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Old 18-04-2021, 16:35   #1
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Shifting a boat on a trailer when painting

I have boat on a trailer, a 12,000 pound, 37-foot shadow draft ketch, that I will be bottom-painting this spring in prep for splash.



It's in a boat yard that is quite a way from the water and does not have a lift, so I plan to paint it on the trailer, with Interlux VC-17. (It will be in fresh water, when I get it to the water.)

The boat contacts the trailer in ten spots - two screw pads on each side, two wooden wedges inserted between the frame and the hull on each side, and two places where the keel rests on trailer cross-members.

I think I can safely remove the pads and wedges, one at a time - bracing the hull with external jackstands, if it seems necessary.

But the two spots on the keel I can't paint without moving the boat.

The way I see it I have three choices:
  1. jack up the boat, as it sits in the trailer, then roll the trailer forward a few feet, or
  2. wait until I get the boat to the water, then ask the lift operator to let it hang long enough for me to paint, or
  3. just say hell with it, and don't bother to paint those two small spots.

AIUI, VC-17 applies easily and dries quickly, so #2 is feasible.

#1 requires jackstands and cribbing, which I might be able to borrow it rent from the boatyard. I certainly don't want to buy it for a one time use. (And don't want to haul to whatever yard or marina I have this boat in when I paint again next year.)

#3, though, is easy. Just do nothing.

How bad would the growth be, in a season in northern fresh water? (Lake Pepin, between Minnesota and Wisconsin.)

One thing - it's a beachable boat. I should be able scrub the bottom with a brush on a painter's handle. The boat only draws twenty inches.
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Old 18-04-2021, 18:25   #2
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Re: Shifting a boat on a trailer when painting

Cool boat, is that a Meadowlark?

I wouldn't worry about the two spots on the bottom of the keel. You will have growth, but they're small and you can just dive and scrape once every couple months.
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Old 18-04-2021, 18:50   #3
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Re: Shifting a boat on a trailer when painting

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Originally Posted by Jdege View Post
How bad would the growth be, in a season in northern fresh water? (Lake Pepin, between Minnesota and Wisconsin.)

This will be my fourth year of having a slip on Lake Pepin.


Zebra Mussels are present. They are worse some years than others. Last year they were bad. I have fenders attached to the dock at my slip, and they had over 1/4" of hard growth by the end of the season. They are easy to remove from the vinyl fenders. In contrast, I have had rudders and outboard lower units that were not cleaned annually by their previous owners that each required hours of work alternating between sanding, scraping, and applying acid cleaners.


Technically, it is a crime in both Minnesota and Wisconsin to transport a boat on public highways if zebra mussels are attached, so they must be removed at the point of haulout.


I have used your method #1 and #2 in different years. #1 - The marina I use was willing to paint under the pads while the boat was suspended overnight before launch for a nominal charge. #2 - I did not move the trailer but rather lifted the boat several inches and used a roller between the hull and pads. I used a 2 ton automotive floor jack and an 8 ton bottle jack (both with wood to distribute the load over a wide area) and made cribbing out of pieces of 2x4 and 4x4 I had on hand.



I believe that Lake City Marina and Pepin Marina both have slings large enough for a 37' boat, and Hansen's has a hydraulic trailer that large.
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Old 18-04-2021, 18:50   #4
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Re: Shifting a boat on a trailer when painting

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Cool boat, is that a Meadowlark?

I wouldn't worry about the two spots on the bottom of the keel. You will have growth, but they're small and you can just dive and scrape once every couple months.
Yep. Alan Vaitses take on the Herreshoff Meadow Lark.
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Old 18-04-2021, 19:40   #5
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Re: Shifting a boat on a trailer when painting

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This will be my fourth year of having a slip on Lake Pepin.

Zebra Mussels are present. They are worse some years than others. Last year they were bad. I have fenders attached to the dock at my slip, and they had over 1/4" of hard growth by the end of the season. They are easy to remove from the vinyl fenders. In contrast, I have had rudders and outboard lower units that were not cleaned annually by their previous owners that each required hours of work alternating between sanding, scraping, and applying acid cleaners.
Thanks for the heads-up on the zebra mussels. Might be worth it to paint those spots just to avoid dealing with them.

Quote:
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I believe that Lake City Marina and Pepin Marina both have slings large enough for a 37' boat, and Hansen's has a hydraulic trailer that large.
The boat is currently in Hooper's yard in Afton. There are lifts in Afton and Hudson, as well, and it's an easy enough run down the river. Plus the masts are on the tabernacles. I can raise them single-handed, so I can keep them down until I get there, and white having to deal with the lift bridges.

Alternatively, the prior owner regularly launched from the trailer, though it's not really designed for that.
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Old 19-04-2021, 08:12   #6
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Re: Shifting a boat on a trailer when painting

The only operable bridges between Afton and Lake Pepin are the two bridges (highway bascule and railroad lift) next to each other right at the mouth of the St. Croix. They are very professional and will open for you on request, with some possible foot-dragging if there's a train coming.


You will have to lock through #3, not sure how you carry the masts, but be aware of the risk posed to them by the lock walls if they overhang the ends of the boat


Hope to see you out there; we're s/v Exuberance. I only see one ketch on the lake regularly, named "Our Lady" IIRC and sailed by a family that often wears traditional Mennonite clothing aboard. I believe there are one or two others that mostly sit at the dock.


Here are some photos of last year's bottom paint shenanigans.







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Old 19-04-2021, 08:23   #7
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Re: Shifting a boat on a trailer when painting

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The only operable bridges between Afton and Lake Pepin are the two bridges (highway bascule and railroad lift) next to each other right at the mouth of the St. Croix. They are very professional and will open for you on request, with some possible foot-dragging if there's a train coming.
That may be true, but there isn't a lot of actual sailing between Lake St. Croix and Lake Pepin, so I see no reason to raise the masts before the trip.
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Old 19-04-2021, 08:52   #8
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Re: Shifting a boat on a trailer when painting

I used to jack the entire trailer up, then lower the boat gently onto cinder blocks with wooden pads, do my painting and get the trailer up again to the hull for the trip down. Nerve wracking, but I was a young guy of 31 then.
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Old 19-04-2021, 09:36   #9
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Re: Shifting a boat on a trailer when painting

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I used to jack the entire trailer up, then lower the boat gently onto cinder blocks with wooden pads, do my painting and get the trailer up again to the hull for the trip down. Nerve wracking, but I was a young guy of 31 then.
Cinder blocks can zipper so be careful if using them not dunnage wood.
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Old 20-04-2021, 17:48   #10
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Re: Shifting a boat on a trailer when painting

With a much lighter boat, I have used stacks of pallets under the stern of the boat with the tongue of the trailer lowered to the ground. When you lift the tongue of the trailer the contact points should be clear. If you need more clearance put some 2x12 boards under the trailer wheels before you start.

Chock and crib the stern when you set it up so you get no movement.
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