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Old 02-26-2011
knotted knotted is offline
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Thanks y'all for your replies and comments. I'm at the conclusion that a keel boat doesn't launch from a trailer without a lot of very careful planning and consideration, good luck and special circumstances!

@the hardaground - I agree most strongly that it's a good idea to keep the trailer just a little longer than the transom position, to protect the boat.

@sailingdog, you confirm my thoughts that I'd need a minimum of about 6 ft of water depth to float off the trailer. My first intended location for the boat was on a reservoir which can drop level in the late summer/fall. This might cause me to have to haul-out a month or so sooner than anyone else Not a good thing.

There is a club in the area, on Lake Huron, which although further away, brings in a crane for launch and haul-out. That would completely solve the issue.

I like the idea of bottom paining on the trailer (I know, I know it should be painting, but that typo seemed so appropriate ) For this work, I think stands of some sort - jack or wedge - would make life easier than with a cradle. With three pairs one could temporarily remove one pair in turn to get at the areas covered by the pads. Could it be done if the trailer has two pairs only as in the photos, by removing one stand at a corner, at a time? Has anyone done this successfully? i.e. didn't drop the boat?

@blt2ski that was a really nice trailer, the type used by pro boat haulers. The open end would make life much easier, but requires very, very strong side arms - just look at the massive size in your photos! Not affordable for the rest of us with occasional use needs.

Has anyone heard about the 'Keel Hauler' trailer mounted crane? It's supposed to be able to lift up to a 30 ft/5,000 lb sail boat out of the water and onto its trailer! It's reportedly made by Brooks Sales & Engineering, of Chassell, MI. An Internet search found no website, but enquiries continue... I'd need a very great deal of reassurance before attempting this, but the idea sounds intriguing.

Thanks again for all your input.
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