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79LumaCraft

Best east metro launches for a first time boat owner

22 posts in this topic

Got my first boat and looking forward to getting it out on the water. What are the best launches in the east metro for a guy who's not very good yet at launching and landing his boat--not a lot of traffic, good ramp, good dock, that kind of stuff.

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Lake Phalen has a good boat ramp... More than likely you would have the ramp all to yourself. however, there are no docks there so you may have to get your feet wet..

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Or close by is the Spoon Lake launch! (i.e. Gervais and Keller)... also not busy yet.. and you can use a motor. Take a weekday off and get there in the a.m. and you will be all by yourself all day long!

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Owasso has a dock and nice launch. Another option with a dock is Long Lake in New Brigten. If you go on a week day you should have no major crowds at either to practice. There also in a nice launch on Island lake, and as mentioned Phalen but no docks.

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I'll second the recommendation for Owasso. Nice double wide boat ramp, which makes backing up easier while you are still learning. Lake Johanna also has a good ramp, although the parking lot is small so it can fill up on weekends.

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79, you could always hit a river launch also. if you have ever been around anyone who has launched it isnt hard, just know the setup and procedure b4 you head out. i just got my first boat a few weeks ago and took it to bald eagle. there was a line and i was like "oh man, im gonna look like an (Contact Us Please)". but me and the wife had very little trouble.

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Silver Lake in North St. Paul is good. No dock, but no lines ever. Not great for fishing, but I like to go there to practice the launch and load and also to "fiddle" with electronics and whatever else on the boat to learn. You pretty much get the lake to yourself until summer when the pleasure boaters are out.

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YES, OWASSO HAS A NICE LAUNCH BUT THAT LITTLE TURN CAN BE TIGHT. BEST ADVICE WOULD BE GET IN EARLY AND OUT EARLY. IT CAN GET BUSY OVER THERE AFTER 10 AM. THERE IS A NICE OVERFLOW LOT FOR TRAILERS WEST OF THE BEACH.

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Quote:

Lake Phalen has a good boat ramp... More than likely you would have the ramp all to yourself. however, there are no docks there so you may have to get your feet wet..


What kind of baloney is this? Lake Phalen ramp? - no gasoline motorized operation.

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Crystal is very low traffic.

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Try Lake Demontreville in Lake Elmo. Only a single launch lane, but I have never seen it crowded. Nice lake for panfish too.

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Oh my, Demotroville does get very crowded, extremely crowded. So does Jane. You need to get there early to get a spot, and they will ticket for parking outside of lot. I would also say the Dem. ramp might be a bit tricky for someone wanting to practice. Not real hard, but a slight "crick" in the angle makes a for a slight blind spot.

Phalen is not a good place to practice, as the walking path goes right across the landing, and you need to watch for kids and bikes, etc.

If you care to go far enough north, Big Marine north end ramp would be a good one to practice, and a nice lake to fish.

Don't even bother with Bald Eagle, as the east side lane is horrible, and it is very busy. During the week it would be a nice one to practice.

Carnelian is a different desinged ramp, so a nice one to go practice at after you get a few more tries in. It is still easy and nice, just a bit different approach than most.

Good luck, and happy trailering smile.gif

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Otter lake (right next to bald eagle) is a good option. There is never anyone launching there. It's a good lake for a small boat (is your boat small?). Lot's of northerns.

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I taught my wife to back down the ramp at TANNERS.

It's kinda long, but it's nice and straight and usually pretty low traffic levels.

She now backs the trailer down the ramp, then I launch (or load) the boat and she's better at it than half my fishing buddies are.

I wouldn't try to learn at:

Phalen because of the pedestrian traffic.

Silver in No St Paul because you have to back around a curve.

Lakes like Bald Eagle and White Bear are definitely too crowded.

I've never been to Otter, but it sounds like it might be worth a try too.

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The ramp at Demotroville is busy with wake boarder boats (and some fishing boats) every day plus the ramp is crowded with people fishing on the rocks and dock all the time. Lots of kids running around fishing. Too much of a crowd watching you if you are just learning. I think I would avoid that one for practice unless you go very early or on a rainy day. Also, most days - weekend all day and weekday afternoons - the lot is full unless you arrive early in the AM. Lake Jane is not as bad but it has a small parking lot. I think the best bet would be to arrive at sunrise on any lake if you want to avoid the crowds and practice.

Good luck - I am new to using the boat ramps but I now have a few months under my belt and I am getting better. My advice is don't get nervous because someone is waiting. Just go slow and you will get in and out quicker than if you try to rush.

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Tonka on a sunny Saturday!

Kidding only kidding. That would be the worst case senerio.

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If you want to practice backing up any large parking lot will do. grin.gif

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If I may suggest, find an empty parking lot with decent markings and practice backing your boat into the slot. That's how I learned that right to go left and left to go right. Once you feel comfortable with that then go to a real launch during a week day when it's not crowded and try it there.

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Thanks everyone. Backing up the boat is not a problem, mainly getting it launched and back on the trailer. Appreciate all the responses. Looking forward to getting out early on Saturday and Sunday this weekend.

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Ended up heading out to Big Marine--great launch and had really no problems. Not busy when I got there at 7:30, a little busier when I left at noon. Great morning to be out--not great results, but great fun. Be trying another lake tomorrow morning--probably Jane, maybe Big Carnelian.

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Thanks for posting! Great to hear feedback from a post like yours. Hope things are going good.

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I was going to say Big Marine would be a good bet also, but saw that is where you tried it out. It has a nice sized ramp and plenty of space to get around. That is where my buddy learned to launch his dad's boat. I just wish I had a boat like his dad, would make days on the water even more enjoyable.

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