WARRNAMBOOL'S beleaguered boat ramp is the worst in the state, new RACV research shows.
RACV polled 1300 boaties, asking users to rate the facilities at their local ramps, including water quality, trailer parking, ramp surface and waiting times.
The state's worst boat ramp according to the people who use it is Warrnambool's facility at Lady Bay.
Users said it needed more car parking, more trailer parking at busy times and 75 per cent rated the ramp's surface as 'extremely poor'.
The city council has been applying for state government funds to upgrade the ailing ramp for more than three years.
Fishermen have voiced concerns about the dilapidated ramp for years, and in January a ute and boat trailer became submerged.
The city boat ramp is a state government asset, managed by the council.
City infrastructure director Scott Cavanagh said it was not a surprise Warrnambool had been rated as the unsafest.
"Council has known this for some time and has been applying for funding from the state government," he said.
"It just supports our position for the need for funding for the ramp and the port. We are saying to the state government to open the next round for applications."
Patterson River, in Melbourne's south-east, came out on top, with boaties satisfied with most facilities, including water quality, wait times, the number of available lanes and the ramp surface.
Portland and the Saint Helens/Corio Bay ramps were also highly rated by boat users, who praised the water quality and depth, and waiting times.
RACV leisure products general manager Neil James said boaters were concerned about the quality of ramps throughout the state and the survey highlighted there was more that could be done to make them safe and usable.
"The boat ramps that need the most urgent improvements got more responses from boat users in the survey," he said.
"This is the first time we've completed this research so it's pleasing to know what boat users really think and need. From this we hope to use these results to inform the state government, so ramp users are getting access to the best facilities across the state.
"The recent investment in the Portland boat ramp is a great example of money well spent, with more recreational anglers now flocking to the area to catch tuna and driving visitors to the region. We hope to see a similar investment in other regions, for example Warrnambool's Lady Bay ramp, to bring them up to a higher standard."
The state government made an election promise to spend every dollar it collected from boat licence and registration fees, on improving facilities and safety for boaters, and to abolish boat ramp parking and launching fees.
Victorian Recreational Fish executive officer Michael Burgess encouraged boaters "to get on board this campaign so that strategies to reduce 'ramp rage' and urgent infrastructure needs can be advocated for, to make Victoria's boat ramps better for all users".
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