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Discussion Starter #1
I'm considering buying a pocket cruiser to be moored in So. New England. I don't have a tow vehicle or storage space, but I'm wondering if I still might save money by getting a trailerable boat. All else being equal, would it be cheaper to pay someone to do the annual haul/store/launch using a trailer & ramp vs paying a yard to do it with a lift?
 

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You will probably save something, but not as much as you might think. Call a couple of local yards and ask what the rate is for winter storage and what they would charge to store a trailered boat. I would try to find a friend with a truck with a trailer hitch. If then have to pay someone to do the trailer haul and launch, there goes the savings.
 

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if you dont have storage it will be close to a wash. here in maryland its 100 bucks per month for a parking space at a self storage lot. and you cant just get these for 6 months a year you have to pay for the whole year.

figure 200 to pay a truck and driver to pull and haul the boat or rent a uhaul for 50 to 100, plus storage. if you have some where to store it, but the storage is the key.
 

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I keep the boat on a trailer in my yard and think its the way to go BUT if you have no space it may not work out

Down here you cant even do you own bottom paint so it really cuts down on the bills and your free to work on the boat when you want



I have a friend that has a 35' moved home every season and its about a tie BUT he can work on the boat a LOT more
 

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The only way it will really save you any money to have a trailer, is if you store the boat at your home on the trailer for the winter. Storage prices for winter storage between a boat boat on stands and a boat on a trailer are about the same. Many marinas will launch a trailered boat at a cost less than using their forklift or travellift, but will often charge you for trailer storage. :)
 

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Hello,

IMHO you have a few other things to consider as well. First of, most trailerable boats use a swing keel, water ballast, or something like that to make the boat trailerable. That compromise usually has a negative affect on the boat sailing ability, or requires more maintenance, etc. For example, the Catalina 22 trailer sailor has a swing keel. The swing keel is great if you trailer sail the boat (don't leave it in the water). The swing keel is NOT recommended for extended use in salt water (the keel pendant and other components wear much faster in salt water). It also hums and bangs when sailing.

Also, most boats bigger than 22' will require a crane to step / unstep the mast. Sure you can rig up a gin pole or something else, but the mast gets real heavy and can get dangerous pretty quickly.

With a small boat, like anything designed for trailer use, and under 25', doing it yourself (with your own trailer and tow vehicle) is OK. Get bigger and I think you're better off paying the yard.

For me, the cost of having my 35' boat hauled, mast removed, transported to a 'you do it' yard, stored all winter with access to water and electric in the spring, then transported back to the water, mast stepped, and boat splashed, is about $2000.00.

I pay it without complaining.

Barry
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Thanks for the info. It appears that a trailer won't save me a significant amount of money if I have to pay for someone else to haul and store it. On the other hand, it does sound like it might save a fair amount of money if I rent a truck to haul/launch and convince a friend to store it in exchange for sailing privileges.

I agree that I want a permanent keel. I had assumed (uh-oh) that I could find a boat with a shoal-draft keel that I could float on/off the trailer at a convenient boat ramp. Now I'm wondering if my assumption is valid. Is there such a thing as a 25'+ cruising boat with a proper keel that I can float on/off a trailer?

I had also assumed (!) that the mast on a 'trailerable' boat could be stepped/unstepped w/o a crane. I don't mind investing in some hardware to simplify the process.
 

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Launching a boat from a trailer becomes more complicated as the keel draft becomes deeper. Many ramps will only have enough water at high tide. You need to disconnect the trailer from the truck, support the front end of the trailer with a STRONG wheeled trailer jack and then use an extender bar or rope to back the tralier into the water. Trailerable boats all have deck stepped masts usually with a pivot to assist in raising it. My wife and i used to raise and lower the mast on our Oday 22 by ourselves, but it was not a trivial operation.
 

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I did the marina slip, self haul, launch, and store in my back yard with a couple trailer sailors with a Chevy 1500 pickup for a few years. Neither required a tongue extension or relying on the tides....... BUT.... Every ramp is different. The ramp in E. Greenwich RI on NGBay was steep enough so floating off was always ... interesting.... but quite doable.
One boat was a water balasted 26' with a swing keel for a year and the other was a 25' Nimble Arctic Pilothouse Sloop with a 4' * Edit * Draft (may have been only 3' 6" Draft not Keel) fixed keel for 2 years. The Nimble also had an excellent Mast Tabernacle system for reasonably easy raising and the other much lighter built 26' had an A-Frame setup to also fairly easily raise the mast. Back in the 80's Catalina had the 25 with a 1000lb swing keel that was a reasonable sailor and now I beleive the newer fixed keel version is also trailerable.
 

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The deeper the draft of the boat, the longer the ramp and steeper the ramp generally need to be. Finding a ramp that can handle a shoal draft wing keeled boat is pretty difficult. Most have trouble with boats that have more than two feet of draft or so, and very few boats without a centerboard/daggeboard/swingkeel will have less than three feet of draft.
 

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Transient Moorage

I have found of late that transient mooring is getting harder to find. I used to get it at my marina but now that they have a wait list I have to pay annually to reserve my 30' slip or it will be sold to the next person on the list willing to pay annually. So much for that saving!
Still, when the day comes that I decide to divest myself of my trailerable, I can give up the slip, (and associated costs) tow it home, and sell it from my driveway. I store it in my driveway through winter (snowy) anyway because it is safer there and I can do spring commisioning from my garage.
The mast is deck stepped and very easy to raise with the accompanying mast raising assembly.
I will be bottom painting very soon and will do that in my driveway also, it is very convenient to do boat maintenance in my driveway.
I can also trailer launch in very shallow water with my retractable daggerboard and rudders, or pay $15.00 for the 4000# rated sling lift (not travel lift) and raise the mast on the water at my slip. (I own a MacGregor 26M)
There are advantages to a trailerable if you have your own property to store it on and your own tow vehicle, but once you have to rely on others you might as well just get a regular keel boat with slip and eat the cost.:rolleyes:
 

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they have a wait list I have to pay annually to reserve my 30' slip or it will be sold to the next person on the list willing to pay annually.
That's what I did for 3 years just towing it down in the spring and back home in the fall, saving 4 or 5 hundred dollars on winter storage, haul, and launch back in the early 90's. I also will edit my previous posting to say 4' draft (might have even been only 3' 6") not 4' keel :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Good news: I have free* storage and use of a truck, I just have to buy a hitch. Anyone care to estimate the insurance and maintenance costs for a 10 year old Catalina or Hunter or similar fixed-keel 25' trailer sailor in New England? Anyone know of any full-keel trailer sailors I might find around here?

* Free = Beer + sailing privileges
 
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