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Boat Ramps (West Beach & North Haven)

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Hey All,

I know the 'Regatta' is currently on at WB as I've seen the signs well in advance. I tried to book my ticket for saturday and the 50 rec launches are already gone for saturday (all because of Recfish was this an option so thank you Ash).

I have just been made aware that North Haven had some issues on the weekend and it was reported on by channel 7 (went away so was oblivious to this) . Since this is my second ramp option, what was the main reason for the hold ups?

Is the regatta also taking up the NH ramp? 

Honestly, why do we do sh*t half assed in this state! Build it and it'll get used for the future!

I mentioned the WB 'upgrade' 2 years ago, this should have always gone to 3 pontoons to support the growing demand and being the central ramp for the metro boaters, this should've been bigger and better than NH in ALL aspects but its not.

In my opinion, WB Boat ramp is NOT up to standard and is an incompetent ramp for the amount of traffic it gets.

Ramps needs to cater for the worst possible depth and at WB when its the lowest of low tides, you can only dock 1 average sized boat at a time (17 footer). Considering 1 side of the 'right' ramp is for launching outside peak times, that's only 3 boats exiting every 10mins by the time you dock, walk to the car, back in and put the boat on the trailer (that's not even considering those who cant do the latter 2 competently). Typically, from 11.30am-1.30pm when majority of the time the seabreeze kicks in (in summer), and everyone wants to get home or want to escape the intense heat 20-30 odd boats can be seen manoeuvring around waiting their turn to come in, mostly in open ocean. It's not good enough!

The breakwater area is WAY too small area, the pontoons aren't deep enough, we need atleast another pontoon if not 2 for this ramp. 

The mind boggles to think this was 'upgraded' 2 years ago for $5mil and the only noticeable improvement are the new pontoons and cleats.

Oh and finally the 'drainage' of the washdown area has finally improved somewhat in 17 years too. 

NH on the other hand, perfect amount of ramps. Ramp surface needs upgrading as there are potholes everywhere. 

Being a marina, atleast if you get 'caught out' in a sudden change of weather you are secluded and safe in the marina.

Rigging area is not great and too small.

Wash down area is deplorable with the 'drive through' method and only 5 or 6 taps from memory. Put 2x20footer boats in and 1 tap will be missed.

This area needs to be relocated from the ramp area near the entry/exit to keep the 'traffic area' flowing.

Apologies for my rant all. 

Any thoughts?

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Yeah, busy ramps suck.


It is what it is, don't let it get to you instead work around the problem.

Avoid peak times if possible, if you can't do that then go a little further, Snowdon's is a good ramp and basically empty all the time, with the time saved waiting in queues the extra 15 minutes or so travel to/from outer harbour is a non issue if you have the range plus as a bonus you can troll the channel edges with deep divers and maybe pick up a surprise mully, kingy or accidental big snapper, it's not likely to happen but certainly not impossible either, especially on the mulloway.

Garden Island is another option, the ramp is not bad plus it's free, you can head out  via the channel towards St Kilda for a quicker run to open water.

It can even be fun and productive just exploring the Port and inlet areas for something different, being sheltered is nice too.

In that system besides mulloway, bream and STs (and rays, lots of rays) I've had some surprisingly amazing sessions on whiting (KG, YF and silvers) gar & tommies, big blue crabs and also there was one crazy morning when I didn't get out with my mate for once and he got mauled by a school of 8 to 10kg snapper in one of our mulloway holes, of course sometimes you also get nothing but but puffers and trumpeters but that's fishing.

Yes it's a bit of a longer run (compared to North haven at least, compared to west beach it is a lot further) to your spots so it'll cost a bit more in fuel if you go to the same spots still (offset by free launch at garden island somewhat) but if you're anything like me you probably enjoy just driving the boat anyway and you'll avoid those frustrating ramp dramas.

Finally yes, those have a bad reputation for troublemakers but during gentleman's hours they're perfectly safe in my experience, police regularly patrol Snowden's (not that it probably matters daytime) and there's generally people around, garden island is surprisingly popular with families and kayakers during the day so nobody is going to do anything stupid to your stuff, I must be up to triple figure launches between the pair (mainly garden island on Saturday mornings) and never had a problem.


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