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How to Build a Boat Roller Ramp? – An Effective DIY Tutorial

Written by Anthony Roberts / Fact checked by Jonathan Larson

how to build a boat roller ramp

One of the solutions for launching a boat or docking a vessel without a fixed ramp is having a homemade boat roller ramp. Although always carrying a DIY boat ramp sounds complicated, It is highly recommended to build a boat ramp with rollers, thanks to its convenience and affordability.

This leads us to the question “How to build a boat roller ramp?” It can be answered by simple steps such as: measuring, calculating the mounting position, widening and securing the ramp area, and assembling the DIY boat ramp.

If you’re looking for some interesting portable boat ramp ideas, we’ve got you covered! In this post, we will provide certain boat roller ramp plans, as well as other information related to creating a homemade boat ramp. So, make sure to follow us until the end!

What to Prepare for DIY Boat Ramp Construction

The tools and equipment used for creating a boat roller ramp may vary, depending on the types of boat roller ramps you plan to make.

Still, it is necessary to prepare these gadgets for every DIY boat roller ramp construction:

  • Measuring gears: paper, pen or pencil, marker, and measuring tape.
  • Backhoe: consider applying a backhoe, depending on whether you are making a fixed or a float roller ramp.
  • Ramp materials: wood/steel/aluminum frames, rubber or PVC roller, concrete or sand and rocks, and pebbles for the trench position.
  • Small gadgets: a portable electric saw, a cut-off wheel, a hammer, trimmers, carpentry tools, drills, and a shovel.
  • Other DIY equipment might make it easier to launch boats and stack roller ramps on rocky shorelines.

These gadgets will assist the construction of the boat ramp on a rough surface or when boaters place the ramp on a pickup truck or vessel trailer vehicle.

A DIY Step-by-step Tutorial


Now that you know all the necessary tools used in building a boat roller ramp of all kinds, it’s time to follow these steps and constructing a DIY boat roller ramp:

Step 1: Measure your vessel, trailers, and the towing vehicle

  • The very first step you need to do is measure precisely your craft trailer, the vehicle used for transporting, and your vessel to determine the ramp size.
  • Take the accurate measurement of your vessel, the trailer, and pickup vehicle’s specifications like height, width, and length.
  • Also, you should measure from the boat’s last tip to its tail lights and double up the count.

Step 2: Calculate the mounting position

After measuring all essential specifications, compute them to calculate the mounting position. Here are the specific guidelines:

  • Calculate the required trench or ramp dimensions so you know which tools to use when excavating it.
  • Examine your constructing area’s tidal fluctuation to include it in your estimations.
  • For stability, the bigger trench should require a cemented ground.
  • The performance of your DIY roller ramp is affected by each tide shift. Including it in your calculations will make it easier to launch or dock your vessel.

Step 3: Widen the ramp area

  • Use large machinery, like an excavator to extend the trench or create twice the amount of shade as your vessel.
  • A backhoe can also help dump the stones, gravel, and concrete mix more easily.
  • If you own a larger roller ramp that requires a more solid trench, heavier devices are more efficient.
  • Make sure you dig a broad and deep hole that is enough for your watercraft to access the ramp easily.

Step 4: Secure the trench area

  • We suggest you create a trench that is wider than your vessel’s size, utility vehicle, or boat trailer.
  • To use it like the water separator, dig a trench irrespective of your boat’s size. Also, you can maintain the ramp’s stability by utilizing gravel, pebbles, and cement.
  • To make launching or mooring your watercraft with the boat roller ramp easier, search for the shallowest water level.
  • The trench may ensure that the docking space is perpendicular to the coastline and your watercraft roller ramp.

Step 5: Assemble the DIY boat ramp’s pieces

After all those measuring and computing tasks, you are ready to assemble your DIY boat roller ramp. Consider these suggestions and construct your own roller ramp:

  • Once your trench and ramp location are completed, you may begin the construction process.
  • When you purchase the ramp supplies online, they will come with instructions to help you put them It’s as simple as laying out the ingredients and following the directions.
  • Aluminum steel bars, hardwood, and PVC/rubber rolling wheels may be used to build DIY boat ramps that are simple to install on every towing vehicle.
  • You may modify a handmade boat ramp by employing rollers, such as PVC models.
  • Assess to see if your ramp has adequate tension to withstand ocean tides or salinization. You may create a roller ramp by combining wooden and metal components.

For more details on a potential DIY homemade boat roller ramp plan, check out this video:

Tips for Making a Portable Boat Ramp


Some boaters may find it confusing even when they have followed exactly what is written in the instructions. This might occur due to a lack of attention or wrong material preparation. Here are tips to prevent it from happening to you:

1. Material preparation

You have the option of customizing the ramp’s size for your vessel. It may be directly attached to the ground as well as loaded into a trailer or a towing vehicle and transported anywhere. Furthermore, check this post to know how to properly load a boat on a trailer!

Consider a variety of boat models, from lightweight to particularly heavy, and note that there are many handcrafted options available online. If you own a pontoon boat, you should know how wide it is to choose the right material for your roller ramp.

Select from wood, aluminum metal, or any alloy that fits your budget as well as the sturdiness and versatility. When you need to repair or update the ramp, you only need to make a few minor changes.

2. Precaution recommendations

Careful planning will assist in constructing the roller ramp, which also has an impact on its performance or failure.

Remember to use comprehensive specs, follow safety precautions, and easy-to-follow directions.

When building a ramp or excavating a trench, keep in mind the limitations and effects of your vessel. Take some time to consider the external aspects that influence the effectiveness and maintenance of your vessel’s roller ramp.

For maximum and long-term efficiency, take precautions to avoid marine oxidation on your vessel’s roller ramp.


How to build a boat roller ramp? There are many ways to practice this task, and the above is the most basic guideline for making a DIY boat roller ramp. By following it, you can construct and support your boat launching and docking process!

I hope that our post was helpful to your boating experience! Did you enjoy the article? Do you want to add anything else? Please let us know and leave a comment below.

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