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How far do you trailer?

Feb 19, 2008
102
Catalina Capri 18 ann arbor
I’m just about wrapping up my tour of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

It’s ten hours, more or less, from Ann Arbor to Houghton. After sailing on Keweenaw Bay and Portage Lake (and visiting my sister-in-law) we drove three hours to Escanaba. The three days in the Escanaba marina were mostly taken up by finding places to sit out some spectacular thunderstorms, but we did get in one perfect day of sailing. Now we are back up to my sister-in law’s house. There is a chance we will launch somewhere else before we go, but I’m expecting the sailing part of our journey is at an end.

So I’m counting 26-30 hours with trailer in tow before we get back home.

While I was sitting here looking at maps, I realized that the Apostle Islands are only another three hours further away than I am right now. If only work wasn’t calling me back . . . .something to add to the bucket list.

But that would be 13 hours from home.

How far would you tow for the promise of good sailing? How far have you towed?
How far have you towed only to be thwarted by weather?
 
Apr 19, 2012
1,033
O'Day Daysailor 17 Nevis MN
Before I retired I lived in the Mojave Desert. The closest place to sail was a little over 4 hours drive. We would often go to San Diego which is about 6.5 hours one way. Now that we live in Minnesota we've been considering towing one of our boats to Florida.
 
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Jan 19, 2010
6,684
Hunter 26 Lake Martin AL
I recently move to Montgomery AL and towed my boat 12 hours from Virginia. It normally would take 9 hours but I did not go over 55. It was an easy tow. If I had the time off.... I could see towing to the keys or some other fun place.
 
Oct 22, 2014
10,228
CAL 35 Cruiser Portland OR, moored EVERETT WA
I towed from Salem OR to Monterey Bay CA once to sail (11 hrs 689 mi). Was planning a trip to Lake Havasu AZ to rendezvous with some sailors (17 hrs 1127mi) before I sold my boat to a guy in Idaho (6.5 hrs 429mi).

When you have a trailer Sailboat you have a world of options.
 
Jul 25, 2013
124
Macgregor 26S near Vancouver, BC
So far we've only towed to local lakes and boat launches, not more than about 100 km. I do have some trips in mind that are a bit further but we probably won't do them this year.
We're lucky in that there's a lot of good sailing not far away from where we live. The furthest I can see us towing is up to Port Hardy, which would be about 500 km.
 
May 24, 2004
5,885
CC 30 South Florida
One thing to consider with a trailerable is to position the boat in a central location to upcoming trips. Enlist friends to drive different legs, ask others to store the boat at their place for a few weeks, position the boat in advanced to a planned lengthy trip. We have flown to Washington DC, to pick up the boat, launch it on the Potomac River to go watch the 4th of July fireworks.
 
Jun 29, 2010
995
Beneteau First 235 Lake Minnetonka, MN
I towed Seeker from Bradenton FL to Minneapolis, MN. Now of course the tow distance twice a year is a wee bit less.
 
Sep 30, 2013
2,882
1988 Catalina 22 central Florida
We've never towed our C-22 more than a couple hundred miles to go sailing. Living in central Florida, there's really no need to go further. The best part is, the weather in south Florida tends to be entirely different than what's going on in the panhandle at any given time. If it's not favorable at one end of the state, it likely will be at the other.

The down side is, there is nowhere to launch closer than an hour away. And all of the "close" launches involve an hour or two of motoring to find deep water. So, day sails are almost out of the question.

We did tow our Albin Vega 27 from Newburyport, MA to our home near Ocala, FL ... about 1500 miles. We took I-78 and I-81 through the Appalachians, in order to miss the living hell of dragging her through NYC, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington DC, along the I-95 corridor. But that trip didn't count as "going sailing"; we were just bringing the boat home.
 
Jan 19, 2010
6,684
Hunter 26 Lake Martin AL
We've never towed our C-22 more than a couple hundred miles to go sailing. Living in central Florida, there's really no need to go further. The best part is, the weather in south Florida tends to be entirely different than what's going on in the panhandle at any given time. If it's not favorable at one end of the state, it likely will be at the other.

The down side is, there is nowhere to launch closer than an hour away. And all of the "close" launches involve an hour or two of motoring to find deep water. So, day sails are almost out of the question.

We did tow our Albin Vega 27 from Newburyport, MA to our home near Ocala, FL ... about 1500 miles. We took I-78 and I-81 through the Appalachians, in order to miss the living hell of dragging her through NYC, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington DC, along the I-95 corridor. But that trip didn't count as "going sailing"; we were just bringing the boat home.
Gene

I want to chat sometime about launches in Florida. I have it in mind to do a Christmas holiday trip ... Pensacola is probably the closest but I am also considering driving down the gulf coast side and launching further south for a possible run to the keys.
 
Aug 22, 2017
1,562
Hunter 26.5, 212, 170 West Palm Beach
When I did the J-24 midwinter nationals in Miami, I saw boats trailer in from as far away as Canada.
 
Aug 22, 2017
1,562
Hunter 26.5, 212, 170 West Palm Beach
Gene

I want to chat sometime about launches in Florida. I have it in mind to do a Christmas holiday trip ... Pensacola is probably the closest but I am also considering driving down the gulf coast side and launching further south for a possible run to the keys.
If you take a boat trailer to the keys, make sure that everything is ship shape with your trailer, including brakes, as required by law. There is only one road that goes through those little islands & it has a weigh station.
 
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Aug 22, 2017
1,562
Hunter 26.5, 212, 170 West Palm Beach
...
The down side is, there is nowhere to launch closer than an hour away. And all of the "close" launches involve an hour or two of motoring to find deep water. So, day sails are almost out of the question....
Here in Palm Beach County, I am fortunate to have access to 5 ramps (including 2 private ones) that are each less than a mile from an inlet & within a half hour of my house. There are multiple boat yard with lifts that are even closer to the inlets. 100 yards off the beach, I have deep water. One ramp is right next to a 35' deep shipping channel. We have good access here.
 
Jan 19, 2010
6,684
Hunter 26 Lake Martin AL
If you take a boat trailer to the keys, make sure that everything is ship shape with your trailer, including brakes, as required by law. There is only one road that goes through those little islands & it has a weigh station.
Thanks.... I just moved from Virginia where you are required to get an inspection sticker each year. So my trailer is (for now) 100% functional.
 
Apr 26, 2015
452
S2 26 Mid On Trailer
I’m just about wrapping up my tour of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

How far would you tow for the promise of good sailing? How far have you towed?
How far have you towed only to be thwarted by weather?
With the weather you takes your chances. Nothing you can do but try to go during the good time of the year.

We towed 5200 miles a couple of years ago and had great sailing on Cochiti Lake NM, Ridgeway , Blue Mesa, Dillon, and Granby in Colorado, Jackson and Yellowstone in Wyoming, Bear Lake in Utah and then out to San Francisco Bay before returning to Havasu. Visited 28 people who we meet through sailing on this trip. We are currently 1300 miles from home, (Lake Coeur d'Alene Idaho) for the summer, and the S2 8.0C towed perfectly on the new trailer I built. We tow with a Ram 3500 with a slide-in camper and scaled at 23200 lbs for this trip GCVWR. Towing is never a problem with the right equipment. Maybe the Great Lakes next summer.
 
Aug 8, 2014
321
Catalina 22 1987 New Design. 14133 "LadyHawke" Modesto CA
So far....(no pun needed) I've only towed 45 min to the lake. Other than 2 hours bringing her home after purchase
 
Nov 8, 2010
10,586
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
Too bad I didn’t know you were going to Houghton... I grew up there, learned to sail there, only left after MTU. Could have hooked you up. Hopefully you got the Ambassador for pizza. You of course would have found the Apostles amazing. But as you say, only so many days....

My longest trailer journey was 1000 miles; this was bringing BlueJ home. I got passed by every single vehicle on the interstate those two days. Was a LONG way.

Every fall I try and talk myself into taking BlueJ down to Miami for the winter. 1785 miles each way. Leave her on a buoy at Coconut Grove Sailing Club in Biscayne Bay. If I owned a tow vehicle capable of that; I probably would.

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Feb 19, 2008
102
Catalina Capri 18 ann arbor
I certainly can’t complain about one perfect day of sailing on little Bay de Noc.

The original plan was three days, sailing to Fayette State Park (in the Big Bay) and back the next day. The forecast for the next day was thunderstorms all day. Its always important to be mindful of weather, but when you have a little boat in big water it’s especially important. Lake Michigan can get angry quickly.
 
Feb 19, 2008
102
Catalina Capri 18 ann arbor
@Jackdaw, my sister in law has lived up here for 17 years or so, and we trolls have been coming up for the summer for awhile, so we have a decent lay of the land.

We had dinner at the Fitz tonight.