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Old 03-10-2014, 21:49   #1
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Towing A Trailered Sailboat

Howdy,

Well, I've done it. I have purchased my first sail boat after 14 years of sailing, mostly in the last 4/5 years. It's a freshwater sailer...Catalina Capri 18. I am getting ready to tow it about 4 hours away this weekend to sail it...and I can't seem to find info on proper towing precautions. In a nutshell, can I leave the motor attached, is there a recommended speed to tow, and does the stowed mast require a red flag for extending past the trailer? I know how to tow a trailer, but not with a sailboat attached. Any help would be greatly appreciated. I have all this sailing experience, but I've limited knowledge on actually towing one. Go figure.
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Old 03-10-2014, 22:18   #2
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Re: Towing A Trailered Sailboat

Red flag on the end of the mast is a very good idea. Whether you leave the outboard on the transom depends..... It's not very good for the transom. I usually remove the outboard and put it in the trunk.

Here in CA it's illegal to transport the boat with drain plugs in. This of course means the risk of launching with them out. I ended up with a written checklist, after the third time.

Finally, always check for overhead power lines before raising the mast.
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Old 03-10-2014, 22:24   #3
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Re: Towing A Trailered Sailboat

Thanks for the reply. My thoughts exactly...except for the drain plugs. I hope I have them in the toolbox the previous owner included. Never thought to look for that. Don't have a red flag, but I know I can improvise. Taking the motor off isn't a big deal. Thanks again....
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Old 03-10-2014, 23:03   #4
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Re: Towing A Trailered Sailboat

Hmm..

IIRC, and it has been over 40 years since I owned a CAtalina 22, there are no drain plugs to leave in or out. Such plugs are more a feature of open motor boats or small sailing dinghies. And of course, the Capri 18 might be different...

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Old 03-10-2014, 23:06   #5
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Re: Towing A Trailered Sailboat

Thanks for the info. I am under the same impression, but I don't ignore other's advice. I don't think there are drain plugs with my boat, but I'm going to make sure. Thanks again.
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Old 04-10-2014, 00:06   #6
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Re: Towing A Trailered Sailboat

The motor will probably rock and rattle the bracket somewhat (assuming its not a fixed mount). Use the motors preventer line to tie the motor so it cant jiggle and you should be fine.

Dont reverse the boat into the water with the rudder attached. You will put a LOT of strain on the pin's.
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Old 04-10-2014, 01:17   #7
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Re: Towing A Trailered Sailboat

thanks for that. i was thinking the same thing, just wanted advice from more experienced sail boat hauler.
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Old 04-10-2014, 05:39   #8
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Re: Towing A Trailered Sailboat

And all the usual trailering things you probably know. . . . Good bearings newly greased. Good tires properly inflated. All lights working. Tongue weight 10+% of total trailer+boat weight to prevent swaying.

If you do have sway problems, check out the Equal-i-zer hitch -- it provides sway prevention and weight distribution together. Made a big difference for our rig.
Equal-i-zer® Hitch - The “American Original” with 4-Point Sway Control™ and Weight Distribution

We tow with our outboard on the transom, in the down position, but tied in with a rope to prevent it from bouncing out when we hit big bumps.

Also, be sure to have the boat well strapped down to the trailer frame so they work as a unit, rather than the boat jumping up over a bump and then thumping back down.

As for towing speed -- 55 will give you better gas mileage, and the lower speed will make the trailer more manageable. But I find that once we're all hitched up and we have 6 hours to Maine or Cape Cod, I can't help but go 65 on the highways. . . .

Love that trailer sailing! Good luck.
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Old 04-10-2014, 05:58   #9
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Re: Towing A Trailered Sailboat

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Originally Posted by Cormorant View Post
And all the usual trailering things you probably know. . . . Good bearings newly greased. Good tires properly inflated. All lights working. Tongue weight 10+% of total trailer+boat weight to prevent swaying.

If you do have sway problems, check out the Equal-i-zer hitch -- it provides sway prevention and weight distribution together. Made a big difference for our rig.
Equal-i-zer® Hitch - The “American Original” with 4-Point Sway Control™ and Weight Distribution

We tow with our outboard on the transom, in the down position, but tied in with a rope to prevent it from bouncing out when we hit big bumps.

Also, be sure to have the boat well strapped down to the trailer frame so they work as a unit, rather than the boat jumping up over a bump and then thumping back down.

As for towing speed -- 55 will give you better gas mileage, and the lower speed will make the trailer more manageable. But I find that once we're all hitched up and we have 6 hours to Maine or Cape Cod, I can't help but go 65 on the highways. . . .

Love that trailer sailing! Good luck.
You'll get better mileage with the rig down though...
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Old 04-10-2014, 06:06   #10
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Re: Towing A Trailered Sailboat

I thought that was "motorsailing" . . .
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Old 04-10-2014, 06:16   #11
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Re: Towing A Trailered Sailboat

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I thought that was "motorsailing" . . .
NICE!!!

Man... She sure is a beauty... I'd be tempted to motorsail all the time!
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Old 04-10-2014, 11:52   #12
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Re: Towing A Trailered Sailboat

I don't know your age but a checklist is really starting to help me now. I'd recommend it. I've forgotten nearly everything from one time or another. The worst was not locking the tongue wheel in the up position. That was just plain embarrasing when it hit the pavement. I cross my safety chains underneath the tongue and hitch so that if the hitch does come off the ball it'll fall onto the chains which might save the tongue from digging into the roadway.
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