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Old 18-01-2021, 20:03   #1
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seasonally trailing large boat to private property

It has become so expensive to store a boat in a boatyard and even worse to be able to actually work on a boat yourself in a boat yard that soon only the extremely wealthy will be able to own a boat. I am a seasonal sailor in FLA. Been thinking about whether it could make any sense to have a boat on a trailer and bring it home every season. I am not speaking of a small trailer sailor, but something larger. I have a 32ft sloop with a 10 ft beam. 13,000LB. I did put this boat on a trailer and take it across town, about 3 miles. No permit, never reached a speed over 30mph. Almost any pickup can do that. The fly in the ointment is you have to pull the 40ft mast to do it and the whole thing is a huge ordeal. Just wondering if others have addressed that issue with some type of mast raising/lowering system? Perhaps unstayed masts. The solution might be move to a powerboat, god forbid, rather be able to put a sail up.
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Old 18-01-2021, 20:42   #2
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Re: seasonally trailing large boat to private property

Just move your boat to Glades Storage or J&R Marine Services in Port Charlotte for the season. Neither need to pull the mast. On East coast try Green Cove Springs.
Or if you have a place to store the vessel, just find a marine transport company with a hydraulic arm trailer, several of them in Florida
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Old 18-01-2021, 20:53   #3
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Re: seasonally trailing large boat to private property

Masts are a sticky wicket. The other sticky wicket is launching and hauling a boat with ~5' draft with only a trailer and a pickup truck. Going down the road with the loaded trailer is the easy part.



I have a 26' water ballasted boat and I trailer it around. I have resigned myself to the fact that my next boat will be one that, when I want to move it on the road, I will have to pay other people.
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Old 18-01-2021, 21:20   #4
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Re: seasonally trailing large boat to private property

On my boat, the masts are on tabernacles.

You can raise our lower them, single-handed, using nothing but the winch and windlass.

But it's an odd boat - a Hereshoff/Vaitses Meadowlark.
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Old 19-01-2021, 07:19   #5
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Re: seasonally trailing large boat to private property

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Just move your boat to Glades Storage or J&R Marine Services in Port Charlotte for the season. Neither need to pull the mast. On East coast try Green Cove Springs.
Or if you have a place to store the vessel, just find a marine transport company with a hydraulic arm trailer, several of them in Florida
I am aware of the DIY yards. Was just wondering if anyone was hauling a larger sailboat regularly to a private location. Something like the meadowlark suggested is along the line I was thinking... an easier way to deal with the mast/masts. That seems to be the problematic part. I have pulled my mast a number of times and not only is it a pain, but I think it costs me $300 to take it off and $300 put back up.
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Old 19-01-2021, 08:17   #6
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Re: seasonally trailing large boat to private property

It sounds like you are in Florida, so presumably the boat lives year round in the water and you just pull out for a week or two per year to do some bottom work.

By the time you pay for the yard to pull the mast, lift it onto the trailer and the reverse for launch, I doubt the week or two in the yard is the big cost. DIY bottom jobs may be but is it worth buying a trailer?

Also, if it's a mile or two, you may get away with it but get caught doing an oversize load without permits and it's a very expensive ticket.

We did this once but it was a power boat and it was in Michigan for the entire winter at my BIL's pole barn where were repainting the topsides. Even there it was a big hassle as we had to remove the flybridge.
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Old 19-01-2021, 08:30   #7
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Re: seasonally trailing large boat to private property

The permits are issued routinely. In most jurisdictions, they're inexpensive, and good for an unlimited number of moves over the course of a year.


The hauling/permitting part doesn't become truly problematic until you're over 12'6" beam, 14'0" height, or 20,000 pounds gross weight including trailer, if you have the skills and the equipment. That's many 34' boats and some a little larger.
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Old 19-01-2021, 08:33   #8
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Re: seasonally trailing large boat to private property

No I have a second home in Florida. I am usually here 6-8months. I put the boat in about 4- 6 months a year and have it hauled and stored at a boatyard the rest of the time. Working on the boat, which I often might spend a couple months puttering around on, now becoming more problematic. $25 a day in the work area, on top of storage cost and now 2 week limit to get work done. Basically if you want to do some minor stuff, bottom paint and such. Any major project would be an issue. I'd have to take it to a DIY yard like green cove and live there. I suppose I will just do most of the work in the water now.
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Old 19-01-2021, 09:45   #9
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Re: seasonally trailing large boat to private property

Also consider where you are parking the boat. I do the haul home for the last 30 years with a 32'loa X 10.2' beam 13000# boat. You need a paved or at least compacted gravel driveway or parking area or the trailer may sink about 6" to 12" depending on your soil. The move is done with a hydraulic boat trailer and the mast is stepped with a crane or a gin pole. All these events happened in the North East however.

I can say it's a lot easier to work on your boat when it's sitting in your driveway.
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Old 19-01-2021, 09:48   #10
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Re: seasonally trailing large boat to private property

How hard is it to retrofit tabernacles into a boat?

Anyone had any experience?

I did some googling and found this:

Clipper Snips/1989 - Spring.pdf

See page 13 and following.
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Old 19-01-2021, 10:35   #11
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Re: seasonally trailing large boat to private property

I've done this twice with my 30-foot boat, using a cradle chained onto a flatbed trailer that I already had. YMMV, but for a point of reference:

Cost for nearby yards to haul, pressure wash and do a simple bottom paint: $1400 plus whatever other bs charges the yard manager can dream up. No other work of any kind done or allowed.

Cost to hire a crane to mast or de-mast and set the boat on or off the trailer. $450. If the cost is shared between more than one boat, it can get a lot lower than that. Unlimited time to do whatever projects I wanted to do at DIY cost. Although if you want to share the crane cost, you've got to coordinate the timing with others.

The over-size permit was about $30 for a year. Banners and marker lights about $100. The DMV office tried to waffle, but I went to a private agent at a truck stop who just filled out the form with no fuss.

But: The gross combined vehicle weight, with my boat, was right at the legal limit for a non-commercial driver (if the dog got out and took a leak). Anything larger would require a commercial license, drug tests, insurance and the whole nine yards. Also, IIRC, the DMV was waffling about even giving the permit to a non-commercial driver, but the agent just said "Oh, you got farm plates on the truck? Them's commercial!"

I also got a quote from the one company in the area with a hydraulic boat loader to do the whole thing. Basically, they wanted approximately the value of the boat to do the move.
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Old 19-01-2021, 10:44   #12
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Re: seasonally trailing large boat to private property

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No I have a second home in Florida. I am usually here 6-8months. I put the boat in about 4- 6 months a year and have it hauled and stored at a boatyard the rest of the time. Working on the boat, which I often might spend a couple months puttering around on, now becoming more problematic. $25 a day in the work area, on top of storage cost and now 2 week limit to get work done. Basically if you want to do some minor stuff, bottom paint and such. Any major project would be an issue. I'd have to take it to a DIY yard like green cove and live there. I suppose I will just do most of the work in the water now.
That makes sense but you are swimming up stream. Since Florida is a year round boating area, they aren't set up for a lot of storage space on land, so they have to set aside designated storage areas and waterfront property is expensive. (at the same time, they don't have people to fill your empty slip in the off season, so little incentive not to want you to keep it in a slip). Up north, they typically use the parking lots for winter storage as very few people are parking at the marinas in the winter.

If you are doing a major retrofit and it's going to take several months, it probably would make sense to have it hauled home if you have a good place to put it. Saves the drive time, all your tools and equipment are right there and you don't have to worry about the marina rules.

For most people, doing the bottom paint, checking the zincs and regular maintenance won't take more than a week, so $25/day doesn't move the needle in terms of cost.

Given your situation getting a trailer and paying for an oversize permit should be pretty workable. The only question is how much does bringing the mast down every year compare to storage costs (assuming you would leave the mast up in storage). If the cost was comparable, I would consider hauling it home.
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Old 19-01-2021, 10:48   #13
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Re: seasonally trailing large boat to private property

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jdege View Post
How hard is it to retrofit tabernacles into a boat?

Anyone had any experience?

I did some googling and found this:

Clipper Snips/1989 - Spring.pdf

See page 13 and following.
Depends on the design. Keel stepped masts often rely on the strength of the mast being supported by the deck at least in part to keep the mast upright. Deck stepped masts rely exclusively on the rigging to hold the mast up.

So most deck stepped masts will be fairly simple to convert. Keel stepped masts may be workable but you need to look at the specific design and there may be some additional mitigation needed. Most trailer sailors tend to be deck stepped.
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Old 20-01-2021, 08:30   #14
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Re: seasonally trailing large boat to private property

A hinge is easy. A true tabernacle that provides some amount of lateral support as the mast is raised and lowered is more difficult.


You might enjoy looking at the design of some of the Norfolk Broads sailboats that have counterweighted masts. Take a look at the Martham Boats web page and videos, or some of the videos of the Three Rivers Race that show the masts being lowered while under way to clear bridges. The boats in this area are among the few worldwide that have tall rigs that are practical for the crew to lower, with masts over 40' tall. That said, these boats aren't meant to be trailerable. The counterweight becomes a liability when removing the mast completely from the hinge for transport.


Stepping and unstepping the mast on a trailer sailor without a crane or other outside assistance is a difficult and physical undertaking that becomes more difficult, physical, and hazardous as boat size increases. I can raise and lower the mast on my 26' Hunter by myself but prefer to pay the local yard $120 to do it with their crane. That, even though my boat has a well-designed hinge, mast bridle (to control lateral swing while lifting), crutch, and gin pole.


After exploring larger "trailerable" boats I concluded that my best move is to stay with the Hunter 26, do my exploring of areas only accessible by trailer, and wait to obtain a larger boat until I am ready to stay in a slip and yard.
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Old 20-01-2021, 09:17   #15
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Re: seasonally trailing large boat to private property

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A hinge is easy. A true tabernacle that provides some amount of lateral support as the mast is raised and lowered is more difficult.
The tabernacles on my Meadowlark support the bottom two feet of the masts from three sides, and are very strongly tied into the main bulkheads.
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