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#62173 - 12/27/05 10:39 PM boat ramp advice
jdk4174 Offline
Member

Registered: 07/17/04
Posts: 27
Loc: NE Texas
I own some property on lake Tawakoni in East Texas, and as many people know, the lake levels throughout East Texas are as low as they have been in years, if not decades. So with that in mind, I plan to make the most of it. I've already completed a new pier, and now it's time to build a boat ramp (or boat launch). I've done a search online and on this forum for any guides to building boat ramps, but have not been successful. What I have found is this - the ramp needs to be at least 14 feet wide, and slope at a 12-15% angle, with at least 4 feet of depth at the end of the slope. The materials can be concrete or gravel. I think gravel will probably be what I choose, because I'm not looking to spend too much money, but I'm not sure. In the photo, the area we plan to build the ramp is where the brush pile is. We have since moved the brush pile with a tractor, but the burn ban is still in effect. The shoreline is approximately 4 feet high, and the slope of the lake bottom is very gradual. I anticipate doing some kind of trenching in order to make this work.

My questions are:
- Is the information I've found acurate?
- What are the pro's and con's of using gravel?
- How is the gravel applied?
- What type of gravel is used?
- What are the costs of hiring someone to build the ramp?
- Does anyone know any good dozer for hire guys near lake tawakoni?
- Is this the type of job for a dozer or front end loader, or some other type of equipment?
- What are the considerations when trenching the lake bottom?

Any other information is greatly appreciated. Thanks - see photo below.


http://i25.photobucket.com/albums/c73/jdk4174/pieroct30.jpg

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#62174 - 12/28/05 08:00 AM Re: boat ramp advice
Brettski Offline
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Field Correspondent
Lunker

Registered: 10/07/05
Posts: 6900
Loc: Illinois
Nice pier! Not to change the subject...but...I have a pier project on my 2006 horizon and I'm curious as to how you set the support poles at the bottom? I also have a boat launch on the same 2006 radar. I will be v curious to see the reponses on this thread. I am leaning toward concrete DIY.
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#62175 - 12/28/05 11:01 AM Re: boat ramp advice
David R. Offline
Member

Registered: 04/04/05
Posts: 16
Loc: Fairfield, Texas
I used concrete 30 years ago and have never had a problem. I was suggest concrete. I've even heard of people not using forms and pouring into water and making a good ramp.

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#62176 - 12/28/05 11:15 AM Re: boat ramp advice
Meadowlark Offline
Lunker

Registered: 03/09/04
Posts: 3075
Loc: East Texas
jdk4174,

You are right about the water levels. Unprecedented low water in many ponds.

Regarding the boat ramp, my thoughts would be dependent on what size boat you will be launching. If small, relatively light, shallow draft boats, then the ramp can be fairly simple and inexpensive. If launching tournament bass boat and/or ski boats then the ramp would have an entirely different design.

Just looking at your picture and having some experience with equipment as a DIY person, I'd say in a matter of less than two hours on a small dozer, you could have a ramp entirely suitable for launching small boats. For larger boats, concrete ramps and deeper water are desired, if not required.

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#62177 - 12/28/05 02:10 PM Re: boat ramp advice
jdk4174 Offline
Member

Registered: 07/17/04
Posts: 27
Loc: NE Texas
Brettski, I'm glad you like the pier. We put a lot of work into it. The posts are 6x6 treated yellow pine. We dug holes with an 8 inch auger and poured quickcrete around the bases, then just added water. We were lucky because the water level is down enough to do it that way. If you have any other questions, or want to see more photos, let me know.

The type of boat we plan to use for the ramp is probably a mid size bass boat, aluminum hull, or flatbottom type. That's why I'm leaning towards gravel instead of concrete. But if it doesn't cost that much more, I would rather overbuild it and not worry about it.

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#62178 - 12/28/05 02:31 PM Re: boat ramp advice
Brettski Offline
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Registered: 10/07/05
Posts: 6900
Loc: Illinois
I was gonna guess the perspective of the photo to show the verts as 4 x 4's. As 6 x 6's, that lends perspective to illustrate one big-a-- pier! Congrats on a beauty. Did you happen to see the pix of the nice cover that Jeff built on his project? It is inspiring. Pier, 2nd post this pg With regard to the launch, I am sticking with the concrete pour. If ever there was a concrete job that did not require an artisan to correctly finish it, this would be it. If ya think about it, the more you screw up the finish, the better it will be for traction! I intend to use a landscape rake to booger the finish.
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#62179 - 12/28/05 04:31 PM Re: boat ramp advice
jdk4174 Offline
Member

Registered: 07/17/04
Posts: 27
Loc: NE Texas
Here's a couple more pics of the pier. It's about 100 feet long total. The walkway is 6 feet wide, and the platform is 12' x 25' (300 sq. feet).





To get back to the boat ramp topic, here is the best link I've found so far for constructing boat ramps - http://msucares.com/wildfish/fisheries/farmpond/building/ramps.html

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#62180 - 12/28/05 06:07 PM Re: boat ramp advice
Brettski Offline
Ambassador
Field Correspondent
Lunker

Registered: 10/07/05
Posts: 6900
Loc: Illinois
V nice! If it ever rains again, you can open up a donut shop out there...
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#62181 - 12/28/05 07:41 PM Re: boat ramp advice
Jersey Offline
Lunker

Registered: 01/13/05
Posts: 469
Loc: Georgia
That's not just a big pier, that is a big Lake! Or I should say, would be a big lake. \:\(
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Hey Moe, I'm trying to think but nuthin's happening!

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#62182 - 12/28/05 09:39 PM Re: boat ramp advice
Sunil Offline
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Field Correspondent
Hall of Fame 2014

Lunker

Registered: 09/03/03
Posts: 11503
Loc: Somerset, PA
Ditto what Jersey said.

How big is the lake when full?
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Excerpt from Robert Crais' "The Monkey's Raincoat:"
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#62183 - 12/28/05 10:14 PM Re: boat ramp advice
ewest Offline
Moderator
Hall of Fame 2014

Lunker

Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 19493
Loc: Miss.
Guys here it is you just have to look --36000+ acres.

http://www.lakesoftexas.com/lakes/tawakoni.html
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#62184 - 12/28/05 10:35 PM Re: boat ramp advice
Sunil Offline
Moderator
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Field Correspondent
Hall of Fame 2014

Lunker

Registered: 09/03/03
Posts: 11503
Loc: Somerset, PA
OK, ewest. So what you're saying is that I can put away my hari-kari knife now being that we were not looking at someone's private pond/lake.

I should read the posts more carefully lest I disembowl myself in a fit of jealousy.
_________________________
Excerpt from Robert Crais' "The Monkey's Raincoat:"
"She took another microscopic bite of her sandwich, then pushed it away. Maybe she absorbed nutrients from her surroundings."


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#62185 - 12/29/05 06:51 AM Re: boat ramp advice
Dave Davidson Offline
Lunker

Registered: 04/22/02
Posts: 1892
Loc: Hurst & Bowie Texas
That's what an awful lot of Texas lakes are looking like these days. Most of the North Texas area is in a drought that the NWS says is "serious to exceptional". We have had, in most cases, less than half of our average rainfall. The Dallas/Fort Worth area usually averages around 36 inches per year with Dallas and east of Dallas getting the most. The entire area is 15 to 20 inches short. My land, 70 miles NNW of the metromess, has had less than 10 inches. Lots of brush fires and nothing to feed cattle. Cross Plains, a town about 75 miles west of Fort Worth with a pop. of about 1,000, was evacuated yesterday by a fire that took 50 houses. Hot weather, no rain and 8% humidity.

Had I stocked walking catfish, they would probably have packed up and decamped.

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#62186 - 12/29/05 08:56 AM Re: boat ramp advice
Brettski Offline
Ambassador
Field Correspondent
Lunker

Registered: 10/07/05
Posts: 6900
Loc: Illinois
Dave,
I think that JDK's pic of the pier with the receding shoreline in the FAR distance paints the color photo that you describe in print. If you look closely, you can see the little smoldering campfires left by those walking catfish. \:\(
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#62187 - 12/29/05 01:01 PM Re: boat ramp advice
james holt Offline
Lunker

Registered: 03/30/04
Posts: 1714
Loc: gainesville texas
I'm sure that there are better ways of building a boat ramp than what I did but it works very well for my bass tracker fishing boat. I first did as Meadowlark suggests and smoothed out an area for the ramp with a front end loader. A dozer would be better. I then took bags of cement and laid them in the cut out bank area. I left them in the bags and the cement hardened. It has worked well and was fairly inexpensive. At 2 dollars a bag it probably cost about six hundred dollars.

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#62188 - 12/29/05 09:20 PM Re: boat ramp advice
Jersey Offline
Lunker

Registered: 01/13/05
Posts: 469
Loc: Georgia
Yea, and how much for the chiropractor? \:D
No, really, I like the idea of the cement bags. It makes a big job managable.
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Hey Moe, I'm trying to think but nuthin's happening!

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