A fully restored boat ramp is back in business after getting a muchneeded makeover.
The boat launching site at Portage in the Kenepuru Sounds was in desperate need of restoration after 25 years of sea water and waves took their toll.
After three days of work, the ramp is ship shape and ready for use. It is the first community project to be finished as part of the Marlborough District Council’s Small Townships Programme.
Working with council, members of the Kenepuru and Central Sounds Residents Association joined Royal Portage Bay Boat Club members to bring the old boat ramp back to its former glory.
Kenepuru and Central Sounds Residents Association president Ross Withell says the improvements are very welcome as the ramp gets a lot of use over the summer months when the car park becomes packed with boat trailers.
‘‘The strong westerly storms that come through here had broken off some of the concrete over the years and there was a severe drop-off where people were backing down to launch their boats.
‘‘We had to do the work in winter as there can be up to 20 people at a time trying to launch or retrieve their boats here in the summer. It’s a very popular spot,’’ he says. A proactive and widely supported group, the association applied to the council for community funding for the project which Ross says cost between $2000 and $3000.
The group also relied on the expertise of community members to help bring the eagerly-awaited project to fruition.
‘‘One of our community had a digger we used to help dig trenches around the ramp and another was a retired builder.
‘‘It looks excellent and the community support from people around here was great,’’ he says.
Projects that provide for new or improved outdoor public spaces are eligible to apply for funding under the small townships initiative.
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Concrete is poured on the Portage boat ramp.