Join Date: Nov 2012
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Re: ? Greenwich 24 on built cradle on flatbed?
Can it be done? Anything can be done, the better question is are you capable of doing it right? I'm not saying that to insult you either, but in the last 17 years of driving professionally, I've seen too many wrecks, people killed, or people hurt. I had a coworker roll a loaded tractor trailer down an embankment after being cut off by a car. I said "had" because he's spent the last 12 years in a wheel chair and walker... Lecture over, let's move on!
As far as legality, too many unknowns in your scenario. I used to pull oversized loads for a living. You have a 3600 pound boat, plus trailer tare weight, plus cradle, plus your gear... What's the tow vehicle? Nothing worse than tearing up a transmission. What's the deck height of the flatbed trailer? Can you keep the boat under the legal height limits? What's the beam width of the boat? How much overhang will you have off the rear of the trailer? These are what will determine the legality. The limits vary state to state, and the state dictates your route of travel if you are an oversized load. The states may tell you that you are not able to travel the route you want to... Let's also not forget that legality also depends on whose writing the ticket.
Can it be done without damaging the boat? I would over engineer the cradle and bolt it to the trailer. I've seen wooden cradles slide on the trailer deck with 20+ tons sitting in them. Without having plans for the cradle in front of us, or knowing what equipment you will be using, it's impossible to say if you will be doing it legally or safely. Remember that straps fail... Ratchets break, and I've seen straps sliced in half if not used correctly. You're not going to find the straps you need at harbor freight or tractor supply. Does your trailer even have proper tie downs to strap or chain things correctly? Some trailer frames are so flimsy that you will literally bend the frame or rip out the tie down point trying to get things secured properly.
The cradle: I would build a shipping cradle differently than a cradle designed to just hold the boat up in your back yard. The stress on the cradle is much different in motion, and my biggest fear would be watching a boat skid down the highway in traffic after a cradle failure... Or, having some nitwit pull out in front of you, you have to brake hard, and have it come thru the back window of your tow vehicle! In my opinion, wood may not be the right choice. Remember, a square board will roll on a trailer if the object it's holding up has enough inertia!
Can you buy, rent, or borrow a proper boat trailer for the trip? My 22 footer that weighs almost 2800 lbs empty rides on a single axle boat trailer rated at 3500 lbs from the factory, and could easily be modified to support a slightly longer and taller boat.
Also have you priced having it shipped? You may find it cheaper in the long run when you add up all the expenses. Plus the aggravation involved, I have had some miserable loads, that 5 miles into the trip you realize the damn things moving on the trailer... Then you realize the tighter you strap/chain something the worse it gets! I've damaged loads while securing them to a trailer. The last wrecker/crane we hired started at $450.00 PLUS their time, mileage, and materials. It gets expensive quickly when things go wrong. Just some things to consider! I just had another thought, let's say you can build the cradle and meet every legal requirement. You load the boat, secure it properly to the trailer, go to pull out of the yard, and the whole thing wants to lean over hard because the trailer just wasn't designed for hauling something with a high center of gravity? What if, to fit the boat on the trailer, the weight distribution is so off on the trailer that you can't get on the highway because you get a bad case of "death wobble" at speed? It' be one thing if you were going 5 miles, but 1100 miles? Like I said earlier, too many unknowns...
Last edited by Smier; 12-07-2012 at 02:09 PM.