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Old 21-10-2019, 07:03   #1
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Trailering express cruiser... what size?

My wife and I are planning to buy a cruiser in the 27-ish range, and we are hoping to be able to trailer it to other destinations, as we live in Upstate New York and would like to vacation in warmer places. We are wondering what others’ experiences are, what size boat people trailer, how far...
We have a 2500 series w/ 6.7 L turbo diesel truck to do the towing.
Does anyone pull a 27’, 28’, or 29’ for several days distance to use on vacation?

Thanks,
Andrew
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Old 21-10-2019, 08:35   #2
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Re: Trailering express cruiser... what size?

Pulled a heavy 26' power cruiser some 80,000 miles over 18 years with a 98 Dodge 2500 diesel. Longest tows were about 1,900 miles from home in Utah to launch at Prince Rupert, a 4-day trip with lots of long steep grades. Weight almost 12,000 lb on the triple-axle trailer, loaded up for a summer's cruise of the Inside Passage. 8.5' beam, so no restrictions there. Brakes bearings and tires always kept in top condition.


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Old 21-10-2019, 09:25   #3
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Re: Trailering express cruiser... what size?

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Pulled a heavy 26' power cruiser some 80,000 miles over 18 years with a 98 Dodge 2500 diesel. Longest tows were about 1,900 miles from home in Utah to launch at Prince Rupert, a 4-day trip with lots of long steep grades. Weight almost 12,000 lb on the triple-axle trailer, loaded up for a summer's cruise of the Inside Passage. 8.5' beam, so no restrictions there. Brakes bearings and tires always kept in top condition.

Well now, that is confidence inspiring. Yes, beam is a factor. I know I am over-limit with my current, folding, trimaran sailboat. The outriggers sit right over the fenders at about 9 ft 6 inches.
Was there equipment or parts you carried that you felt essential or for peace of mind?

Thanks for the reply!
I hope others will share their experiences!
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Old 21-10-2019, 09:30   #4
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Re: Trailering express cruiser... what size?

I own a Hunter 260, which is a trailerable sailboat. I have trailered her to Hammond IA and sailed into Chitown. Then trailered her up to Holland Mi and the returned back home, also in Upstate NY (Auburn). I have trailered her to Lake Ontario & Lake George and several of the Fingerlakes as well. Last year I trailered her to Hingham MA and sailed into Boston where I lived aboard for 6mo and then trailered her home.



I did this all with a V8 gas engine and never had a problem.
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Old 21-10-2019, 10:01   #5
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Re: Trailering express cruiser... what size?

In addition to spare tires and lug nuts for truck and boat, I carried all I needed to work on trailer brakes and bearings. Bottle jacks and pieces of wood to place the jack on. Big pieces of cardboard to work on. Brake pads and other small brake parts. Spares of each kind of bearing (you don't want to have to figure out which bearings you need while on the side of the road). Highest quality bearing grease, a jar of mineral spirits for cleaning bearing parts, a spray can of Brakleen (strong solvent). All necessary tools, including big socket wrench, torque wrench, and soft iron bar and 2-3lb hammer to be able to knock out and re-install bearing cups. Cotter pins for the castle nuts, and a big set of nippers.

Over the years I got very familiar with all that stuff (mostly at home, thankfully). I would suggest taking apart and re-assembling brakes and bearings on at least one wheel at home before setting off on a long trip. Do it while they're still fairly clean - they get pretty nasty dirty after a lot of miles. Oh, don't forget plenty of paper towels and some Fast Orange hand cleaner.
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Old 21-10-2019, 11:08   #6
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Re: Trailering express cruiser... what size?

Good Afternoon Andrew,


We have Haven. She is a 25' Catalina with a swing keel. We have hauled her a couple of times from Ohio to the Finger Lakes in NY. She has a dual axle trailrite trailer with electronic brakes. We have stabilizers on the hitch and tongue assembly to provide for a more smooth and stabile ride. We have never had any concerns towing her with my 2004 Tahoe 5.3L V8 with tow package. We never use cruise control nor overdrive when hauling her. It burns more fuel but saves on the transmission (11 MPG v 15MPG so not much difference in the long run). A couple of itmes of note not mentioned above is to make sure you have a good weight balance when fully loaded or when not traveling with a load. You may have to take her to a scale to measure tongue weight etc. I can feel it when I have too much weight in the stern or too much tongue weight just by pulling her for a few hundred yards and adjust as needed (moving a couple anchors fore or aft usually does the trick..... seems like in sailing, anchors are always there when you need them). I've seen and heard of folks pulling a 25 with a wing keel, just a higher profile. As well, there is a wing keel version of the 27' Catalina that you should be able to trailer.
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Old 21-10-2019, 11:53   #7
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Re: Trailering express cruiser... what size?

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We never use cruise control nor overdrive when hauling her. It burns more fuel but saves on the transmission (11 MPG v 15MPG so not much difference in the long run).

If I can ask, what sort of problems arise from using cruise control when towing?
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Old 21-10-2019, 12:48   #8
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Re: Trailering express cruiser... what size?

Andrew,
One easy to trailer mini cruiser, that is easy to trailer and has the ability to take you on extended cruises is a C-Dory. If you have time, go to the user site at C-Brats.com and see what folks do with their cruisers.
I had a 22 cruiser for ten years and my wife and I had many pleasant voyages. We liked it enough that we moved up to the 26’. It is a simple boat and systems are not hidden, like on most boats.
Best regards,
Steve Baum
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Old 21-10-2019, 13:05   #9
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Re: Trailering express cruiser... what size?

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If I can ask, what sort of problems arise from using cruise control when towing?
One argument I've heard against cruise control while towing is risk of sway. If the rig starts swaying, it can get out of control quickly. The recommended first action is to take foot off gas without using brake. Using cruise control might delay response to sway by having driver a little more detached from the throttle action. On certain grades, I notice my cruise control overreacts, putting on a little more throttle to maintain speed than I would manually, and I understand that can also contribute to sway issues. Of course, there are other sway prevention measures, especially proper hitch weight, and perhaps a sway control bar.
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Old 21-10-2019, 13:44   #10
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Re: Trailering express cruiser... what size?

We towed a 26', 6500 lb Bayliner Cierra 2452 for way more miles than I care to count. Used an Equalizer hitch (works perfectly with the surge brakes) more for my comfort than anything else and towed with a F-150 with a 5.0L gas engine . . worked fine from York, PA to Ft. Myers, FL and back and numerous trips in between. Just get her set up properly and you shouldn't have any problems. Check out Bayliner Owners forum board for some additional information. Great bunch of guys over there that can offer suggestions too.
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Old 21-10-2019, 14:56   #11
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Re: Trailering express cruiser... what size?

Your trailer and hitch are the important parts. Equalizer and sway bars would be a recommendation along with good brakes on the trailer. Trailer brakes first. The ability to launch and retrieve on a ramp unless you wish to pay for a lift. A trailer made for your hull not a jury rig. Watching people at a ramp is good entertainment. Your truck sounds adequate.
A transmission cooler on your truck if it doesn't have one.
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Old 21-10-2019, 14:56   #12
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Re: Trailering express cruiser... what size?

Lots of good info here. Thank you all.
Sounds like there are some nice technologies out there to aid in the process. That and good planning and preparation seems to make the enterprise a happy one.
I am encouraged to move forward. We are shifting from sail to power, and we are looking forward to visiting some nice areas with an express cruiser in the range I spoke of earlier.

Have any of you towed a boat with a beam over 8’ 6”? Did you feel you needed permits? The 27’ cruiser boats seem to stick with the 8’ 6” beam, but the 28’ and 29’ boats go over 9’ beam. I see that some states, I have not checked them all, have online permit systems for short duration. Have any of you gotten permits?

Thanks,
Andrew
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Old 21-10-2019, 15:07   #13
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Re: Trailering express cruiser... what size?

My H260 is 8.9ft wide, I never got permit nor did anyone question it, never found it to be a challenge due to the extra width either.
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Old 21-10-2019, 18:14   #14
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Re: Trailering express cruiser... what size?

We bought a Seaward 32RK. It has a claimed towing weight of 10,000 pounds. I think it's more like 12,000 though. I towed it from Rock Hall, MD to Iowa, then two summers ago I towed to from IA to FL and back. We have towed it to and from our lake multiple times. I have a 2500 truck with a 5.9 diesel. LOA on the boat is 34'-11" I think with a LWL of 30' or so. Beam is 10'-6" so a permit is needed. With truck and trailer, we are ~54' in length so a bit short of a semi with trailer. We use Mercury Permit service as they give a discount for Boat US members. We plan on taking it to FL Keys this season and Bahamas after that. Thanks to the variable draft. it sits on a triple axle trailer and rides well. Height is ~ 13'-4". Here is the sailboat data page for it. https://sailboatdata.com/sailboat/seaward-32rk
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Old 21-10-2019, 18:52   #15
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Re: Trailering express cruiser... what size?

Excellent information. I will certainly look into the permit system.
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