The NSW Boat Launching Ramps Guidelines were published by the NSW Public Works Department (PWD) in 1985.  For the past 30 years this document has been the industry standard for the design of boat ramps in NSW.  Various changes have emerged in recent decades with recreational boating activities and facilities in NSW, which have initiated a review of the guidelines.

Royal HaskoningDHV have worked collaboratively with NSW Roads & Maritime Services and a Working Group of key representatives from boating user groups to review the previous guideline document with the objective to update and refresh its content to reflect modern day boating requirements.  The updated guidelines have also been reviewed by asset owners including selected local Councils and the National Parks and Wildlife Service.

The main changes and additional content within the updated guideline document include:

  • referencing and consistency with relevant Australian Standards;
  • discussion of appropriate facility scale for different settings;
  • additional guidance on ramp siting in wave affected and riverine environments;
  • increased ramp toe depth for larger vessels;
  • vertical curve geometry for the ramp crest transition;
  • updated reinforced concrete specification for marine environments;
  • ramp toe scour protection to prevent ‘propeller dredging’;
  • outline of typical boat ramp facility maintenance activities, deterioration mechanisms and a provisional inspection program;
  • simple schematics for design of angled car/trailer spaces;
  • incorporation of water sensitive urban design elements into parking areas;
  • reference to incorporation of all-ability access provisions;
  • additional design guidance on pontoons, jetties and gangway structures; and,
  • updated example design drawings.