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Roller ramp

RaptorFuel

New Member
Hi everyone! I am just about to order a 14.2 Expo for my family. The boat will be kept at a lake house and I am planning on building a roller ramp so I can roll the boat right up onto shore for storage. Has anyone here done this? I have a design in mind. The shore is rocky and I have a 2-3 ft drop to the water. I'm thinking the ramp could have two sections. One on land that is fixed and another thats hinged on the fixed part that goes into the water so it can be raised for winter. The ramp would be about 25-30ft long and the last 10ft will fold up. My goal is for one person to easily be able to launch and recover the boat.

I'm thinking of using two of these ramp kits (amazon link). This would give me enough rollers and supports. One winch would be for the boat and the other to raise the end of the ramp. I'm also thinking putting a keel roller at the top of the ramp / front of the boat like I've seen on some trailers.

How wide should the ramp be? Essentially, where should the rollers contact the boat?
It will go up and down the ramp a couple times a week and be stored there over the winter. Will the rollers damage the boat?

Because a picture is worth 1000 words, here is one I pulled off an Amazon review thats close to what I'm thinking:

Thanks for the help!
 

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speedyox

New Member
I don't have any expertise to offer. But I'd guess you'd want your roller spaced apart (width of your ramp) about as far as the bunks on a trailer. And along the ramp, you'll want the boat to always be in contact with some number of roller pairs (at least 3?) so they need to be set every ~3 feet? You might want them closer together on the steepest section and the above the water to better distribute the load, and could leave them spaced further apart under the water.

Hopefully someone with actual experience in this area will chime in.
 

RaptorFuel

New Member
I don't have any expertise to offer. But I'd guess you'd want your roller spaced apart (width of your ramp) about as far as the bunks on a trailer. And along the ramp, you'll want the boat to always be in contact with some number of roller pairs (at least 3?) so they need to be set every ~3 feet? You might want them closer together on the steepest section and the above the water to better distribute the load, and could leave them spaced further apart under the water.

Hopefully someone with actual experience in this area will chime in.
Thanks for the reply speedyox. I plan on calling the dealer Tuesday and asking how wide the bunks are on the trailer so I know how wide to space the rollers. Can anyone measure how long the bunk contact surface is on the 14.2? This would give me an idea of proper roller spacing. At the top where it will rest I will probably have more rollers for support.
 

Winston29

Active Member
I suppose the option to smooth out that 2-3' drop into a nice ramp is out of the question?

A quick, 2 second brainstorming session has me thinking about fashioning a dolly with some 21" dirt bike tires/wheels on it, that will roll over whatever's in their path. You could pull it out of the water with just about anything. (got a garden tractor?) :D
 
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RaptorFuel

New Member
I ordered Expo yesterday in red, white and blue. It should be here in May. The dealer is going to get back to me with trailer measurements and I called the state and figured out the permit requirements to install the ramp on the shore. Hopefully I can find some time this winter to build it.

Thanks for the replies.
 

RaptorFuel

New Member
I suppose the option to smooth out that 2-3' drop into a nice ramp is out of the question?

A quick, 2 second brainstorming session has me thinking about fashioning a dolly with some 21" dirt bike tires/wheels on it, that will roll over whatever's in their path. You could pull it out of the water with just about anything. (got a garden tractor?) :D
Winston,
I cant dramatically alter the shore line but I did pick out a spot that has a cutout with a more gradual slope to the water that turned out the be just the right width. I think years ago there may have been stairs to access the water there.
 

Steve T

New Member
Hi everyone! I am just about to order a 14.2 Expo for my family. The boat will be kept at a lake house and I am planning on building a roller ramp so I can roll the boat right up onto shore for storage. Has anyone here done this? I have a design in mind. The shore is rocky and I have a 2-3 ft drop to the water. I'm thinking the ramp could have two sections. One on land that is fixed and another thats hinged on the fixed part that goes into the water so it can be raised for winter. The ramp would be about 25-30ft long and the last 10ft will fold up. My goal is for one person to easily be able to launch and recover the boat.

I'm thinking of using two of these ramp kits (amazon link). This would give me enough rollers and supports. One winch would be for the boat and the other to raise the end of the ramp. I'm also thinking putting a keel roller at the top of the ramp / front of the boat like I've seen on some trailers.

How wide should the ramp be? Essentially, where should the rollers contact the boat?
It will go up and down the ramp a couple times a week and be stored there over the winter. Will the rollers damage the boat?

Because a picture is worth 1000 words, here is one I pulled off an Amazon review thats close to what I'm thinking:

Thanks for the help!
I purchased a Catalina 14.2 Expo in 2018, however I keep it on a trailer. Your roller ramp looks like it's a feasible idea. The boat weighs about 350 pounds so it might take some muscle to crank it up a 3-foot incline. My boat trailer has two "bunks" that the boat rests on. The bunks are about 18" on either side of the centerboard so I'm thinking your rollers would work with the same spacing width. Each bunk is basically a 6-foot length of 2x4 treated wood covered with a durable fabric to protect the hull from scratching. The bow section of the boat rests on two rollers which are spaced 20" apart and placed directly along the centerline of the hull. I love my 14.2 Expo. It is unbelievably quick and easy to rig and launch (from the trailer). It sails nicely. It doesn't have a jib sail so it doesn't point into the wind as well as a standard sloop. I've been sailing small sailboats for the past 40 years. I decided on the 14.2 Expo because I wanted something easy to rig and easy to sail and it definitely fits that description perfectly. Good luck!!
 
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RaptorFuel

New Member
I purchased a Catalina 14.2 Expo in 2018, however I keep it on a trailer. Your roller ramp looks like it's a feasible idea. The boat weighs about 350 pounds so it might take some muscle to crank it up a 3-foot incline. My boat trailer has two "bunks" that the boat rests on. The bunks are about 18" on either side of the centerboard so I'm thinking your rollers would work with the same spacing width. Each bunk is basically a 6-foot length of 2x4 treated wood covered with a durable fabric to protect the hull from scratching. The bow section of the boat rests on two rollers which are spaced 20" apart and placed directly along the centerline of the hull. I love my 14.2 Expo. It is unbelievably quick and easy to rig and launch (from the trailer). It sails nicely. It doesn't have a jib sail so it doesn't point into the wind as well as a standard sloop. I've been sailing small sailboats for the past 40 years. I decided on the 14.2 Expo because I wanted something easy to rig and easy to sail and it definitely fits that description perfectly. Good luck!!
Thanks for the reply Steve,

Between the forums and the dealer I think you are the first person to give me a width measurement. Thank you! There will be a winch at the top of the ramp to make rolling it up the ramp easy. My goal with this boat and the ramp was to make it as easy as possible for my parents to use. I talked to the dealer yesterday and they said that shipping has been finalized and the boat should be on its way very soon! Hopefully I have it by Memorial Day weekend. Because of the shutdown I haven't been able to get the build permit for the ramp so the boat will have to stay tied up at the dock for a little while so I ordered some mooring whips.
 
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