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Old 10-06-2013, 08:26 PM   #1
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Trailables or not

New to trawler forum... could anyone tell me about the trawlers that are trailable. We are looking when we retire to go trawler instead of a sailboat.
Do you like them? How hard to take in and out of the water? Is it cheaper to trailer than to dock for a couple of months? Hope to hear widgets
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Old 10-06-2013, 09:17 PM   #2
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The Swedish Albin is probably the best trailerable trawler out there but there are many others but a lot of them probably shouldn't be called trawlers. What a boat can do is important. What a boat is called is not.

If you're a good driver and have an appropriate truck and trailer all should go well.

Basically any boat less than 8'6" is easily trailered and as I recall only "wide load" signs are needed up to 10' beam. Wider than that is considered too much trouble for most people.

The biggest problem towing may not be width but weight. Both for stopping and pulling the load. Give much much more space to the next vehicle and go a lot slower than you usually drive your car.
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Old 10-06-2013, 09:40 PM   #3
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Check out ranger tugs. Trailerable and sharp. Compact as well.
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Old 10-06-2013, 10:03 PM   #4
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Check out ranger tugs. Trailerable and sharp. Compact as well.
Rangers are too much for us... Nice boats
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Old 10-06-2013, 10:51 PM   #5
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If I remember correctly the 26' Nordic tugs were trailerable. There was a multi year gap in production of these boats but there are many of the older ones around.

There is also the Rosborough.

Then you get into the boats like C-dory and similar boats which are often o/b powered but definitely trailerable. I see quite a good number of them in my travels up the coast.

But with all of them you must know the LOADED weight ,in addition to the beam, to figure out what kind of truck and trailer you will need to tow safely. The right one will be no worse than any RV on the road.

Last year we saw a couple sitting on the back deck of their 25' Ranger Tug RV at the Flying J truck stop at Lodi, Cal. and again at Barstow Flying J. We talked to them and they were headed for Florida. Apparently they had done the same trip the previous year. They were cruising both wet and dry. They lived in Wash. and boated there in the summer and then headed for Fl. for winter cruising.

However for costs of moorage vs towing I can't really help. Consider the truck and trailer costs, fuel with a boat of ~8 -10,000 # and a diesel truck and you will be in the range of 10-12MPG. Gasoline truck will offer less mpg.

Where do you intend to use the boat.?

Anchoring will keep overnighting cost down of course.

You need to answer a few, lots of, questions to yourselves about how much trailering is in the cards, what the tow vehicle and trailer will cost and where you want to visit and how you intend to use the boat.

I do see folk, every year, who trailer the boat from Wash. or Ore. and other places and then cruise for several weeks in an area like the Gulf Islands and the Broughtons towing in between. In many areas like this you must leave the tow vehicle as there are no roads or not convenient.
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Old 10-07-2013, 12:39 AM   #6
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New to trawler forum... could anyone tell me about the trawlers that are trailable. We are looking when we retire to go trawler instead of a sailboat. Do you like them? How hard to take in and out of the water? Is it cheaper to trailer than to dock for a couple of months? Hope to hear widgets
Cheaper is a relative term. Do you own the tow vehicle already? Two weeks ago my neighbor purchased a 2013 Dodge Mega Cab diesel truck, $60K.

I don't mean to insinuate that a brand new fully loaded truck is needed to tow with but the reality is my neighbor bought the vehicle because his previous one was not sufficient to tow his new toy hauler. I've seen this scenario repeated with friends and family many times buying something they where rated to tow only to find they needed more vehicle to do it safely later. Trailering is akin to docking, the better equipped and laid out you are in advance the easier the task is to perform.

Our boat is just under 10' wide and while it can be trailered, we do not own a tow vehicle so keep it berthed in the water. Jeffnick is the screen name of a member here with a great rig and well documented blog of his travels. Plug his name into the forum search engine and you'll get some great information from a guy doing exactly what you propose.
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Old 10-07-2013, 08:35 AM   #7
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Hi widgets,

Another trailer cruiser here - 44,000 nautical miles under the keel so far.

We started with a C-Dory 22 Cruiser, cruisng at first on Lake Powell and other big western lakes, then the San Juans and lower British Columbia coast. In a few years we had built the skills and experience to spend a summer in Southeast Alaska on our little cruiser. Many more summers in the PNW since then.

For more on this, particularly on choosing and equipping a trailerable cruiser, you could take a peek at my book, "Cruising in a Big Way". You can read a 28-page preview on the self-publishing site lulu.com, or a less extensive one on Amazon.

A few more trailerable cruisers worth considering: Sea Sport, Skagit Orca, Osprey. With a diesel engine these can go slow with great fuel economy and range, or power up to planing speeds when needed.

A used diesel pickup such as our Ram 2500 makes a great tow vehicle.
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Old 10-07-2013, 02:38 PM   #8
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Richard,
I like the "so far" re the "under the keel".

I'm glad I met you in Thorne Bay as the opportunity may not come again. That happened w other TF members as well.

Also I'm glad you're still on TF too.
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Old 10-07-2013, 02:56 PM   #9
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You might look into having a CDL company tow your boat... similar thing happens each year with Harleys... trucks with trailers bring Harleys to Daytona - owners drive or fly in then trucks return them after Bike Week... would depend on how often and how far you wanted to move your boat. Winter in Florida without having to buy and maintain a prime mover might be the lesser cost... and you could follow along in your car and have ground transportation... just an alternative to a seldom used monster truck...

here's one company - there are many others...

Save on Boat Shipping! - uShip
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Old 10-17-2013, 07:22 AM   #10
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Check out the Nimble Nomad Trawler. At 25' and 8'-6" beam it is very trailerable. Although I no longer trailer mine, I did trailer it alot with a 3/4 ton truck and its very easy to launch.
Quite a few used ones out there in the 20 to 30 thousand range.
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Old 10-20-2013, 02:47 PM   #11
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The Nimble Nomads and Vagabonds are simply wonderful as trailable trawlers; however, used 21' Ranger Tugs (old design and new design with the EC) can be found that are priced right. I actually prefer the look of the older 21' Ranger design. You don't see too many Nimble Vagabonds for sale--they were compact, nicely built, economical, and cruise well.
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Old 07-30-2019, 11:33 AM   #12
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Available?

If this boat is available pls send detailed pics to me at beth cook at gastonlake dot com.
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Old 07-31-2019, 12:09 AM   #13
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The tradeoff to a trailerable trawler is the trailer portability limits the size of a boat that can be casually trailered by most people to pretty much under 30' (often ~25'). There are some exceptions. Larger boats tend to get wider and heavier and can require special permits to move.

So the question is can you be comfortable for your cruising duration on a boat that size?

A boat like the C-Dorys are simple and utilitarian (and relatively light). This suits some people, and makes maintenance easier. But others may find them too spare and unfinished. A Ranger is a nice looking boat, but it has got a lot of stuff crammed in there behind all the fancy finish. Good luck trying to fix a wiring problem or working on the engine.

IMO, the ability to take the boat to a wide variety of places in a relatively short amount of time is the prime advantage of a trailerable trawler. In July we trailered our C-Dory almost 2000 miles in 10 days and had overnights on lakes in 3 different states. Keeping the boat slipped and having to start and end every trip in the same place would get dull pretty fast. For example, to get from one place we boat to another one is ~200 miles by water and about 10 hours cruising. On the trailer it is ~65 miles and 1.5 hours.

As mentioned, when trailering the boat you can use it as an RV (called boater homing). Pretty much any place you can stay in an RV you can stay in your boat on the trailer (we've done it a few times).

Storing a boat on a trailer is usually cheaper than a slip, plus you don't have to deal with the issues that come with keeping it in the water all the time. When I want to work on it I can just park it in front of my house instead of taking all my tools and materials to wherever the boat is.

The only disadvantage of a trailerable boat is what to do with the trailer and tow vehicle when you are gone in the boat. In the local area, it is easy to find the places that leaving the vehicle and trailer is allowed (and secure). When traveling to some place new and far away, find a suitable place can be a bit of a pain.

Depending on the size of boat, a tow vehicle can be had pretty cheap compared to the boat price. There are plenty of used trucks with decent towing capacities available. I just got a truck to tow my C-Dory for $6K. It's gas and gets 12.6 mpg towing my boat ~65 mph. Yeah, it's used, but so what.
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Old 07-31-2019, 09:07 AM   #14
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I just got a truck to tow my C-Dory for $6K. It's gas and gets 12.6 mpg towing my boat ~65 mph. Yeah, it's used, but so what.
I'm curious - what truck did you get to tow your Dory with?
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Old 07-31-2019, 11:08 AM   #15
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With regard to the previous post about what type of truck, here is my view of what type of truck/SUV it will take to tow various trailerable trawlers:

20-23' C Dory or similar- All in tow weight will be 4-5,000 lbs so it will take a mid size SUV or a small pickup truck.

25' C-Dory or similar lightweight trawler- All in tow weight will be 6-8,000 lbs so it wil take a full size SUV like the Suburban or a 1/2 ton truck.

25-27' Ranger Tugs, Rosborough 246 or similar- All in tow weight of 9,000-11,000 lbs so it will take a 3/4 ton truck or better. Some F150 models go up to 10,000+ lbs but I would want the heavier suspension of the F250+.

I tow my Pompano 23 which is in the lightweight range with a Nissan Pathfinder and it handles the all in tow weight of about 4,000 lbs very well.

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Old 07-31-2019, 11:08 AM   #16
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our two cents on "boater homing"

Our experience "boater homing" our Rosborough 246 has been limited to mainly the east coast and the I-95 corridor so far, but we've been disappointed with the acceptance of a boat at campgrounds and RV parks we have previously stayed at in our 5th wheel RV. We read Jim & Lisa Favors e-book on trailerable boating and looked forward to a nautical extension of our full time RV life.

We were turned away from our first two attempts to stay at campgrounds in south & mid-Florida going north last spring. We've had good success at state parks in FL & SC, one of two TVA campgrounds, and a few random commercial campgrounds but have been turned away from other commercial campgrounds in FL, SC and NC. Definitely hit or miss on the eastern seaboard.

As a result, we've found ourselves traveling further each day than we normally would with our 5th wheel, staying only one night before moving on and spending 50% of our nights at Walmart or Flying J parking lots.

Hopefully the midwest and west coast will be more welcoming when we travel out that way.
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Old 07-31-2019, 11:59 AM   #17
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I'm curious - what truck did you get to tow your Dory with?
Nissan Pathfinder (R51 model). It is rated to tow 6000#
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Old 07-31-2019, 12:10 PM   #18
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Our experience "boater homing" our Rosborough 246 has been limited to mainly the east coast and the I-95 corridor so far, but we've been disappointed with the acceptance of a boat at campgrounds and RV parks we have previously stayed at in our 5th wheel RV. We read Jim & Lisa Favors e-book on trailerable boating and looked forward to a nautical extension of our full time RV life.

We were turned away from our first two attempts to stay at campgrounds in south & mid-Florida going north last spring. We've had good success at state parks in FL & SC, one of two TVA campgrounds, and a few random commercial campgrounds but have been turned away from other commercial campgrounds in FL, SC and NC. Definitely hit or miss on the eastern seaboard.

As a result, we've found ourselves traveling further each day than we normally would with our 5th wheel, staying only one night before moving on and spending 50% of our nights at Walmart or Flying J parking lots.

Hopefully the midwest and west coast will be more welcoming when we travel out that way.
Lots but not all walmarts allow overnight stays. A suggestion I've heard is casinos, lots more of those nowadays. On the Ohio Turnpike a good number of rest stops have RV parking with power for $20/night. Some places look at you funny when you show up, but I've not had a problem. However, it is better to call ahead and tell them what you plan to do (i.e. use a boat as a camper) before you get there. I think some of the concern is while they know how RVs handle waste, they may not know or be convinced that a boat will handle it the same way. For instance, lots of boats dump grey water directly overboard. On those boats an alternate means is needed to collect the gray water when used at a campsite. Traveling in non peak periods also helps.

Of course, there are plenty of lakes around. Just launch the boat and spend the night at anchor.
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Old 07-31-2019, 12:48 PM   #19
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Nissan Pathfinder (R51 model). It is rated to tow 6000#
Thanks.
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Old 07-31-2019, 01:05 PM   #20
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I think its important to define how you plan to tow. If you want to launch and haul every weekend at different spots and be truly mobile, that's one thing. If you just need to get the boat in the spring and fall, that's different. UHaul and Home Depot rent trucks. You can find someone with a truck a few times per year if needed. I'm sure there are lots of construction guys who pull a trailer Mon-Fri who would respond to a craiglist ad: "I need my 10,000 pound boat towed from X to Y next Saturday....."

Define your boating needs.
Define your towing needs.
Then find your perfect solution.
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