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Thursday 4 December 2008

Townsville Boat Ramps - Pallarenda Ramp

Edit: Please sign our petition for better boat ramp facilities...

I have to admit straight up that I have only used this ramp on a handful of occasions, and never with a boat of my own. So if anyone had anything to add please feel free to use the comments section.

This ramp is located at the end of Caper Pallarenda Rd, just before the entrance to the National Park. Basically, drive through Pallarenda and you can't go anywhere else!

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While this particular ramp is ideally positioned for quick access to Cape Pallarenda, West Point, Middle Reef and Cockle Bay, its unfortunately really only suited to small boat and 4wd's. I would say tinnies of about 4.5-4.75m would be the limit. The ramp itself is a good quality concrete ramp that runs directly down the face of the beach. Well, its made with a mosaic of concrete blocks anyway. With no break-walls or any kind of protection from the open ocean it frequently has a thick coverage of soft sand on the top portion. This generally requires a 4wd to be able to safely navigate with boat and trailer.

The angle of the ramp is quite shallow. This means that to successfully launch and retrieve a boat the back of the car is commonly in the water. Or, at the very least, being hit by wave action of the open ocean. This brings on the next problem with the ramp. Being exposed means than any chop on the water makes it difficult to manage a boat on and off the trailer. In fact, I know of people who have launched in the calm conditions of the morning, and then dropped someone off at the beach to drive the car to main ramp. They then drove the boat around to make retrieval easier and safer.

The bottom portion of the ramp is also covered with sand. Coupled with the slope, the ramp is really only usefull in the top half of the tide. I think most people would only use this ramp if the tide heaight was about 1.5m.

So in summary, this is a great little access point to the above mentioned locations. However, given the difficulties it faces, its really only good during the right weather, the right tides and for the right boats.