An Alternative to Lifts: Boat Ramps With Rollers For Easy Docking

Watercraft and waterfront property owners understand the importance of proper boat storage. To extend the life of your boat, protect it from the elements, and keep it in good repair between uses, you need a reliable yet convenient and cost-effective solution for storing your boat outside of the water. 

Some boat owners spring for installing a boat lifting system on their property. From dock or pile-mounted boat lifts to full-blown boat elevators, these lifts are effective but pretty expensive and potentially complicated to install. 

What are your other options? Let’s talk about boat ramps with rollers. 

Benefits of a Shore Style Boat Dock with Rollers vs. Boat Lifts

Boat lifts or roller docks share some common functionality and advantages. Both boat docking systems allow boat owners to store their watercraft outside the water, protecting them from debris, mold, and other wear while facilitating cleaning and maintenance. In addition, these systems simplify winterization and keep you from worrying about how your boat will fare sitting on the water during the next storm.

However, what are the distinct advantages of a shore dock with rollers compared to a boat lift? Here’s a boat full of benefits of installing a boat dock with rollers on your property.

Shore-style boat docks with rollers are…

  • Versatile - Roller docks can be used on nearly all types of waterfront properties. This boat dock style can even be installed on shores with a steep incline, uneven terrain, or varying water levels. While boat lifts often require a pre-existing fixed dock or pilings, you can install a roller dock even if you don’t have a stationary boat dock on your property. 
  • Space-saving - Boat docks with rollers are low-profile, taking up little space on the shore. Additionally, if you have a pre-existing dock, having an additional roller dock allows you to use your entire dock for swimming, fishing, and other activities without working around your watercraft. Meanwhile, boat lifts usually have more bulk and require more engineering to incorporate into your dock. 
  • Easy to install - Boat ramps with rollers can be a DIY project for any handy homeowner. The material list is simple, and assembly can be done within a few hours. Boat lifts are more of a bear to install, typically requiring professional installation, depending on the lift. 
  • Cost-effective - Aluminum boat lifts can cost thousands of dollars depending on the model. You can build a sturdy, durable, DIY boat ramp with rollers for under a thousand dollars – even under five hundred dollars – depending on the size of your boat. 

If you’re considering embarking on a DIY boat ramp adventure, what materials should you have on your radar? 

What You Need to Build a DIY Boat Ramp Kit

To build a DIY boat ramp with rollers, you’ll need high-quality rollers, brackets, hardware, and braces. You’ll also need a winch, treated lumber, fasteners, and tools. Your needs will vary based on the weight of your watercraft. 

Boat Ramp with Roller Kit Shopping Lists by Boat Size

Tommy Docks offers several grades of boat ramp kits with rollers to make building your own top-notch dock uncomplicated and cost-effective. To find the best boat ramp with rollers kit for your needs, determine the size of your watercraft and build your shopping list from there. Below we’ve compiled several suggested shopping lists based on boat length and weight.

Base Model DIY Ramp for Small Watercraft and Boats

Our base model kit is designed to give DIY roller ramp builders a head-start on their projects. Unlike our full kits, this model does not include a winch, but it does include the rollers, brackets, and hardware needed to create a basic boat ramp at a fraction of the cost of a lift. 

List for base model DIY ramp for personal watercraft and smaller boats:

Kit came as described and went together very easily. Would recommend if you need a shore style boat dock.” - Mark M., Verified Buyer

DIY installation of small boat ramp made the job an outstanding success.” - Bruce W., Verified Buyer

1200 Lbs Capacity Docking Ramp 

Our 1200 lb boat ramp kits are ideal for small to mid-sized boats up to 20 feet long. This kit includes an 1100 lb (dead pulling weight) winch with a 30-foot strap and hook. 

List for 1200 lb capacity docking ramp:

The last two items on the list are extra boat ramp rollers and braces that can be used to extend the length of your ramp up to 32 feet. 

2000 Lbs Capacity Docking Ramp 

Our 2000 lb boat ramp kits are ideal for mid to large-sized boats up to 20 feet long. This model features double “wobble” rollers on each side of the ramp. This kit includes a 2000 lb (dead pulling weight) winch with a 30-foot strap and hook. 

List for 2000 lb capacity docking ramp:

As with the previous kit, the last two items on the list are extra boat ramp rollers and braces that can be used to extend the length of your ramp up to 32 feet. 

Why Opt for a Tommy Docks Boat Ramp with Rollers?

With a lot of roller ramps on the market, why choose Tommy Docks? Because Tommy Docks is where convenience and economy meet quality and durability. 

We equip DIY dock builders with all the kits, hardware, and intuitive assembly and installation instructions they need to pull off a successful dock build. In addition, each piece of our roller ramp kits is made to last. From non-marking thermoplastic rubber rollers to hot-dipped galvanized brackets and fasteners for superior corrosion resistance – our boat ramp kits are designed to keep your boat stored safe and sound. 

Shop our boat ramp with roller kits

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