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natejount 12-11-2003 01:14 PM

I have no idea how to find the right trailer for my boat!
I have a 23'' shoal keel sailboat with a 2''11" draft. It''s a 1978 Kells, which there are not very many of at all...Kells Corp. closed it''s doors in 1979.
I''m moving from RI down to somewhere around Baltimore/Annapolis by next season, and want to find a trailer to move the boat.
Would you recommend I look for a used trailer that may be meant for a similar boat, like a Tartan or O''day or Catalina? Where could I look for that? Or should I look for a new trailer? I''m pretty clueless right now, any education would help.

aflanigan 12-11-2003 03:01 PM

I have no idea how to find the right trailer for my boat!
You need to figure out if you just want to do a one time transport or whether you want to be able to trailer your boat (launch it or transport it regularly). If the former, you''d probably be better off paying a boat transport outfit to convey it.

Used boat trailers in good condition are harder to find than the holy grail. Most of the ones on the market tend to be ones that have not been well cared for and need substantial work (brakes, frame rust, etc.) Check ebay, check, check the internet. You will probably have to modify whatever you locate. Depending on how heavy your boat is you may need dual axle. In this weight range almost every state requires brakes on at least one axle to register the trailer. The most commonly available used trailers are powerboat trailers, but your keel is probably too long to work on a roller trailer. Proabably you''ll need bunks on risers (raised enough for the keel to clear the axles). If you want to launch on a ramp from the trailer you might want some sort of keel rollers on the cross beams of the trailer frame.

It would also help if you could find a website/list for Kells owners and post a query there.

Allen Flanigan

Alexandria, VA

maestro 12-12-2003 07:03 AM

I have no idea how to find the right trailer for my boat!
Check out Triad Trailers in New Milford Ct.

paulk 12-13-2003 01:31 AM

I have no idea how to find the right trailer for my boat!
If you just want to get the boat down to a new home, a boat transport outfit will likely be the simplest soluttion. If you want long-terrm savings on winter storrage (which may not be quite as big a requirement as it is in RI) by keeping the boat in your backyard, Triad is the way to go. We had a Triad trailer for our Soling. We (and others) could take the 27 ffoot, one ton boat on the highway at 65mph or more with more concern about radar traps than about the boat or trailer. The trailers are tough, well-thought out and hold up well with the occasional slap of paint. We sold ours with the boat after about 20 years.

aflanigan 12-14-2003 08:10 AM

I have no idea how to find the right trailer for my boat!
I don''t know about Nate and his 25 year old Kells, but for me, paying an amount equal to the blue book value of my boat for a custom built trailer simply wasn''t an option. It may be a worthwhile investment over 20 years, but it just wasn''t in the budget, if you know what I mean. It''s great to be able to spend thousands of dollars a year on the boat, but some of us shoestring budget sailors can''t afford that.

Allen Flanigan

paulk 12-14-2003 07:10 PM

I have no idea how to find the right trailer for my boat!
I tried to rig up an ad-hoc trailer for another boat I had - a 19'' Pearson Resolute. The hassle and aggravation were incredible, plus the uncertainty of whether the thing would really be strong enough to support the weight (Pearson, then still in operation, had no info on the actual weight of the finished boat.) Getting a home-built trailer through the motor vehicle department is exciting enough with just the garden-variety dump-run trailer that holds 250 pounds. How much more carefully do they check out trailers that are carrying close to a thousand pounds, well up off the roadbed? Though I am sure it can and is done, after actually purchasing a used trailer to modify to fit my boat, I gave up.

aflanigan 12-15-2003 08:42 AM

I have no idea how to find the right trailer for my boat!

You have a good point. The best answer is going to depend on what he needs the trailer for. In my case I was able to buy a used powerboat trailer with rollers, replace a few rusted bolts, raised the crossbars as high as they would go using existing bolt holes, and it worked fine for my shallow draft centerboard boat. The brakes are not completely redone yet (the guy I bought it from was 3/4 of the way done with the job) but I don''t need them at this point since I''m not trailering the boat to launch it. I''m basically storing my boat on the trailer in my back yard, and in the spring I will drive it about 2 miles to the marina to put it back in its wet slip. For someone with a fixed keel who wants to trailer the boat regularly or long distances, a suitable used trailer might well nigh be impossible to find, and investing in a custom job might be the only way to go. Of course, some folks have welding equipment in their basement, and modifying a 5400 capacity trailer by adding screw pads might not be a very intimidating job for them. Hopefully, Nate will get enough ideas and sense of what''s involved from these postings to make the best choice for him.

Allen F.

DirtManly 12-19-2003 02:23 AM

I have no idea how to find the right trailer for my boat!
Hello Nate,
The draft on your boat is exactly the same as an O''day 25 with centerboard, Columbia 22 fixed keel and Seafarer 23 McCurdy and Rhodes fixed keel. It is also within an inch of the Catalina 25 swing keel. I think you could find a used trailer for one of these models. It will take some time to locate one, but it is possible. It is much easier to adjust a trailer thats a little bit to big than a trailer that''s a litte to small.
I have done this three times now. The last time i found a Coranodo 25 in relatively good shape, that had a good trailer under it. I bought it and immediately sold the boat for $1800.00, thus leaving me with $ 700.00 in the trailer. It was already set up for my desired 4'' draft so only minor adjustments were needed.
Whatever trailer you buy, make sure to check the bearing and repack them before going much of anywere with it.
Assuming it will need new wiring, a light kit from West Marine will cost you around $50.00 for a good one. The brakes will be around 2-3 hundred doing it your self and double that if you have it done.
That''s still a lot less expensive than Triad. Mind you I''m not knocking Triad, They make an excellent product, but they charge accordingly.
Good luck

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