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Towing a Catalina 27 and questions about what trailer

Discussion in 'Mid-Size Boats' started by Diamondjet, Mar 10, 2013. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. Diamondjet

    Diamondjet

    Joined Feb 5, 2010
    47 posts, 1 likes
    Hunter Legend 35.5
    US Fort Pierce, FL
    Hello all!


    I'm looking for information on what it takes to tow a 1983 Catalina 27 on a 1500 mile trip to a new home. If I can't come up with a viable solution I'll have to pass on the purchase. Should I have a two or three axle trailer? Has anyone got a lead on a trailer for sale? How much does a Catalina 27 need in trailer weight capacity? Thanks in advance.
     


  2. KingAirDriver

    KingAirDriver

    Joined Aug 27, 2011
    408 posts, 0 likes
    Catalina 27
    US Titusville, FL
    I just bought a 27 myself, and it weighs about 8000 pounds loaded. I would be looking for a trailer with a gross weight of about 12,500 and triple axle to be on the safe side. If the boat is EMPTY, as in no water, fuel, sails, boom, everything that can be removed removed and put in the tow vehicle, a tandem or triple axle trailer with a max gross of 10,000 will probably be fine.

    I would use a 1 ton dually to pull it, a strong diesel 3/4 would be okay too. Where are you needing to move from and to? Mountains etc? You may be able to hire it out, unless you have a good tow vehicle and are interested in a trailer anyway.
     


  3. Diamondjet

    Diamondjet

    Joined Feb 5, 2010
    47 posts, 1 likes
    Hunter Legend 35.5
    US Fort Pierce, FL
    Hi Kingairdriver. I'm the pilot that spoke to you last year when I was training in Florida. We too have decided to upgrade Cat 22 to a larger boat. Did you get a trailer with your boat? I've looked into transport companies but the price would almost cover a new trailer.
     


  4. KingAirDriver

    KingAirDriver

    Joined Aug 27, 2011
    408 posts, 0 likes
    Catalina 27
    US Titusville, FL
    Total brainfart on that DiamondJet sorry! No, I sailed it up from Stuart FL, about a 70 NM, 12 hour 15 minute trip. Thank God, we had southerly wind the whole way. Motor sailed the whole trip, burned 7.75 gals, Universal M18. Great little motor! Well worth it.

    So, no trailer. By the way, WE LOVE THE 27!!!!!!!! Me, at 6'2", I actually FIT on the boat, and I love the diesel and wheel helm. It feels so much more natural to me. We have been spending time cleaning, doing much needed routine maintenance, and lots and lots of varnishing. Check out my pics in the 22 forum and here in the mid size forum. In the 22 forum, it is under the "We decided to go big..." thread.

    Where is the one you are looking at and where is it going? If you are looking at a trailer, it opens up a lot of sailing opportunities. I would get a triple axle steel trailer. You are not going to be floating it off anyway.

    Any chance of borrowing one?

    Just a thought.

    PM me if you want my number, we can talk some more...
     


  5. caguy

    caguy

    Joined Sep 22, 2006
    4,000 posts, 22 likes
    Catalina, Luger C-27, Adventure 30
    US Marina del Rey
    I towed mine 2300 miles from Butler Pa to Burbank Ca. two years ago. I used the two axle easy loader trailer that came with it. The trailer had single axle hydraulic brakes. I made modifications to the trailer for easier loading and unloading at the ramp.
    I used a Ford F250, 4 WD with a transfer case to tow it. Without the 4WD the truck would have trouble at the ramp especially during low tide tracking out of the moss.
    I added a 12 foot telescoping extension to the tongue. I also added a keel bunk and keel guides to center the boat when loading.
    To the tongue I added a ladder with rungs angled to match the dock. I put a ramp across from dock to ladder so I don't have to get my feet wet when winching.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     


    Alansails likes this.
  6. HillbillyWanderer

    HillbillyWanderer

    Joined Jan 7, 2012
    276 posts, 2 likes
    catalina 22
    US Cave Run Lake
    My idea setup someday caguy!
     


  7. 4runnerdel

    4runnerdel

    Joined Apr 25, 2013
    2 posts, 0 likes
    Catalina 27
    US phoenix
    just bought a fin keel 27, is yours fin or wing keel? how hard is it to launch, ill be doing it myself. I don't have a trailer but want to get one to be able to pull it out of the water at the end of the day. dry storage is 200 yards away, mast stays up. is this too much work?
     


  8. Squidd

    Squidd

    Joined Sep 26, 2011
    890 posts, 20 likes
    AMF Alcort Paceship PY26
    US Washburn Wi. Apostle Islands
    With the right trailer setup and a decent depth ramp, you can be launched or loaded in 20 minutes or less...I dryslip mine and can L+L single handed and not get wet...

    [​IMG]
     


  9. cruisingdog

    cruisingdog

    Joined Nov 29, 2013
    11 posts, 0 likes
    Catalina 27
    US Coyote Point
    I have a Catalina 27 and I'm looking at a trailer opposed to paying exorbitant fees for a haul-out next April. If possible could any of you guys recommend a good trailer. More than likely I guess I'd want a 3 axle (but I defer to your knowledge if this is incorrect). Also please let me know how hard/easy it is to bring the boat onto the trailer secure it and hoist it up the ramp.

    Thanks.
     


  10. caguy

    caguy

    Joined Sep 22, 2006
    4,000 posts, 22 likes
    Catalina, Luger C-27, Adventure 30
    US Marina del Rey
    There are a lot of variables. For example the steepness of your ramp. is 6:1. I understand that is that is considered fairly steep. I was told it was originally designed for lunching sailboats. I deliberately drove 2500 miles to pick up a shoal draff that was on a trailer. A fin keel is doable but a lot more hassle.
    A two axle worked fine for me. Only one set of brakes to worry about. Four tires are 30% cheaper than 6. For that short of distance you really need no brakes.
    The 4x4 F250 is a perfect truck for the job. A F150 4x4 would work for mast up especially like the compound low transaxle.
     


  11. Meriachee

    Meriachee

    Joined Aug 1, 2011
    2,613 posts, 706 likes
    Catalina 270
    CA Wabamun - on the orange ball
    Does the boat settle easier on the bunks than it would on pads?
    My 270 is 18" above the road on 2 6000lb axles with a 4" drop. Next spring I'm adding another axle.
     

    Attached Files:



  12. caguy

    caguy

    Joined Sep 22, 2006
    4,000 posts, 22 likes
    Catalina, Luger C-27, Adventure 30
    US Marina del Rey
    Bunks or no bunks, having a V shaped keel guide to center the boat is helpful.
     


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  13. Meriachee

    Meriachee

    Joined Aug 1, 2011
    2,613 posts, 706 likes
    Catalina 270
    CA Wabamun - on the orange ball
    Here's a shot of the guides and the swivel keel stop. The stop rotates to bed the leading edge of the keel while the trailer is in the drink. It allows the boat to be exactly where it needs to be as it settles on the pads. Works great.

    I just don't like the pads flopping around like they do. If one gets sideways enough, it'll be grief, and you can't always see the other side of the boat as you load it.
     

    Attached Files:



  14. jrowan

    jrowan

    Joined Mar 5, 2011
    1,291 posts, 3 likes
    Catalina 30
    US N/A
    These guys obviously have some experience towing, but I'll be the voice of caution & advocate getting the biggest truck that you can afford (or just rent a big truck). An F150 is marginal for a 10,000 pound load, including the weight of the trailer. But sailboat trailers are hard to come by for renting or borrowing. Make sure that the trailer has good tires with no signs of dry rot or cracking. Make sure the bearings of every wheel / axle have been adequately greased & serviced, as they can & will seize up with such a heavy load. The longer the distance & heavier the boat, the hotter the bearings & brake lining will get. Lastly, inspect the bunk boards & rollers for cracks, rot or defects. I used to have a C 25 with a single axle trailer that had some rot in one of the bunks that cracked in half when we were winching the boat up onto the trailer.

    I was lucky that the boat was still floating, & let her back off the trailer with no harm done to the hull. If that bunk board had broken with the boat fully laiden on the trailer, the post holding the bunk would've punctured right through the hull causing serious damage, & likely the boat would've fallen off the trailer. I can tell you a dozen stories from friends & acquaintances who have trailer-sailed & had simple tire blow outs result in their boat & car being dragged into ditches. That's why the more axles & wheels to carry & distribute the heavy load the better. I felt like the C 22 & C 25 are a lot of boat to tow. The C 27 is marginally capable of being called a trailer sailer.

    I also believe that the C 27 is wider at its beam then 8.5 feet, which requires a wide load towing permit. Good luck & be careful out there.
     


  15. azguy

    azguy

    Joined Aug 23, 2012
    337 posts, 2 likes
    Catalina 22
    US Lake Pleasant
    I've seen a couple of C27's on trailers, they are really massive boats and the utmost care and experience should be used IMHO
     


  16. Meriachee

    Meriachee

    Joined Aug 1, 2011
    2,613 posts, 706 likes
    Catalina 270
    CA Wabamun - on the orange ball
    The least that should be used is a 250 (3/4 ton) class truck, and very likely a diesel. There's a lot of yap out there from the manufacturers about their latest huge-litre gas engines that get the best in class fuel mileage, and gimmick airbag suspensions and the like. Our c270 is close on 9000 lbs on the weigh scale. We have an F250 diesel, and going up hills (and I don't drive like a dork) you see the EGT (Exhaust Gas Temperature) sometimes get upwards of 1300 degrees which is at the upper end of the scale. One of the guys on the c270 yahoo group uses his as a camper, he's got three axles on the trailer and enough toys to allow launch and retrieve almost anyplace. We had a Mac26c that could be launched in a roadside puddle. The Catalina is only marginally more difficult, but only after some very careful attention to the process. Our trailer was a serious POS when we got it, and there's been a pile of grinding and welding done to get it up to snuff, and it's not done yet.

    Attention to the small details, and the thought of "what if" in the design process is a good approach. It's not about having three axles, it's about what the heck do you do when you're 300 miles from nowhere at 10pm and a bearing melts, or about the nasty cross wind that shows up just as you're about to walk the boat onto the trailer. Play safe, and be respectful of the physics, and the 27s can easily be very mobile.
     


  17. JBboat

    JBboat

    Joined Dec 22, 2012
    7 posts, 0 likes
    Hunter 380
    US Sandusky
    I have a 3 axle trailer we used for our 30' catalina, made by loadmaster trailers, $4500.00, come and get it. Pulled my catalina with a dually pickup.
     


  18. HillbillyWanderer

    HillbillyWanderer

    Joined Jan 7, 2012
    276 posts, 2 likes
    catalina 22
    US Cave Run Lake
    Love to see some pics of the trailer.
     


  19. bratzcpa

    bratzcpa

    Joined Apr 5, 2013
    6 posts, 0 likes
    Catalina 27
    US Flathead Lake, MT
    Hello: We have a 27 Catalina, fin keel.

    This past spring, we towed her from Montana to Florida (and back). 6,300 miles in total. We had a double axle trailer with 3500 lb axles. So . . . yes, we were a bit overloaded. Electric brakes on one axle. Our tow vehicle was a Dodge 3500 (one ton) diesel.

    The trip went very very well. I did have to switch a couple of the tires around because they were wearing a little unevenly. I have new axles on there with the grease zerk on the spindle ends; these are awesome because they inject new grease directly into the inner bearings and flushes the old grease through the outers. This is a very good system - way better than "bearing buddies".

    I stopped at a highway scale at a truck stop and found that the weight on the trailer wheels was 8,100 lbs. That is with a pretty heavily provisioned boat. No hassle at all with oversize. Despite going through 21 states, not one time were we stopped and checked/measured/questioned. No hassle there at all.

    I do know that we were overloaded by a thousand pounds or so. it worked, but I felt we were "on the edge". I would strongly recommend either 3 - 3,500 axles, or 2-5,000 axles.

    The dodge (cummins diesel) handled the towing job admirably. No problems there at all. We cruised along at 65 mph without any problems at all - even in the mountains. We averaged 11.9 mpg over the whole 6,300 miles.

    I see that a lot of the discussion involved bunks and launching. For us at both launch and load, we used a travel lift/crane.

    I would be happy to send pictures or answer any questions.

    Regards, and good luck!

    ~markb
     


  20. jrowan

    jrowan

    Joined Mar 5, 2011
    1,291 posts, 3 likes
    Catalina 30
    US N/A
    If you had continuous bunks running fore and aft on your trailer, like most sailboat trailers have to support the heavy load of the hull evenly, then you can't load the old style trailers from a crane or travel lift. Because the belt strapping that the hull is lifted with on the travel lift would get stuck between the hull & the trailer bunk boards when set on the trailer. This is why boats bigger then 25 feet were really not designed as trailer sailors. Although I do wonder how newer boats such as those Hake Yachts fair when trailering. MacGregor's are better designed to trailer, as their water ballast is easily drained out. If I were serious about trailering a sailboat, then I would buy a water ballast boat, where the water is emptied out before trailering. This takes about 1,500 lbs. out of the equation, which really matters when hauling up & down big hills.
     



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