How Can I Lift My 21-Foot Sailboat Off Its Trailer? - SailNet Community

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Old 08-30-2012
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How Can I Lift My 21-Foot Sailboat Off Its Trailer?

Hi - Newbie Sailor Here...

I have a 1972 MacGreggor Venture 21 currently in a slip - but come mid-October, I'm going to put it on its trailer for the winter. As I want to work on the keel over the winter (it has a swing-keel), I'm wondering if anyone can tell me how I might be able to lift it off the trailer and put it on blocks (by myself). Because I'm not wealthy, I'm hoping there's a way I can use wood beams and jacks, or SOMETHING to accomplish this.

Thank you in advance for any advice, information or suggestions.
Marc
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Old 08-30-2012
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Re: How Can I Lift My 21-Foot Sailboat Off Its Trailer?

A Venture 21 only displaces 1200 pounds. Rigging up some sort of frame and lifting it with a come-a-long should be easy enough, if you know what you're doing; and there's the rub. If you have to ask, you probably don't know how to rig such a set-up. In your case it is probably best to find a friend (e.g., a mechanical engineer, or some-such) who can help you in person. Following someone's instructions over the InterNet is bound to get you into trouble (as in CRUSHED) in an endeavor like this.
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Old 08-31-2012
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Re: How Can I Lift My 21-Foot Sailboat Off Its Trailer?

A technique that I like:
Find a friend who has a fixed-keel sailboat about the same size as your swing keel boat.
Borrow your friend's big tall keelboat trailer to temporarily haul out your boat. It helps if the keelboat trailer has adjustable-height support pads.
Now you should be able to lower your swing centerboard/keel at least most of the way.
And you don't have to pay hundreds of dollars to put your boat in a boatyard hoist or brave the dangers of a do-it-yourself lifting frame.
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Old 08-31-2012
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Re: How Can I Lift My 21-Foot Sailboat Off Its Trailer?

I have used a large oak tree, two slings and a automotive chain hoist.
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Old 08-31-2012
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Re: How Can I Lift My 21-Foot Sailboat Off Its Trailer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by FishDragon View Post
Hi - Newbie Sailor Here...

I have a 1972 MacGreggor Venture 21 currently in a slip - but come mid-October, I'm going to put it on its trailer for the winter. As I want to work on the keel over the winter (it has a swing-keel), I'm wondering if anyone can tell me how I might be able to lift it off the trailer and put it on blocks (by myself). Because I'm not wealthy, I'm hoping there's a way I can use wood beams and jacks, or SOMETHING to accomplish this.

Thank you in advance for any advice, information or suggestions.
Marc
Marc, you will need a bottle jack, an assortment of wood blocks. 4x4s 6x6s etc. And some stands. At least four. Two per side. Three per side is better.

What you do is jack up the boat and block the keel, fore and aft, just behind the crossbeams or axles of the trailer. Brace the boat with stands until the trailer is free. You will have to adjust the stands up as you jack the boat. Be sure to keep the boat from leaning to one side or the other. Then move the trailer up until the next cross beam is up against the blocks.
Then repeat. Block the boat on the other side of the beam or axle and move the trailer as far as you can.
After repeating this a few times, you boat will be sitting on blocks and supported by stands.
It's a simple process. Just be careful.
I've done this on fairly large boats working by myself.
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Old 09-01-2012
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Re: How Can I Lift My 21-Foot Sailboat Off Its Trailer?

Marc:

Try this--
First inflate your tires to max pressure.
Then raise the boat with the tongue jack and block up the bow of the boat.
Lower the tongue jack. That will lower the trailer and put the boat on the blocks. Lower the forward end of the trailer to the maximum extent you can using the tongue jack (raising the stern of the boat as high as possible while on the trailer). Note that this will pivot the boat about the point it is resting on the forward blocks so you need to ensure it is stable and side supports are adequate. At this point block up the stern. Finally raise the tongue jack to the halfway raised position (this lowers the trailer out from under the stern and puts the stern on the blocks) and deflate your tires to lower the trailer overall a couple of inches. Pull the trailer out from under the boat.

You will need to install angled supports (boat stands preferred) as you do this to keep the boat from tipping if you are blocking with a single stack. If you block with two stacks (one on each side of the boat with a spanning beam) you may be able to fashion a vee on the beam at its centerpoint to hold the boat stable laterally.

If you can gain access for the work you want to do simply by raising the boat and leaving the trailer in place you can use the tongue jack to alternately raise and lower the bow and stern to work on either end of the underhull if you only need a few inches clearance to work.
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