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Cowes boat ramp

Another upgraded boat ramp is on the way for Phillip Island with detailed designs being drawn up for Cowes boat ramp.

Better Boating Victoria, in partnership with Bass Coast Shire Council and local fishers and boaters, have finalised concept plans for the future upgrade of the Cowes boat ramp.

Attention has now turned to drafting construction-ready designs and progressing necessary approvals.

The final concept was developed by experienced marine and civil engineers from AW Maritime with advice and input from key management agencies, local government and key stakeholders including local recreational fishers.

Click here to view the final concept.

Recreational boating is an important part of the Phillip Island culture and lifestyle. The network of boat ramps on Phillip Island provide for a variety of boat sizes and operator experience.

The Cowes boat ramp has limited capacity due to the availability of land for car parking and operates within only a limited tidal range, during mostly favourable conditions. The ramp is regularly impacted by sand which moves along the shoreline throughout the year generally influenced by prevailing winds. The sand makes launching and retrieval difficult, particularly for 2WD vehicles and is an ongoing maintenance burden.

The key features of the proposed upgrade are expected to improve the functionality of the facility making it easier to use for more boaters, more often.

Key features of the upgrade include

    • an increase in the height and length of the existing ramp to create a steeper gradient to make launching and retrieval easier and reduce the amount of sand building up on the surface
    • raising the height of the lower jetty landings to make it more useable during greater tidal ranges and an extension to enable more berthing during launch and retrieval.
    • provision of two timber groynes on either side of the ramp to assist in managing the movement and accumulation of sand directly in front of the ramp.
    • realignment of the turning circle at the top of the ramp to make manoeuvring easier

Recreational boaters, fishers and members of the broader community provided feedback on the concept in 2021. COVID restrictions at the time meant consultation occurred predominantly online. Feedback received through this process supported the concept and highlighted existing issues such as the jetty and the ongoing management of sand accumulation on the ramp both of which have been addressed in the final concept.

Engineers have moved to the next stage of the process which includes obtaining the necessary legislative approvals and converting the concept design into tender and construction ready plans.

The Victorian Government has made all boat ramps free for all Victorians to enjoy and BBV is progressing the biggest boat ramp infrastructure upgrade in the state’s history with a dedicated new $33m boating fund.



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