522Re: Easily driven boats
- Jan 17, 2005--- In AtkinBoats@yahoogroups.com, "John B. Trussell"
> As far as getting all the amenities you are looking for in an easyto trailer boat, I just don't think it is possible. If you figure it
out, let me know!
> John T
The one word that I did not use was easy. It is possible, but it
isn't something that you're going to move on and off a trailer just
for a weekend.
Next time you're out on the road take a look at a semi tractor-trailer
combination. Particularly with a 53' trailer and a cab over tractor.
Envision if you will the cubic area that the trailer - and its 24"
tires encompass. That's 53' long by 102" wide by 13'6" tall - that's
~6081 cubic feet that you have to put a boat in. What that really
means is that in order for someone to legally haul any load over the
interstate highway system it has to be within those dimensions.
The various states can and do regulate trailer width and overall
length on their state highways. Mostly they allow this federal size
without hassle - some states require a permit for certain areas.
Regardless, all my research suggests that one can haul a boat from A
to B without any trouble if it's within these dimensions.
But I've also found that an 8' 6" wide boat just isn't very easy to
design an interior for. In order to get the amenities in that I
listed it's starting to stretch out to 42-43 feet long. Too long IMO.
But when one increases the beam of the boat to 10' 6" the overall
length can come back to the 36'-38' range and still get in the
amenities I mentioned.
What's that do for trailering? Well, you'll have to have an
over-width permit for every state you go through. But I have not yet
found a state I'd travel through that requires a pilot car for a 10'6"
load - just a sign saying overwidth and some special lights and travel
during the day and stay out of some cities. But all in all still doable.
Since moving to Texas I have come to despise the hot and humid
summers. But I adore the mild winters. When it's blowing and snowing
where I used to live in Washington, I had the office window and the
back door open all day for 4 days around New Years. Mid 60's a night
and high 70's in the day time. Plus we're getting about 1 hour and 45
minutes more daylight here than we were in Washington.
So let's suppose that after I retire and the wife is still teaching
that we have our winter home here in Texas and we travel north from
May until September. We miss 80% of the hot weather and 90% of the
After the wife retires we travel from April until November. As I
mentioned before maybe actually winter in the Bahamas. Or on a canal
How to get the boat between Texas and the summer's cruising grounds?
It >>MIGHT<< make sense to convert a used lowboy trailer to haul the
boat. If we're using a converted lowboy trailerI don't think it makes
too much ecomomic sense to own a specialty tractor just for hauling
the boat though. My spread sheets seem to suggest that hiring a
licensed overwidth tractor & driver to haul the boat either once or
twice a year make more sense.
OK, a different approach. Let's say the final design comes in under
15,000 pounds empty sitting on a trailer. There are lots of heavy
duty light trucks (pickups) or medium duty commercial trucks that have
that sort of towing capacity. And remember that we do not need the
trailer tires that a semi uses - we just don't have the weight that
they are needed for. So 6 much smaller tires are all that's needed
for that weight. Current prices - about $150 each versus the several
hundred each for commercial tires. Plus add in a specially
constructed trailer (that I can weld up) and that >>MIGHT<< make
So trailering a <-40' x 10.5' boat is doable with some planning and
But yes, a clinker built boat won't take the stresses. One can have a
boat that looks like a classic but is built using modern techniques
and materials and engineered to take advantage of the strength of
modern materials so that it will stand the rigors of trailering and
still be seaworthy.
The thing is that this just hasn't been done often. But the physical
aspects are not (IMO) the massive hurdles that lots of folks make them
out to be.
YMMV and all that.
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