Case of 5-foot-itus

Oct 3, 2006
999
Hunter 23 Philadelphia
Hey all!
It'll be going on 3 years since I sold my 85 H23 that I owned for 6, and while it was the right thing to do at the time (graduated from college, moved from the great lakes area to Philadelphia, the boat was being ignored) I'm getting settled into "grown up" life and the itch for some boat-ownership pain.

Maybe this is the wrong place to ask, but I find myself drawn to the 28.5 for familiarity sake. I wouldn't be expecting to "trailer sail", and I don't want another boat that feels like tent camping to stay on. At what point does putting the boat on a trailer and taking it home for winter storage get to be more trouble than it's worth?

Any general advice would be appreciated, I'm sure you've all been here!
 
Aug 1, 2011
3,959
Catalina 270 255 Wabamun. Welcome to the marina
Both experience and circumstances will dictate that. Up here in the frozen north, we live on a mooring, and the facility to store the boat is an hour away, necessitating at a minimum, a trailer. That said, I'll stay away from commentary on trailer sailors, as I am the anomaly in the mix, since I am pushing the limits, and I know it.
My advice, for what it's worth; if you're happy with that boat, and you think it meets your need, then tell the rest of the world to poop off and go for it.
 
Nov 8, 2010
11,385
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
At 28.5 feet you are probably already past it.

Out First 260 is 24.5 feet long and that is the limit in my book of reasonable trailering. I have a friend who did what you are describing with his First 26.5. Two feet longer than us, two feet shorter then your proposed boat. It was a terror on the trailer and he hated moving it. Positively dwarfed his suburban. Oh he needed permits every time he moved it. He gave up and left it in the hands of the marina. Smile and write the check. With that 28.5 you probably should too. Why would you want to move it all the time? If you need to, fine. Sometimes circumstances make the the only choice. If its about saving money you're probably looking at too much boat.

 
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Kermit

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Jul 31, 2010
5,508
AquaCat 12.5 17342 Wateree Lake, SC
Brian,
You already know how hard your mast is to raise. It's HEAVY! If you really want to keep it on a trailer during the wintertime, I'd try to find something that you can handle the mast easily. Otherwise, I'd keep it in the water. But I'm in South Carolina where lakes never freeze. And neither does the ocean.
 
Jun 3, 2010
177
Hunter 27-3 Erie
My experience is it has very little to do with the length of the boat (within reason of course).

1. Being able to trailer means you have to abide by DOT rules for whatever state(s) you live in or tow through. The legal beam or trailer width is 8'6", after that, depending on the beam, that determines what you have to do. Permits with over wide signs, escorts, specific time of day you can tow and so forth. the bigger the more you have to deal with. Of course if the beam is close, you could always try and sneak it? There are marine transports that you could pay to move the boat if you really feel the need to do so.....otherwise...........
2. You need to consider the kind of keel. Deep keel boats on a trailer can have height issues, larger sailboats on trailers in general are impossible to ramp launch so you would need a yard to pick and place the boat.
3. Cost of the trailer is also an issue. bigger boats mean bigger and more expensive trailers plus registration and road insurance. Are you looking for a boat that already has a trailer or are you going to have one custom made?
4. something capable of towing your boat/trailer combination. Do you have a 3/4 ton pickup or are you going to need to buy one? What is the boat/trailer weight? You may need a 1 ton?
I suggest you put the pros, cons, expenses.......the numbers, down on paper and look them over.
 
Sep 3, 2012
195
Hunter 285 Grand Rivers Ky
I love my 28.5. A totally different boat than the 28.

I suppose one day they will make a boat with relative dimensional shift capabilities (bigger on the inside than on the outside). But until then, for me, the 28.5 is good.
 
Oct 26, 2008
5,048
Catalina 320 Barnegat, NJ
Sadly, boats on trailers at home often become lawn ornaments. I've seen a number of sailboats in our area that haven't moved in years. Most of us in this forum have a passion for sailing that prevents that from happening, but for many people, it doesn't take much in the way of outside obligations to make it easier to let her sit just a little while longer in the spring and before you know it, it's mid-summer and you are mowing your lawn around the boat and/or it's still in the way when guests are parking in your driveway.
It is expensive, but I think you may be better off having a marina haul and winter store your boat. If you are planning on keeping her on the Delaware or Chesapeake Bay, you should have many options for winter storage. You don't have to be locked into the marina where you have your slip. It takes a lot of facilities to haul your boat, drop the mast, make her ready for transit, provide the trailer and tow vehicle and provide a suitable storage area at home. Then do it all in reverse in the spring. Much simpler to delegate.
 
Jan 30, 2012
105
Catalina 36 Bayfield, WI
Brian, I found myself asking those same questions a couple years ago. I wanted a boat that had all the features of a "Big Boat" but was something I would be able to transport home if the need should arise. The H28.5 has been a good choice for us. Last fall I trailered it home about 200 miles. I don't plan on doing it on a regular basis but overall the trip went pretty smooth. It is probably something most people wouldn't feel comfortable doing due to its size. A good trailer is most important! I've heard a number of people say bolt a cradle to a car trailer. No way would I ever attempt this.
 

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Oct 24, 2010
2,401
Hunter 30 Everett, WA
Again, it all depends. We had a MacGregor 26D that only weighs 2,200 lbs until you add the water ballast. (Don't confuse the classic McGregor with the more modern ones with big motors.) The light weight and low profile made it an easily trailerable 26 footer. We sold it because the trailer was rusnting away and it took half an hour to set it up or tear it down once we were practiced up. For us this means we only took it out when we had all day or longer and it still didn't have stand up headroom. I think your hinting around about the bigger boat staying in the water makes good sense. Our second sailboat was a SanJuan 28. It's much bigger and 3x the weight but I could drop the lines after work and sail on a moment's notice. It got used a bit more than the Mac. From a cost and maintenance standpoint I still miss the Mac.
 
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Sep 3, 2012
195
Hunter 285 Grand Rivers Ky
I was also considering the purchase of a trailer for our 28.5. Was also told about bolting a cradle to a car trailer, seemed to me not to be the best either. I also have a back hoe three axle flat bed I was considering but, I suspect a dedicated trailer would be best. May I ask who your trailer was built by for your 28.5? Jeff

Brian, I found myself asking those same questions a couple years ago. I wanted a boat that had all the features of a "Big Boat" but was something I would be able to transport home if the need should arise. The H28.5 has been a good choice for us. Last fall I trailered it home about 200 miles. I don't plan on doing it on a regular basis but overall the trip went pretty smooth. It is probably something most people wouldn't feel comfortable doing due to its size. A good trailer is most important! I've heard a number of people say bolt a cradle to a car trailer. No way would I ever attempt this.
 
Jan 30, 2012
105
Catalina 36 Bayfield, WI
I was also considering the purchase of a trailer for our 28.5. Was also told about bolting a cradle to a car trailer, seemed to me not to be the best either. I also have a back hoe three axle flat bed I was considering but, I suspect a dedicated trailer would be best. May I ask who your trailer was built by for your 28.5? Jeff
Jeff,
My trailer was built by Road King. It is fully adjustable and has a carrying capacity of 12,800 lbs. It is a bit overkill for the 28.5 but who knows, someday the boat may grow. :biggrin:
 
Feb 11, 2012
271
C&C Mega 30 Long Point, Lake Erie
Hey all!
It'll be going on 3 years since I sold my 85 H23 that I owned for 6, and while it was the right thing to do at the time (graduated from college, moved from the great lakes area to Philadelphia, the boat was being ignored) I'm getting settled into "grown up" life and the itch for some boat-ownership pain.

Maybe this is the wrong place to ask, but I find myself drawn to the 28.5 for familiarity sake. I wouldn't be expecting to "trailer sail", and I don't want another boat that feels like tent camping to stay on. At what point does putting the boat on a trailer and taking it home for winter storage get to be more trouble than it's worth?

Any general advice would be appreciated, I'm sure you've all been here!
This 30' goes to the marina slip in the spring, gets hauled back to the 'house' in the fall. No extra marina fees, can work on it anytime during the off season. Don't rely on anyone, and money in my pocket.
We have the luxury of hauling it to the Georgian Bay & The North Channel in August for two or three weeks of vacation. Or anywhere else we like.
Obides to all highway laws, and trailers beautifully with the 1/2 ton Lariat.
About an hour to step the mast myself.
We are entertaining the idea of hauling to the Fl. Keys next winter for 3 weeks.
(The sailboat was moved back on the trailer for better weight distribution and less tongue weight, after this pic was taken)
image.jpg
 
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Aug 1, 2011
3,959
Catalina 270 255 Wabamun. Welcome to the marina
And while three axles can be a pain, the comfort of knowing you're not thoroughly screwed if you blow a bearing in the middle of nowhere is comforting.
 
Feb 11, 2012
271
C&C Mega 30 Long Point, Lake Erie
And while three axles can be a pain, the comfort of knowing you're not thoroughly screwed if you blow a bearing in the middle of nowhere is comforting.
True enough!
Triple 3500 lb axles, collectively 10,500 lbs....@ 80% towing capacity = 8400 lbs
Dry boat (out the factory door) weighing 4500 lbs plus another 2000-2500lbs with water, waste, fuel, outboard(s), dodger/enclosure, swim platform, teak cabinetry, bow thruster, 10' RIB, anchors & rode, mast crutches & raising equipment, blah, blah blah....
Total around 6500-7000lbs
Keeps my 1/2 ton within the legal towing specs, and clips along very comfortably at 110 kms (67 mph or so) straight as an arrow.
Lastly.....don't even get my rear tires wet when launching & retrieving at most launch ramps!!!