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Thread: Whittier beach launch?

  1. #1

    Question Whittier beach launch?

    Anybody launched a boat trailer at the beach near where you come out of the tunnel at Whittier? Although it looks a bit bouncy with 6" round rocks it is also a shallow even grade all the way down to MLLW. If you follow the far road, you can definitely drive a 4WD vehicle right down to the water. It appears possible to launch a small boat such as an 18ft Lund?

  2. #2

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    I have thought the same thing, except with a zodiac.

    When I considered it, I figured I could drive down as far as possible and then 2 guys could just carry it down to the water and attach the motor once there. I would suppose you could possibly do the same with a small lund.

    As far as backing in and launching, I think you would have to back up a considerable ways as there is not a very steep decline. I don't know about you, but I do not like to subject my vehicle to any more salt water than I absolutely have to.

    -- Gambler

  3. #3
    Member spoiled one's Avatar
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    Default tractor launch

    I have heard rumblings about a possible tractor launch beginning next season. This would alleviate some of the congestion in the harbor. Any truth to this rumor?

  4. #4

    Default Tractor launch

    Heard rumor's but nothing concrete. I wish they would. Whittier harbour is such a cluster ****.

  5. #5
    Member Alaska Gray's Avatar
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    Yeah, I would not launch anything over 18' foot there.

    I wonder what would Whitter think of a tractor launch? I know there launch they make big $$$ on there launch fees. If this was true, would this be a private or city of Whitter.
    Living the Alaskan Dream
    Gary Keller
    Anchorage, AK

  6. #6

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    I don't think they'd need a tractor launch if they would just fix the two launch ramps that they have. And please please please get someone at the far launch ramp directing launching/retrieving who knows what they're doing. This year was a joke.

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    Member DMan's Avatar
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    shydiver, funny you mention the directing of traffic. I ended up using the middle launch quite a bit this year (when the tide was right). Once I pulled into the harbor and there was a line by the first couple slips of people waiting to get to the launch. The middle lauch only had two guys on it. I was litterally out of the water spraying the boat off by the time the guy in front of us waiting on the other dock got to tie off. I don't know why more people don't use the middle dock. At high tide they should have one dock for lauching and one for getting out. If they are going to make us pay $20 then at least give us something.......
    ... aboard the 'Memory Maker' Making Memories one Wave at a Time!

  8. #8

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    I've never used the middle launch because I'd heard that it was for smaller/lighter boats. Something about a rock, or maybe it was a dropoff at the end...I don't remember. I have a 24-ft fiberglass boat that's pretty heavy, but maybe I'd think about using it at high tide.

    I agree about one lane for launching and one for retrieving when it's busy. That's one problem I had with the ramp "director" or whatever. She had absolutely no idea what was going on and was not the least bit assertive. You need someone who takes charge if you're going to be the least bit effective at any launch ramp. Last year, a buddy of mine was taking out. He was on the non-piling side of the ramp and finally was up front or nearly so with many boats behind him. The ramp gal told him to move his boat to the other side of the dock (piling side) to take out! That made no sense whatsoever. The entire season was like that.

    Yep, if Whittier's not careful, they're going to drive people away. They need to either improve their facilities or lower charges.

  9. #9
    Member Alaska Gray's Avatar
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    I like to use the very first one or the middle. I hate the last dock..
    Living the Alaskan Dream
    Gary Keller
    Anchorage, AK

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    Member DMan's Avatar
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    Skydiver,

    That launch in the middle of the harbor has a bad drop at the end. I don't use it unless at high or close to high tide. As long as the water is right it is nice. Less congestion. Shoot if they hike the price again probably won't have to worry about congestion anyway!
    ... aboard the 'Memory Maker' Making Memories one Wave at a Time!

  11. #11

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    DMan,

    Thanks. That verifies what I thought I'd heard.

  12. #12

    Default I do all the time

    I did it with my zodiac, and my 20' bayrunner skiff with roller bunks and a power winch. only time I ever got into trouble was with 3' breakers hitting the beach while I was trying to load. If it is FAC no problems! I used a suburban to do the driving.

  13. #13

    Default Whittier ramps

    The city has several options on paper for better ramps but not nearly enough money to do what needs to be done. The pie-in-the-sky plan is to build new launch ramps at the head of the bay somewhat protected by a breakwater with parking nearby; removing the existing middle ramp to make room for more slips; installing a retaining wall on the east end of the harbor (effectively making the harbor basin bigger); and installing two docks with four ramps at the east end.

    What I think will happen? They'll keep the east ramp pretty much as is; remove the middle ramp for more slip space; and start a tractor launch at the head of the bay. Personally, I think the tractor launch idea sucks. You think $20 to use the ramp is bad? At Deep Creek its $45 to tractor launch. Do you really think it will be cheaper in Whittier?

  14. #14

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    It'll be a hell of a lot faster with two or three tractors working launching boats, and parking would be right there close. No waits, just launch and go. For the harbor they need some sort of shuttle system for people parking their trailers and the people coming back. I'm surprised nobody has started to set up a little business with a big van and haul people back and forth for a few bucks.

  15. #15
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    Default launch shuttle

    How about some high school kids with a few golf carts for tip money? Oh yeah--liability, and the town is already bankrupt. Who voted to open up the tunnel?

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    Member DMan's Avatar
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    One thought would be if they would extend the first launch so that it is usable at low tide then they could just dedicate one launch for in and one for out during the rush hour. hmm, what a thought!
    ... aboard the 'Memory Maker' Making Memories one Wave at a Time!

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    Default Launch Tractors

    I talked to the Whittier Harbormaster at a meeting this last week. He said they were going to have tractor launching at the end of the bay and a shuttle service available from there to town next season.

  18. #18
    Member Alaska Gray's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by asorum View Post
    I talked to the Whittier Harbormaster at a meeting this last week. He said they were going to have tractor launching at the end of the bay and a shuttle service available from there to town next season.
    Thats great. This should elminate the back log at the docks.
    did they say how much the launch will be? Also The shuttle is just for the tractor or the dock too?
    Living the Alaskan Dream
    Gary Keller
    Anchorage, AK

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alaska Gray View Post
    Thats great. This should elminate the back log at the docks.
    did they say how much the launch will be? Also The shuttle is just for the tractor or the dock too?
    That sounds to me like they're taking the asiest way out. They should fix the problems they already have instead of opening a third launch so that there will now be three problem areas. I can't imagine it being any better run that how they've run the existing launches in the past. I'm betting the beach launch won't see much business because of price or because most people (including myself) are not used to using beach launches. I'm hopeful, but doubtful.

  20. #20
    Member Alaska Gray's Avatar
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    Just like in Deep Creek they will not luanch you if you do not have side rails. Wonder if Whitter will have the same rules?
    Living the Alaskan Dream
    Gary Keller
    Anchorage, AK

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