Sailboat Transportation Preparation Guide
Sailboat Transport by the unique nature of the boat design and its sailing gear presents some very special skill and knowledge sets to properly make a sailboat ready for relocation. A good boat transporter overseas the loading and the preparation of the mast and boom when loading a sailboat. More so than other boat designs, sailboats have a great deal of preparation issues that can make or break a successful boat move.
Loading a Sailboat for Transport
When loading a sailboat at least 50 percent of the weight needs to be on the keel. When the travel lift drops the boat down on the transport trailer it should come all the way down and then lift it up a bit. Then it is ready to have the steel put under the boat to balance it. When a sailboat is properly loaded ther is very little actual weight on each popit stand. Sailboats should have a minimum of six stands total under the hull.
Wooden hulled sailboats should be loaded differently. Most wood hulled sailboats are long keeled and can take more weight on it. There should be even less weight on the stands so as not to crack the ribs and hull. In addition there should be as many stands as practicle to spread the weight out even more.
Securing the Deck Gear for Sailboat Transporting and Hauling
When sailboats reach about 40 feet in length unless they are shoal keeled they start getting pretty tall on the transport trailer. There are some items that can be removed to keep the height down. The legal height for loaded boats in most states is 13 feet six inches. Some items can be removed to keep the height to a minimum. Most often the helm wheel can be removed and stowed below decks. Dorades or any other deck gear that can be removed and stored deserve the attention. At time the bow and stern pulpit needs to be removed as do the lifelines and stanchions. Please take note it is always better to remove the anchor from the bow roller if so rigged. A loose anchor can do a lot of damage.
Decommissioning A Sailboat for Transport
When decommissioning a sailboat for transport special attention should be taken to properly getting the boom and mast ready for loading on the truck. The boom is not that big of a deal. Secure all the lines that my be attatched and you can simply secure it under the boat in the trailer taking special care in padding it up so as to minimise the chance of chafe. The mast is another story. The halyards and winches do not need to be removed. The spreaders and any other gear such as antennas and lights do. With the mast on saw horses or other apparatus pull the halyards up tight at the butt of the mast. Secure them to the mast so they are secure. A very handy way of keeping all the lines tight and to keep out dust from the winches is to wrap the entire mast in cellophane like a candy cane. When loading the mast it must be padded up very well so it does not get chafed by the steel or lines that are used to secure it to the boat transport trailer. Sailboat Transport projects need not be that difficult if all these measures are taken by yourself or the boatyard responsible for decommissioning.