Big Trailerables: How often do you do it? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 26 Old 05-01-2008 Thread Starter
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Big Trailerables: How often do you do it?

Numerous threads about boat relocation and trailerables prompts me to ask this question:

How many out there with +20' trailerable yachts actually use the trailer on a regular basis?
If you do, how often do you go out (in season)??

For those that don't, do you keep the boat on a mooring and trail it occasionally?
If so, where do you store the trailer??

We keep our little Hartley at home and trail it everywhere, but I'm curious to know what people with larger, less "portable", boats do..

A bad day on a boat beats a good day in the office
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post #2 of 26 Old 05-01-2008
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I've got a trailerable 25 footer. She'll have a slip for the summer, so the trailer will only be used twice this season (once to the marina, once back home). The trailer will stored in my backyard because it's badly in need of some upkeep (paint, wiring). Normally I'd prefer to leave the trailer at the marina.

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post #3 of 26 Old 05-01-2008
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I saw an ad on Yachtworld the other day for a Catalina 320 that came with a trailer. I don't guess that trailer would get used a lot.

I wonder if you have to get a special permit every time you moved it or if you can just get some kind of wide load permit thats good for a year or so.

s/v Palmetto Moon
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post #4 of 26 Old 05-01-2008
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I believe you need a permit/license for anything wider than 8'. Which helped me choose my boat (8' beam).

I can't say too much about trailering since the only time I've pulled my boat was to get it to my friends place to work on it. But I can say it's the largest boat I would ever want to pull on a trailer, and will try to avoid doing so if I can find a slip down there. Setup can take a while, and a 30' mast isn't easily handled by yourself. Fore and backstay, cap shrouds, and 4 lowers. Once I get a spot to keep it, bottom paint is going on, and she's staying in the water. Also, trailering a fixed keel that draws 4' doesn't give me the warm fuzzies.

edit: my boat is 25' long.

Last edited by zz4gta; 05-01-2008 at 09:24 AM.
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post #5 of 26 Old 05-01-2008
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In my younger days, we had a Catalina 25 that we trailered on a weekly basis to a nearby lake. We kept the boat on an RV pad next to our house. We were very good at launching and retrieving the boat from the trailer. We could step the mast and launch in about 40 minutes. A little less coming out.

Having a lake where we could pull the boat up near shore and use covered picnic tables for the weekend made this very doable. The launch routine would be less productive for a day sail.

Herb DuBois
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post #6 of 26 Old 05-01-2008
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When my girls were young we would trailer our 23' cutter from Minneapolis to the Apostle Islands of Lake Superior (5-6 hrs) every summer for a two or three week vacation. Now that I'm old and decrepid and don't have a decent tow vehicle (or a decent trailer, for that matter) I put Chiquita in the lake near my house in the spring and haul out in the fall.
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post #7 of 26 Old 05-01-2008
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Darn! My 19' boat doesn't make the cut. I use my 19' boat and trailer quite often, actually. Though the past week or so, it's been dry docked while my standing rigging gets replaced and my attention shifted to landscaping projects.
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post #8 of 26 Old 05-01-2008
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Max trailer width in B.C. is 8'6" and permits to exceed this are easily obtained.
I trailer a 26' MacGregor 26M, it is 8' wide and weighs in at aprox. 4000 lbs including engine, trailer, gas tanks, water, supplies etc. and I tow it with the Chevy TrailBlazer EXT (extended wheelbase) class 4 hitch. The first season we trailered every weekend and with practice got fast at setup but it was still a pain and one really had to watch the tides or suffer the consequences.
Upon my wifes' insistence the following year we tried a slip for a few months, wow, what a luxury, we were soon spoiled and subsequently slipped again the following year and 5 years later still doing it. I do not yet have bottom paint so I still have to haul it out and trailer home a few times each season to clean the bottom and re-wax it, plus do any repairs while in the driveway, then back to the marina. There is a launch & haul cost but not a biggie and at this point it is still not worth the bottom paint job with the short seasons we have been getting recently. Once I retire and slip for 6 months I may do the bottom paint.
It is being able to moor in the driveway for winter and then having access to the boat from my garage to do modifications, repairs and installs that is the main attraction for me. Spring commisioning is a big process and the convenience of working out of the garage is just too attractive to ignore, tools and supplies are right there as are all the other conveniences of home.
We used the boat & trailer a lot the first year as the novelty was new but now I realize that we use the boat much more with the seasonal moorage. It is mostly a perceptual thing, the idea that we can just quickly drive to the marina (15 Minutes) and be out on the water in less than an hour as opposed to hook up the trailer and drive much further to a ramp and then have to motor considerably further to sailing area has a huge impact on how often we sail.
In past years the marina allowed free trailer parking with moorage so we took advantage of it. Last year they started to charge $25.00/month so I now take it home and can do my trailer maintenance from the garage with no boat on it. After several years the trailer does tend to require a fair bit of maintenance and the new policy forces me to take it home and do it.
I originally thought I was going to trailer everywhere and perhaps after I retire I may but for now nothing beats the convenience of a seasonal marina slip. At some point the cost of the marina may force me back onto the trailer but I am not too worried about it since retirement is only a year or so away.
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post #9 of 26 Old 05-01-2008
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REALLY big trailerable

I trailer my 35' Rafiki. The vessel weighs 20,000# and has a 11' beam. Here is a photo of the boat and rig:

(you will have to past that link into your browser. Apparently I don't have enough posts here to imbed images)

The tractor is a 1991 Freightliner cab-over, The trailer is a 1996 Manac double-drop hauler. The combined weight of the rig is 50,000#.

A commercial license is required to drive it as it is over 26,000# and it has air brakes (it needs them too). I placard it as "not for hire", but I also carry a USDOT number. This means that I pay for weight in my state of licensing (California) and I still need trip permits in each state I cross, but I am viewed as a "non-motor carrier" and avoid most of the fuel/mileage taxes. I also need oversize permits, but I never need a pilot car. Most roads do not require a pilot car until at least 12'.

Insurance costs $100/ 6 mo. through Good Sams. Gas mileage is 10 mpg with no boat on the trailer and 6 mpg with the boat on the trailer. I pay $50/ month to a local farmer to store the truck/trailer when not in use.

I paid $4250 for the tractor and $4000 for the trailer. You can find similar equipment at similar prices at

I use the trailer as a portable boatyard when I am not sailing. I have a friend with a european cabinet shop on 10 acres. He also has a TIG welder. I park the boat at his house when I do extensive refits.

Last summer I trailed up to Bellingham. WA and put in at Seaview North. We then sailed up to the Broughtons for 3 months and trailered home when the weather turned foul. After some modifications to the boat for open ocean sailing, we launched in Oxnard and sailed down the Pacific coast to the Sea of Cortez for 4 months. We pulled the boat out of the water in Guaymas, flew home to get the truck and trailer and then trailed it back to Oxnard. We will maintain a slip and sail the Channel Islands until December. Then it will back on the trailer for more refit and up to Bellingham in Summer 2009 for a trip to the Quenn Charlottes. If ever we sail the Caribbean, it will begin by trailering to Lake Okeechobee, FL.

The trailer is not dunked, a travel lift is used for launching. It usually costs about $275 to launch including stepping the mast.

Everywhere I go people are full of questions about how the whole set-up works and I hope that this post gives a good overview. It is definitely NOT for everyone, but there are some huge advantages for certain types of sailors with a certain set of aptitudes. I will probably be setting up a website that delves into many more details and I am always looking to meet up with other people who use a semi to haul their own boats. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

David Braun
dbraun at omnipst dot com
Rafiki 35
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post #10 of 26 Old 05-01-2008
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I'm not quite sure how this works yet, but would like to know if anyone has info on the builders of the Vagabond 47 foot sailboats and what is their quality, Iv'e been out and away from boats for A long time, and am just now looking for a decent boat that won't cost me my next grandson,it will be for a couple for cruising to and in the Philippines,
Thank's, have a great day and "GOD" Bless
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