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post #1 of 116 Old 01-10-2012 Thread Starter
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Largest Semi-Trailerable Sailboat ???

I am very new to sailing and have a great deal to learn. Have posted a few threads on here seeking advice what type of boat I should buy. Based on what i felt was good advice from a poster , I ended up buying a Catalina 22 for learning on but still have my dream of something bigger. As I write this I realize I am way ahead of myself but its winter so no sailing and lots of time for dreaming. What I am wanting in my next boat is a boat as big as possible yet still able to tow it with my F-250 diesel. Have towed around 14000lbs to 15000lbs before and didn't lose too many years of my life in way of nerves. I seemed to have focused on A catalina 27 "Based on previous info from other threads" as being the largest towable sailboat but now find myself wanting to go up to a catalina 30 for obvious reasons MORE ROOM. The main things considered are:

1. Weight of Boat and Trailer being towed - cat 30 and trailer should not
exceed 16000lbs at which I am ok
2. Overwidth Permits - Checked with Kentucky and Virgina as long as I stay
12' or below ease and costs of annual permits very low
3. Stepping the Mast - A frame type system attached to the trailer itself with
winches and a few xtra hands should be able to handle stepping the mast
4. Launching - not sure about this one - plan is to attach wheels on the
front of the trailer and with cables attached to the winch in bed of truck to
bring trailer back once boat is in water. Have seen this done on video only
with a rope tied to bumper on truck- worked on the video

I realize there are many definitions and opinions as to what is a trailerable sailboat. For me the question is how big can I get and still be able to tow it and launch it without needing to hire outside help. Thinking one could easily add 500.00 or more in cost every time I move the boat.

My main goal is to leave the boat on the lake most all the time except winter "tow it home for winter projects" and take it to the coast once or twice in the summer and again in the winter for extended periods of time. Would like to sale to Bahamas and the Caribbean as well. The Bahamas is a go for a boat of this size not sure about the Caribbean. More info needed.

I would rather spend a xtra hour or two setting up the boat and enjoy the week of sailing than be in the water an hour faster and be cramped all week.

Realize this is not the norm but have to be others who have done this before.
Curious as to what others with much more experience think.

Doable or Not
Other Considerations I have missed?
One big question I have and hope to answer for myself this summer. Is there That Big Of a Difference between a cat 27 and a cat30/ to justify the added expense of permits and maybe xtra time in setup.

Husband, Wife, 16 yr old daughter, 13 yr old son, 3 yr old son. Need as much room as I can get. or so I think.
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post #2 of 116 Old 01-10-2012
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I think the biggest impediment to your plan will be the physical characteristics of the ramps you intend to use. Most of the ramps I have seen simply will not support launching a boat that big: I understand you intend to play the trailer down the ramp with cables (and avoid the truck in the water scenario), but the ramp would need to be very long indeed in order to get the boat in water deep enough to float. I would think you would wind up with the trailer's wheels in the mud. I know you want to avoid using a crane, but that may be your only way to ensure launchability. And you might need a crane anyway to step the mast. I supposed you could rig up an A-frame device, but that seems to me to be just as big a pain as hiring a crane.

As for the difference in set up between a 27 and a 30: I think the 30 is worth the extra money. Its a great boat and really has significantly more room than the 27. I just don't see the 30 as "trailerable".
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post #3 of 116 Old 01-10-2012
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Simpler plan - buy a somewhat bigger boat to use locally. Charter for the Caribbean vacation.

Stepping a mast that large can be dangerous and should be left to the folks with the proper resources.

You may want to look at the Magregor 26 or some of the other water ballasted boats out there...

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post #4 of 116 Old 01-10-2012
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The Bear' thoughts...
Macgregor made a 33' that was heavy duty vehicle trailerable though for going off shore Pacific Seacraft's Nor'Sea 28 would be my pick. Very capable, seaworthy craft. Several different layouts avalable. Heavy, 8000#, usually cutter rigged, inboard , narrow 8' beam, can be single handed. Usually pulled with f350 heavy duty pu. Something to think able is big boat needs lots of water under it. How deep is how much of your lake?
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post #5 of 116 Old 01-10-2012
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Ramp launching and stepping the mast should not be a problem. In fact, that is the only way to do it here and many other lakes as well. The 30 is definitely going to give you more space, however there is another consideration as well. The 27 is a better boat and a better sailing boat. There have been 27s that successfully circumnavigated, the 30? Not so much. If you are just looking for a big bay or lake boat, then the 30 should be fine. If you are thinking about heading into the gulf or out to the Bahamas, you may want to take another look at the 27.
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post #6 of 116 Old 01-10-2012
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I've thought of this before. If you get a swing keel or wing keel I bet this could happen with a stepped mast. I was looking into a O'Day 322 to do this exact idea you are thinking of. I was going to sail in the Long Island sound area of CT but if the itch was there I would love to drive it down south and explore.

George Paiva
"estopa" - [est'opa] is portuguese for Oakum.
1986 Oday 222 #686
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post #7 of 116 Old 01-11-2012
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I used to trailer/launch sailboats up to 27' many years ago. tongue extensions worked best for me. I would build 12' long tongue extensions that I would hook up when launching. Basically a long straight bar (square bar) with a coupler on the truck end and a ball at the other end. With this system I could easily launch keel boats down standard length ramps...worked well.


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post #8 of 116 Old 01-11-2012
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Seems to me hake, or some such name has a 30 some odd foot boat that is 8.5' wide, so no permits for width or length. Bob Perry has a 40' boat call a container boat, it will fit in a 40' ocean container, so it would fit on the road also with out length or width permits. Just a proper trailer.

Other options include some boat trailers that allow the boat to sit on an angle. J105's get moved about this way, still fit with in the max 8.5' width on the road, so again, no need of permits!

Just a few other options! Altho they may put you over your budget, depending upon what the budget is!


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post #9 of 116 Old 01-11-2012
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I have a "transportable boat" not a trailer sailer by any means...big difference there and yes size is everything...The trailer, the pulling and the launching are the easy parts..get a big enough truck, trailer and lake and you can haul and launch the Queen Mary...

Stepping a 40' x 4"x7" mast and the proper rigging, tensioning and setup are not something you can do in an hour, in the parking lot , while in line for the ramp...[ or late on a Sunday afternoon before you drive home for work the next day)

It's a good half day job at least...the "smaller" purpose designed trailer sailers have shorter thinner lighter masts that are generally deck stepped and can be put up with a couple strong backs or proper rigging, gin poles A frames etc in a couple hours...but they were set up that way from the factory ...quick clips, hinged mast, minimal rigging (minimal space, minimal headroom, minimal performance but we're not here to talk about them)

A boat the size your talking can be "transported" but the proper set up, rigging and tuning has risen expotentially with the size of boat...You will need a crane, add acouple bucks and shorten your list of available landings...and/or you will need "major" setup on a self contained A frame lift,(your looking at 30' boom from trailer to mid point on mast) add a couple bucks, add a couple "more" hours to rigging time.( and tuning...this isn't quick clip snap and go stuff anymore...turnbuckles, tension adjustments, running rig, mast lights, wireing and electronics connections) Forget the "convienient" tree/bridge/overhang, and 4 big buddys they are not there when you need them...

I'm not trying to talk you out of a bigger boat purchase, just like no one was able to talk me out of one...Just be aware of the "scale" of the launch job your getting into...

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post #10 of 116 Old 01-11-2012
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Originally Posted by blt2ski View Post
Seems to me hake, or some such name has a 30 some odd foot boat that is 8.5' wide, so no permits for width or length.
Hake Seaward Yachts,

Hake Yachts

The 32 ft is 10 ft beam, the 26 is 8ft 4in or so. I've never seen one, just read about them.

I really like being able to trailer my boat and have it in the backyard in the winter.

Realistically, in my life I sail sometimes, but I can go fool with my boat in the backyard anytime I feel like it, even just for a short bit of time.

I do have a large backyard, with the ability to get away from possible falling trees. I tarped over my 24 ft with a clear plastic tarp this winter so it's bright as day under it, makes it nice to work in there.

A cabin top hinged mast tabernacle is the first thing I look for in a boat, it's a necessity for easy stepping.
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Last edited by skygazer; 01-11-2012 at 06:31 AM.
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