Boat backing down boat ramp
Launching ramp Gosford NSW

Public Launching Ramps

These boating facilities are for use of the public for launching and retrieval of any vessel permitted within local rules and regulations and may include; power boats, kayaks, jet skis or dinghies. Facilities and services available at each ramp location can vary. State Maritime Authority websites are also a great resource for locating boat ramps close to the area you plan to go boating.

Here's our list of what an ideal boat ramp should offer:

  • Reasonable access for vehicles and boats.
  • Adequate parking for vehicles and trailers.
  • Wide slipways of two lanes or more.
  • Strong construction capable of supporting the weight of vehicle and boat.
  • Not too steep a ramp angle.
  • Free of seaweed and slime, so a person can stand on it without slipping.
  • Pontoons for mooring alongside for ease of loading and unloading passengers and gear.
  • Sufficient water for launching and retrieval at all tide states.
  • A hard that will take the weight of vehicle and trailer wheels if the site is tidal.
  • Fresh water available for washing down.
  • Changing facilities and toilets close by.
  • Food and fuel in the vicinity.

Do not become a victim of "Ramp Rage". Here are a few useful tips to help prevent this situation happening to you.

Boat ramp etiquette

Don't monopolise the ramp

  • Things like untying the tie-down straps, putting the bungs in should be done away from the launching/retrival area. Many public launching ramps have a designated parking area for this. Loading the Esky, wakeboards, other equipment and fuel you need for your trip can be done prior to leaving home and before arriving at the ramp.
  • Get the boat ready to the point where it is all ready to push off the trailer (but always leave the winch rope and safety chain attached until you are over the water), before you back down the ramp. The same applies in reverse when you are loading the boat back onto its trailer (making sure the safety chain is on) drive up, off and away from the ramp to unpack and prepare for transportation.

Don't push in

  • When you see someone else on the ramp, you have to wait. Use that time to look around and see if anyone else is waiting to use the ramp. No one likes ramp queue jumpers.

Be prepared

  • If it's your first time at a ramp, sit back and watch what others are doing. If you've never backed a boat trailer, practice in a paddock or car park somewhere first. When you get to the ramp, take your time.Don't put too much pressure on yourself. Rushing only makes it worse if you don't have much experience.

Lend a hand

  • If you see someone struggling with their boat, particularly if they alone, older or have children - give them a hand. Often its just a matter of holding the boat for them while they hook the winch up.

Be polite and respectful of other boaters, don't muck about, don't block the ramp unnecessarily, don't push in and be prepared to lend a hand if it's needed.

Boat ramp locator

Find boat ramp locations in Queensland and around Australia.

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