How to build a kayak launching ramp

Written by kevin ann reinhart
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How to build a kayak launching ramp
Getting into a kayak from an ordinary dock can be a challenge. (kayak image by saidin b jusoh from

Launching a kayak from a regular boat dock is not an easy process, even for an experienced paddler. For the individual just learning the sport, launching can be anything from mildly embarrassing to painfully injurious. Many kayakers avoid the issue by searching for a sandy beach or existing boat launch to use when taking to the water. If launching safely and easily from your own dock appeals to you, then what you need is a specially designed kayak launching dock that can be easily attached to your existing structure or serve as a stand alone installation.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • High density polythene cubes
  • Sloped polythene ramps
  • Oversized padded rollers
  • Modular Kayak Dock or EZ Launch system
  • Tide Manager or Tide Minder kits
  • Aluminium hand rails
  • Fender mooring system
  • Portable drill
  • Adjustable wrench

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  1. 1

    Connect the high density polythene cubes to the sloped ramps so that you have a level middle section on which to rest your kayak and slopes on either end for launching and docking activities.

  2. 2

    Attach the padded rollers to the polythene structure using the hardware provided in your Kayak Dock or EZ Launch system.

  3. 3

    Connect the Kayak Dock using a Tide Manager for areas with concrete sea walls and pilings, or Tide Minder where no obstructions exist on the current dock's pilings. The Kayak Dock will float up and down with your pre-existing floating dock.

  4. 4

    Add additional lanes for more kayak launching and storage as required. Kayaks may be inverted and tied on the Kayak Dock or EZ Launch when the boats are not in use.

  5. 5

    Attach the aluminium frame to the floating EZ Launch structure using the adjustable wrench. The frame will serve as handholds for getting into the kayak and for launching and docking the craft.

Tips and warnings

  • Confer with the manufacturer of your kayak docking system to ensure that the modular system you choose meets the safety and performance requirements for your area and on your watercourse.

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