What community feedback has council received regarding the use of the upgraded boat ramp?

Since the opening of Pelican Boat Ramp, we have received feedback from the community about the speed of the currents making it difficult for some vessels to launch.

How is Council planning to address the issues raised?

We have approved the addition of a high-density polyethylene skirt along the sides of the two pontoons to stop vessels being trapped under the pontoon fendering. Dock-wheels will also be added to the outer corners of the pontoons to allow vessels to roll against the pontoon rather than getting pinned to it, which will assist in moving boats from the outer edges of the pontoons to the inside.

An electronic LED sign is due to be operational by early May, which will provide information to the users on the current speed and direction, helping users to make an informed decision on whether they should launch their vessel or not.


How did Council's community consultation influence the end design of the boat ramp?

Council undertook consultation on the location of Pelican boat ramp throughout 2017 and a recommendation to rebuild the ramp inland from the existing site, with protective rock groynes and a central pontoon, was endorsed by Councillors. Further consultation was carried out in October 2018 on the new design proposal and Council’s plans to address the ongoing challenges in the waterway.

Why was the boat ramp not built with an sheltered or off-the-channel marina?

The erosive forces, speed of the current and the depth of water make it a very difficult site. Before construction began there were detailed investigations undertaken by the contractor that indicated the erosive forces to be greater than initially perceived. Subsequently the boat ramp needed to be redesigned to include the wave-attenuating pontoons on each side of the ramp, replacing the proposed groynes in the original concept design. The pontoons add to the useability, as they provide an area for boats to be able to drop off and pick up passengers at the foreshore. 

The safe harbour proposed at concept stage was not to scale and when the site was surveyed and then a proposal drafted to scale, it did not fit on site.

Who was the consultant engaged for the construction of the ramp upgrade?

Hunter Wharf and Barge Pty Ltd was appointed to build the ramp in January 2018 through a tender process.


What other boat launching facilities are available nearby?

You can access alternate launching facilities at:

Thomas Humphreys Reserve, Swansea, access via Dobinson Drive;
Blacksmiths Channel Reserve, Blacksmiths, access via Ungala Road;
and Lake Road, Swansea.