a good guideline to follow.
Alignment and width are two more essential dimensions when planning a boat ramp design. The width of your boat ramp should be wide enough that a boat trailer and a vehicle can fit on it at the same time. There should also be a few extra feet of space on each side for maximum maneuverability.
When designing a boat ramp for rivers, proper alignment is crucial, too. Your goal should be to create a ramp that points downstream, so boats don’t have to launch against the current, which is dangerous and potentially unsafe.
Boat Ramp Material
When designing a safe and reliable boat ramp, there are several material options available. Understanding the advantages and disadvantages of each type of material can help you make the best decision and select the material that will meet your boat ramp needs.
Many boat ramps are made from concrete using a special type of shoreline concrete. Regular concrete isn’t suitable for constant exposure to water. Also, it’s important to know that concrete boat ramps must be regularly resealed to avoid water intrusion. Concrete boat ramps are generally impermeable and can pose problems when it comes to mud, traction, and high tides.
Wood is one of the most common materials used for boat ramp construction. As an organic material, it’s relatively inexpensive and easy to work with, making it ideal for DIY projects. However, wood is vulnerable to rot, warping, and decay and requires regular maintenance to ensure longevity.
Steel is another viable option for boat ramp construction. It is resilient and abrasion-resistant, but it can be more challenging to install than wood or concrete. Additionally, steel must be galvanized or have other rust protection treatments to prevent corrosion.
Gravel is another commonly used material for boat ramps. It is less expensive than wired mesh and other more complex materials and is relatively easy to install. On the downside, gravel can move and shift, which creates an unstable surface on which to launch a boat.
Aluminum is becoming increasingly popular for boat ramp construction due to its superior strength and durability. Aluminum is lightweight, highly resistant to corrosion, and easier to work with than steel. The cost of aluminum, however, is often considered one of the significant drawbacks.
Creating a Boat Ramp Parking Lot
There’s little point in keeping your boat parked on the ramp if you don’t have to. In fact, creating a place to park your boat when you aren’t going out on the water is an excellent way to keep your boat ramp area clean and clutter-free. It will also help the ramp drain better and reduce daily wear and tear.
Unlike boat ramps, when it comes to boat ramp parking lots, there’s one clear material option you should consider – TRUEGRID Permeable Pavers.
TRUEGRID Permeable Pavers
TRUEGRID Permeable Pavers allow for better drainage than traditional asphalt or concrete. Our patented design is 100%-permeable, and allows water to pass through more easily, which makes the draining process super simple. Water permeability also provides more stability to the parking lot’s surface, which can be especially important for boats and other heavy-duty vehicles.
Another benefit of using TRUEGRID Permeable Pavers is that they are made from recycled materials, which makes them a more sustainable paving option. This is important to consider when creating a boat ramp parking lot, as it is a project that will be used by many people and could potentially have an environmental impact.
Plus, TRUEGRID Permeable Pavers are easy to install and maintain. They’re engineered to last for over 20 years with almost no upkeep or maintenance required. A parking lot made from permeable pavers also serves as an excellent place to store heavy vehicles and boats. So, if you own more than one boat or other heavy-duty vehicles, you’ll reap a ton of benefits from a permeable paver parking lot.
If you’re looking for reliable and safe materials for a boat ramp parking lot, TRUEGRID PRO PLUS and TRUEGRID PRO LITE are optimal options.
Transform Your Boat Ramp and Parking Lot with TRUEGRID
Creating a boat ramp isn’t as simple as you might have initially imagined, but it’s completely doable with the right materials and planning. To create the most optimized boat ramp, you will need to consider creating a boat ramp parking lot, as well.
TRUEGRID permeable pavers are the safe, reliable, and eco-friendly material option to complete your boat ramp transformation.
Contact our pavement specialists today to learn more!