Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: south western Ontario, Canada
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Flat-bed trailer & keel boat: cradle, supports or bunks?
I've just bought a 22 ft fin keel Abbott 22 (see sailboatdata.com) and am considering using a cradle or stands or wedge stands on a flat-bed trailer, for both winter storage and launching. I may have found a suitable flat-bed tandem axle trailer at a good price.
The trailer with the Abbott in the photos below is shorter than the one I'll be looking at; I figured the frame overhang at the rear (stern end) of the trailer I'm looking at could be cut back as necessary to end the trailer frame at the transom, assuming that the boat's CG is located somewhere between the tandem axles to give proper hitch loading. Any comments on shortening the frame like that? How long is a good length re transom?
Is there any consensus of opinion as to whether, on a flat bed, a cradle is more suitable than stands, jack or wedge, or even bunks? What are the opinions?
The Abbott in the photos appears to be on jack stands welded to the trailer frame. Is this feasible for launching, or would the boat have to be craned onto the trailer? Would a cradle be any different? Would bunks be better than pads?
I'd read a post by Hudsonian (from 2009) about Jowi cradles:
"Clearly there an imperfect market for cradles. Around here you can always buy a used Jowi for $300 but if you're lucky you can find an abandoned one at a yard that uses jack stands. A friend bought one for $50 delivered."
I hadn't heard about these cradles. I was wondering if anyone knows where such an area as is mentioned in Hudsonian's post, ('around here') might be - it would be affordable to find one abandoned in a yard! If it's not too far (from either Detroit or Buffalo, as I'm in Canada) I'd consider driving to get one - that's a price that can't be beaten! Always assuming that you can float the boat off.
All comments and advice gratefully received, and thanks in advance for your input.