Sunk Boat at Ellis Bay Ramp

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Sunk Boat at Ellis Bay Ramp

Postby dekeburt » Fri Nov 18, 2011 1:12 pm

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. :no:
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.
[youtube]JW8xd3pOQq4[/youtube]
Last edited by dekeburt on Fri Nov 18, 2011 8:42 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Sunk Boat at Ellis Bay Ramp

Postby Aunt Bee » Fri Nov 18, 2011 1:21 pm

Thanks for the warning!!!- :beer:
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Sunk Boat at Ellis Bay Ramp

Postby assateague » Fri Nov 18, 2011 1:29 pm

You're braver than me. I only launch my hybrid from there, and I do it by carrying it over to the water left of the ramp by hand! Honestly, I didn't even know people launched "regular" boats there- I've never seen it happen, and that ramp is too steep to even walk on.
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Sunk Boat at Ellis Bay Ramp

Postby assateague » Fri Nov 18, 2011 1:31 pm

And if you're not careful, going around that long thin point of grass, you'll find a HUGE log just under the surface, right in what little channel there is!
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Re: Sunk Boat at Ellis Bay Ramp

Postby tin_can » Sun Nov 27, 2011 6:21 pm

that is crazy i have been using that ramp for years and never had a issue. that looks like it wasn't even low tide. did u at least shoot anything? i was there 11/19 and 11/24. if u think its bad u should have seen it before it was rebuilt.
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Re: Sunk Boat at Ellis Bay Ramp

Postby westsidehunter » Sun Nov 27, 2011 7:30 pm

i have used that ramp with my boat for years. before it was rebuilt it was really scary. there ware 4x4's at the end of each runner to keep the trailer from coming off.
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Re: Sunk Boat at Ellis Bay Ramp

Postby dekeburt » Mon Nov 28, 2011 10:18 am

Since the incident I've heard about the poor condition of the ramp prior to being rebuilt. A guy at DNR told my father in law that someone's truck fell through at some point in the past - yikes. It was about 2 hours before high tide, but the ramp is so short and steep, so getting the nose up on the trailer at that steep angle and having the wheel sink in the mud made the transom sink below the waterline. I'm glad you guys are having better luck with it than we did. Out of curiosity, what size/kind of boat do you launch there?
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Re: Sunk Boat at Ellis Bay Ramp

Postby tin_can » Mon Nov 28, 2011 11:00 am

biggest boat I have launched was a 16 foot. launched it on dead low tide and have pulled it up on low tide. just can't run the trailer off the end. I have seen 18 foot boats launched.
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Re: Sunk Boat at Ellis Bay Ramp

Postby westsidehunter » Mon Nov 28, 2011 3:24 pm

i have seen 18ft jon boats put over. i have seen some v bottom jon boats put over there as well. anyone have a picture of the ramp prior to being rebuilt?
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