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Old 19-07-2009, 15:40   #1
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Location: Eastern PA
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Hauling and Storage

Good day,
I am looking at the possibility of getting a boat about 700 miles away. This means transport and storage - at least temporarily in my yard. This has an added benefit of letting me do some work before moving it to the final destination.

I would like any personal experience with storing a 34' boat in their yard. (presume I am OK with the township, etc. - no regs broken, etc.). The boat is currently on stands at a boat yard. The boat would be something like a Tartan 34, Catalina 320, etc.

My understanding is I will need someone with a Hydraulic trailer to pick it up and more importantly - put it down, on a cradle in my yard from reading others who have posted similar questions here (e.g. Home Storage and Transport and Sailboat trucking ).

These are a little dated, and I would like to hear any other suggestions once it is about to be placed on my property. For example:
- A lot of the boats I have been on are using jacks - but I have been told (and read) that cradles are much safer and that much more in costs. The area it will sit is 4" of gravel over packed clay. (Think gravel driveway). Tractor trailers are able to use this area and that is why I selected it.
- Suggested Cradle types/makers? I wish to ensure no one could tip it, or in any way hurt themselves or the boat - without it being intentional (e.g. driving a car into it).
- Do you have suggestions for securing the cradle itself or is 10,000 lbs going to do it?
- Who is responsible for ensuring it is correctly on the cradle?
- If the boat has a swing keel, should it be cradled(?) with sufficient height to allow it to drop to its full length?
- If hull work is done - how did you move it to get to the spots covered by the cradle? (jacks around the spot?)
- Some of the movers seem to have excluded themselves from almost any responsibility for the boat as acts of god. Is this typical? Do you insure it yourself in case they drop it, a rock shoots through the window or someone opens their car door into it at a truck stop?
- One mover suggested having a marine surveyor oversee the prep, loading and transport. Have you heard of such?

Again, this is another job I plan to leave to professionals but as was pointed out - would I know if they did it wrong? Probably not until too late, but the same could be said for my doctor - so any advice is welcome.
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Old 20-07-2009, 22:47   #2
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Some comments...

- "A lot of the boats I have been on are using jacks - but I have been told (and read) that cradles are much safer and that much more in costs. The area it will sit is 4" of gravel over packed clay. (Think gravel driveway). Tractor trailers are able to use this area and that is why I selected it."

I built my Hartley 32' ferro (7 tonne) many years ago. When the time came to move it from "suspension" one of the other boat builders in the yard sold me a cradle. I kept the boat in it until it was launched.

- "Suggested Cradle types/makers? I wish to ensure no one could tip it, or in any way hurt themselves or the boat - without it being intentional (e.g. driving a car into it)."

The cradle that I brought was made up of a square base of large "I" beams. There were pivot points welded onto the "I" beams and bent arms were set in them. The arms were held against the boat by rigging screws That's all I used, but in retrospect some additional way of holding the arms in place would have been wise. If you look at what some marine railways use to haul boats you should get a good idea of what I had.
Getting appropriate insurance is a good idea.

- "Do you have suggestions for securing the cradle itself or is 10,000 lbs going to do it?"

If you mean on the truck then you had best ask the trucking company.

- Who is responsible for ensuring it is correctly on the cradle?

I'm guessing you, followed by the trucking company.

- "If the boat has a swing keel, should it be cradled(?) with sufficient height to allow it to drop to its full length?"

I don't know.

- "If hull work is done - how did you move it to get to the spots covered by the cradle? (jacks around the spot?)"

I used bottle jacks to lift the boat, but I was pretty young and stupid in those days.

- "Some of the movers seem to have excluded themselves from almost any responsibility for the boat as acts of god. Is this typical? Do you insure it yourself in case they drop it, a rock shoots through the window or someone opens their car door into it at a truck stop?"

I suggest checking the reputation of the mover. Marine insurance may be available for moving and working on the hard. See if you can find a reputable company.

- "One mover suggested having a marine surveyor oversee the prep, loading and transport. Have you heard of such?"

Never heard of it but if you cannot do it yourself it could be a very good idea. Choose your surveyor carefully.

Some hardstanding yards have specialised supports that they place very carefully against the boats to hold them upright. You may be able to buy some of these or the yard may tell you where theirs were made.

A reputable boat hauler will have specialised equipment and so may not need a cradle. They may be able to make recomendations as to what you need, and the best way to go about it.

I strongly suggest getting proper scaffolding erected round your boat. It will make access that much easier, and the whole process way safer. There are too many stories of cruising dreams being ended by a fall.

Don't forget to watch out for power lines as your boat is being moved. The movers may need to be reminded as well.
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