bottom painting under bunks with boat on trailer - SailNet Community

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Old 04-20-2010
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bottom painting under bunks with boat on trailer

I have been restoring my 78 Catalina 22, and I was trying to find information on how people have painted the bottom apart from lifting it off of the trailer. Finding no information or write-ups I figured I'd put up my own to help out the next guy. I hope this will be as useful to someone else as it would have been to me.

The first thing I did was lower the trailer jack all the way down in the front, next I stacked cement blocks under both sides in the back and but a plank between them to form a cradle. Next, i put a longer plank running towards the front of the boat and jacked the trailer back even(a good portion of the weight aft end of the boat is now on my cradle). with the jack up a little higher yet, i now block under the front end of my planks, and let the trailer back even once again. Now i have 2 planks running down either side of the boat on which to carry its weight.

Now you want to do this one side at a time. Place a floor jack(or bottle jack) at either end of one of your planks. Jack them up slowly and evenly until the hull is just off of the bunk. Remove the bunk( this required an impact wrench on my trailer). Now shim between your blocks and your plank so not all the weight is on the jacks, and make sure the boat is stable. Now you are ready to paint.

When you are done with the first side, simply replace the bunk, and repeat the process on the other side.





Last edited by chrispeck; 04-20-2010 at 08:36 AM.
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Old 04-20-2010
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I use a similar technique. Not sure if this works on dual axle trailers. Mine is single. Lower the nose of the trailer all the way (possibly even digging a little hole to get it lower). Brace just behind the bunks. I built a frame out of 2X4s so I could do this easly every year. Crank the nose back up all the way. All the weight of the boat is now on the brace and the front roller, and the boat has lifted off the bunks about 4" This is enough that I can get bottom paint on. If I needed to sand, I have seen some that have braced the boat with long athwartships boards and pulled the trailer out from under.

Actually doing all this kind of scares the crap out of me. It all seems reasonable until you are out there balancing your boat on some scraps of wood!
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Old 04-20-2010
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that's why I did one side at a time.
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Old 04-21-2010
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I am new to SailNet, but old in salvage and blocking. Trusting your life to concrete blocks is not the way to go.
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Old 04-21-2010
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well, not all of the weight of the boat was on the blocks, they were just there in case the jacks drained down that were holding it. and the front of the boat was still hooked to the trailer and resting on the forward roller.
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Old 04-21-2010
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I agree with both, the concrete blocks may not be ideal for this, but, they will work OK. Are they stronger if the hole is facing up (like they would be installed in a wall)?
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Old 04-21-2010
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Yes, the cinder blocks would be stronger with the holes pointing up - but I am not encouraging anyone to use concrete blocks to hold up something that's heavier than you can lift.
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Old 04-21-2010
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I agree about the cinder blocks. I use 4x6 and 6x6 blocks of wood. Cheap, lighter and won't crumble. All of the marinas I know of use wood blocks
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Old 06-03-2010
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Another vote for wood blocks
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Old 06-03-2010
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I had a Catalina 22, and jacked up the whole boat and trailer, and placed concrete blocks under it. Then I built a wooden cradle under the trailer, using mostly 4x4s and 2x8s. I bolted the members together with about 3/8" bolts. (Be sure to cross-brace the supports.) Then I let the jacks down gradually, lowering the boat onto the cradle, and allowing the trailer to drop to the ground. It took about 2 hours to jack it up and build the cradle, and only about a half hour to jack the trailer up under the boat again, remove the cradle, and lower the whole rig to the ground. I sold the boat and never used it again, but it would have not taken long to re-assemble the cradle each time I used it.
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