My father-in-law and I went out yesterday, but the wind was blowing a gale and we weren't able to make it across the Nanticoke to Fishing Bay safely in his 17ft mod-v, so we decided to try launching from the Ellis Bay ramp and hunt where it's more protected. Right after we arrived at the ramp, a DNR guy rolled up with his john boat and we chatted for a minute. We asked whether we'd do ok launching there because the ramp is so steep and the water seemed a bit shallow, even at high tide. He said he launches from there all the time and that it wouldn't be a problem as long as we launched and took out at high tide.
His recommendation allayed out concerns about the ramp, so we went ahead and launched. The boat went into the water alright, but the wheels of the trailer went off the end of the ramp before we got the boat all the way into the water. The truck pulled the trailer out fine without the boat on it, so we went on out.
Getting the boat back on proved to be a problem. Again, to get the trailer low enough to get the boat up on it, the wheels went down off of the end, and when the weight of the boat started to bear down on the trailer the wheels sunk in the mud, one side more than the other. This created an even steeper pitch, pushing the back of the boat under water, flooding the boat. When we pulled forward, the side of the trailer that sunk deeper ended up getting caught under the metal rails that stick off the end of the ramp, jamming the trailer, making it impossible to pull up the ramp. We ended up having to push the boat off of the trailer (completely flooded now), man handle the trailer to get it unstuck, wench it up onto the ramp, reposition the submerged boat, and wench that up (with a now broken trailer wench) partway onto the trailer, and finally pull the whole thing up onto the parking lot where we had to push the boat the rest of the way onto the trailer by hand. The end result was a bent axle, a broken trailer wench, messed up wheel assembly, flooded boat, jacked up electronics, and ruined 40hp and 4hp motors.
I don't recommend anyone launch from the Ellis Bay boat ramp with more than the smallest and lightest of jon boats, and don't back down the ramp like you normally would.
I can't seem to get the youtube video to imbed here. help would be appreciated.