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Old 11-11-2008, 14:48   #1
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Crossed Atlantic, trucking overland - Need trailer!

Hi all,

I wasn't sure where to post this... I hope this doesn't deviate too much from the topic.

Over the past year I've sailed solo from the UK, via Holland and the West Indies, up to New York. I've done this on a 26ft boat, and I'm now trying to truck her overland to Berkeley, California, so I can continue sailing through the Pacific and home to Australia.

I'm doing all this on a small budget, a project I started when I was 25 - I'm 27, soon to be 28 now, so this is as you can see, taking quite some time! Since I've been in the USA, I've been given a ton of help - So much, I'd have to dedicate it all to another thread - However one problem I've not been able to solve so far - Is the issue of trucking. I've had numerous quotes, but unfortunately they're all beyond my reach, and often come to half the value of my boat!

Right now, I'm trying to find a trailer and truck to do the trip myself... I guess I'm here appealing to the wider US cruising community for ideas... I know there must be someone out there who has a trailer which is just gathering dust, but the key to this puzzle is finding that person!

If you have any thoughts or ideas, please let me know - I've attached two photos, one from when I was in Antigua, and another in front of a rather well known landmark

Thanks, Nick
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Old 11-11-2008, 15:49   #2
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If you removed the stick etc would she fit into a container? You might find one deadheading cross country that would give you a cheap ride? Just a thought.
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Old 11-11-2008, 16:37   #3
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Nice adventure and Congratulations on what you have accomplished already..I wish you Good luck on finding what you need Nick...
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Old 11-11-2008, 17:09   #4
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Nice Adventure. Are you in a hurry? How about startign down the coast to Florida and then over to Texas. From Texas getting the boat to California should be alot cheaper. You might even be able to rent a boat trailer and a truck and drive it across. There are alot of nice places to visit on the sailing route and hurricane season is comming to a close. Good luck and let us know how things turn out.
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Old 11-11-2008, 17:15   #5
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Nick,
Is that a Contessa 26?

Buying a second hand truck and trailer and reselling after you arrive in California may be the least expensive way to go. Trucks are relatively easy to find. Sailboat trailers may be a bit more difficult, but I have seen them advertised. Should cost ~$1000 for a trailer suitable for your boat (may need some modifications, though.
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Old 11-11-2008, 17:30   #6
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Thanks guys for the kind comments -

Deadheading in a container a nice idea, however I'm not sure how to actually get the boat into a container, and also how one would support it. I think I'd probably need a very low-slung cradle with forklift mounts, and a very big forklift - All I have access to here are lifts. But, the boat is out of the water, and the mast is down. If there was a simple way to put her safely in a container, it could possibly be a viable option.

I'm not really in a great hurry per se, however I am aiming fairly hard for a May departure from San Francisco. I guess I could motor down the ICW, and truck from further south to San Diego, but I'm not sure if it would make all that much difference, once you factor in re-launch costs (my boat is in a myriad of pieces right now - Good for trucking, not so much for sailing!), cost of living, fuel, haulout etc etc. If I motored down, I'd also miss a May departure, and be up for one in October, which, while technically possible, is not really desirable...

Nick!
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Old 11-11-2008, 17:32   #7
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Nick,
Is that a Contessa 26?

Buying a second hand truck and trailer and reselling after you arrive in California may be the least expensive way to go. Trucks are relatively easy to find. Sailboat trailers may be a bit more difficult, but I have seen them advertised. Should cost ~$1000 for a trailer suitable for your boat (may need some modifications, though.
this is absolutely the way to go. You don't even need a special trailer. Find a good flat bed and either set a cradle or build stands. A boat mover will be 5-8K USD for the trip.
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Old 11-11-2008, 17:35   #8
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Ziggy - Oops, missed your post. I had thought about this, and did some research - The problem is, I'm not a US citizen, so buying, registering, and insuring a vehicle is terribly difficult. Also, my research suggests that trying to sell a big SUV on NY plates in California is going to be a pain - It's out of state registered, and I could also have issues complying to emission laws when attempting to re-sell.

I'm really hoping I can either find a trailer to borrow, and also a truck... Or find someone who is already driving across the country in something like an F250, and offer to pay for gas - I could then rent a trailer, and maybe find someone on craigslist to deadhead it back to NY. It becomes a bit of a logistical issue though... Ideally, in a perfect world, I borrow an NY registered truck, borrow or rent a trailer for two weeks, haul across country, and back. Maybe there might even be someone on the west coast who needs their boat on the east coast, and I could do that to recoup some of the money...

Basically I'm trying to do this all for no more than $2000 ...

And, yes, she's a Jeremy Rogers Contessa 26!
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Old 11-11-2008, 17:44   #9
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Fuel alone is going to be around 700.00 your on a pretty tight budget..
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Old 11-11-2008, 17:46   #10
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Basically I'm trying to do this all for no more than $2000 ...
therein lies the problem

That load behind my Dodge would average about 12mpg. 5000 / 12 = 416 (round to 425 for idle time)

425 gal of diesel at 3.25/gal = 1381.25 just for fuel. Now were talking taking two weeks off for the trip...thats going to be hard to sell and get accomplished on that budget.
Most 20 somethings arn't going to have a 250 laying around let alone the experience to tow 10-12K across the country.
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Old 11-11-2008, 17:52   #11
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The problem is, I'm not a US citizen, so buying, registering, and insuring a vehicle is terribly difficult. Also, my research suggests that trying to sell a big SUV on NY plates in California is going to be a pain - It's out of state registered, and I could also have issues complying to emission laws when attempting to re-sell.
You certainly don't need to be a U.S. Citizen to register a vehicle in the U.S., and you don't have to be a resident in many states (I'm not sure about NY). You may have to obtain a NY driver's license to get insurance, though (I'm not sure what that entails).

Also, you can register any used vehicle in California if it has already been registered in another state (i.e., it is used). There are emission laws in other states as well. Unless the engine is in really bad shape it should pass the California test.

If you can find a truck and a trailer to borrow, however, that would be the least expensive way to go.

Good luck with your journey!
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Old 11-11-2008, 18:08   #12
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Thanks for the quick fuel math - I do realise it's a small budget, but I think it's achievable. I've already had a couple of leads on borrowing a truck, but they've fallen through due to poor timing, etc - So, I do think that something will show up eventually.

I will look further into car registration - Thanks for the tip

Other options: Non-mile limited truck rental? Is there such a thing? Or, what about 'drive aways' ? Do places like UHaul have their trucks sent across country after trips the other way? What about trains?
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Old 11-11-2008, 18:20   #13
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Didn't know that you had the boat hauled already. OK thinking cap back on. How about this put an ad on Craig's list trying to find someone moving cross country with a U-haul that neds an extra driver. Go to the ride boards at local colleges to see if people are heading to California in a truck. Hitchhike LOL. You shuld be able to find a trailer sometimes you can pick them up for free by walking the boat storage yards and talking to the managers to see if there are any trailers that are delinquent on their rent. What about a Uhaul car carrier and then attach some posts and pads to it. I don't know what the boat weighs and what the trailers are rated but that might work. Try craigs list rideshare
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Old 11-11-2008, 21:13   #14
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If I was sailing to Australia, I would head for the Panama Canal and then sail for points west. I don't see any great advantage to heading out into the Pacific from California over Panama. You are still heading out into the big empty.

Is California a cheap destination? Wouldn't dockage be expensive and hard to locate?

Wouldn't it be less expensive to pop down to Florida and then sail for ten days to arrive in Panama?
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Old 11-11-2008, 21:54   #15
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Nick - Mate! What you need is a welder. I was just in New Orleans and saw plenty of containers for sale. Most were old, beat up and advertised for $500. to $800.

Have the top and one side removed, put the Contessa inside and weld the puppy shut! Look for truckers heading west empty. Best way is to contact an intermodal transport agency. This might help www.intermodal.org/
They might help connect you with a trucker dead heading west. Most low flat beds are around 53'... so if you're lucky and he has more load from others you might get a decent deal.
You'd have the same luck in Houston finding a container if you wanted drop the cost a wee more.
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