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Old 10-05-2023, 12:39 PM   #1
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Trailer Trawler Considerations

Starting this thread to help myself, but it hopefully will help others too.

Wanting a trailerable trawler is, in most ways, asking for a LOT. What are some considerations that a person looking for a trailer-trawler needs to make sure they’ve taken into account? I’ll start:

1. Tow vehicle - make sure the total weight, not just boat weight is within your vehicle’s capacity. I would also add that you should take terrain you will cover into account. Maybe your tow vehicle is OK crossing flat farmland, but not so much lots of mountains. Also, probably not a great idea to be at the very limit of published capacity for lots of frequent long distance hauls(my preference).

2. Launchability - this was an unexpected “aha” for me, but now I feel dumb for not thinking about it at first. The fact that it can be towed on a trailer doesn’t necessarily mean it can be launched from a trailer. If you intend to keep it on a trailer and launch it that way regularly, water levels and tides at your preferred ramps will be critical. You may have to pick alternate places to put in or pick a different vessel or even just plan to keep it on a trailer and budget money/time for a crane to launch it.

3. Re-supply - small vessel means small storage space or at least creative storage. You will need to plan routes with more stops than larger vessels might. This could only change your packing plans on some routes, but may rule out others.

What would some of you more experienced picky trawler folks add based on your experiences?

Jbo
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Old 10-05-2023, 01:21 PM   #2
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Tank Capacities=
Fuel
fresh water
holding tank
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Old 10-05-2023, 02:19 PM   #3
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Shower, and (as CharlieO said) fresh water tank capacity.


Re-supply isn't as difficult as you might imagine as long as you have the Uber app, unless you are planning on more than 10 days at a time in remote areas.


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Old 10-14-2023, 08:46 PM   #4
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Another issue with a trailerable trawler is where do you park the tow rig when you go out? Especially for long journeys.

Some launches you can only park for the day (i.e. be back before dark). Other places are unwise to leave a vehicle. You may have to pay a daily rate to park and there might be a limit to the number of days.

Nothing like coming in to the dock and finding your tow vehicle gone (or trashed).
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Old 10-15-2023, 09:04 AM   #5
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Good point SSobol. My son is local, and can drop me off and return with the tow rig when I’m ready to get out if I’m cruising the local lake. But I have wondered what people do when they are too far afield to reasonably ask local friends to help.

Is it common for coastal marinas to allow people to pay to park? How do you locate places that will allow it?

I suppose at somewhere like a state park you might be able to pay for a tent site pass and leave the rig there.

Definitely not interested in leaving my tow rig at random unsecured places.

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Old 10-15-2023, 11:23 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jbo_c View Post
...
Is it common for coastal marinas to allow people to pay to park? How do you locate places that will allow it?

I suppose at somewhere like a state park you might be able to pay for a tent site pass and leave the rig there.
...
You have to do your research on places to park before you go. Some marinas don't have excess parking and can limit how long you park there. Others have plenty of space. Search the internet or call ahead.

Some state parks also limit rig parking. Even if it is allowed and you are willing to pay for it, most state parks limit camp site reservations to 2 weeks. Leaving a tow rig unattended at a camp site for more than a day or two is usually frowned upon and could even generate a search activity.

For instance, some VA state parks may allow you to park over night for up to 4 nights at $10/night. Others do not allow overnight parking at all. MD and NY have state parks that allow parking for up to 2 weeks for free (must pay launch fee though).
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Old 12-05-2023, 05:06 PM   #7
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JBO interesting topic and actually once I’ve been researching a lot lately and dreaming of building a trawler. Have you done much research on Terminal trawlers? Definitely worth looking at. I’ve been looking for inexpensive older sail boats as possible hulls to build mine. Hoping more people will chime in. I’ve also bought a whole set of plans for a Mini MIA 21 which is a small outboard trawler for the home boat builder.

Here a link to someone on here that built a very nice terminal trawler and documented it throughly.
https://www.trawlerforum.com/forums/...ion-47099.html
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Old 12-05-2023, 09:00 PM   #8
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Love the terminal trawler concept. Could work for many. I’ve considered it many times over the years, but in the long run, it’s not for me.

Maia is a big boat. You need to make sure you’re really committed to building as much as cruising if you decide to take it on. The only reason you should build a boat is that you have no choice.

You should start a thread. I’d be happy to contribute.

Jbo
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Old 12-05-2023, 10:29 PM   #9
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There have been lots of threads on this topic. Here are a few that I started:

https://www.trawlerforum.com/forums/...wler-7997.html

https://www.trawlerforum.com/forums/...ler-39872.html

https://www.trawlerforum.com/forums/...ler-42353.html

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Old 12-06-2023, 08:23 AM   #10
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We’re drifting from the original intent some. Was really looking for logistical and situational considerations, not so much design ideas. Some design considerations(like stowage area) are apropos, but was really not looking to start a “which boat” or “what should you look for” thread.

As a builder of a couple of boats - the current one being a trailerable “trawler”, I’d be happy to talk design considerations and execution all day.

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Old 12-06-2023, 10:07 AM   #11
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Last century whilst still a sailor and living in Portland, OR, I was looking at the "new" Macgregor 26. The goal at the time was to sail the Salish Sea and the west's big lakes and reservoirs. I was thinking that when trailering the boat around the western US we would just stay in RV campgrounds, sleeping in the boat on the trailer much like an RV.

I realize that being as level as possible would be important (for sleep, cooking, etc.), but do you trailer trawler folks do that?
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Old 12-06-2023, 01:13 PM   #12
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A boat should be pretty much self leveling if designed well(certainly, at least, compared to a travel trailer on land).

If I were going to stay in a TT on the hard, it would only be in passing, so other than making sure my feet weren’t above my head in the bunk, I wouldn’t spend any time/effort leveling it.

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Old 12-06-2023, 02:30 PM   #13
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Quote:
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I was thinking that when trailering the boat around the western US we would just stay in RV campgrounds, sleeping in the boat on the trailer much like an RV.

I realize that being as level as possible would be important (for sleep, cooking, etc.), but do you trailer trawler folks do that?
We've towed our 22 and 26-foot cruisers from Utah to Southern CA, the Oregon coast, and to Puget Sound and Prince Rupert BC many times, to cruise the Inside Passage. Have stayed in quite a number of different campgrounds along the way.

We use the campground's restrooms and showers, and keep eating simple (cereal, sandwiches etc) - no cooking other than coffee. With the right adapter(s) electricity is usually available. Level or nearly level is generally easy.

On the water between Puget Sound and Skagway there are plenty of places to stop for provisions. In our 22-footer we needed fuel about as often as we needed water. Fuel limited us to maybe 160 nm between re-fuelings, which limited how far we could wander around in some areas. Our diesel 26-footer could go 300-350 nm before refueling. With its watermaker fresh water would last until we needed fuel.
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Old 12-06-2023, 05:15 PM   #14
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One of the charms of a trailerable trawler is their ability to get off the beaten path. Less boats and boaters often equals less services available. Can you get gas, ice and supplies where you are headed?

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Old 12-06-2023, 10:12 PM   #15
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Good points, Pete. - and well received.

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Old 12-06-2023, 10:56 PM   #16
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On the subject of what to do with the tow rig, on several occasions I have launched at a public boat ramp and left the trailer and TV there and have gone off and cruised for several days. Make sure the facility allows overnights.

Very few private marinas have places to store a tow rig and if they do it won’t be cheap. If you are going to leave your rig for weeks, look for a place that stores RV’s and boats long term. In expensive SW Florida it was $75/mo to store a trailer, so maybe double with a TV.

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Old 12-07-2023, 05:44 PM   #17
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Might be slightly off topic, but I would make sure that the boat its easy to access while on the trailer. Unless your very agile or plan on carrying a stepladder, you need to be able to get on and off the boat while on the hard without killing yourself.

At the boat ramp alone, you'll get on and off several times a day.

I've had a half dozen trailerable boats. On of my favorites, a catamaran, was so tall on the trailer that fueling was a workout. A bow-mounted ladder is one solution, but that takes a bit of agility as well.
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