Introduction: Canoe & Kayak Launch
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A local camp has several canoes that are routinely used by novice canoeists. The camp and canoeists were running into trouble keeping themselves dry while launching and retrieving the boats! Additionally there were concerns about some erosion of the bank and wear and tear on the bottom of the fiberglass canoes. So a great group of volunteers set out to design and build a boat launch that would address these concerns with a minimal impact on the budget of a non-profit.
For supplies we utilized:
Qty 8: 1 inch Rigid Electrical Conduit
Qty 2: 4x4x8 Pressure Treated Posts
Qty 12: 4x16x8 Concrete Cap Blocks
Qty 8: U-Bolts
Qty 4: Hard-working Volunteers
Step 1: The Plan...
Using very basic surveying techniques we estimated that we were covering a 28" drop over about 92" run. It made a 10' stick of conduit the perfect material for our project. This would let us have 8' exposed on the surface and about 2' submerged to catch the returning boat's bow. We'll stake down notched 4x4 at the top and bottom to slightly raise the conduit above the ground to account for slight variations in the grade, and to keep the conduit in place laterally.
We will use 4 pieces of conduit for each parallel launch, and since we are using 8' 4x4, we'll have enough room to put steps in the middle with the concrete block (not in the diagram) to make launching and capturing the boats easier on the shoreman.
Step 2: Excavation...
With the help of some very hard workers, we began excavation of the for the steps - we were targeting 2 blocks side by side overlapping the below course by 4" giving us a 12" tread and 4" rise. We set the steps with a slight slope to allow for water runoff.
Step 3: Notching / Setting Conduit
After notching the 4x4's with 1 1/2" wide and 1 5/8" deep notches for the conduit and the U-bolts to be recessed below the surface of the wood, we installed the conduit and secured with U-Bolts. It's worth noting that we did slightly bend the first 6" of the conduit to about a 15 degree angle to help smooth the transition and to keep the 4x4 level.
Step 4: Final Install
With the conduit secured and the steps installed, we anchored the 4x4's with 18" rebar to the shore. Knocking down a few high spots with the shovel, we were ready for testing!
Step 5: Success!!
The maiden launches were very successful and we were able to get out and enjoy the lake!
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