As I was responding to Hartley's thread on big trailerables I could not help but reminise about my trials and tribulations that drove me to seasonal slip/moorage.
First of all, I had never pulled a big trailer before,
especially a honkin big boat, add to that, backing up one those monstrocities before an audience was an unexpected circus.
Imagine the state of mind a newbie is in upon arrival
- Stressed to the Max -
after having towed through a busy city, being cut off and cut in front of by every jerk motorist on the road who has no patience for a long load. Add to that the fear and apprehension of your first experience towing, set-up in the driveway, planning the easiest route, arriving in time for the tide and allowing time for rig set-up, then the stress of making sure you did not forget anything and can safely back down the ramp and not make a fool of yourself. You have to check and re-check everything and still you make a few mistakes. You finally arrive at the parking lot and set-up the boat in the lot away from the ramp so as not to inconvenience others. Mast is up, fenders down, lines ready, electronic equuipment set-up, straps are off and the heart is pounding now, so hard I can hear it. Sweat is pouring off me as I wait my turn and then it comes, I try to back that thing up, first it goes one way, then the other, then where I don't want it to go, others are waiting for me to get out of the way and start to get impatient. Next thing I know someone is backing down along side me, too impatient to wait for me to get out of the way and so now I am feeling crowded and more stressed. Finally someone says something they shouldn't and all hell breaks out, hollering, swearing and fisticuffs. Man, what a circus! So after much ado we finally get in, tie up the boat to the dock and park the truck/trailer. We are not happy, only somewhat excited, mostly angry and not on the best of terms because I lost my temper. The day wears on and we forget about the dock ordeal as the pleasures of sailing take over and we make our apologies and enjoy our lunch.
So later we look at the time and realize some got away on us and we'd better hustle back or miss the tide at the ramp. As we close in on our target we douse the sails then slowly motor down the channel towards the ramp and discuss the reverse procedure for haul out. Well, things start getting out of hand before even getting to the dock. Harried powerboaters take one look at us and assume the 30' stick in the air means we are bypassing the ramp and heading to the marina, so there I go blasting my air horn and hollering at them to quit cutting in front of me, meanwhile still being a rookie it is all I can do to maintain my position against the current and again tempers rise. The yelling starts all over again accompanied with threats that "I'll see you on the ramp", and yes that is me in the avatar, I can be intimidating. I finally jockey my way through all the boats as everyone is heading back at the same time, so the dock is even busier than at launch time. Another circus ensues and the onlookers are getting their days entertainment. We finally get her on the trailer and pull up into the parking lot where we can take down in a more civilized manner. Talk about loosing ones cool, you never know how hot tempered you can get until severely provoked. You also learn how inconsiderate and ignorant other boaters can be not to mention the drivers I will encounter towing back home as I mentally prepare for some of the worst behavior from other motorists. We discuss alternatives on the way home and my wife realizes that towing is not an option and promptly anounces that next year we are getting a slip and that is final, end of story. I shut up after agreeing, yes dear, yes dear.
So is it really worth it to trailer? All the aggravation, stress and effort for a few hours sail? I say nay, what ever it costs to avoid the circus I will pay it. Besides, it only takes one summer season of slip/moorage to appreciate the benefits and even if it is a bit pricey we do sail a lot more and relax a lot more. It finally becomes a part of sailboat ownership, you factor in the cost of moorage and eat it.
Trailerable???? What's that mean?