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Old 01-05-2006, 16:02   #1
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Home Storage and Transport

We're in the process of looking for a new house and one of the things I'd like to consider is wintering my boat in my yard or barn. The boat is a Westsail 32 and we are in Maine.

My primary question is how a boat like mine would be transported over public roads. Could the type of truck used unload into a large structure assuming the door was big enough? Or do I need a crane to get the boat off the truck making it practically impossible to get the boat into a structure?

Looking ahead there is going to be several years off-and-on when we won't put the boat into the water. So I'm thinking I will both save some money and have the boat at home to work on during these Winters.

Any words of wisdom on this matter much appreciated!

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Old 01-05-2006, 17:13   #2
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Transporting over the road is no problem, but you will need a boat transport company that is qualified to move boats. A few have hydraulic trailers that can set the boat on stands without a crane, but I am not sure about what companies have them and which ones do not. You need to do some shopping. ssullivan posted the name of a good marine transport company in the NE area some time back. If I can find it, I will post it here. Most likely you will need a crane to unload, and a yard to load. Loading at a yard will also provide the crane needed to unstep the mast. The transport company will explain how to prepare the boat for transport, and will likely have specific requirements. As for getting the boat into a barn, you have three choices. 1) find a company with a hydraulic trailer. 2) plan on cutting a hole in the roof of the barn for loading and unloading (Big hole!) 3) build a rolling stand for the boat so it can be moved around after it is unloaded with the crane (not cheap, but very convenient). The Westsail 32 is a heavy boat, and as such will require much more than the average pick up truck could pull. I believe the beam is more than 102" so it will require special permits to move, and a trailer to transport it yourself would cost more than the cost of a transport company and crane. FOr those reasons, I would just pay to have it done. I have found that the best approach on such things, when hiring them out, is to simply say "It is here, and I want it there." If you try to save money by doing things yourself, or finding seperate resources for seperate stages, you will spend far more in time and aggrevation than the cost of just handing it over to a pro.

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Old 01-05-2006, 20:54   #3
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Moving Boat

I have a Hartley 32 that I moved from the water to my factory a couple of years ago Although I am in Australia and cannot help with specific contractors etc, I can give some words from my own experiences, how I approached it and things I learnt.
- Ask around with other boat owners who they might recommend, or not recommend
- Use a boat yard/slipway with a mast crane; mast is taken down before removing from water and transport (obviously)
- The slipway I used has a travel-lift that takes boat from water and puts straight on truck. They are used to this type of work
- IMPORTANT - ensure you have an underwater profile to show operator so slings can be positioned to safely and securely lift boat, as well as not damage any underwater fittings - prop, rudder etc
- Select a mover who specialises in moving boats; thay will have all the right equipment and expertise. My mover was extremely helpful, made the process much easier and less stressful.
- On the day, have your cradle set up ready to accept boat. Have sufficient blocks of timber/props etc on hand to securely sit boat down
- When setting into cradle, make sure that boat is set up level and plumb to water line - makes fitting out easier
- You will save more than the moving costs in not paying mooring fees; I know I have.
- Remove any growth from your hull straight away, it is easier to do while still wet and soft than after it dries and goes hard and crusty.
- Patience and perserverance is required; my estimate of having boat out for only 12 - 18 months has just doubled, but I will be back in the water later this year - for our summer.
- Take plenty of pictures along the way. You can look back on the journey. In addition, you will be able to show any future prospective buyer of your boat the nature and extent of any repairs required/undertaken etc.
- Enjoy yourself; have fun doing the work and following the dream.

Good luck

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Old 02-05-2006, 16:44   #4

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I would highly suggest using Independent Boat Haulers of Eliot, Maine. They are the absolute best. They hauled my 30' boat to backyard storage for three years. They can get that truck into anywhere. They are so professional and efficient that you'll forget you are even moving your boat. They make it look easy.

Independent Boat Haulers, Inc. Rte 236. PO Box 61 Eliot, ME 03903. IBH is located approximately 1 1/2 mile north on Rte 236 from exit 3 of Rte 95

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Old 02-05-2006, 19:25   #5
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Hauling a w32

Experienced haulers can get a boat in a cradle almost anywhere they can back the truck into. It's been a long time since they did our W32 but seem to remember a combination of jacks and blocking.

One word of caution, don't try it in the spring or after it's rained a lot. Ground that would normally support the truck and boat suddenly turns to mush. It took three tractors and a 4wd pickup to get our boat out of the yard after the trailer began sinking. That was in ground that was so hard in the summer that you could barely get a pick into it.

Peter O.
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Old 03-05-2006, 11:41   #6
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Thanks for the info and the reference! I will certainly hire someone to move the boat.

It sounds like getting the boat into a large barn is at least a possibilty. When we find a property I'll contact a transporter to see what they think.
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Old 03-05-2006, 15:37   #7
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As Peter O mentions the spring. Some communities place laod restrictions on trucks during the spring time to save the roads from damage. You'll want to make sure you know when those are. I'm sure any carrier would know when you call. Just about any boat will exceed the limits.
Paul Blais
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37 15.7 N 76 28.9 W
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Old 15-05-2006, 13:43   #8
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Last summer I had a Columbia 30 (shoal draft) moved approx 35 miles. Cost $550.00. Moving boat to my yard enabled me to work on it without transporting tools and supplies. Move was made with hydrolic trailor (mast was already down) I did not need a crane. I feel that having boat at home is a big advantage. Having said that I had a complete rebuild in mind,in fact I will be fortunate if I complete by fall. I do not regret spending money on move.

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