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jeff25

At what point will you not use a ramp

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I have a small 30 acre lake by me that has a place to put a boat in but it's gravel. The only concern that I have is that the lake is usually a little low in the summers and the gravel doesn't go far into the water, maybe 5 feet when the water is low. Unloading shouldn't be an issue, but I'm wondering if loading the boat and the trailer tires were on the mud bottom about getting stuck.

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Is it a big boat or little one, smaller lighter boats will be easier to use a smaller ramp

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Buy a tow strap and some beer for whoever pulls you out. That's the worst cast scenario. It works for me. I just have a tin boat so I'm not as heavy and I can move my boat around by hand if needed to get what I need. 

 

You have to fish it to find out what's in there. If you get stuck that's added entertainment. 

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I'm pulling it with an f350. Just didn't know if it would tear up the trailer. As long as the truck tires stayed on the gravel I should be fine. Was mainly afraid about the trailer getting stuck in the mud or on a tree root or something.

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i have chipped in on a load of stone before, albeit was with some skiers, (i'll deny it if you ask me about it again.) best time is when the water is down anyways. it's a good workout and you'll get muddy as heck but it's worth it imo. first few months it will still be a little "sinky" til the stone beds in. 

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Have you tried walking it first to see how bad it is? If it's really soft really deep I wouldn't risk it even with my trailer. But if it's less than a foot I'd consider it.

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I put on my muck boots and walked out as far as I could. I got right about where the gravel stops before it was at the top of my boots. That end of the lake around the ramp has a lot of Lilliepads if that tells you anything about the bottom comp.

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Just watched a guy this weekend bury his F350 to the axles trying to pull out a boat on a gravel bank.  Then watched the F150 start to get stuck when he tried to pull him out....and then another F350 spin his tires when he also tried.

 

The dude ended up calling a tow truck, that ended up using a winch to get him out.

 

45 mins of priceless entertainment. :)

 

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some of the best entertainment on the water, happens while watching people trying to load or unload their boats.

Unless you are the one doing the entertaining.

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1 hour ago, Weedwhacker said:

some of the best entertainment on the water, happens while watching people trying to load or unload their boats.

Unless you are the one doing the entertaining.

 

Or waiting to use the ramp they are providing the entertainment on.

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Just now, gimruis said:

 

Or waiting to use the ramp they are providing the entertainment on.

so true. 

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Well, I bought a V8 4wd to avoid this very thing. Once I got my trailer tire off my parents' ramp and once I almost got stranded at a ramp because it was too steep for me to get out of with my weak 2wd 6 cyl F150. It took me 3 runs to barely make it out. I think I could yank the boat and trailer out of just about any place now.

 

But about 5 years ago I bought a kayak and rarely use the big boat anymore. That was to avoid the crowds at the ramp, the long dives and wasted time. So I guess the point I won't use a ramp at was 5 years ago.

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How deep of waters does it take to load/unload a boat? It is a pretty slow slope. I wadded out to where i thought the truck would be backed to where the gravel ends, and the trailer would be in about knee/thigh deep water. 

Earlier in the year there was a bass boat out on the lake, and yesterday there was a Jon boat.

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Really depends on the style, size, and weight of boat. What kind of boat do you have?

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Rough guess....You probably need 4-5 inches of water to float that off the trailer. So measure from ground to the bottom of the transom and then add 5 inches.  7 would be better.

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16 hours ago, jeff25 said:

Anyone

About 1" above the top of your trailer fenders. If you back down to the point your truck tires are wet, you should have already stopped. Your boat is too heavy for soft dirt ramps.

Tom

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After near 30 years of boating I had never used a gravel ramp until last month on Falcon. The lake is so low the county ramp 30 miles north of the dam is the only ramp that is still under water. I had planned to fish the dam area and refused to make the 60 mile round trip from the county ramp. I had asked around the night before and learned that you could still launch from the state park but had to go out off the point and launch from the gravel marked by a large chunk of concrete. The guys that told me this had launched there that day with a heavy Nitro and a half ton 2-wheel drive Suburban. Having a light boat and a 3/4 ton 4 wheel drive I thought it would be no problem. Getting in was no problem, the getting the empty trailer out required 4 wheel drive to be locked in. I discovered I had launched on the wrong side of the concrete block, and there was a solid rock dropoff. My trailer's rear wheels had dropped off and the rock was acting as a large chock block. Luckily no damage was caused to my trailer. Point being if you have to launch this way under low water conditions there is no way of truly knowing what the condition of a gravel ramp will be unless you can get into the water and check it out beforehand. Waves caused by boat wakes and/or wind can change a gravel ramp in a single day.

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Never launched on gravel but I live at Guntersville. There's a nice ramp around every corner. I have launched a light Jon boat duck hunting on some nearly nothing ramps but that's a different thing altogether. 

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As I've gotten older I find that I won't launch my boat anywhere that doesn't have a decent ramp AND a decent privy.  Fortunately here in Missouri, most Department of Conservation lakes and all the major lakes fit that criteria.  There are a few subdivision lakes that just aren't worth the effort.   Fishing on them is ok to great, I wouldn't know because I don't want to mess with loading/unloading issues.  Current issues as a type 2 diabetic dictate that 20 minutes after breakfast, when I eat my Metformin, I've got to be somewhere that I can "lighten my load".

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On 8/25/2017 at 2:46 AM, Bulletman20XD said:

My trailer's rear wheels had dropped off and the rock was acting as a large chock block. Luckily no damage was caused to my trailer.

 

Make sure your trailer axle is still straight. Depending on how hard you had to yank it to get it out, it could be off just enough to wear your tires faster than normal or it could be off enough to take the tread down to the cords in a couple trips. 

 

I had the latter happen a few years ago and wound up changing a trailer tire halfway home on my next trip..and then having to replace that tire after I got the trailer fixed. 

 

It can take a lot less than most people think to knock the axle off by just enough to eat a tire.

 

 

I launch on gravel ramps frequently.

 

Get out and look the ramp over before you launch to check for problems...every time.  Gravel ramps can change overnight, particularly on rivers...or one gomer who power loads poorly can dig a hole in the ramp on a lake in a hurry.

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