Concrete Boat Dock Ramp

We have a 26″ high retaining wall along Budd Lake. In the past we had to construct a temporary ramp 2 times per year to roll the dock up or down. The angle of the temporary ramp is steep, and the boards could be wider.

Alternative: Permanent cement dock ramp?

Is it allowed? We called the City of Fairmont and DNR. Since the ramp is so small: YES.

DNR has a rule against construction rubble, but field stone, crushed granite and small concrete projects are allowed without much fuss. Fairmont always wants a permit application including a sketch showing the size and position relative to your shoreline. When the project is small enough, Fairmont waives the permit fee!

I sketched a design that included a trough at the bottom to cradle the dock’s wheels about 48″ from the retaining wall. I emailed it on a Google Earth map to Tyler Cowing at the City. Good to go!

Concrete work was arranged with Steve Smith. Then we pulled out the dock one last time – the old way.

Take away:

  • The cost of the concrete work was reasonable.
  • The new ramp helps to fortify the aging retaining wall.
  • The work only took a couple days.
  • Smith did a great job of scaling my sketch into full size forms.
  • They put rebar everywhere tying the ramp into the retaining wall.
  • Smith and his crew kept excess concrete and construction debris out of the lake.
  • Very little of the lakebed was disturbed.

April 2022: Time to roll the dock into place using the new ramp. It was never easier or faster. The trough (or hook) at the bottom held the dock’s wheels precisely.

Now we hope the wind will settle down so we can get our boat!

Dock On Land Oct21
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Ted Schaefer Administrator
Webmaster, mechanical engineer, programmer, Wood worker, DIY enthusiast, lives on Budd Lake in Fairmont, MN