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Old 01-02-2020, 09:39   #16
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Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 33
Re: Trailer launching sailboat

Gotcha now.


Yeah, the boat I was using the dolly with loaded is probably a good 1000-1500 lbs. The boat alone (aluminum) is about 600, motor is 320. Then add gear and fuel tanks. Though that wasn't a paved launch, it wasn't soft mud either. It was more a sandy hard clay with no rutting from the tires. That location would not work for a sailboat - way too shallow. That launch with that boat was one of the main reasons for the dolly - to get the trailer out in the lake further without driving the truck in the lake too. Though, there was a bigger cabin cruiser pulled out at that location one of the days I was there - 23-28ft boat with inboard motor. I highly doubt within 40-60% of bay nearest the shoreline would be deep enough for a keel, let alone getting any closer to launch/retrieve. Even with a prop on the outboard in the water barely enough to idle and push the boat the fin drags so I have to get moving, cut the motor, and get it out of the water and coast to the shore. The hard part is getting the right speed. Too little and I have a lot of water to jump over, too much and I have to push the boat back out with the truck and trailer as its wedged in the sand too hard to push.



I know - not the "norm" when it comes to launching/retrieving. The ramp we use at our regular lake is a more proper ramp (until the concrete stops) and much steeper angle - but I don't know how far out in to that bay the trailer would have to be to float a boat off with a keel. Depending on how tall the bunks are on the trailer (and how high the trailer is - is there a drop for the keel to pass over framing/axles? Or are the axles or frame going to require the keel to sit up higher = higher bunks and deeper water required to float?).


The way I see it is if a boat is trailerable (again - the normal pickup tow vehicle example) its trailer launch-able also - if you can get the trailer deep enough to float it. I guess I don't really see what the challenge would be other than just that - getting the trailer deep enough.



Of course, if the launch was a muddy shore where the tires sink in the mud or if the shore was rocky causing the trailer/boat to articulate (and that required a lot of "push" from the tow vehicle to get up and over said rocks) then I can understand the challenge. For the environments the utility boats would be launched that may very well come up in the future so we shall see there. Those aren't environments where I would take a sailboat, though, not remotely in the near future anyway.
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