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Thread: Whittier Launches @ low tide

  1. #1
    Member AKBighorn's Avatar
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    Question Whittier Launches @ low tide

    Typically the launch by the Harbor Master isn't usable on low tides. The second launch is barely usable on one ramp at a 0 tide and on the other ramp at -1 you have to use caution and some larger boats may not be able to launch I would think. Looking at the low tides through this weekend there are some -3 ish low tides. I noticed another launch last year east of the harbor and I was wondering if it is more suitable to use it on low tides. What is the routine in this instance?

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    Member potpuller's Avatar
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    Default Whittier launch

    Unless the city has fixed the the deep water launch and if you have a larger boat, I'd stay away until the tide comes in and there is enough water over the launch. That **** broken concrete and exposed rebar has taken out 2 trailer tires of mine in the last 2 years.

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    Member AKBassking's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by potpuller View Post
    Unless the city has fixed the the deep water launch and if you have a larger boat, I'd stay away until the tide comes in and there is enough water over the launch. That **** broken concrete and exposed rebar has taken out 2 trailer tires of mine in the last 2 years.

    Which launch has the broken rebar in it?

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    Member AKBighorn's Avatar
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    Default

    I'm sure I'm being optimistic here but maybe they will do some work on it with the low tides.

    To my knowledge there are 2 launch areas in the harbor, 1 shallow and 1 deep. The deep launch (longer) is very rough but I didn't notice any protruding tire puncturing rebarr 2 weekends ago but there is plenty of rebarr to be seen. The launch I was asking about is outside of the harbor to the east more. Anyone ever used it?

  5. #5

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    The second ramp you come to has the broken rebar. At $20 per launch, you'd think they could fix it. They just need to pick a minus tide and get the work done!

  6. #6

    Default Smitty's Cove

    I believe the ramp AKBighorn is asking about is the one a Smitty's Cove. People do use it, but I haven't so I can't tell you about it. Our boat is big fiberglass and needs to be tied to a dock after launching and there isn't one there.

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    Member spoiled one's Avatar
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    Default Smitty's Cove

    If you do launch there, watch out for divers. If I am not mistaken, they do dive certifications there.
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    Supporting Member bullbuster's Avatar
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    Default Smittys Cove is ok, not great, but

    It is $20 a pop. You can park right there. You can even get a haircut there.
    There is no dock, so you have to nose in to pick up the guy that parked the truck. Coming back to a surf hitting the beach is tricky on glass boats. That's when I have run over to the harbor to load my fat dog and truck parker.
    At lower tides it is workable. It drops off fast on the side of the ramp, so stay centered. Keep an eye out for diver flags, it is a popular spot for beginners. Take a look out for the odd larger rock below the ramp, they seem to move around a little.
    It's a mom & pop, so it has it's moments and shortfalls. They appreciate the money and are friendly folks. It was the only ramp clear of snow last December, once the broken down landing craft got moved and the divers cleared out.
    Oh, its a pretty good bump coming back up onto the concrete if the tide is really low, so have enough truck to grunt it up on the ramp.
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  9. #9
    Member AKBighorn's Avatar
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    Default

    So far what I gather is that on a good minus tide most people sit and wait because Whittier didn't think about low tides when they built the launches

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    JR,
    Just remember what the Scarecrow in the Wizzard of Oz was looking for ?? "If i only had a brain " & thats what they need first in Whittier before they ever get anything right there.
    By the way on a minus tide you can launch your boat by just letting your trailer roll off the edge of the ramp as long as you've got enough truck to drag it back up & over the edge. I wouldn't try it hauling the boat & trailer up the ramp.

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    Member AKBighorn's Avatar
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    Default

    LOL That is what Queen of Kings did 2 weekends ago and the trailer made alot of noise as it went over the end. Not the funnest way to launch his new boat but effective I suppose. He took it a little slower pulling the trailer out. My concern was the tides being lower this weekend than any time I have been there. I guess you just have to pay extra attention on the obsticle course they call a launch

  12. #12

    Default Other problem too

    There's another problem with trying to launch in Whittier on a very low tide. The dock space, already at a premium, is much smaller. More of the dock is sitting on land and less of it is floating and available for boats to tie to. Couple that with a long walk back from parking your truck and it all adds up to one word - patience.

    Last year we rolled through the tunnel on a Saturday morning on a minus tide and waited an hour and a half for our turn to launch.

  13. #13

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    On certain minus tides, even the ramps in Seward are too short. So it's not just a Whittier thing (although it seems to be worse at Whittier).

    Don't necessarily plan on being able to drag you trailer up the ramp after letting it run off the end of the ramp when launching. Depending on how your trailer is constructed, you can end up trying to pull your trailer up over the edge of the launch and have a cross-member hang up on the concrete. I've seen it happen at Whittier. I've also heard of people trying to launch on a minus tide and when they back up and the wheels fall off the edge of the ramp, their trailer has hit the ramp and broken. Best thing to do is to plan around the minus tides.

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    Member AKBighorn's Avatar
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    Default

    I was hoping that there was a better solution or something I hadn't figured out already. It does get frustrating with limited ramp usage and little dock space at the lower tides. Sure would be nice if they would do something even if it was just having intelligent attendants or a shuttle to the parking area. The thing that gets my goat the most is that the 2 most expensive launches are typically the least cared for and the most crowded. Something is wrong with that picture. I know this has been discussed before but its still under my skin causing an irritation.

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    Member Alaska Gray's Avatar
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    Default

    You would think Whitter would build a bigger dock/launch area.
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    Default

    Is Whittier a state-owned launch, or owned by the town?

    Might be time to start putting some pressure on whoever it may be to spend the money on something other than the flag ladies (who admittedly do a prettygood job!).

    SH

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    Member AKBassking's Avatar
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    I think they are owned by Whittier.

    If they were smart about it, they could construct a multiple launch ramps, with parking at the head of the bay buy the landing strip. More like what I have seen in L48 at lakes. Build it for a minus tide.

    Is it just me or does Whittier have an anti-development attitude. There could be so much more there and accommodate a lot more people with better facilities, restaurants etc. Although more people……mmmmmm…….

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  18. #18

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    I think that if Whittier were a business, they would have folded by now. They just don't seem to be very efficient. I wonder where all the launch money goes since it obviously doesn't go to the ramp upkeep.

    At the east ramp (furthest from the tunnel), next to last ramp, you could launch and retrieve on a minus tide if they would just get a couple of loads of rock and dump into the hole that's at the end of the ramp. Then trailers wouldn't fall off the ramp into the hole. It's a cheap, easy, obvious fix (although temporary) to that problem. I just don't see why they wouldn't do something like that.

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Default

    When you have something that is in demand, and no competition, you can get away with crappy facilities and high prices.

    Unless folks could get together and boycott Whittier for a weekend to show that they need to fix their facilities, I don't see things improving soon.

  20. #20
    Member AKBassking's Avatar
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    How about a letter writting campain or petition from members of this forum?

    Maybe a "poll like" thing can take place here and that in turn could be forwared to the Whittier city council.

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