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Boat Ramp Inspections

  • 1.  Boat Ramp Inspections

    Posted 19 February 2014 17:54
    Hi All, Just curious if anyone is performing Boat Ramp Inspections ? At Gosford City Council we have our Open Space & Leisure Asset Officer performing condition rating assessments (giving a simple rating from 1 to 5) on each ramp. Any comments / feedback would be helpful. Regards, ------------------------------------------- Ian Woodward Business Analyst Gosford City Council GOSFORD NSW -------------------------------------------
    Pro Cert 2

  • 2.  RE:Boat Ramp Inspections

    Posted 21 February 2014 01:52
    Hi Ian, I inspect private boat ramps... they're not very common around Bundaberg (QLD). They took a hit in our big flood last year so there's a few being put back together. I'm not sure what feedback you might be after? Maintenance of an existing boat ramp is ok, expanding it or changing it is any significant way triggers an application and the changes/proposed product needs to be signed off by a suitable engineer. Regards, ------------------------------------------- Leonard Strub Bundaberg Regional Council BUNDABERG QLD
    Pro Cert 2

  • 3.  RE:Boat Ramp Inspections

    Posted 21 February 2014 20:41
    Hello Ian, This is a very common situation I have found when inspecting assets in the field. Particularly because each asset has a condition report which is associated to an asset depreciation value. Additionally, your boat ramp reporting should include the facility to generate maintenance and repair work orders from said field inspections. Please feel free to contact me if you wish to discuss more. Best regards, ------------------------------------------- Ricardo Hernandez AssetFinda Pty Ltd Wattle Grove WA -------------------------------------------
    Pro Cert 2

  • 4.  RE:Boat Ramp Inspections

    Posted 23 February 2014 17:50
    Like most foreshore Councils we operate an asset inspection regime for our asset inventory of boat ramps, jetties, pontoons, water access stairs, sea walls and a swimming enclosure.  We undertake periodic 'level 1' visual inspections, and a 5 year detailed engineering analysis including valuation and a decade forward maintenance plan.
    These assets provide an important recreation service, and the sea walls protect our very highly valued foreshore recreation spaces.
    Rick Jarvis,
    Manager Parks & Assets
    Leichhardt Municipal Council


    Pro Cert 2

  • 5.  RE:Boat Ramp Inspections

    Posted 23 February 2014 17:49
    Wollongong has about a dozen minor boat ramps... and like Ian, I also have questions about the management of these assets.

    Can anyone advise, or recommend some literature, regarding what parameters to check during visual inspection? what failures trigger maintenance? For valuation: Has anyone built or replaced one recently? Got a ballpark on a $/m2 value? 

    tim cornford
    Asset Manager Transport
    Wollongong City Council


    Pro Cert 2

  • 6.  RE:Boat Ramp Inspections

    Posted 24 February 2014 21:29

    Shoalhaven City Council has about 54 boat launching ramps within the City. See

    and a Waterways Infrastructure AMP. See

    From my experience , it is beneficial if the person doing the inspections are "boaties" and have an understanding of the practical operational issues associated with boat launching and retrieval noting that not all ramps are suitable for ALL boat/Trailer configurations under all weather/tide conditions.

    There is a trend for boats being bigger and more powerful and also being driven onto trailers at ramps (in contrast to being winched on)  and this creates a prop dredging effect that can  undermine the toe and lower sections of the of the ramp resulting in structural failure. As well as this, many ramps now have steep drop offs at the bottom of the ramp toe . Concrete overlays (using day labour)  for a double lane ramp cost about $40K noting that not many local concreter's have experience concreting underwater.

    Management of user risk is the biggest issue. Therefore inspect for slippage (algal growth), risk signage, ramp drop off at low tides crustacean growth. lighting, loose and rotting timbers on any timber structures

    From a user perspective, look for fenders (to protect the boats from damage) , advisory signage , cleats(for tying off), ease of access , stray loose boulders around the ramps and on adjacent sand areas that can cause damage to boats

    Structural assessments need to be undertaken at Indian Spring Low tides and better in winter when the water is clear and visibility is better.

    My whinge (from a NSW perspective) is this:

    Boaties pay licence fees, boat registration fees and boat trailer registration fees to the Stage Government and no recurrent funding is returned to Council's for boat ramp asset maintenance . 

    Whilst funding is provided from NSW RMS for new projects (and maybe some renewal asset renewal projects), I encourage NSW Councils to  consider making  submissions on the proposed NSW governments Regional Boating Plans for recurrent funding to be provided to local government for boat ramp asset maintenance and not just new capital projects.


    Michael Strachan
    Shoalhaven City Council


    Pro Cert 2

  • 7.  RE:Boat Ramp Inspections

    Posted 03 March 2014 19:08

    State government gets the boating fees. Local government pays to upkeep the ramps.

    Michael Strachan encourages all NSW Councils to  consider making  submissions on the proposed NSW governments Regional Boating Plans for recurrent funding to be provided to local government for boat ramp asset maintenance and not just new capital projects.  Details can be found here.

    Would it be appropriate for IPWEA NSW to make a submission on behalf of members in this regard?

    For instance
    How do inland LGA's feel about their boat ramps being "managed" on a coastal basis?
    How do LGA's address funding needs for maintenance?
    How is management of Risk undertaken.

    I invite all interested members  to send me material to compile a detailed considered submission

    John Roydhouse
    Chief Executive Officer
    IPWEA (NSW) Division
    Sydney NSW

    Pro Cert 2

  • 8.  RE:Boat Ramp Inspections

    Posted 25 February 2014 06:44

    At Eurobodalla we have 20 concrete ramps for which we undertake routine maintenance inspections on a 3 month cycle in conjunction with our "area" maintenance system. This identifies issues that need attention. The system then allocates priorities based on a risk management approach.

    Our previous boat ramp strategy looked at a number of aspects to identify where we were deficient including:
    - undertaking traffic counts to determine the usage and therefore the adequacy of the ramp to meet demand;
    - the adequacy of boating and fishing signs;
    - the provision of fish cleaning tables, lighting, toilets, etc

    this information was used to identify what needed to be upgraded and therefore is useful from a AMP perspective (reaching end of useful life).

    In respect of planning for renewals (AMP and LTFP), we use (as a guide) a number of estimates costs based on recent experience and costs. These are:

    - Single ramp in a river location   $ 150,000

    - Double ramp in a river location  $ 200,000

    - Single ocean ramp                   $ 200,000

    This previously included the provision of a pontoon but recent cost escalations has blown this "out of the water" 

    Royce Toohey
    Asset Engineer
    Eurobodalla Shire Council


    Pro Cert 2

  • 9.  RE:Boat Ramp Inspections

    Posted 23 February 2014 19:05
    Hi Ian,

    We've just completed our first formal condition assessment of boat ramps. Just the Level 1 inspections that identifies maintenance and renewal requirements and grades the asset from 1 to 5. We also have in place a Level 2 inspection option for those ramps that require more in depth inspections to determine safety, risks, functionality, standards etc.
    If you want to discuss please let me know.


    Peta Campbell
    Senior Foreshores Technical Officer
    City of Gold Coast


    Pro Cert 2

  • 10.  RE:Boat Ramp Inspections

    Posted 05 March 2014 01:17

    I think a submission on the strategic issues would be most valuable.  The issues that could be raised at a strategic level would include:

    1. The funding disconnect between RMS and Councils over maintenance of boating centred facilities such as boat ramps, jetties, pontoons, dinghy racks (at mooring sites), and associated car and trailer parking.

    2.  The state wide planning issues associated with the loss of foreshore accessible land zoned for maritime associated purposes.  This issue relates to the loss of commercial waterfront sites that could provide boat storage.  Many commercial and industrial foreshore sites have been converted to residential. The loss of commercial uses at the shoreline eliminates options for recreational vessel storage, for watercraft from dinghies, kayaks and paddle boards to large trailer boats.  So the trailer boat owners have no option than to take valuable kerb space usually near home, or the limited mooring space on our waterways. (Moreton Bay provides storage facilities, why not in NSW?)

    3.  Fees and charges collected by RMS come from owners of powered or 5m+ vessels. But we have demand for all sizes of recreational watercraft.  RMS need to include funding for facilitating the lighter end vessels too.

    4.  Maintenance and repair of damage to foreshores and foreshore protection structures where energy from vessel wakes generates damage exceeding wind wave and current generated damage.

    5.  Funding for water safety facilities at the land water interface. (Ladders on seawalls, life rings, risk reduction treatments).

    Others may want to add to the list.
    Rick Jarvis
    Manager Parks & Assets
    Leichhardt Municipal Council


    Pro Cert 2