Dartmeet kayak launch

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Simon Westgarth
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Dartmeet kayak launch

Post by Simon Westgarth » Mon Feb 01, 2010 1:51 pm

Later on this week, I will attend a site meeting for the construction of a kayak launch at Dartmeet, just downstream of the road bridge on river left. The EA proposed the project, DNPA will undertake the work and the project itself is likely to be funded by a major kayak and equipment manufacturer. Part of the EA's motives to oversee this project, is to ensure that paddlers get in and cross to the river right channel, so to avoid the redds 100m downstream of the road bridge on river left at Dartmeet, plus the amount of bank erosion this season alone will mean that the bank over several paddling season its likely to be eroded.

So you yourselves, what style of launch would you like to see?, a 5m ski jump is of cause preferred but unlikely to happen, so sensible suggestions please?

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Re: Dartmeet kayak launch

Post by thetangoman » Mon Feb 01, 2010 2:21 pm

Personally, I would prefer one which allows seal launching but without taking much (if any) plastic off the bottom of my boat. Not sure how this can be done though. As it needs to cater for the vast majority of water levels, so sort of platform with a slope into the water would seem to be logical.

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Re: Dartmeet kayak launch

Post by Ross W » Mon Feb 01, 2010 2:25 pm

Simon, are we talking directly downstream of the bridge(point A)? or a little walk down to where there is a small step leading in to the water(Point b)?
Image

Either way I think that having a launching platform here would make for a far better get in, Problem I see is that, the platform may become useless at different levels...

As both points are pretty shallow - anything that requires sliding in will cause damage to the river bed there, so its going to need be something you can slide down untill the buoyancy of the boat takes over ? a low angle ramp of some kind?
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Re: Dartmeet kayak launch

Post by Strad » Mon Feb 01, 2010 2:29 pm

has it already been prototyped?

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Re: Dartmeet kayak launch

Post by Flo » Mon Feb 01, 2010 2:29 pm

Maybe a ramp with bristles?

Possibly something like astro turf (although I don't know what the friction would be like on that for sliding though). I seem to remeber that a.t. is fairly durable stuff used for artificial pitches and such, so should withstand luanches well.

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Re: Dartmeet kayak launch

Post by Ross W » Mon Feb 01, 2010 3:39 pm

Flo wrote:Maybe a ramp with bristles?

Possibly something like astro turf (although I don't know what the friction would be like on that for sliding though). I seem to remeber that a.t. is fairly durable stuff used for artificial pitches and such, so should withstand luanches well.

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They same thing that is currently used on artificial ski slopes?
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Re: Dartmeet kayak launch

Post by Flo » Mon Feb 01, 2010 3:48 pm

Possibly, yes.

It could scrub the bottoms of the boats, preventing cross-contamination or some such environmental spiel...

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Re: Dartmeet kayak launch

Post by freddie » Mon Feb 01, 2010 4:05 pm

Ross W wrote:They same thing that is currently used on artificial ski slopes?

There's stuff like that on the bank at HPP, seems to have lasted pretty well so far.
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Re: Dartmeet kayak launch

Post by justin-g » Mon Feb 01, 2010 4:33 pm

Conveyer belt from the bottom of surprise surprise to the top would be the business...

Otherwise sounds like a great idea – be good if it was useful for a range of flow and so that more than one person can launch at once – the Dart is a busy river and queuing to use the launch would probably mean nobody would bother.
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Re: Dartmeet kayak launch

Post by Mark Allen » Mon Feb 01, 2010 5:02 pm

Ross W wrote:Simon, are we talking directly downstream of the bridge(point A)? or a little walk down to where there is a small step leading in to the water(Point b)?
Image

Either way I think that having a launching platform here would make for a far better get in, Problem I see is that, the platform may become useless at different levels...

As both points are pretty shallow - anything that requires sliding in will cause damage to the river bed there, so its going to need be something you can slide down untill the buoyancy of the boat takes over ? a low angle ramp of some kind?

Site A is where the launch thingy will be. Site B is where the Redds are.

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Re: Dartmeet kayak launch

Post by enb » Mon Feb 01, 2010 5:12 pm

Mark Allen wrote:
Ross W wrote:Simon, are we talking directly downstream of the bridge(point A)? or a little walk down to where there is a small step leading in to the water(Point b)?
Image

Either way I think that having a launching platform here would make for a far better get in, Problem I see is that, the platform may become useless at different levels...

As both points are pretty shallow - anything that requires sliding in will cause damage to the river bed there, so its going to need be something you can slide down untill the buoyancy of the boat takes over ? a low angle ramp of some kind?

Site A is where the launch thingy will be. Site B is where the Redds are.
Oh, i have always got in about half way between A + B i think, and paddled across river and taken the right hand channel.

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Re: Dartmeet kayak launch

Post by PLYMOUTHSP » Mon Feb 01, 2010 5:51 pm

Smooth cobbles set slightly proud of a concrete base.

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Re: Dartmeet kayak launch

Post by chyavan » Mon Feb 01, 2010 5:58 pm

Something similar to the rubber slides at Symonds yat but a bit less bumpy and more of a drop at the end :)

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Re: Dartmeet kayak launch

Post by Simon Westgarth » Mon Feb 01, 2010 7:01 pm

Ross W wrote:Simon, are we talking directly downstream of the bridge(point A)? or a little walk down to where there is a small step leading in to the water(Point b)?
Image
Ross, please read the West Dart Concerns thread for updated information regarding the West Dart and Dartmeet. The EA have requested that at no point during the Autumn/Winter paddling season that we should get in at point B on your map, this is directly on to the Redds, some 80m down stream of the road bridge at Dartmeet. Please putin just downstream, 2m from the bridge. These Redds are Dartmeet are not very popular with the fish, but currently there appears to be are two small spawning nests there this season.

Point B, where the salmon redds are, 80m or so downstream of the road bridge at Dartmeet
Image

Point A, the site of the proposed kayak launch
Image
enb wrote:Oh, I have always got in about half way between A + B I think, and paddled across river and taken the right hand channel.
Its unlikely that you have putin between the 2 points, as you'll be in the trees by the small island just upstream of where point B is, it is thus likely that you have been putting in at Point B, please use Point A in future during the Autumn/Winter paddling season.

On another note, can we have a few images of your suggestions, I have not been to HPP or the Yat for some time......

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Re: Dartmeet kayak launch

Post by Terryg » Mon Feb 01, 2010 7:49 pm

To cope with the huge variation in levels, and the lack of depth, I suggest a floating pontoon type system.
Difficulty will be making whatever is chosen fit in with its surroundings.

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Re: Dartmeet kayak launch

Post by Ross W » Mon Feb 01, 2010 7:55 pm

How about the same type of material used for the "Black beach" thats used at the mount batten centre in Plymouth?
Image

Its a plastic block like material which connects together to form a platform - very good, and is used daily so durable?





PS, I get on just after the bridge simon, its easyer than having to ferry across / come under the tree's above the bridge.
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Re: Dartmeet kayak launch

Post by Ross W » Mon Feb 01, 2010 7:57 pm

This might be being abit "simple" but if its eroding away now... why not just dig some out and replace it with a concrete slab? Will just be like it is now... easy to get on at what ever level, yet wont erode.
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Re: Dartmeet kayak launch

Post by Simon Westgarth » Mon Feb 01, 2010 8:06 pm

Ross W wrote:This might be being abit "simple" but if its eroding away now... why not just dig some out and replace it with a concrete slab? Will just be like it is now... easy to get on at what ever level, yet wont erode.
That option is highly unlikely to happen in the national park. A rock bench with sloping rock slabs into the flow would be a more fitting option. I can not see the Parks going for a floating platform, it would not fit into the natural setting.

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Re: Dartmeet kayak launch

Post by Ross W » Mon Feb 01, 2010 8:10 pm

Same thing really, What I was getting at was replacing the current ground with something solid, like granit blocks?

Where the Reeds are there are some long slabs of granit? Something like that dug in to the ground so it has the same height profile as now
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Re: Dartmeet kayak launch

Post by jmmoxon » Mon Feb 01, 2010 8:22 pm

It's either got to be a granite slope or steps (like some bits above the bridge) - not entirely sure which will cause less damage to boats, as on steps we will be launching over an edge, whilst slope may provide a more spread grating effect - will the National Park pay for a polished granite slab?

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Re: Dartmeet kayak launch

Post by Simon Westgarth » Mon Feb 01, 2010 8:42 pm

jmmoxon wrote:It's either got to be a granite slope or steps (like some bits above the bridge) - not entirely sure which will cause less damage to boats, as on steps we will be launching over an edge
Steps, I hope are not an option, for the same reason you have given.
jmmoxon wrote:.../whilst slope may provide a more spread grating effect - will the National Park pay for a polished granite slab?
A polished granite slope, now we are talking, but I am sure it will not fit into the natural setting, may be granite with less abrasive crystals would help, and as its being part funded by a paddlesport company, we should at least get a kayak friendly launch.

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Re: Dartmeet kayak launch

Post by furby » Mon Feb 01, 2010 8:47 pm

Wooden topped steps would reduce damage to boats, plus it could be sold to the national park as a good solution as the wood would eventually rot away, so providing a solution that would not permentaly mark the area.

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Re: Dartmeet kayak launch

Post by Jim » Mon Feb 01, 2010 8:58 pm

A concrete ramp is the obvious answer but I couldn't suggest that for any river, NP or not. Which I think probably leaves us with a sloping rock slab.

Wooden ramp will get green and slippy over time, then people will want to nail chicken wire to it and within a few weeks it will fray and stick up and gradually tear off and disappear into the environment.

A compacted gravel ramp may become a future spawning site - great for salmon but a shot in the foot for us.

I guess as important as the ramp itself will be the approach - no sense having a granite launch slab and then people eroding the track to it into the river, would need to create a short pavement from the road to the slab - compacted gravel? rock slabs buried on edge like have been used to preserve many hills?

How wide? How many boats do you normally see launching simultaneously here? Chances are whatever is done there will always be someone who can't wait and launches other than from the slab, but to be effective you probably don't want it one at a time so groups fed up waiting. Looking at the photo (I know I've still never run it) I would probably be happy launching off the rocks towards the right of the photo, it seems that I normally do.

Here is an idea, if you are getting a slab shaped for the job, why not get the Mason to engrave a scale in it. Doesn't have to agree with any existing datum, and definitely don't try to put actual go/no levels on (it might end up at the wrong height) but it might be useful to have a scale set in stone that can be referred to in guidebooks and by EA and DNP for the minimum level - noting of course that it should be monitored and the level changed where scouring or silting make it inaccurate? Or maybe paddlers would be against that because they like a bit of ambiguity to run it when they probably shoudn't?

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Re: Dartmeet kayak launch

Post by Simon Westgarth » Mon Feb 01, 2010 9:18 pm

Jim wrote:How wide? How many boats do you normally see launching simultaneously here? Chances are whatever is done there will always be someone who can't wait and launches other than from the slab, but to be effective you probably don't want it one at a time so groups fed up waiting. Looking at the photo (I know I've still never run it) I would probably be happy launching off the rocks towards the right of the photo, it seems that I normally do.
I think, we'll need to get 3-4 boat on it at the same time for launching together, which is possible in the space available, which is 5-6m's.
Jim wrote:Here is an idea, if you are getting a slab shaped for the job, why not get the Mason to engrave a scale in it. Doesn't have to agree with any existing datum, and definitely don't try to put actual go/no levels on (it might end up at the wrong height) but it might be useful to have a scale set in stone that can be referred to in guidebooks and by EA and DNP for the minimum level - noting of course that it should be monitored and the level changed where scouring or silting make it inaccurate? Or maybe paddlers would be against that because they like a bit of ambiguity to run it when they probably shoudn't?
I like your thinking, thus we'd should request it, or perhaps simply place our own gauge on the back side of the bridge. Then, we can gauge the putin level at Dartmeet, instead of the tale out level at Newbridge.

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Re: Dartmeet kayak launch

Post by drking » Mon Feb 01, 2010 9:36 pm

This is a massive document : http://www.nps.gov/ncrc/programs/rtca/h ... hguide.pdf
But what about something like the last photo on page 33 and the photos on page 93?
Something like that but not so obvious or steep. Slightly wider and shallower steps made from local stone?

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Re: Dartmeet kayak launch

Post by Simon » Tue Feb 02, 2010 11:35 am

Simon Westgarth wrote:I like your thinking, thus we'd should request it, or perhaps simply place our own gauge on the back side of the bridge. Then, we can gauge the putin level at Dartmeet, instead of the tale out level at Newbridge.
A level gauge at Dartmeet could be a good idea to get a better idea of water levels closer to the redds. But a level gauge near the bridge would monitor the level in the East Dart. Wouldn't we need a level gauge a bit downstream of point B which gives the level for the West Dart, the much bigger river and the one where there is environmental concern?

Simon Dawson

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Re: Dartmeet kayak launch

Post by Jon_Brown » Tue Feb 02, 2010 12:01 pm

How about reclaimed granite gate posts/lintels, around 0.3m x 0.3m x 3m (725kg). Two set parallel (on long edge) in a very shallow V per boat. Not too sure on gradient but an one metre drop over three looks ok? Cost however is significant at circa £500 each.

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Re: Dartmeet kayak launch

Post by Simon Westgarth » Tue Feb 02, 2010 12:08 pm

Simon wrote:
Simon Westgarth wrote:I like your thinking, thus we'd should request it, or perhaps simply place our own gauge on the back side of the bridge. Then, we can gauge the putin level at Dartmeet, instead of the tale out level at Newbridge.
A level gauge at Dartmeet could be a good idea to get a better idea of water levels closer to the redds. But a level gauge near the bridge would monitor the level in the East Dart. Wouldn't we need a level gauge a bit downstream of point B which gives the level for the West Dart, the much bigger river and the one where there is environmental concern?

Simon Dawson
You are of cause right Simon, a gauge downstream of the Confluence is preferred, yet Point B is on the very last part of the East Dart. The first realistic option is to placing a gauge well downstream below the paddock we all use to walk around, then you'd need to walk for 3 minutes or so to check the level before heading back to get changed and putin. In addition the West Dart does hold more water and as such contributes some 3/5 to 2/3 on the Dart's level at Dartmeet. Still localised rain may influence fluctuations, although in the main part its all about the West Dart flow rate. A gauge at the bridge would be a fair yet limited calibration of the Upper Dart's level. A flow gauge at Prince's Hall would I feel be a better solution, its some 60-90 minutes upstream of Dartmeet, and with the rain fall data from Dartcom, we can get a more realistic image of the Dart's flow characteristics. This may also open up the potential of a lower flow for paddling the West Dart than just flood conditions, but then we would be heading into unchartered waters........

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Re: Dartmeet kayak launch

Post by enb » Tue Feb 02, 2010 12:21 pm

Simon Westgarth wrote:
Ross W wrote:Simon, are we talking directly downstream of the bridge(point A)? or a little walk down to where there is a small step leading in to the water(Point b)?
Image


enb wrote:Oh, I have always got in about half way between A + B I think, and paddled across river and taken the right hand channel.
Its unlikely that you have putin between the 2 points, as you'll be in the trees by the small island just upstream of where point B is, it is thus likely that you have been putting in at Point B, please use Point A in future during the Autumn/Winter paddling season.
I will deffinatly use the get in at Point A in the future, but i do know that it is half way between the two points in the trees that we normally get in because we have plenty of time to get across the river and take the right hand channel, avoiding where the Redds are.
Last time we was up there a couple of weekends ago a friend took a few pics on his phone while we got on, i will try get hold of these images to show where i mean.

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Re: Dartmeet kayak launch

Post by Simon Westgarth » Tue Feb 02, 2010 12:35 pm

enb wrote:I will deffinatly use the get in at Point A in the future, but I do know that it is half way between the two points in the trees that we normally get in because we have plenty of time to get across the river and take the right hand channel, avoiding where the Redds are.
Last time we was up there a couple of weekends ago a friend took a few pics on his phone while we got on, I will try get hold of these images to show where I mean.
You are almost certainly paddling across the redds, its the only other option than launching at Point A to get into the main channel at the confluence.

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