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Old 06-10-2019, 21:45   #1
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Questions on pulling a boat trailer and the capacities of an "average" marina

Hello. I'm thinking about purchasing a pocket cruiser. I haven't narrowed a list down yet. Just wondering about some of the logistics. Using a Hunter 26 as an example:
1). Can a boat this size be pulled without too much stress by a full-sized pickup with a V8?
2). Are fin keel boats harder to pull than full keel boats?
3). When someone pulls into an average marina with boat in tow, how do things proceed from there? Is every marina equipped with a hoist to get the boat into the water, or is it accessed from putting the boat in water at a different location and motoring in?
4). Do most marinas have the equipment to help raise a mast if needed?
5). What are typical marina rules for working on/repairing a boat as it sits in a slip?
Thanks.
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Old 07-10-2019, 05:11   #2
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Re: Questions on pulling a boat trailer and the capacities of an "average" marina

1. Stress levels depend on you. I’ve known people who freak out at the idea of pulling a golf cart behind a suburban. Others will calmly take a 30’ gooseneck cargo trailer through a fast food drive through because it doesn’t seem odd.

2. Won’t be any difference if the trailer is properly placed under the load.

3. Most marinas around here (Houston area) are just that, a marina. Meaning no yard with travel lift. However there are lots that do have either a nearby travel lift, or a self operated crane for boats that are single lift point launched.

4. If the marina has a yard associated with it, yes, they’ll have a crane. Or in the case of the small self operated cranes those can step a mast as well.

5. Varies by area. We can perform light work, including hand sanding in the slip. We’ve received-rigged in the slip, had the engine in the salon, etc....all things that are clean or not visible from the exterior.


Keep in mind that if you’re reliant on a boatyard to step your mast, the costs can add up pretty quickly. Most trailer sailers I’ve been exposed to are able to self step the mast with a gin pole and hinged mast step arrangement.
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Old 07-10-2019, 07:59   #3
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Re: Questions on pulling a boat trailer and the capacities of an "average" marina

*I'm sorry. I meant stress level on the truck itself as far as making sure the transmission was beefy enough, etc. I guess that could change with the boat and trailer I end up with.

*With a fin keel that sits higher in the trailer, I wondered if that makes for a more wobbly towing experience.

*Sounds like a marina with a boatyard would be optimal over a straight-up marina, but maybe more scarce. I'll have to research that.

Thanks, Sailmonkey. I'm learning on the fly here.
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Old 07-10-2019, 08:09   #4
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Re: Questions on pulling a boat trailer and the capacities of an "average" marina

The "full size with a V8" issue depends on boat's full loaded weight, the trailer and road trip terrain.

If over say 7000# over the Rockies, consider a fifth wheel trailer.

For the TV, a duallie better than regular, a 350-450 even better, a diesel best of all.

People do make do with gasser 1-ton bumper pull, but more in less hilly country, putting a fair bit of stress on the rig.

Top-notch trailer brakes are the most important component by far. Get the towball weight right at 10-12%, use a WDH and GO SLOW
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Old 07-10-2019, 08:14   #5
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Re: Questions on pulling a boat trailer and the capacities of an "average" marina

I've answered the questions I feel I am knowledgeable about below.

Using a Hunter 26 as an example:
1). Can a boat this size be pulled without too much stress by a full-sized pickup with a V8?

I have a hunter 260 and have very recently, successfully pulled it with my F150 5.4l V8. I used 2WD to get it out of the water (with the ballast) and then towed it 200 miles home. My main problem was backing it into my driveway.

3). When someone pulls into an average marina with the boat in tow, how do things proceed from there? Is every marina equipped with a hoist to get the boat into the water, or is it accessed from putting the boat in the water at a different location and motoring in?

At the beginning of the summer we found the local public boat launch near the marina and put in there and then motored to our slip for the summer. The public marine was very nice and told us where to go to put up and take down our mast. It worked out very well.
We spent the night on the boat in the marina and then ubered back to pick up the truck and trailer and returned home.

Sean
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Old 07-10-2019, 08:15   #6
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Re: Questions on pulling a boat trailer and the capacities of an "average" marina

Quote:
Originally Posted by Today View Post

*With a fin keel that sits higher in the trailer, I wondered if that makes for a more wobbly towing experience
Draft is more important than keel type.

CoG does make some difference,

choose the boat according to your sailing desires

Get experience first.

Your trailer should be designed and built by real professionals to secure your boat well.

Note at the low end, the trailer can be worth more than the boat.
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Old 07-10-2019, 08:33   #7
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Re: Questions on pulling a boat trailer and the capacities of an "average" marina

Quote:
Originally Posted by disputin View Post
I've answered the questions I feel I am knowledgeable about below.

Using a Hunter 26 as an example:
1). Can a boat this size be pulled without too much stress by a full-sized pickup with a V8?

I have a hunter 260 and have very recently, successfully pulled it with my F150 5.4l V8. I used 2WD to get it out of the water (with the ballast) and then towed it 200 miles home. My main problem was backing it into my driveway.

3). When someone pulls into an average marina with the boat in tow, how do things proceed from there? Is every marina equipped with a hoist to get the boat into the water, or is it accessed from putting the boat in the water at a different location and motoring in?

At the beginning of the summer we found the local public boat launch near the marina and put in there and then motored to our slip for the summer. The public marine was very nice and told us where to go to put up answd take down our mast. It worked out very well.
We spent the night on the boat in the marina and then ubered back to pick up the truck and trailer and returned home.

Sean
That’s basically the same truck I’d be using. Good to know you are able to use a boat launch in 2wd with that size setup.
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Old 07-10-2019, 20:08   #8
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Re: Questions on pulling a boat trailer and the capacities of an "average" marina

Your example of the Hunter 26 is a boat that would generally be launched by you from its trailer. Mast raising is usually a 1 or 2 person job using the mast raising system that the Hunters come with. No marina help needed.

We have a Seaward 25, that we raise the mast and launch ourselves. It weighs more than the water ballasted Hunter, but we have no issues towing it with a Ford Expedition.

That said, neither of these boats are ones that you would really want to plan on launching every time you wanted to go sailing. We kept our Seaward in a slip most of the season, and trailered it when we wanted to go sailing somewhere else for a week minimum. We did the same thing with a Hunter 23.5 when we had one of those.
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Old 07-10-2019, 20:23   #9
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Re: Questions on pulling a boat trailer and the capacities of an "average" marina

Quote:
Originally Posted by sesmith View Post
Your example of the Hunter 26 is a boat that would generally be launched by you from its trailer. Mast raising is usually a 1 or 2 person job using the mast raising system that the Hunters come with. No marina help needed.

With a 1.75 ft draft with the centerboard up, there is no reason why it can't be trailer launched off any boat ramp.
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Old 07-10-2019, 20:38   #10
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Re: Questions on pulling a boat trailer and the capacities of an "average" marina

Your truck will pull it if you are gentle with it.



What folks tend to over look is - CAN YOU STOP IT?
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Old 07-10-2019, 21:01   #11
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Re: Questions on pulling a boat trailer and the capacities of an "average" marina

From above:

Top-notch trailer brakes are the most important component by far.

Get the towball weight right at 10-12%, use a WDH and GO SLOW
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Old 07-10-2019, 23:48   #12
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Re: Questions on pulling a boat trailer and the capacities of an "average" marina

Hunter 26...About 4500lb empty, another 1000lb gear plus 1500lb trailer...that's about 7,000lb ready to roll.

If short distances on relatively flat ground, a basic 1/2 ton should work. Long distances or mountains, I would seriously consider moving up to a 3/4 ton (note: the V8 in the 3/4 ton is a bigger more powerful engine, so even if you don't go diesel, it's better). More importantly it has the brakes, axles and frame to handle the load better regardless of engine.

With retracting keel, launch from a ramp should generally be possible and you can put up the mast without a crane. Fixed keel (full or fin) leaves the boat sitting very high and largely rules out launching from a ramp.

As far as marina services, depends...if the marina has sailboats, they likely could help raise the mast. If it's an inland lake with no sailboats, they likely won't have a clue nor will they have facilities.

Hitch weight, I would go for 12-15% (10% is bare minimum and not ideal). This could be an issue depending on the 1/2 ton as the payload limits vary wildly with some being quite low. I've never seen a Weight Distributing Hitch (WDH) on a boat trailer...it would be good but you just don't see them.

For this type of use, I would seriously consider a folding trimaran. No ballast adding to weigh and a wide comfortable platform on the water (none will be particularly spacious on the interior.
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Old 08-10-2019, 00:28   #13
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Re: Questions on pulling a boat trailer and the capacities of an "average" marina

Surge type brakes need Equalizer type hitch.

WDH with arms, use electric / hydraulic brakes.

Bigger the truck relative to the boat, e.g. 12000lbs 450 vs 250

then less critical.

Also low speeds help, especially going down other side big mountains.

Careful wrt tongue weight there, especially in a panic stop, lift your front right up!

15% way too much IMO
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Old 08-10-2019, 00:45   #14
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Re: Questions on pulling a boat trailer and the capacities of an "average" marina

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Careful wrt tongue weight there, especially in a panic stop, lift your front right up!

15% way too much IMO
Higher the hitch weight the better. This is why 5th wheels pull so much better (they run 20-25%). Too little and you get sway issues.

12-15% (not a higher percentage) is the typical industry recommendation because most light duty trucks start running out of payload if you go much higher and much lower and you get sway issues.

And no, it's not even close to enough to lift the front axle.

15% of a 7000lb load, 1050lb on the ball.

Depending on the configuration, the curb weight on the front axle of an F150 is around 3000lb.

But only a fraction of the hitch weight will come off the front axle (without a WDH). With a wheel base of around 160in and the ball being approximately 40in behind the rear axle...it will only take around 260lb off the front axle when you do the calculations. (with a WDH it will be even less).

At 7000lb, I wouldn't want a surge brake system. It's just not appropriate. With electric or hydraulic brakes, panic stop doesn't mean much of anything as the trailer brakes are stopping the trailer...not the truck brakes.
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Old 08-10-2019, 00:57   #15
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Re: Questions on pulling a boat trailer and the capacities of an "average" marina

Yah, wasn't talking about 7000lbs, lots heavier.

My first draft glitched away, just got it back

And I'll just leave it at that.

_____

Depends on the trailer, and brakes type, surge not so good, electric hydraulic the way to go.

If you stick with surge type, then "equalizer" hitch works well.

https://72land-n-sea.blogspot.com/20...y-control.html

https://72land-n-sea.blogspot.com/20...tributing.html

Talking about heavy loads, trying to use normal trucks.

If you have a 450 to pull your 12000lbs then less critical.

And careful about too much tongue weight, can be just as bad as not enough, especially in a panic stop.

So again, **go slow** especially down the other side of those mountains
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