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whorne 09-21-2011 09:39 AM

Deep boat ramps
I have a fixed keel sailboat on a trailer. I need about 6 ft of water to float the boat off the trailer. Looking for a boat ramp that is deep enough has been very frustrating because any ramp directory gives info about the amenities, number of lanes, parking spaces etc. but does not include the depth of water at the end of the concrete. I want to launch in the Gulf of Mexico between Mobile Alabama and Panama City Florida. Any suggestions?

tommays 09-21-2011 10:07 AM

We have REALLY deep ramps up here and you need a REALLY long trailer tongue and have to do it high tide and the ramp has to have a REALLY steep pitch

If you do the math on the lenth and angle required it is going to be LONG

whorne 09-21-2011 10:14 AM

I have a Cal also. It is a 25. I have a steel wheel on the tongue of my trailer and using a tow strap I can let it way-out but I don't want to go off the end of the concrete. I have launched successfully using this technique quite a few times on a ramp near my house but need to find a suitable ramp for a cruise on the Gulf of Mexico.

MobiusALilBitTwisted 09-21-2011 10:39 AM

how far out are you looking to have the 6', what is the best range for your own comfort, i will check a few ramps and get back to you.

i am in Crestview Fl.

whorne 09-21-2011 10:57 AM

Thank you so much!

I can let the back axle out to about 20 feet from the waters edge. Maybe more. As long as I don't go off the end of the concrete, I can deal with it.

WanderingStar 09-21-2011 11:01 AM

I've also let the trailer farther down by using a tagline on the trailer ball. Then I waded in and gave the boat a shove. If the stern is floating there isn't much weight on the trailer. That is to say, you need enough water at the stern and keel, but not forward.

whorne 09-21-2011 11:17 AM

Yes. Unless the ramp is incredibly steep, the depth of water at the end of the concrete is the only controlling factor. The caster type wheel that I have under the tongue lets me push it out all the way to the end of concrete. I have gone off the end before and that's not good, depending on the drop-off at the end of some ramps.

klem 09-21-2011 12:05 PM

You may be out of luck in places without a lot of tide. Typically, ramps end very close to the low tide line. In places where they need to go farther, they usually place pre-poured pieces of concrete to extend the ramp.

I have used the same technique as you many times and it does work quite well. I have even done it on a smooth, gravel ramp succesfully which may be an option if you can find a smooth one and have the traction to pull the boat back out.

75R20 09-21-2011 02:30 PM

Since no one else has said it....I will. Your boat and trailer set-up was designed for use with a sling, and not a ramp. While I applaud you and the others for trying.....the boat ramps in my part of the country are far too busy for that kinda messing round. lowering\moving a trailer out from your tow vehicle with a strap will surely bring the harbour patrol out and tickets will be written.....doesn't matter what there for but it will ruin your day.
Best of luck with that.
S/V Mariah

smallboatlover 09-21-2011 02:53 PM

hey do you have a dinghy? go and check the ramps at high tide. and check the distance.

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