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  #1  
Old 03-22-2011
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Need help getting boat off trailer

Spring is coming and it is time to start executing the many projects.

One of my concerns is getting the boat off the trailer so I can epoxy and paint my keel that started to rust (I don't believe the last owner applied any epoxy before painting)

My marina does not have a hoist to do this. They offered for me to wait until some boats went into the water and I could borrow some stands, but that could be until late May.

Is there any way to safely do this without using stands? The draft is only 1' 9".
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Old 03-22-2011
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This is the method I used to paint under the trailer bunks. It might not get the boat very high off the trailer. Also, only works for single axle trailer:

1) Lower the tongue of the trailer as far as possible. Maybe even dig a hole so it can get even lower.

2) While the stern is raised, jam a wooden frame under the stern.

3) Raise the tongue back up. The boat will then be resting on the bow roller on the trailer, and the wood frame in the back.

Look around on trailer sailer forums. There are a lot of methods to get trailer out from under the boat (some look dangerous to me).
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Old 03-22-2011
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Depending on the trailer, it may not be necessary to take the boat off of it. It can sometimes be accomplished by jacking up the trailer or digging a hole and driving over it (I am assuming that you have a swing keel).

There are always ways to do things like this, it just depends on how comfortable you are doing them yourself. I have picked up lighter boats with a forklift, a crane and a gantry crane before along with repositioning using jacks and blocking. It can be done, the question is do you want to do it.
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Old 03-22-2011
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Using a small portapak style hydraulic jack to lift an end and block it - and then moving to the other end might work too.. - or use a heavy timber like a 4x4 or similar to span under the boat and block the ends of the beam. Using beams this way may make it easier to pull the trailer out from under afterwards.

A smallish boat like that shouldn't be too difficult to McGiver onto some blocks!
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Old 03-22-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Faster View Post
Using a small portapak style hydraulic jack to lift an end and block it - and then moving to the other end might work too.. - or use a heavy timber like a 4x4 or similar to span under the boat and block the ends of the beam. Using beams this way may make it easier to pull the trailer out from under afterwards.

A smallish boat like that shouldn't be too difficult to McGiver onto some blocks!
I lift my 30ft/3000kg boat off the trailer using similar method. Raise the two rear corners of the trailer with trolley jacks simultaneously with front using a forklift. Slide a suitable beam (150x150 x 4000long I beam) under the boat just forward of the keel and support the ends of the beam clear of the trailer. Support the stern of the boat and prop the boat upright. Lower the trailer and pull it out. Reverse the process at the other end.
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Old 03-22-2011
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Any possibility of using an engine hoist? Typically you can pick one up for around 100 bucks. I'm thinking to block the rear of the boat and lift the front to pull the trailer out from under it. It may be limited by how high you can lift. You may need to pull the wheels to drop the trailer low enough and drag it out from under the boat, but it should work.
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Old 03-22-2011
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As you have read above, it's just an exercise in blocks, beams and jacks. There are as many different methods as there are people. Get your head around it and you can do it.
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Old 03-23-2011
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You can rent a back hoe to lift it off the trailer. By using a sling attached to its bucket. Or you can go to the local high school and get the entire foot ball team to lift it off for you.
The back hoe method allows you to place the keel and bilge blocks where you want them before removing the sling.
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Old 03-23-2011
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Looks like I need to get wood to make some supports.

I need to get the boat just high enough to get the trailer out and to have the centerboard swing a little.

Thanks for all the help! I found some pictures of a wooden "Cradle" on another website that I will copy in my build.
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Old 03-23-2011
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I took my 22' Catalina on and off several times. Buy yourself a 1-1/2 ton floor jack on wheels for about $50. If you are working on dirt get a couple pieces of 2' x 4' x 1/2" plywood to sit the jack on. I used concrete blocks to hold the boat, and made a beam from 3 2X8 x 10' nailed together and sitting on edge.

I lowered the tongue of the trailer all the way down by holding it up with the jack and folding the trailer jack. Then I picked up the back end of the trailer carefully under the rear beam, and piled the blocks up with some wood on top to hold the stern high.

I placed the wood beam across under the bow and made a little V with some blocks of wood. I then used the floor jack to lift the trailer as high as I could under the forward cross beam. Then I piled blocks under both ends of the wood beam. When I lower the trailer all the way down the fenders just cleared the wood beam and I pulled the trailer out from under the boat.

Gary H. Lucas
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