Our original haul and subsequent launch of Delphys involved a LONG trek! It was 75 M by land, 75 by way of 4' deep lakes/canals full of logs
& stumps (one of which I hit... HARD), and a 78' lock into the Cooper
River. Then we went 75 more miles down the ICW
to our first dock
This all went well enough, but only so because of having an escort service
, and professional driver with his Brownell hydraulic trailer. With the route
almost impossible and closing in fast due to development, It literally took years of planning.
The A frame boats have a huge advantage in that if dissembled, (being narrow enough), they can be hauled on almost any old flatbed, as far as the road provides!
Launching is a different matter. IF you use that standard flatbed to launch in salt water
, it will require new bearings or more, depending on how fancy the trailer is. Once the boat is assembled and VERY close to your ramp... You can hire a regular boat transport guy with a proper hydraulic boat trailer. With this set up you have an advantage in that the pads being able to lower in the front or back (when the boat begins to go from a slope to level as it kisses the water), keeps from possibly causing damage to the wings. It worked fine for us.
If you will be hauling every few years for bottom maintenance
and leaving it in the yard, this is your best bet, and a ramp launch is much easier on your new bottom job than the straps of a travel lift
. The straps tend to smear your new paint
@ the amas!
You just need to find a yard with an appropriately wide and long ramp, with access to the adjustable trailer I described. We are VERY close to having such a set up here in Bridgeton NC, @ "Bridgeton Boatworks". Hopefully... they will have a CB maintenance
pit as well.
IF you have your own storage
spot for the boat and trailer, and really want your OWN launching trailer, you can make one using old mobile home axles. If the haul is more than a few blocks though, it will need springs, which increases the height and complication. Remember, you will need the rig down, with permits and an escort service
to clear the road, if you haul it assembled. (Even two blocks) This is unless you prefer the anarchy method, which works fine unless you get busted.
For third world launches, where everyone leaves their tri all rigged up and left in the yard on it's own trailer, Jack Molan knows the most. He kindly sent me photos of his trailer and a dozen others. They varied, but I believe that none of them had adjustable pads in the front. They just had padded skids under the wings, and this can cause problems when the stern of the boat floats the boat level and the bow goes down. (Jack got damage to his boat once).
This sort of launching/storage possibility is RARE in the US, and unless you do it a lot, costs more than hiring a professional (perhaps in the same yard), for your haulouts. This is IF you are at a yard set up to do it this way. I would only build my own trailer if I wanted it regularly stored on the trailer in my back yard, a few blocks from the launch ramp.
If you need them, I can pass on a few of Jack's homemade trailer photos, but consider the effort, additional risks, and economics.
On my previous boat, btw, I used a standard extendable tongue boat trailer to launch her, (after assembly by the water two blocks away from the ramp), and this went fine because she had a flat bottom to sit on and the additional athwartship support was provided with lashings run down from the akas to trailer supports.
For the 31' er this "might" do the trick if she sits on the bottom plank, but it would take a much larger trailer than my SeaClipper 28. Again, consider the hassle and economics. In this case, I borrowed the trailer for free, and temporary mods costs very little.
BEWARE! All of that wood cradle
and support shown, made the trailer float! To get the boat free, we all waded out and stood on the trailer frame, disaster averted...
Having said all that, with a proper set up, on a proper trailer and ramp, with skilled help... trailer launches are still my favorite way to do it.
With a questionable set up on a questionable trailer, however, you are taking your chances.