Big-Trailerables - Tell us your Nightmares! - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 16 Old 06-28-2008
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Normally just a lurker, but couldn't resist this one. Been using launching ramps for over 50 years, still do. Launching ramps, kill or be killed, dog eat dog and so on. Can't imagine trying to launch a large sail boat at one.Typical happening is the guy that passes everybody in line, getting ready to launch, he goes down the ramp then takes 10 to 15 minutes to get ready to launch.
When a polite comment is made about getting in the "get ready line" next time
the person says: "F.O., A.H., I can do any G.D. thing I want, get out of my face brfore I break yours". Such nice people, seems to be worse as time goes on. Drove an 18 wheeler for a while. Capt Kermie's comments about other drivers just having to get in front of you are right on. Also had a sailboat in a slip in Sausalito for 10 years, the only way to go.

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post #12 of 16 Old 06-28-2008
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Trailering gets easy with practice, I have years of experience with race cars, and even more in the military towing, so backing a boat down the ramp was easy. Size makes no difference really. I hate crowds though so when launching I do it during off peak times, or rig the boat nowhere near the ramp, and just launch like a power boater. With the new boat I did it in really crappy weather because I was worried about the much deeper draft, and my home modified trailer But it turned out to be just as easy to launch as my last boat, just had to get a little deeper in the water.


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post #13 of 16 Old 06-29-2008
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I guess I have been fortunate but people have always been polite do far including some power boat actually backing out and giving some extra room when needed. That said some of the other problems related to keeping the boat int he water that don't surface when the boat is kept on dry land.

A leak starts and you return a week later, after a hard week at work, to find your boat submerged.

A storm comes through and puts your boat on dry land for you or uses it to batter your neighbors boat

Lets not forget the constant maintenance of the bottom, the top and every caulk joint on the boat below or above water. You can't just walk out your back door and do that small repair whenever a free hour pops up.

Limits on where you can go without large outlays of time and often money. I can take a week off and spend the week on the west coast of Florida after a short 3 hour road trip, if you have to sail there you spend the week sailing and who knows what the weather along the way has in store.

Mine is not really all that big so some issues I don't have to worry about like tides at most ramps.

That said my wife would prefer a boat at a mooring for all the reasons originally stated. We will eventually compromise and it keep it rigged up on the trailer at a marina only taking it down for trips to places that there is not time to actually sail there and still have time to enjoy it.

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post #14 of 16 Old 07-03-2008
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Worlds fastest launch

To set the stage, a 30ft 12,000lb boat on a 3 axle trailer parked at the top of a long steep boat ramp. Add a borrowed tongue extension and start down the ramp toward the water about 200 ft away. After hearing a bang and feeling a sickening snap watch your pride and joy rapidly pick up speed as it rushes toward the water totally on its own. I am not sure how fast it was going when it hit the water but it made one hell of a splash. After I got my heart restarted I had to swim after her, thank goodness the ladder came down, I got her back to the dock to check for damages. The most severe was to my pride and my nerves! That was one day I hope to never repeat, well maybe as a spectator next time.
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post #15 of 16 Old 07-03-2008
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Originally Posted by rawsonnut View Post
To set the stage, a 30ft 12,000lb boat on a 3 axle trailer parked at the top of a long steep boat ramp. Add a borrowed tongue extension and start down the ramp toward the water about 200 ft away. After hearing a bang and feeling a sickening snap watch your pride and joy rapidly pick up speed as it rushes toward the water totally on its own. I am not sure how fast it was going when it hit the water but it made one hell of a splash. After I got my heart restarted I had to swim after her, thank goodness the ladder came down, I got her back to the dock to check for damages. The most severe was to my pride and my nerves! That was one day I hope to never repeat, well maybe as a spectator next time.
Wot, and deny the entertainment for everyone else?!?

Having "boat-surfed" myself on at least one occasion - in a smaller boat mind you - to my warped way of thinking this sort of thing should be encouraged! There's nothing quite like the sight of a 12,000lb sailing boat launching itself to keep the sort of stinkpotters dabnis mentioned in line behind everyone else.

Good for morale and all that fuzzy sort of stuff.

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"Honestly, I don't know why seamen persist in getting wrecked in some of the outlandish places they do, when they can do it in a nice place like Fiji." -- John Caldwell, "Desperate Voyage"
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post #16 of 16 Old 07-04-2008
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So far, my only boat launch excitement was when i forgot to put the drain plug in our ski boat. I backed the trailer down, my wife motored the boat over to the dock while I parked the truck. I got back to the boat and noticed a little bit of water hear the engine cover. It took me about a 1/2 second to realize why there was water there!! I got the bilge pump going and motored to shore where I could put in the drain plug.

When my daughter and I were bringing our sailboat home (International 23 - about 3300 lbs), it started swaying pretty bad on the highway. I was doing about 60 MPH and had just recently passed a tractor trailer. Fortunately, the other driver gave me some room to recover. Also fortunate was we use a Suburban to pull with, so I had the truck's weight to help me out. It was quite scarey!!
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