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Author Topic:   13-footer: Lifting Off Trailer
supersport75 posted 09-16-2015 05:01 PM ET (US)   Profile for supersport75   Send Email to supersport75  
I recently bought a [13-foot Boston Whaler boat]. I need to service its trailer. We were removing an old bunk guide rail that was rusty and found it had caused rust on the trailer where it was mounted. That, in turned, has caused the steel to crack. [I am] going to try to use bolts for now, but later I will get it welded.

I need the boat off the trailer for that. I am thinking the boat is about 600-lbs with the motor. [Give me] any ideas on how to lift the boat enough to remove the trailer. Thanks.

jimh posted 09-16-2015 05:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
You can lift the boat by using the three lift points in the hull: one at the bow, and two at the stern. Make a temporary frame, and lift the boat up. Then pull the trailer out from under it.
PeteB88 posted 09-16-2015 07:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for PeteB88  Send Email to PeteB88     
How would you build the frame, Jim? any plans for something like that? I'd love to have one here. Have chain fall.
jimh posted 09-16-2015 07:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Pete--I have no plans for how to build a temporary frame that would be used to temporarily hold a Boston Whaler 13-foot boat suspended from its three lifting points. I recommend you study the following paper:

Design and Construction of a Portable Gantry Hoist
http:/ / digitalcommons. calpoly. edu/ cgi/ viewcontent. cgi?article=110 2& context=braesp& sei-redir=1& referer=http%3A%2F%2Fwww. google. com%2F search%3Fq%3Dtemporary%2Bhoist%2Bframe%26client%3Dsafari%26rls%3Den%26oe %3DUTF-8%26oq%3Dtemporary%2Bhoist%2Bframe%26gs_l%3Dheirloom-serp. 3. . . 10875. 18621. 0. 18955. 21. 14. 6. 1. 0. 1. 106. 1284. 9j5. 14. 0. . . . 0. . . 1ac. 1. 34. heirloom-serp. . 8. 13. 794. WnF9zOq-3BI#search=%22 temporary%20hoist%20frame%22

My first impulse would to look for stout tree limbs or tree branches on two trees that are spaced about 13-feet or 4-meters. The height of the tree branches or tree limbs must be sufficient to provide an attachment point for the upper end of the lifting mechanism, and the strength of the tree limbs or tree branches must be sufficient to support the load of the 13-foot Boston Whaler boat hull that will be suspended from them. For safety, I recommend an Oak tree limb or an Oak tree branch.

andygere posted 09-16-2015 07:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
There are several articles in the archives that describe how you can use your trailer tongue jack to block your boat near the transom and carefully pull the trailer out from under it. I did it with my Montauk and it was easy. Use wooden cribbing or boat stands, not cinder blocks. Do a search here for more info.
dfmcintyre posted 09-16-2015 08:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for dfmcintyre  Send Email to dfmcintyre     
Second what Andy posted. I used three large foam blocks, when taking off our Montauk for work one winter. Secured it to a workbench at the end of the garage, slowly pulled the trailer out. Next spring, sprayed silicone on the bunks, winched it back on, while backing.

Regards - Don

jimh posted 09-16-2015 09:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
For larger boats, I think the method of blocking under the keel and slowly moving the trailer out from under the hull is a good method. A 13-foot boat should be light enough that hoisting it from above should not be too difficult. As SUPERSPORT75 mentioned, the total weight is perhaps 600-lbs.

Of course, the simplest way to get the boat off the trailer is to launch the boat on the water. The last time I need to do some serious work on my trailer, I just made arrangements to keep my boat in the water at a marina slip for the weekend. It cost me a couple of ramp fees and the slip fee. (The slip fee was quite favorable, because the marina operator was sympathetic to the notion that I was just stashing the boat for two days, not actually using the marina facilities, and he gave me a reduced rate.)

In the case of a 13-footer, you might not even need any water to launch the boat off the trailer--well, that is sort of the method suggested by Andy and Don. But you might be able to just launch the boat onto the lawn, if you have a tilt-style trailer.

supersport75 posted 09-16-2015 09:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for supersport75  Send Email to supersport75     
Thanks guys. So foam blocks will work?

Here is what a friend told me to do to make the trailer safe for now: Drill 2 holes on each side of the crack , install #8 bolts, washers and nuts. When I got home from work I drilled the first hole. If this link shows up you can see the first hole. They don't have #8 galvanized so spraying them with cold zinc before I install.

I bought this boat over a 100 miles away and I guess I am lucky I got it home. We didn't know about the crack until we removed the old rusty guide board hardware.

jimh posted 09-17-2015 07:53 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Where do you get big blocks of foam?
contender posted 09-17-2015 09:16 AM ET (US)     Profile for contender  Send Email to contender     
13 whaler. just lanch it on dry land and pull the trailer out for repair, Get an old peice of carpet to put under the rear of the hull, this is an easy task, eiasier than trying to lift it off the trailer...Good luck
dg22 posted 09-17-2015 10:01 AM ET (US)     Profile for dg22  Send Email to dg22     
I second what Contender posted. When I bought a new trailer, I launched my boat on my front lawn, switched trailers and then cranked the boat up.
Jefecinco posted 09-17-2015 10:06 AM ET (US)     Profile for Jefecinco  Send Email to Jefecinco     
When removing my wife's 13 from the trailer a neighbor and I simply launched the boat onto the back lawn. We first tilted the engine up. Then we lifted the front of the trailer until the boat slipped rearward and the engine skeg dug into the ground a bit. Then we pushed and pulled the trailer until the boat was off.

Reloading was a tad more difficult but we were able to winch the 13 back onto the trailer by blocking the tongue high enough to get the bow past the rear of the bunks.

Not the easiest method and a little scary never having done it before but it felt safe for the boat and us at all times.


weekendwarrior posted 09-17-2015 11:11 AM ET (US)     Profile for weekendwarrior  Send Email to weekendwarrior     
I've launched on the lawn before, I've also used bags of dirt from home depot as supports (cheap and easy to come by). Jack the boat up and stack the dirt under it in the very back. Now jack the boat and roll the trailer forward, then add another stack of dirt bags when the trailer interferes with the jack, move the jack and repeat. You'll have the boat off the trailer in no time.
padrefigure posted 09-17-2015 12:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for padrefigure  Send Email to padrefigure     
I had to fix an old repair on the bottom of my 13 and started working on it while still on the trailer. I quickly tired of sanding while on my back and fighting gravity with the epoxy resin so decided to turn the boat over. I already had the little side console out to replace the helm, so I removed the motor and side rails and slid the boat off the trailer onto several large boat fenders I had lying around. I think you could do the same thing sliding the boat off the back of the trailer onto the fenders to cushion the bottom and then you would have the improvised rollers to help get the boat back on the trailer.

By the way, #8 screws seem a bit small for reinforcing a broken structural member unless you have a bunch of them.

Jerry Townsend posted 09-17-2015 05:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jerry Townsend  Send Email to Jerry Townsend     
Using a bolt in the hole does nothing. Drilling a hole simply reduces the stress concetration - by distributing the stress over a larger defect area. And yes, it works. A 1/4 or 3/8 inch diameter hole works.

Incidently, the load causing the problem is perpendiular to the crack.

And Supersport - I think the frame that Jimh referred to was some "frame" to lift from. Years ago, I lifted my 13 Super Sport from the trailer by using three 20' pieces of 2" diameter pipe to form a tripod, a come-a-long and good rope to the one bow eye and two stern bow eyes. --- Jerry/Idaho

Binkster posted 09-18-2015 11:55 AM ET (US)     Profile for Binkster  Send Email to Binkster     
This is like a 15 minute job. Pick up 6 old free tires. Back the trailer up to a tree in your yard. Tie a rope from the transom around the tree and back to the other side of the transom. Place two tires under the boat at the transom on both sides. Tilt the outboard up as far as it will go. Then with your vehicle just pull the trailer out from under the boat about 3/4 of the way. Then place the other two tires under the keel as far forward as possible. Then just continue driving the trailer forward until you clear the boat. To load the boat just reverse the procedure. But you don't have top tie the boat to a tree this time.
Iv'e done this many times, last time was two months ago when I installed new springs on the trailer. Don't make a big project out of it. Its a 13 boat not a 31' Bertram
andygere posted 09-18-2015 12:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
The trailer on my former 13 had a pivot point on the tongue, so the trailer could be tilted such that the boat could be easily winched on to it from the ground. I had to do this once when I had a lower unit problem and had to beach the boat and later retrieve it off the beach with my trailer. it was easy to put the boat back on. Check to see if yours has this feature.

It worked like this:

EJO posted 09-18-2015 03:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for EJO  Send Email to EJO     
launch on lawn as mentioned and protect the hull with whatever you have, old tires, dirt bags (I use boat fenders because I already have them), foam, or whatever.
After repair and newly covered bunks, lubricate the bunks and winch back on. If you don't have a good winch, do the reverse of sliding off. (tie the trailer to the tree and pull the boat with the car)
All the above is NOT a one man job.
Good luck.

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