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Old 24-09-2015, 04:58   #1
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Weight of stuff on a small trailer sailer

Hello again!

Well, I'm trying to figure out what boats can fit the limited towing capacity of my car, 1180kgs or 2600lbs.
I know about considering the trailer, I have it in my spreadsheet and I'll be watching it closely after a warning of some trailers weighting around 500kgs or 1100lbs...
I can think of several items I'll need to account for inside the boat:
50kgs or 110lbs - small engine
20kgs or 44lbs - fuel
20kgs or 44lbs - battery (I'm not sure about this, it varies from 17 to 73 but I went for a small/middle one, not anticipating lots of eletronics on the boat, so just for the lights and engine starter?)
5kg or 11lbs - pyrotechnics
25kgs or 55lbs - vests, buoy, raft, fire extinguishers, first aid kit, one anchor, etc... total weight of buyable package that includes mandated stuff for a PT class 5 boat

120kgs or 265lbs total
156kgs or 344lbs with an uncertainty factor of 30% (just made that up)

What do you think? Any obvious thing I'm missing? Any weight totaly off?

Thanks for any input you can give, I have no experience, of owning a boat, just took some courses on small club sailboats.

Pedro.
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Old 24-09-2015, 05:33   #2
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Re: Weight of stuff on a small trailer sailer

Engine and battery should already be accounted for in whatever the stated weight or displacement is for the boat..

However, there are also two commonly used displacement figures.

One is "Lighship" which just includes the structure and outfit of the boat without fuel, crew etc.

The other is "Design" which is the displacement (weight) of the boat when it is loaded to it's "design waterline" which is (roughly) its cruising weight with normal fuel, crew and cargo.

The towing weight will be somewhere between the two
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Old 24-09-2015, 06:11   #3
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Re: Weight of stuff on a small trailer sailer

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Originally Posted by StuM View Post
Engine and battery should already be accounted for in whatever the stated weight or displacement is for the boat.
Probably not, with the kind of small daysailer he is talking about. Any boat with an inboard, yes, of course the engine weight would be included. If it's a small boat that might (or might not) have an outboard hung on it, then it's anybody's guess.

As an example, I own a Spindrift 15, which is a small, centerboard, non-ballasted daysailer. The specs list its "trailering weight" as 375 lbs. In fact, the weight of the boat, mast, boom, and sails--nothing else--comes to about 390 lbs. Add the weight of the trailer, anchor, engine, and various miscellaneous stuff in the boat when I'm towing it and it comes to almost 700 lbs.

My advice to the OP, after owning a number of trailer-sailers of varying sizes, don't try to figure out the very largest boat that you can tow. Instead look for the very smallest boat that will serve your needs. A smaller boat is easier to tow, easier to setup, easier to launch and retrieve, costs less, will hurt your gas mileage less when towing, and probably a dozen other benefits that I can't think of at the moment.

I went through the whole "biggest boat I could possibly tow and/or afford" phase, and let me tell you--I am over it. I am in the process of preparing to buy a larger boat, that my wife and I can live on and cruise for months at a time. Even that will not be the biggest we can manage, but the smallest that will serve all of our needs.

Just a few words of advice from someone who has "been there, done that."
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Old 24-09-2015, 06:33   #4
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Re: Weight of stuff on a small trailer sailer

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Originally Posted by denverd0n View Post
Probably not, with the kind of small daysailer he is talking about. Any boat with an inboard, yes, of course the engine weight would be included. If it's a small boat that might (or might not) have an outboard hung on it, then it's anybody's guess.
Good point So if it's a small outboard, take it off and put it in the boot (trunk) before towing
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Old 24-09-2015, 07:09   #5
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Re: Weight of stuff on a small trailer sailer

Hello,
Thanks StuM and denverd0n!

Quote:
Originally Posted by denverd0n View Post
"... don't try to figure out the very largest boat that you can tow. Instead look for the very smallest boat that will serve your needs."
I hear you, I'm a KISS kind of guy...
Thing is, I'm starting to think they'll be about the same or very close... as in the largest I can tow will be about the smallest for my needs
I want to be able to sleep 2 adults + 2 children (now at 3 and 8) for a weekend, eventually once a year a full week (if I can convince someone that's a good idea)
That and being trailerable with my existing car is about it...

Thanks again!

Anyone has any more thoughts on the stuff's weight?
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Old 24-09-2015, 07:34   #6
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Re: Weight of stuff on a small trailer sailer

You may have inherently contradictory requirements. Big enough for 2+2 to live on for a week, and small enough to be towable with an all-up weight limit of 2600 lbs... Not sure such a thing exists (unless your family is willing to accept extremely cramped and spartan quarters for a week.)

I used to own a San Juan 23. It was a big trailerable. My wife and I spent many long weekends on it. It was right at the limit of what my car was supposed to be able to tow.

After burning out a transmission, and coddling the car to keep it from over-heating, I bought a 4-wheel-drive, half-ton pickup truck with the very largest engine that Ford was (at the time) willing to put into a truck like that. I was comfortable towing the boat with that truck. It was much, MUCH better than doing it with the car running right at its limit.

I suspect that you will go through the same sequence of events. After buying a boat that is at the limit of your car's towing capacity, and dealing with the issues that entails, you will either decide to get a smaller boat, or a bigger tow vehicle. But that's just my guess.

Good luck, whatever you decide.
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Old 24-09-2015, 07:54   #7
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Re: Weight of stuff on a small trailer sailer

The thing you are not taking into consideration is the last 100 feet.
The launch ramp. Most ramps have a fairly steep grade. launching is not so much an issue as retrieving. (Gravity helps) You go sailing, everything gets wet,
maybe some water in the boat, and then you back down the ramp and try and pull the thing out of the water.
Better have lots of extra power.
The closer you get to max weight the harder time you're going to have,
not to mention the extreme wear and tear on your transmission, engine,
brakes and so on.
If it were me I'd limit myself to half of stated towing limit.
Been sailing my 19' Mariner for two years now and that's what I have learned
Next boat is going into a slip or on a ball for sure.
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Old 24-09-2015, 08:18   #8
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Re: Weight of stuff on a small trailer sailer

Thanks again guys!

I was thinking/hoping that a boat like this:
Micro challenger 5,5 m - A vendre | 2ememain.be

could be used to sleep for a week... What do you guys think?

maybe I'm too optimistic and need to reset my expectations...

Anyway, what is not going to change is the towing car, at least not for the foreseable future, so whatever I will be able to do with the boat, has to fit in that weight limit.
With this one, trailerable weight would have a "leftover" of around 200kgs or 440lbs.

For the launch/retrieval part, I intend to use a second winch (on the trailer or on the car) don't know if you heard of that technique
Check here:
Guincho Manual - Rampas para colocar um barco na ?gua, no mar ou no rio
and here:
https://sites.google.com/site/velali...-acesso-a-agua

Well, thanks again, really nice to "hear" from people that tried it already

Pedro.
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Old 24-09-2015, 09:03   #9
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Re: Weight of stuff on a small trailer sailer

Look into the MacGregor lines. 26x motorsailor with water ballast or the older 26 water ballast swing keel. Also the older 25. They all trailer easy and make fair campers too. Travelled country several times and easily towed. Good luck.
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Old 24-09-2015, 09:21   #10
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Re: Weight of stuff on a small trailer sailer

A few years ago I was looking for a boat around the same weight limits and wound up getting a MacGregor 21. The boat is about 1200 lbs, the trailer is about 400, all my gas and water and food and gear is probably 300+/-. Call it maybe 2000 lbs all up. It tows okay behind a 5-cylinder Volvo S70.

But . . . the cabin is tiny, with no comfortable sitting space. I only use it for solo cruises when my whole family isn't coming along on our larger boat. I can imagine sleeping in there with my wife, maybe, but definitely not the "sleeps 4" they advertise! Also you have to consider what it will be like on a rainy day -- can you all hang out belowdecks for a long time? Or you need to plan a good watertight cockpit tent.

The Catalina 22 is roomier . . . but heavier. I recall wanting to get one of those, but it was beyond my towing limit.
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Old 24-09-2015, 09:50   #11
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Re: Weight of stuff on a small trailer sailer

The things the OP is not taking into consideration coalesce into one simple desideratum: When you acquire a boat (or a ship) you must contemporaneously acquire a vehicle capable enuff to service it, unless you already have such a thing!

It sounds like the OP is short of a 350 series pickup truck or van.

TrentePieds, at trente pieds and five tons displacement, is not, according to the time-honoured criterion, a ship, since she is small enuff to be hoisted in the davits of most common freighters. She is clearly not towable, and she lies afloat all year. Yet it would not be possible to do her servicing requirements justice without having a van in which to carry the clobber and the tools required for the purpose. Therefore the only sensible thing to do is to include the cost of ownership of a van and the cost of operating and insuring it in the boating budget.

I have fairly strong objections, in this market glutted with other people's perfectly good and perfectly serviceable cast-offs, to paying more than 10% of "sticker price" for any consumer durable, be it boat or vehicle or any other thing, so two and a half kilobux spent on a well-chosen "boat truck" would seem adequate to deal with your problem. At least it has been for me.

As for what stuff weighs, we couldn't possibly know what the OP wants to take along. So, ptrailsail — set up a spreadsheet. That's what Naval Architects do to determine the aggregate weight of the structural components of a vessel. Nothing to it, though it is tedious. Tedious or not, the long way about is the quick way home, so just use your bathroom scales to get a grip on the "weight of cargoes", the weight of every conceivable thing you might like to take aboard your boat for a cruise. Plug 'em into the spreadsheet and the summation function will give you the answer you are asking us to provide.

And listen to Time2go! There is nothing more certain to make a man look silly than his boat, on attempted retrieval, pulling his brand new Ram 350 down the ramp and into the water!

TrentePieds
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Old 24-09-2015, 10:02   #12
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Re: Weight of stuff on a small trailer sailer

Its very important that the tow vehicle weight exceeds the weight of the loaded trailer...as can be seen in this short video where I successfully tow a sailboat:

https://youtu.be/IFKI-fv6MX0
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Old 24-09-2015, 10:19   #13
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Re: Weight of stuff on a small trailer sailer

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The thing you are not taking into consideration is the last 100 feet. The launch ramp.
Good point, and one of the reasons that I elected to go with 4WD when I bought a truck specifically for towing purposes. Ramps are not only steep, they are often wet and a bit slippery. More than once I had to get someone else to help pull my car and boat up the ramp, because the car's tires were just spinning uselessly. That is, until I got the 4WD pickup to do the job.
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Old 24-09-2015, 10:21   #14
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Re: Weight of stuff on a small trailer sailer

Quote:
Originally Posted by TrentePieds View Post
The things the OP is not taking into consideration coalesce into one simple desideratum: When you acquire a boat (or a ship) you must contemporaneously acquire a vehicle capable enuff to service it, unless you already have such a thing!

It sounds like the OP is short of a 350 series pickup truck or van.
Thats a strong argument for having a bigger boat, and keeping at a marina. A trailer sailer may seem like an economical idea, until you add in the F150 and all its costs too.

The wife once asked me if I would rather have a boat or a car....I think you know the answer. I have no car.
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Old 24-09-2015, 10:26   #15
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Re: Weight of stuff on a small trailer sailer

Good comments above. If you intend to launch on a ramp, you WILL need 4wd. The other option is to pay to have it lifted into the water. I went thru the same gyrations as everyone else, tried the car, tried a 2wd pickup truck ended up with a diesel ford 4 wd. A car will tow up to it's rated weight fine on the flat normal roads if your tongue weight is setup correct.
Back to your original question, everything adds up to a lot. You've mentioned the basics, but you should probably double what you mentioned. Think everything thru weight wise.
BTW, keep in mind the OP is in Portugal!
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