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Cowes boat ramp

Better boating facilities are on the way at Cowes, with $2.8m allocated through the Better Boating Fund for an upgrade at the Phillip Island ramp.

The Cowes boat ramp is located at the end of Anderson Road within the coastal township of Cowes. The beach ramp is a popular launching point for recreational fishers and boaters, particularly through the peak summer period.

The current facility comprises a shallow gradient boat ramp which enables restricted launching by typically smaller vessels, generally at higher tides. A jetty is located nearby with tiered platforms providing access for temporary on water berthing at a variety of tidal ranges.

The Cowes boat ramp 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 users are impacted by frequent maintenance required to clear sand off the ramp by the facility manager.

A contract was recently awarded to Bridgewater Marine and work on the upgrades is expected to begin on May 29, 2023. A drop-in session to discuss the construction program is being held on Thursday, 4 May at Cowes Yacht Club. The ramp will be closed during construction. Boaters can launch at the recently-redeveloped Rhyll ramp or at Newhaven.

Click here to view PDF with more information.

Concept Phase

In 2021 a concept plan was developed with input from recreational boaters and fishers, key management agencies, Bass Coast Shire Council, and the broader community. The concept involved raising the height of the ramp high above the beach, dredging at the toe of the ramp and adding groynes either side to trap sediment.

Since then, civil, and coastal engineers from BMT Australia have been engaged to progress detailed construction ready designs for the Cowes boat ramp upgrade. As part of their design process, the original concept has been carefully reviewed and some changes made.

Click here to view the updated concept.

The new design will raise the height of the ramp to just above the existing beach height which will reduce the impact of sand and require less maintenance to remain open and operational for boaters. Furthermore, the upgrades will also raise the adjacent jetty and extend it out further to provide more berthing across a greater tidal range. 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.

Detailed Design Phase

The teams from Better Boating Victoria, Bass Coast Shire and BMT Australia have completed the detailed designs and obtained the necessary permits and approvals to enable construction from late May, 2023.

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