VENTURA — The Ventura Port District is reminding boaters that the public launch ramp will be closed through June 2014 while it undergoes a major renovation.
Once completed, recreational boaters, kayakers and stand up paddleboarders will enjoy a newly constructed concrete launch ramp. The port district was awarded a $2.55 million grant by the California Department of Boating and Waterways to cover the cost of the dock’s replacement.
Scheduled to be completed in June, the new six-lane concrete launch ramp will be more user friendly than the former access ramp.
Engineers and state officials concluded the old ramp was nearing the end of its life and need to be replaced. The old ramp was built before floods destroyed much of the harbor in 1969, according to the Ventura Port District.
“Essentially, after 50 years it was time to replace the launch ramp,” said Harbormaster Scott Miller. “This ramp will be more efficient.”
Engineers will position a coffer dam around the worn-our ramp and pump out water surrounding the ramp to keep the area dry. The old ramp will then be torn out and a new concrete ramp – 2 inches thicker then the former ramp – will be built. The new surface will allow for better traction.
“The ramp is going to be narrower than the previous ramp with a two-floating dock system instead of three-floating docks,” Miller explained. “But it will be more efficient because the pilings will be inside the dock making for a clear long dock.”
Ventura Harbor’s old dock was divided into three sections.
Boaters who typically launch their vessels from the Channel Islands and Ventura harbor public launch ramps can take advantage of the free launch and haul services currently being offered by Ventura Harbor Marina and Yacht Yard.
Ventura Harbor Marina and Yacht Yard has contracted with the Ventura Port District to provide these services free of charge until the completion of the Ventura launch ramp project.
Visitors can contact the marina to schedule a haul or launch. The negative forklift, manufactured by Marine Travelift, Inc. of Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, will then pluck the vessel from its trailer and place it in the water. The negative forklift has a 20,000 pound lifting capacity, with the ability to lower boats 12 feet and raising them in excess of 30 feet.
To schedule a haul or launch call (805) 642-6755, Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday 8:30 a.m. to noon. With advance notice and arrangement (a minimum of 24 hours) the haul and launch service is available from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week. Call the afterhours reservation anytime at (805) 407-7994.
Ventura Harbor Marina and Yacht Yard have a team of five employees to help do the hauling and launching of boats, averaging 10 to 25 minutes to complete the task.
“We are really encouraging human powered craft user to utilize Harbor Cove to launch their vessels,” Miller said.
To avoid excessive delays on the weekends, free slips will be available on a limited basis at Harbor Village Marina on a trial basis, as available. Boats must be currently registered and have proof of insurance. Arrangements can be made by calling (805) 218-4888.
The Ventura Port District is making every effort to accommodate the boating community during this period. Boaters should expect some inconvenience, however, during periods of high volume launching and hauling activity.
Please visit, venturaharbor.com for updates and more information.