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Old 28-02-2012, 17:43   #1
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Is This Possible ?

I am looking to go to a full time live aboard again. Will be buying a 35-45' boat within the year (hopefully!!!!!!!!!!!).

I have a 1000cc sport bike. I want to bring it with me as I cruise up and down the US coast and maybe to the islands. How complicated will it be to bring my 425lb (wet) motorcycle with me
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Old 28-02-2012, 18:03   #2
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Re: Is this possible?

Should be possible, but may be easier to store the bike on the boat if you can remove the front wheel. 425# is not too much weight if you can strap it down tightly and fit it in a location that won't cause problems.
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Old 28-02-2012, 18:06   #3
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Re: Is this possible?

That can be done! Thanks.. now I just need to get the rest of the cash.
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Old 28-02-2012, 18:33   #4
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Re: Is This Possible?

Maybe the biggest challenge will be arranging a reliable and easy method to move the bike on and off the boat safely and without risk to the bike.
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Old 28-02-2012, 18:49   #5
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Re: Is This Possible?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rowingdude View Post
Will be buying a 35-45' boat within the year (hopefully!!!!!!!!!!!).
That's a huge range! And we don't even know whether you're talking about a sail boat or a power boat. Don't expect good feedback based on such sparse information.

A 35' sailboat may only displace 12,000 lbs. A similarly built 45' sailboat will easily displace twice that much. That ten foot difference in length results in a boat of more than twice the tonnage. It's ability to handle weight is similarly exponential.

I know pretty much nothing about power boats, but it's not at all realistic to consider transporting a motorcycle that size offshore on a 35' sailboat. As a matter of fact, I think it would be pretty goofy to attempt to transport a bike like that on a 45' sailboat. Bad idea all around, if you're talking about sailboats.
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Old 28-02-2012, 19:26   #6
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Re: Is This Possible?

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That's a huge range! And we don't even know whether you're talking about a sail boat or a power boat. Don't expect good feedback based on such sparse information.

A 35' sailboat may only displace 12,000 lbs. A similarly built 45' sailboat will easily displace twice that much. That ten foot difference in length results in a boat of more than twice the tonnage. It's ability to handle weight is similarly exponential.

I know pretty much nothing about power boats, but it's not at all realistic to consider transporting a motorcycle that size offshore on a 35' sailboat. As a matter of fact, I think it would be pretty goofy to attempt to transport a bike like that on a 45' sailboat. Bad idea all around, if you're talking about sailboats.
What he said.

In a nut shell getting it on and off the boat is going to be difficult at best. Then trying to find a location on a 45' sailboat that it won't be in the way will be interesting, not to mention getting it tied down securely without any proper tie down locations.

One rough night at sea and you could have a 400 lb projectile moving around the cockpit with you.

But crazier things have been done.
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Old 28-02-2012, 19:34   #7
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Re: Is This Possible?

If it is just up and down the coast, ride it to scout out a destination you'd like to stay a spell, enjoy the destination, repeat. Take a bus, plane, train, or automobile back to mother-ship. Nice to know transportation awaits, plus some nice riding in between.
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Old 28-02-2012, 20:39   #8
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Re: Is This Possible?

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If it is just up and down the coast, ride it to scout out a destination you'd like to stay a spell, enjoy the destination, repeat. Take a bus, plane, train, or automobile back to mother-ship. Nice to know transportation awaits, plus some nice riding in between.
With that scenario, you would not be storing the bike on your boat but ashore moving it from the current place to the next place. Your biggest problem will be finding a safe/secure storage at each destination.

Taking the bike on-board would require a dock situation and most probably the use of a spinaker or whisker pole as a boom with a halyard or two to control the lifting and transfer the bike on and off the boat. So you have the expense of dockage plus special hold-down/supports on-board plus a "crane" rig to lift and transfer plus a waterproof covering for the bike. All that adds significant cost to the boat.
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Old 28-02-2012, 21:01   #9
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Re: Is This Possible?

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With that scenario, you would not be storing the bike on your boat but ashore moving it from the current place to the next place. Your biggest problem will be finding a safe/secure storage at each destination.
Agreed storage would cost money but probably no more than $500/600 per year. Storage units are easily found and Craigslist has a parking/storage category. Many m/c shops will hold it for you especially if you are getting the bike serviced. IMO it would be a nice way to combine both past-times. Storage on the boat, while doable, would be costly, not only for equipment required but also the toll the salt water environment would take on bike.
On another note, it may be possible a motorcycle carrier designed for car hitches to be rigged aft, especially in conjunction with davits for upper support.
The reason I mentioned first suggestion is that is what I will be doing this year with my bike, but I have the luxury of being retired military and can leave it on a military installation.
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Old 29-02-2012, 06:01   #10
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Re: Is This Possible ?

I find it kinda funny how many people come out of the closet about taking a motorcycle on a boat....after I posted the desite to do so about a year ago and was told that;

My bike would be eaten up with salt- cover it, spray it with WD-40, it won't disolve in seven days, take it to a car wash and spend some time washing it and treating unpainted areas. Paint on a bike is not the same as a bicycle or some cheap pocket rocket toy. Car paint does not peel off
from salt spray if you wash it off. You can cover discs various ways to keep them dry on longer cruises, many bikes cross the pond to get here and are exposed to salt air in crates.

My bike would become a danger on board, flying around on deck; bolt the sucker down, it won't move. I'll be using a steel channel for the wheels to fit in and bolts over the wheels locking it in place, then tie off the bars.

Loading and unlaoding: A valid concern! I'm looking at an old 30' Voyager with a heavy built, squared off stern. I'm thinking of having a steel shop fabricate a carrier much like a spare tire carrier on an SUV, so that the base swings out toone side. The base would also make a heck of a swim platform! I'm rigging a boom and crane arrangement as well with a remote winch, a small one. Take a ramp as well. I realize too that swinging weight from a boom from a rocking boat will be tricky, but not impossible.

However, if the Voyager doesn't work out, I want to build a scow, about 28/30/32' , 6' beam with amas aft and with a landing craft bow, aft cabin. That solves the loading issues!

I'd love to take my 1600 cc Vulcan cruiser, but that's really over doing it I think at 750 pounds. I'm taking a 325# Transalp dual sport, 650cc.

I'll be having a large cover made for it probably out of hypalon material with a zip lock style zipper to bag the thing on the scow. Might be able to have it in a hold forward that encloses like the hood of a car.

I really think you'd be better off with a smaller bike too. But where there is a will, there is a way.....Good luck!
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Old 29-02-2012, 06:21   #11
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Re: Is This Possible ?

One of the considerations often forgotten with the concept of transferring an object from storage on a boat to the land/dock - is the constantly different heights of the docks versus the height of the boat deck.

Commercial piers and docks are normally 10 ft (3m) or more above sea level. Given a tide they can be double that.

Marinas for private recreational boats can be from below the boat deck to 3 or more feet (1m) above deck level. Add in tides and with non-floating docks those vertical height differences can get extreme.

So some sort of "crane" system would be almost a necessity as opposed to using dock planks/boards to get on and off the boat. Crane systems like a spinaker or whisker pole and halyard seems the easiest to rig but you have to consider the amount of "heeling" or tilt the boat will experience as the heavy object is moved off center-line of the boat and out over the dock. You can observe even container ships rolling a bit when heavy containers are "boomed" out over the side of the vessel.

Rust/corrosion is a major factor for salt water sailors. Ask anybody with bicycles on board for a period of years and you will learn about all the rust and corrosion problems. But that is easily taken care of by greasing/coating/covering/washing regularly. It is when the boater gets lazy and stops taking care of the bike that things start rusting/corroding quickly.

The biggest problem with on-board storage of something like a motor-bike/cycle is the changing of the boat's center of gravity away from the design location. The sailing characteristics can change dramatically if you raise the center of gravity or shift it fore or aft. All that lead/iron in the bottom of the keel is there for a reason.

But all said and done, having local transportation at your next destination and not having to "rent" or borrow it will definitely make the cruising experience a whole world better than being restricted to walking, bicycling or taking buses (that generally don't exist in many locations). It makes working out the problems of storing the bike worth the effort in most cases - IMHO.
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Old 29-02-2012, 07:47   #12
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Re: Is This Possible ?

The weight itself, while not good, is less of an issue than the placement of that weight. I cant think of any 35ft sailboat where you could find a safe place to stow it where it would not severely affect trim,it really needs to be stowed in the salon over the keel. Perhaps if you forgo the obligatory RIB with 15hp outboard on davits for a sensible lightweight plywood dinghy on the foredeck and stow the bike in a bag on the davits you could make it work, remember, you cant just keep piling everything on the stern without offsetting the weight with items placed forward of the center of bouyancy.
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Old 29-02-2012, 08:29   #13
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Re: Is This Possible ?

You don't mention what coast and what Islands. But anything can be done and most obstacles overcome. But my bet is that even if you do overcome all the obstacles you won't do it for long. Your time, effort, and money spent to overcome is probably better spent finding places that will rent you a motorcycle along the way or perhaps finding a shipping company to just forward your bike to the areas you'd like to have it at and catch a cab to pick it up once you arrive at port.
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Old 01-03-2012, 08:10   #14
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Re: Is This Possible ?

I would agree that a 30' sailboat or motorboat will not perform exactly as it would if the extra weight were not on board. An airplane won't perform the same way and neither does your car. Not much difference in taking two fat guys with you who sit aft. I would think that you will need to get a feel for the boat loaded and compensate as necessary.

Let's say you're doing the Great Loop, you just left St. Louis and you're 100 miles south. Where in the heck are you going to rent any vehicle? What bus is there? Maybe you can catch a ride with a fisherman sitting on the bank of the Mississippi. You get down to Arkansas and you have nothing for 400 miles. Say you want to go up the White River, you can't rent vehicles at campgrounds, there is no bus line to Wal-Mart. You're stuck on your boat. All boating grounds are not along the Keys, or coast lines of metroplitian areas.

One advantage of having versitle transportation would be that there is no need to carry so much in provisions. Your ability to go ashore will depend on how efficient your system is loading and unloading. If it's a real pain in the tail, you won't be doing it as often. If the whole thing can be accomplished in 15 or 20 minutes, you could have your bike off every night if you wanted to. So, you could save the weight of provisions off setting the weight of that bike, with my 325# bike, I might get the difference down to a bow babe being on board.

Sea walls, docks, ramps, etc. can all be obstacles, they aren't really there for you to off load or load something like a motorcycle. Most marinas I have seen will have rails along ramps and walk ways and at some point steps, since water is usually down hill. So, you'll need to scout out your loading spot beyond a dock. I would think you'd be pretty restricted if your don't have a shoal draft boat. There are many shore lines where you'd never be able to get a bike off unless you rode it out with a snorkel, the shore goes too far out. So you might be restricted to some dock. In cannels, rivers and lake areas, you can come along side of the shore and off load, especially at a boat ramp. I have loaded boats in this fashion with other things (like picking up trash on clean-up days). My plan is not to rely on marinas or docks, but to hit the shore. For me, I really would not want a boat that I could never set the bow on shore. That probably means I would not be doing any serious off shore cruising.

I have been eyeing a 30' Voyager that IMO, is heavy enough to take a bike off a fabricated swim platform carrier. That will take some engineering, but can be done, I'm sure. But my underlying option is a scow, landing craft bow gate, aft cabin with shallow draft and small OB, hopefully a small sail plan for downwind mainly. No, it would not be as good looking as, or perform like, a Island Packet or other classic. It would not be as comfortable as a Egg Harbor or a Gemini cat, but it would be functional and certainly add a new demension to cruising and exploration of inland waters.

I think too that you need to consider the type of motorcycle. My 1600cc cruiser at 750# would be hard to manage, and I would want to set it on a dry surface. You're not riding a cruiser up a muddy bank or lose sand to get to any hard surface road. I think you really need a dirt bike or a dual sport, on/off road capable bike. I can ride out in a foot of water, through mud or sand if needed.

I doubt this is a really great idea for any blue water types, heading from port to port. I have no idea what the license and insurance requirements would be for a motor vehicle in Belieze. Keeping track of such matters from country to country and putting up with regulations would be a real pain and probably not worth the effort. In such places you can catch a bus, rent a vehicle of whatever. Granted. But, for fresh water cruising, doing the Loop or even island hopping in many areas, it would work and expand the adventure.

So taking a "real" motorcycle on a boat is a great way to go, if where you are going allows you to use the bike with little effort and risk.
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Old 01-03-2012, 08:47   #15
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Re: Is This Possible ?

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I think too that you need to consider the type of motorcycle. My 1600cc cruiser at 750# would be hard to manage, and I would want to set it on a dry surface. You're not riding a cruiser up a muddy bank or lose sand to get to any hard surface road. I think you really need a dirt bike or a dual sport, on/off road capable bike. I can ride out in a foot of water, through mud or sand if needed.
These motorcycle fantasies sound a bit less delusional if you're talking dirt bike, but only a bit.

Consider the fact that many cruisers, myself included, have opted to go with folding bikes rather than full-size bicycles because the latter are so difficult to store on a boat. In my case, we're talking about a 46' boat that has a great deal more room than the 30-footer you're thinking about for this scheme. The ugly reality here is that folding bikes are a poor substitute for full-size bikes, and that even folders present difficulties both in terms of stowage and getting them ashore. And I'm talking about 20-lb bicycles!

You state that you can "ride out in a foot of water, through mud or sand if needed." From a sailboat? In tidal waters? And what's that boat gonna do while you're riding around the countryside on your motorcycle?

Tides go up and down. Waves crash on beaches. Most municipalities aren't going to want your motorcycle anywhere near their beaches. You'll be lucky enough to be able to anchor your sailboat a hundred yards offshore. If you revert to the landing-craft scheme you'd originally proposed, you'll discover most waterfront authorities to be hostile to landing-craft invasions as well.
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