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How not to trailer a sailboat


Jun 19, 2013
C&C 30 Elk Rapids
..well that answers the question about trailering the cradle on a flatbed......you MAY get away with it, but sometines NOT.
eek, that is a lot of gelcoat road rash I see. Looks like it bounced too!


Aug 18, 2015
West Marine Kayak Tampa Bay
cb, you can probably pick up a real deal on it now.
Aug 3, 2012
Performance Cruising Telstar 28 302 Watkins Glen
It looks like the trailer got away. If the boat just fell off, I cannot see the trailer ending up on the barriers.
Bummer. Seriously bad day!
Aug 1, 2011
Catalina 270 255 Wabamun. Welcome to the marina
Deja ooh. We warped a rotor in the old 250 coming down the hill into Denver on the way home with the new then C270. Scary.
Jan 30, 2012
Catalina 36 Bayfield, WI
Putting a boat that size on a car trailer in its cradle is absolutely insane. Surprised he made it as far as he did. This is an interesting posting because I remember seeing that boat listed for sale and then seeing want ads for someone looking to find a trailer for a 285. I have a hunter 285 which is a very similar boat that I trailered from Bayfield back home to Mn. Mine is a tripple axle that was built for a larger boat and even with that I feel I may be pushing the limits a bit. When I was hunting for a trailer, guys at boat yards told me to just get a car trailer and strap the cradle to it. NO WAY!
Jun 8, 2004
-na -NA Anywhere USA
The picture shows the beneteau 285 was on a factory assuming that is correct being transported on a contruction trailer. I have done that and their are many who also transport that way as well. First , the cradle needed to be bolted, nailed for lack of terms, blocked in place or what ever it takes secured to the construction trailer. So many fail to recognize that. The the boat needs to be secured to the cradle as well as the trailer. I would advocate at least four straps, two in front with one leading forward and the second leading aft and the rear straps (2 of course) doing the same so the boat and cradle cannot move in either direction. Two others over the boat front and aft and down would also help too.
It does not appear there were any curves but feel that the boat and cradle were not secured properly to the trailer. The boat is not a total loss but could be repaired but I do not have all the facts other than what I see in the photos. Speaking from the standpoint as a former dealer for beneteau who sold a lot of those boats and repaired them to include transporting. IF it was the 285 I was the top dealer for that boat
Nov 8, 2010
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
It IS a First 285. The boat was being delivered to Dillon Lake; it was 9 miles from home when this happened. The driver came into a corner to hot and lost control. The driver was contracted locally in MN and there clearly where issues with the loading. The buyer is in the insurance business. The boat was insured for an agreed value; the boat is a total loss from an insurance perspective; it might be fixable but that's a different deal. He's looking for a new boat. He was made whole but bummed out; Loxely was a great boat; well maintained and well kitted out. I've been on the boat many times, the picture makes me sick.
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Oct 26, 2008
Catalina 320 Barnegat, NJ
Brake failure on that long decline coming out of the tunnel is not uncommon. The photo makes it look like they didn't get very far down the road from the tunnel exit. But 2 miles down where the sharper curves are located is far enough. There's a runaway truck ramp further below. That could be a real scary ride with a sketchy trailer.
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Apr 14, 2009
Sabre 28 NH
The trailer they used for hauling that boat looks kind of shabby. Two axles, it probably is only rated for 7000 pounds, 3500 pounds an axle. Don't know what a 28.5 weighs but between the boat & trailer odds are it was overweight.
Jan 8, 2015
MacGregor 26S, Goman Express 30 Kerr Reservoir
[QUOTE="Jackdaw, post: 1325043, the boat is a total loss from an insurance perspective; it might be fixable but that's a different deal.
Any idea who I would contact about this "project" boat?
Jun 8, 2004
-na -NA Anywhere USA
Jackdaw; Thank you for advising what actually happened. Yes photos help but not knowing the full circumstances puts me at a hindrance. So often in turns with fixed keel boats, drivers and yes owners tend to forget the center of gravity is high paticuralily for that style trailer and will cause that accident if going too fast in a curve. Still my statements as to securing are also valid.

I remember leaving Smith Mt. Lake, VA going to the Finger Lakes in New York late March. It was 75 degrees. We went west on NY 17 and then proceeded north I think the town is Oswego or Owego to avoid a sudden and sever snow storm further up north on I-81. I was pulling a Catalina 26 wing keel on it's cradle on a same style construction trailer. As we got to Ithica I think it is city limits, it was snowing and we were committed going downhill. I can tell you I was scared blankety blank paticurlarly when we came into a horseshoe bend. With the Grace of God we made it to the bottom and there was ice as well. I pulled over into the first motel and got a room at 2 am followed behind by several cop cars. Did not have any wide load signs on nor permit either. The next morning I got up and it was a very warm morning, 10 degrees F. I froze tush off.
We had McPhersons to unload the boat with straps around the hull. Cradle was frozen to the hull and it came up to. Everybody looked at that in amazement. I jumped in and pulled forward quickly telling the crane operator to get the boat down quickly before the cradle came off to include part of the hull. After that I told my employee and the owners who were transferred to there, I need to warm up and there was not enough coffee to be had.
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Jun 29, 2010
Beneteau First 235 Lake Minnetonka, MN
The trailer they used for hauling that boat looks kind of shabby. Two axles, it probably is only rated for 7000 pounds, 3500 pounds an axle. Don't know what a 28.5 weighs but between the boat & trailer odds are it was overweight.
Not a 28.5, First 285..... 6160 pounds.
Jun 2, 2004
Hunter 23.5 Fort Walton Yacht Club, Florida
Small world.

I just helped a guy at our club take his mast down so he could trailer his Catalina to Durango, Colorado. I mentioned seeing these pictures and hoped he would have a better trip. Turns out the guy who owned the boat with the road rash in Colorado wants to buy the Catalina. He also said the road rash guy is having issues with the insurance company as the boat was not titled in his name yet. Oh, and the guy who was towing the boat was a buddy of the new owner and was doing him a favor just for gas money.


Jun 7, 2004
Oday 272LE Ninnescah Yacht Club, Wichita, Ks.
I have read tons of horror stories about towing boats thru the Rockie Mountains....and further west....Had friends who picked up a brand new Catalina 25 at the factory in Calif. and coming thru the mountains they were warned of extreme winds ahead and sure enough, the boat and trailor passed them coming thru the pass as winds were approaching 95 mph according to the hightway alert signage.....that gives new meaning to the term 'pass'......they were terrified and never really got over it......going down thru a wind swept pass in the San Something mountains....