How long does your boat stay in the water?

Discussion in 'All Things Boats & Boating' started by CDK, Jul 23, 2010.

  1. CDK
    Joined: Aug 2007
    Posts: 3,324
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    Location: Adriatic sea

    CDK retired engineer

    By the end of this season I have to make a tough decision.

    The old makeshift trailer I've used until now suffered damage from overload, seawater and neglect. The nearest boat lift is 20 miles away and has no facilities for a boat to stay there in winter.

    I have to invest in a trailer that can handle 3,5 tons and has sealed hubs, tailor made for my 27 ft boat so I don't need to wrestle in a neoprene suit in waves to position the boat over a submerged trailer. Once the bow touches the trailer it should be guided to the center although the trailer may not be exactly horizontal.

    Or: I leave the boat in the water for say 5 years, then go to the marina to clean the hull, apply new anti-fouling etc. While the boat is in the water I have limited access to the props, rudders and water intakes to crudely remove the marine growth. And since the mooring is right in front of my house I can run the engines at regular intervals during the winter.

    Is it feasible to leave a boat in sea that long or will I regret it?
     
  2. anthony goodson
    Joined: Mar 2007
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    Location: Dorset UK & Murcia Spain

    anthony goodson Senior Member

    I am sure that someone as resourceful as yourself could design and build a cradle to lift your boat clear of the water whilst on the mooring.,assuming the area is sheltered enough.
     
  3. apex1

    apex1 Guest

    Leave her in the water Cornelis. How often do you see the bigger boys on the hard?

    But get yourself a removable (from inboard) transducer unit, if you don´t have it already, they are clogged too soon by marine growth.

    Regards
    Richard
     
  4. CDK
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    Location: Adriatic sea

    CDK retired engineer

    I had that for nearly 10 years Anthony, but something is getting more and more wrong with the climate. Spring flood plus 2 ft has been enough to stay clear even under a low pressure field, until 5 years ago the boat floated from its cradle during a storm. Subsequently I lifted the bow rollers another ft and managed to stay clear of the waves another four years.
    But last autumn the sea level rose to new record highs on 3 occasions, so I decided to dismantle the construction. I am too old to spend the night pulling ropes in thunder and pouring rain to keep the boat in position.

    In the picture you can see what happened in a harbor city nearby where people have been safe for centuries.
     

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  5. CDK
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    Location: Adriatic sea

    CDK retired engineer

    Richard, exactly the big ones made me contemplate doing the same.

    The transducer is a combined one with log and temp, fixed long cable. My wife made a sock for it which covers the whole thing. Has been tested from last November until May: no growth at all under the sock, even the outside fabric was much cleaner than the surroundings.
     
  6. Fanie
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Location: Colonial "Sick Africa"

    Fanie Fanie

    Hi CDK,

    I think it's a good idea to be able to remove your boat. The cost of a trailer could justify it and if you can take the boat out it has a better chance at surviving if worst comes to worst.

    I have built trailers before, and in my opinion good ones. Since your boat is bigger you will have to use a bit heavier materials, the basics however remains the same. You can see it here http://www.faze.co.za/Trailer/Trailer.htm

    For the frame on that sized boat I'd use a 100mm channel and on top of it a 5 or 6mm x 75mm flat bar. If you have doubts about the weight of your boat then add another flat bar under the frame. If that isn't enough nothing will hold your boat.

    You will have to do a wee little maintenance on your trailer or it will deteriorate over time. Jack the tyres off the ground and if the trailer lives outside make covers for the tyres. Good paint will keep the rust away.

    The tyre jacks can be made to tilt over forward, so if you're in a hurry to take the boat out, you can just pull the trailer and it will land on it's wheels ready to roll. I have to build my trailer in a while for a sililar size boat. Double axle, have the rims, jockey wheel and a few other parts already.

    Post pics if you do. And 4 5 c use rub axle's.
     
  7. CatBuilder

    CatBuilder Previous Member

    I'd leave the boat in.

    My last boat was in the water continuously for 25 years!! This boat had aluminum saildrives and props below the waterline also.

    No big deal at all. You may have some growth to contend with and you will have to find someone (a diver) to change your zincs (sacrificial anodes), but it's much more economical and isn't bad for the boat at all.

    After all, that's what she's made for!
     
  8. jonr
    Joined: Sep 2008
    Posts: 721
    Likes: 11, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 57
    Location: Great Lakes

    jonr Senior Member

    5 years? I'd go with the trailer - preferably galvanized.
     
  9. CDK
    Joined: Aug 2007
    Posts: 3,324
    Likes: 145, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 1819
    Location: Adriatic sea

    CDK retired engineer

    Fanie, I read your trailer building course in the past already, very useful info for anyone who needs a road trailer.

    My problem is a trailer ramp built by idiots. Not steep enough and one boat length short. I have to put the trailer with 4 wheels on the rocky seabed, wait for high tide, then in a scuba suit position the boat over it and keep it there while others operate the winch and pull the trailer over a concrete threshold onto the ramp. For my aching 67 years old arthritic joints that is a tough job. Sometimes the trailer stood there completely submerged for days because there was too much wind or waves.

    This fall I'll do it for the last time to make some small modifications to the prop tunnels, change zincs and apply anti fouling. Then she goes back in and stays there while I make up my mind for the future.
     
  10. murdomack
    Joined: Jun 2007
    Posts: 309
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    Location: Glasgow

    murdomack New Member

    I feel your pain, I'm not far behind you.;)

    Our boss brought in a $1/2m 37 ft cruiser (he claimed it was a safety boat) that he expects to launch and recover on a 3 axle trailer. They have done damage to the hull already so they are asking the likes of me to come up with solutions. I won't bore you with the full story, all the ideas are still in the melting pot, but one of the ideas we had was to have stub frames added at the rear sides that plastic barrels could be fixed to. This would have floated the trailer so that it could be lashed below the floating boat using pre-attached straps.
    The front end would have had a fold-down, twin wheel arrangement.

    I saw a trailer that a farmer made that had drop down nose wheels and a telescopic drawbar. This was three square section tubes that could open and close using pins when the trailer was lined up at the ramp. It was really effective. The other way is to have an intermediate trailer bogie but that means that you would be uncoupling at the ramp unless you are a skilled driver and have plenty of room.

    If you decided on the telescopic arrangement, you would reverse down the ramp to the waters edge, fix on your stubframes and barrels, set down your front wheels, remove the pins and use the vehicle to pull out your telescopic drawbar, refit the pins and reverse the whole contraption into the water, not forgetting to attach ropes to hold it from drifting sideways.

    Run your boat over the trailer and pull the lashing straps together over the hull. Pull the whole thing up the ramp until you can chock the wheels, then remove the pins and reverse back to close the drawbar. Don't forget to remove the barrels before you drive off, ;)
     
  11. latestarter
    Joined: Jul 2010
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    Location: N.W. England

    latestarter Senior Member

    My first thoughts (they do get better) was careening, i.e. to cause (a ship) to lean or lie on one side, as on a beach, for cleaning, repairs, etc. when the tide is out. Then I saw you were in the Adriatic Sea therefore little tide and I do not know the shape of your hull.

    In terms of positioning the boat over the trailer, do you know any windsurfers near by who could stand in the water to guide the boat on, as they need to be fit and enjoy being in the water to do their sport.

    Alternatively, assume your boat is pointing North, lay anchors to NW, SW, SE and NE of the boat, with ropes NW and NE leading to the bow and SW and SE to the stern.

    Pulling in and letting out the different ropes should give you complete control over the position of the boat from on board, in the dry. A lot safer too. At a club where I used to sail, we had to launch the committee and safety boats each time, any sudden movement of the boat risked tripping on the trailer and having the boat land on you.

    If it is calm enough to retrieve your boat, the forces on the anchors would be small, so weights etc. might work.

    Would it be possible to borrow or hire a trailer? It seems to be a waste of time and money to build/buy a trailer which would only be used a couple of times.
     
  12. Tantalus
    Joined: Mar 2010
    Posts: 66
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    Location: Auckland, New Zealand

    Tantalus 1963 kauri cruiser

    Jeez guys? Leave her in the water.... 20 miles to a haul out every two or three years is no issue? Or is it?
     
  13. CDK
    Joined: Aug 2007
    Posts: 3,324
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    Location: Adriatic sea

    CDK retired engineer

    Murdomack, Latestarter, thank you for brainstorming.

    The tide here is a little over 2 ft with full moon. Much more important is the air pressure distribution over the Adriatic. With a low pressure field in the north - where I live - and a high near Greece or Turkey, the sea is elevated several ft (I witnessed more than 5 ft on several occasions).

    With equalized air pressure the ramp can only be used to pull out small fishing boats; even for a 15' rib the trailer has to be lowered to the end of the concrete. For my boat, I have to wait for higher sea levels, which are nearly always accompanied by storm, rain or thunder. In such times it is very hard to find windsurfers enjoying being in the water.

    At one time I did add plastic barrels to the trailer so it would float. And it did, but was impossible to hold in position. The waves played with it and threw it sideways on the shore before I was even near it with the boat, so I discarded that idea.
    The last 4 or 5 times I pulled the boat out on the now derelict trailer, I had fenders attached to end of the chassis with short ropes so I could see where the trailer was and position the boat approximately between them. Someone on shore held the bow line, I went overboard to lineup boat and trailer and two other persons operated the medieval winch.
    I've decided I am getting to old for this circus.

    Going to the "marina" (which in fact is little more than an old overcrowded shipyard) is an option, but not one I look forward to, certainly not every 2 or 3 years. Promises mean nothing to these guys, so it may turn out to be very time consuming. A better equipped place for foreign boats and yachts also is an option, but nearly at twice the distance.

    Should I decide in favour of a trailer, it should have large truck wheels, but no axles or springs so the central part of the chassis is no more than 1 ft from the ground. With ball bearings, the hubs need to have good seals, otherwise sleeve bearings would be better. And it should have some kind of construction forcing the boat to lineup correctly without someone in the water.
     
  14. murdomack
    Joined: Jun 2007
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    Location: Glasgow

    murdomack New Member

    What some Americans have asked me to do for their boats is weld vertical tubes onto their trailers that they drop PVC pipe over. They can then drive the boat onto the trailer knowing it is centralised.

    If you had something like this and use guy ropes to hold your trailer from being blown sideways when floating, that's if it needs floating-you say it is a very mild slope, you would not need to go in the water. The front end of the trailer would be attached to the vehicle by the telescopic drawbar.

    How many people use this ramp? Could you club together and hire an excavator to extend the slope. You could lay a large steel plate as an extension. 6mtr X 3mtr X 12mm thk is ~2 tonnes. Use sacrificial slings to position it.
     

  15. CDK
    Joined: Aug 2007
    Posts: 3,324
    Likes: 145, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 1819
    Location: Adriatic sea

    CDK retired engineer

    I like the idea of using a steel plate extension, if not in one piece then two 1m wide strips, a few bags of wet concrete halfway for extra support.
    The excavator is more difficult. I can hire one to tear down walls or dig holes on my property but the drivers are very nervous to do anything near the shore because there is a law against that. But we'll see.
     
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