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If he'd of said Harley, I would have had to believe it was that 30+ foot cruiser I saw with both motors to the hilt for several minutes in the 1st slip last fall.
 

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Like everyone, you hate to see anyone damage a prop or anything else. But, with lab finished (or any good SS) props I think the first time out I would have doubled checked the depths and not just relied on last years memories. The ramps are pulled in the winter and there location could be slightly different as well.

If I remember, there was even a report of someone this year hitting a rock in the channel going out of selfridge by the second bouy.

Things change, and we all need to keep an eye open.

What about the people that back 1/2 way down the ramp, then stop to load the boat for the next 15 minutes?
 

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I can feel bad for anyone who's had that misfortune at the dock. I don't know what size boats our launches were designed for but I'm sure that those built years ago were designed for smaller boats, but I really don't think that dropping a load of gravel on a launch ramp that's too short is a good repair. When they reworked the launch at Elizabeth Park right after they reopened the same thing happened to me, the launch used to drop off so I thought there was no problem, well it wasn't deep any longer it was gravel.

Perhaps rather than doing a cheap inappropriate fix they should do a proper repair, the real problem is the launch isn't long enough and without a huge pile of gravel to allow settling the gravel is going to sink into the bottom and be ineffective.

Maybe rather than paving the parking lots at some of our launches to hold fewer rigs they should improve the launches where big boats launch.
 

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Better ramps can be built. There is no reason to have such bad ramps in Michigan. Power loading shouldn't be scorned, it saves time for everyone. Improperly built ramps are the problem and the people in charge of construction should do more extensive research in finding companies who know how to build them. Some of the guys who have been to other states a number of times can verify that power loading is viewed as a positive not a negative as it moves things along at the ramp.

I had the same thing happen at Elizabeth Park. Started backing my boat out and CRUNCH. Ran into a pile of gravel. Is this really how the ramps are "fixed"? Whoever came up with this "solution" should be fired.
 
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Man, I tried to tell myself to just stay out of this. I'll try to remain neutral. Anyways...

Bayley also posted this on another board I check that is geared towards performance boats. Up until then I had thought that the whole powerloading vs winching war was between fishermen and everyone else, but there was just about an equal division of opinions on that board too. The deciding factor seemed to be where you live. Other states encourage powerloading as much as Michigan discourages it. It all seems to be connected with ramp construction and also the lake bottom that the ramp sits on. Here's a link from a Boston Whaler site that describes trailering techiques using a "Michigan" style or a "Tennessee" sytle ramp. Two Schools of Thought

So I can fully understand that it's encouraged elsewhere, that trailers are designed for it, and every other justification there is for powerloading. Better ramps can be built, and probably should. But the fact is that our "Michigan" ramps are what they are, good, bad, or ugly. We have to use them and make them useable for everyone. A pile of gravel at the end of a ramp is a lousy fix for a damaged ramp. But you have to ask, what damaged the ramp to begin with? Read the sign..

Our ramps suck and they need to be rebuilt so that we don't have to winch our boats on the trailers ever again. Until that day happens, they have a sign at the end of the ramp that says "POWER LOADING PROHIBITED". None of the arguements change the rule on the sign or the words that say "Prop wash causes ramp damage".

http://www.lakestclair.net/captcorner/boataccess.pdf
 

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Look at the second picture in Bill272 post. In the south, they also force people to learn how to back up their trailer. This is also very common where they will have a curb going down the ramp to keep you in your lane.

The other thing that they do is to extend the ramps as the lake goes down. They will pour a new section of concrete adding reinforcement then use heavy equipment to push it into the lake. You laugh the first time you see it sitting on the ramp, but it works.
 

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Mini I was thinking the same thing...there definately is a difference between "POWER LOADING" and driving the boat on the trailer.

The ramp where i launch always has a Dnr employee at the end of the dock, and i have not once been told not to "drive " my boat on the trailer!

The Michigan ramps are designed for boats that can be trailered i.e. boats under 25'., Of course they are gonna "suck" to those people who drag a 35' cabin cruiser behind there vehicle.

Guys, the ramps you are talking about are not that bad!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Steve,

Remember that this is America and if someone wants to trailer a 40 foot boat, so be it. As long as they arent endagering themselves and/or others let em do it. Most of the time this occurs twice a year when the owner stores their craft at their residence, some even with rented trailers.

Thinking that all access ramps are equal and should be accessible to every type of craft is rediculous. I realize that this is not the case about the topic that resurfaced this discussion.

BTW The majority of access ramps in Michigan that I have used are nice, but a common denominator is the relatively short concrete. This does create a problem for larger boats and forces the need to keep idle speed only when in gear. One must also realize that alot of bodies of water in the south, and other states that allow powerloading that use longer concrete, have water levels that fluctuate 10 feet or more.

Mini
 
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My soon to be previous boat is 27', is a trailerable width, and sits on a trailer. I know others that trailer 38' boats, similarly equipped. Who's to say what size boat is trailerable? Who made the 25' cutoff???

You're right, the ramp I use (Harley Ensign) is not bad, in fact it works great for me. But it's built to handle bigger boats. It will probably continue to be fine as long as powerloading is not used. When boats powerload, it erodes the end of the ramp just like in the picture in the link I posted. That is not even up for debate, it happens.

So no DNR officials have told you not to powerload?? Is there a 3 foot sign that tells you not to do it?? What's so hard to understand?? I've never had a cop personally tell me not to smoke crack, and I've talked to several, so it must be OK to do it then?? Yes??

I've got too much work, so I'm out on this. I'll wait to hear the next reason it's still ok to do it...
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Bill no one is saying it is ok to do it. We are discussing the ramps and related issues to it.

I keep adding the fact that driving your boat on your trailer is not pwerloading until you get above idle speed. How do you feel about that? I havent seen much response to that.

Mini
 

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[/QUOTE] Bill no one is saying it is ok to do it. We are discussing the ramps and related issues to it.

The ramp where i launch always has a Dnr employee at the end of the dock, and i have not once been told not to "drive " my boat on the trailer!

Uh, Mini, Steve said this. This implies to me that he understands it's ok to drive his boat on the trailer because a DNR employee is always at the end of the dock and Steve has not once been told not to drive his boat on the trailer.
 
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Mini, I'm with you 100% on the idle speed on the ramp and onto the trailer. I don't consider that powerloading. I used to but it was something I learned from DJKimmel last year.
 

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Bill272 and Freckles

You guys must have misunderstood me, i do agree that powerloading is bad, but there is a difference to what i do and what powerloading is.

I DRIVE MY BOAT ON THE TRAILER AT IDLE SPEED, i don't hammer the throttle until i'm touching my truck bumper.

THERE IS A DIFFERENCE!!

That is why the DNR does not say anything, because it is at idle speed and i do get out and winch the boat the rest of the way.

P.S. Leave my crack out of it.
 

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The point I made earlier was that the pile of rocks I hit was put there as a repair because the ramp was too short and was not created by power loading. I've also seen piles of rocks moved by power loading, but those rocks were not naturally occurring rocks they were put there by someone.

The lake bottom at the end of the ramp normally isn't hard enough to keep a trailer from sinking in, making holes and pushing up high spots. the gravel does the same thing when a trailer goes off the end of the concrete pad. Rocks, shollow water and props don't go together.

As the water drops those rocks are more and more of a problem. A chunk rock launching site in shollow water is a little scary.
 
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