There are a few things to think about when designing a boat ramp, and they expand beyond the ramp itself. Will it be for public or private use, how many launches are expected in peak season, and how the ebb and flow of the body of water will interact with the boat ramp are all important things to consider.

A precast concrete boat ramp build on the Columbia RiverWhen we design our ramps, additional information may be needed. Generally speaking, public ramps that see a lot of use will need to be at least 16-feet wide or larger. Also, consider if there is adequate room for a staging area and parking. Nothing ruins a warm summer day on the water than waiting a few hours to launch a boat.

The boat launch angle is typically between 12-15 percent in Washington State to prevent difficult situations pulling boats out of the water. Grooves are also recommended to prevent tires from spinning on the wet ramp surface. Other considerations include how deep the water is at mean low tide, how far into the water a ramp should be, and the condition of the water bed.

There are also environmental issues that must be mitigated. Water, silt, and debris flows can be changed by a ramp, altering junior fish migration. The state also recommends using precast slabs for boat ramps if the water is not at the ordinary high water level.

These are just a few of the issues that need to be addressed before installing a boat launch. When it comes to designing or manufacturing the concrete slabs for the launch, Columbia Precast Products ensures that all state codes and regulations are followed. Get us your specifications, and we’ll take care of the rest.

Precast Concrete Advantages

When using precast concrete boat ramps, installation can occur at either low or high tide. With pour in place concrete, any wet concrete needs to be away from state waterways until it is fully hardened. That means installation can’t happen until the concrete is poured and hardened.

As far as environmental concerns, concrete is made from raw and natural materials and is chemically inert. If proper planning is employed, using a precast boat launch should only momentarily disrupt wildlife or water flows. That’s why concrete is the primary material used for boat launches.

Strong enough to handle loads of large trucks (and even larger boats), concrete is designed to hold its forms under a few feet of water, buried in 10 feet or more of earth, or used to support structures that reach hundreds of feet into the air.

Work With Proven Experts

Although boat ramps aren’t considered traditional buried infrastructure, our experience allows us to create almost anything with the right engineering. There is no one way to build a precast boat ramp, so bring us your specifications. From there our engineers will design plans to meet jurisdictional code.

In addition to products like custom precast boat ramps or railroad crossings, Columbia Precast Products also creates manholes, catch basins, vault structures, and more. Our managerial and production staff have more than 140 years of precasting experience and are very familiar with Oregon and Washington State Department of Transportation requirements.

Whether you need standard products, custom pieces, or a combination of the two, Columbia Precast Products has the expertise to manufacture single boat launches or multiple wet wells with consistent quality. Our controlled facility allows us to control the precasting process from the mixing to the final strength testing.

Have an upcoming project that requires concrete work? Contact us today. We are the premier precaster in Washington and Oregon, offer fast turnaround times, and will deliver directly to your job site. Let’s see how we can work together to keep your project on schedule.