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Old 09-02-2010, 08:29   #1
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Movable Steel Cradle - Getting a Boat Indoors

Based on some advice from others I am going to try and move my Cheoy Lee (36 foot) home for a few years for storage. For this purpose I am having a contracor come out tonight to look at remodling my old carriage garage to accomodate her. Not sure this is possible but given the age of the boat, 1967, I would like to keep the elements out! This means I now need a way to get the boat in! ( Seems I have, once again, managed to take a simple problem (boat storage) and make it even more complicated and expensive (remodle garage, build custom cradle, etc.)! This is a sickness!) Am thinking I could have someone make a steel cradle with wheels? Thoughts? References? I am in South Berwick, Maine (just over the NH border; Boston is less than 2 hrs South of me). Thanks
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Old 09-02-2010, 09:31   #2
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Steel cradles with wheels are called trailers
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Old 09-02-2010, 09:38   #3
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Have you looked at renting something....maybe a call to those folks that move houses...they may have some split axles that cribbing could be fastened to...after installed in the garage they could be removed.
If it was me, I'd probably consider building a cradle as you suggest...but thats a heavy boat...what 16-18,000lb...not sure I'd bother with proper wheels...is it fairly level and hard surface from the place outside the garage to the inside?
Keeping the boat low is probably going to be important....may be just a cradle over a bunch of rollers...one after the next...then the last one gets moved to the front..so on..so on.......
Sounds like a fun project!
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Old 09-02-2010, 09:39   #4
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Nomenclature

I suppose that would be one way to phrase it/approach it. However, I think I can get away with something less than a trailer, such as a cradle with wheels, which might be cheaper than a trailer.
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Old 09-02-2010, 09:45   #5
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Thanks James

Thanks James - good creative thinking. Yes - keeping the boat low would be important and a trailer wouldn't really help in this regard.

I am trying to envison the rollers. I think I see; pretty primitive but would do the job and keep her low. Thanks!!!

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Old 09-02-2010, 09:58   #6
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Make a simple but strong cradle and mount on steel wheels. It keeps it low and no rubber tyres to go soft. Cheap and simple to make and nothing to go wrong.
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Old 09-02-2010, 10:49   #7
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Using the hydraulic trailer that drops it off would certainly be the easiest thing to do. You will just have to make sure that the door is tall enough or you can make it tall enough.

If you can't have the hydraulic trailer do it for whatever reason, you will be looking at a cradle. Rigging companies (like northeast riggers) and house movers specialize in moving large house and pieces of equipment. The real difficulty will be working with soft ground. Many of the companies will actually put steel plates down for their dollies to roll on. If you go the cradle route, really think it through and show it to a rigger before you start building it. For example, you will need a way to put a jack under each corner to lift it for rollers/dolly. You will need an anchor point on either end for hauling tackles, etc. I have moved a few boats and several large machines, you just need to think it through beforehand.
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Old 09-02-2010, 11:01   #8
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I think I'd put the rollers under before the boat goes on...I'm envisioning something like 2" pipe.....then leave them...why take then out?
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Old 09-02-2010, 11:18   #9
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Put pipe under the cradle. Just roll it along on top of the pipe, when the pipe comes out the back move it up to the front. use 3-4.

This is assuming the ground is hard enough to allow the pipes to roll. if not, maybe some timbers under the pipe? or even just some timber on the ground and coat it with wheel bearing grease or something similar (slide the cradle across it).

I remember a history or discovery channel show attempting to where they "portaged" a viking ship (replica) over a hill. Lots of grease (some kinda animal fat) boards and some round logs.
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Old 09-02-2010, 12:21   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James S View Post
I think I'd put the rollers under before the boat goes on...I'm envisioning something like 2" pipe.....then leave them...why take then out?
That is certainly one way that it could be done.

It sounds to me like the OP is planning on getting the boat delivered by hydraulic trailer. Very few of these work very well with cradles and given the height of the boat, I don't know that it would be possible. This would mean that you would build the cradle around the boat while it was on jackstands then have to transfer the load. To do this, you can either jack up the cradle, or move the boat down onto it. Jacking up the cradle is relatively easy and gives you cradle that is easily leveled once you have the boat in place. If you want to drop the boat onto the cradle, the boat can have opposing wedge placed under the keel on top of the blocking. By loosening jackstands and driving back the wedges, the boat can be lowered the 1" or so that it takes to transfer the load to the cradle.
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Old 10-02-2010, 10:08   #11
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Having spent a couple years installing industrial machinery, I'd say go with the pipe rollers. If the ground isn't solid, lay some 2x8s along the path you want to move the cradle and boat. But Id use more than 3 or 4 pipes. Try 8-10. Our machine moving dollys had 4 rollers each about 6 inches long in a rectangular frame 12 inchs long. This worked fine when moving tonnage on concrete floors but for soft ground with spreaders, you need to spread the load around, so go with 8-10. For moving the cradle and boat, you can do it with levers, or by using a chain hoist or comealong. You'd be amazed at what you can do with a 5foot lenght of 2x4 for moving stuff around.

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