Boat Ramp

Tauranga waka photo credit Kelvin Day
Ocean going craft launched from the Cape Egmont boat ramp many hundreds of years before the first European settlers arrived. Local Maori painstakingly broke up and shifted tonnes of rocks and boulders to make tauranga waka, or canoe launching places, some of which are still able to be seen today in rocky beach areas around Cape Egmont. Considering that some of them extend up to 150m from the shoreline, this was a back-breaking feat.
With the advent of heavy machinery, and some more hard work from the Cape Egmont Boat Club members, the boat ramp started to take the form which is so familiar to us today. 
It has gone through several improvements over the decades, including widening, deepening and concreting the original ramp. This served for many years, but it was still narrow and shallow which meant that the rescue boat could not turn around, launch or return over moderately low tides. 
In 2011, the new boat ramp was built. At roughly five metres deep during high tide, and with an enlarged boat turning area, the new ramp allows TSB Sea Rescue to launch in all but extremely low tides, further increasing our efficiency and readiness.
Although you will see poles marking the boat race in the photos, we do not have navlights on the poles. There are night lights and navigation marks mounted on the club house roof as guiding leads, but the entrance of the boat ramp is a dogleg curve in front of the clubhouse so expert seamanship is a must when coming in. As part of our preparations for operating in rough and/or night-time conditions, we train our skippers to navigate into the boat ramp by radar only, with the windows of the cabin blacked out.