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  1. #1
    paulthepwner's Avatar
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    Repairing a boat ramp

    I'm lucky enough to own my own boat ramp, but it needs some work. It's an old concrete job, sand at the bottom. It was built years and years ago, and now most of the sand has eroded from the end of the ramp, and there's about an 8 inch drop from there to the sand. Depending on the height of the tide I sometimes have to back my truck the whole way to the end of the concrete, which isn't much of a problem, but when pulling the trailer back out you have to be real careful to not go too slow and have it stop the truck at the bottom of the ramp, or too fast and pop the trailer up in the air.

    I'd like to fix the 'hole' at the bottom, and maybe lengthen the ramp a couple of feet so that the angle of the ramp continues the whole way to the sand of the river bed, and I'm at a loss as to how to do it. So far I've come up with 3 ideas, but I'd like some input...

    1- (easiest) take the loader down to the local building supply yard and get a loader full of #4 stone and dump it at the end of the ramp. Rake it until I get the angle I like. I imagine it will work well for a while, but quickly degrade. I'm not too concerned with the stone washing away, I don't have a lot of water movement. Just up and down with the tides, no waves.

    2- (middle) put down a base of #4 stone and put some sort of pre-poured concrete over top of it at the angle of the boat ramp. I think that this idea is probably the best mix of longevity and ease of install, but I have NO IDEA where to get pre-poured concrete slabs unless I pour them myself in my driveway and then move them (I'm lazy)

    3- (hardest) build some sort of dam around the end of the ramp, and pour a new end to the ramp. I figure it would be pretty short, probably 2 feet long by 8.5 feet wide, but to really have it be stable I'd have to dig down, put down a good stone base, and then pour a footer first. The biggest problem I have with this option other than the sheer amount of work I'd have to do (not to mention that I have no idea how to build anything watertight around it anyway) is that the ramp would be out of comission for several weeks while I waited for the ground to dry up, poured the footer and let it cure, then poured the rest of the ramp. I could do the other 2 options in an hour or 2.

    Anybody have any experience/suggestions that could help me out? I'm leaning towards option 2.


  2. #2
    83Gator's Avatar
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    I have no experience w/this other than watching a ramp be built one time. Option 3 would require what is known as a cofferdam http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-a-cofferdam.htm
    I would also think that constructing a cofferdam is going to co$t plenty.

    Basically, I think you're stuck w/1 or 2, w/2 being more permanent (depending on your age). If you had the ramp extension formed up and poured on the ground, would you be able to get someone to drag it in place?

  3. #3
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    This thread might be helpful.



    I like the idea of using the flexible 'mat' of concrete blocks.

    You might be able to do something by assembling single or double rows of blocks, and linking them together once they are in place.

    The Aquabarrier method is cool, if you wanted to go to that much trouble.

  4. #4
    paulthepwner's Avatar
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    I suppose doing an extension in a form elsewhere and dropping it into place is an option. I've got a backhoe at my disposal, so it wouldn't be too bad.

    Breaking a big piece of concrete like that would be a concern of mine though, plus the mixing of like 50 bags of concrete at one time sucks.

    I still don't like the idea of setting it right down on the sand with no base to keep it there. I kinda feel like if i'm not going to pour it in place it's probably better to have a stone base with pre-poured pieces on top.

  5. #5
    paulthepwner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by K447 View Post
    This thread might be helpful.



    I like the idea of using the flexible 'mat' of concrete blocks.

    You might be able to do something by assembling single or double rows of blocks, and linking them together once they are in place.

    The Aquabarrier method is cool, if you wanted to go to that much trouble.
    I like the idea of using blocks. At the very least maybe I could get a row or 2 of them hooked together in place (or supplementing) stones in option 2. Seems they'd be less likely to go anywhere.

  6. #6
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paulthepwner View Post
    I like the idea of using blocks.

    At the very least maybe I could get a row or 2 of them hooked together in place (or supplementing) stones in option 2. Seems they'd be less likely to go anywhere.
    I wouldn't suggest using regular concrete construction blocks.

    Something along the lines of the open mesh driveway paving stones.




  7. #7
    paulthepwner's Avatar
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    Sounds like I need to swing by the home depot on my way home and have a looksee...

    Any idea where I can get large-ish (36x36x4) slabs of concrete?

  8. #8
    PEVO's Avatar
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    This is what i'd do. Cast em' at the top of the ramp & set em in place with the loader. Oh make sure U reinforce the slabs with 3/8 rebar on 6in centers. Wave action will surely undercut your slabs so they will need to be strong. Also use some thin wall pvc inserted into the wet concrete so you can drive in 2-3 ft long rebar stakes to keep the slabs from shifting. Beveling the edges will help to keep them for chipping off.
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  9. #9
    83Gator's Avatar
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    Most pre-fabbed concrete slabs those dimensions will usually be about 2 inches thick (A/C pads...). You can always consider a U-Haul cart. You might want to check w/your local hardware store or big box outlet (Lowe's, Home Depot). Those guys usually rent cement U-Hauls. I got one for a home project one time.

    It's like 3 or 4 yards of wet concrete, right out of cement truck, and ready to be poured. You just need a p/u truck to tow (2" ball). All you would have to do is build the forms and set the re-bar.

    I see PEVO came in while I was typing. You can build all those near the ramp and fill up w/wet cement from the rented
    U-Haul...

  10. #10
    freakboy35's Avatar
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    How about using bags of cement similar to how they build these wall but laying them flat on the floor.

    Portland cement is a hydraulic cement which means that it sets and hardens due to a chemical reaction with water. Consequently, it will harden under water.
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