What's the best way to remove boat from trailer?

Moderator: GreenLake

What's the best way to remove boat from trailer?

Postby amedsker » Thu May 02, 2019 2:22 pm

I need to take my DS1 off the trailer so I can do some trailer work. What is the best/easiest way to do this? And what are the best stands to put the boat on? I have plenty of 2x6's laying around that I could probably use to make some kind of a stand. Or should I just use cinder blocks or maybe just tires? I've searched the forum for info but I haven't really found anything that's too helpful. I've also seen people just dump the boat directly into the grass. How do I do that and get the boat back on? I have a nice cement patio in my backyard and I would like to store the boat there while I work on the trailer.
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Re: What's the best way to remove boat from trailer?

Postby GreenLake » Thu May 02, 2019 4:16 pm

The details probably depend on the configuration of your trailer. Getting the boat off the trailer isn't the problem, it's to make sure it's easy to get it back on again.

For my trailer, the key is to get the bow up on the rearmost roller. After that, I use the trailer winch to pull the trailer underneath the boat (to avoid the boat scraping along on the ground - still, a bit of old carpet is never amiss).

Mine is a tilt trailer, so launching onto the hard just means tipping up the trailer until the transom makes contact, then pulling the trailer out from under the boat. For retrieval, I've had to limit the tilt, so the bow doesn't "dig" in between the rollers. But even with limited tilt, the rear roller gets to be much lower than it would be otherwise.

Now, if you keep your trailer flat, then it makes sense to support the transom with a stack of tires, then pull the trailer forward and add another support just before the bow comes off. Saw horses that can hold 400 pounds each, or stacks of bricks with padding on top. All of those work.

To retrieve, you park the trailer so the bow overhangs it (or almost does) and then use the winch to pull it under the boat. After the bow is supported, remove the forward support, and continue. May work better with a trailer that has a trailer jack or third wheel. Or if you have one of those dollies that have two wheels, a long handle and a trailer ball.

The weight of the boat is about 600#, so you should dimension your supports to be able to hold more than half of that weight to be safe. (That's why I suggested 400# above - that way, some asymmetry in placement doesn't matter). If you use the winch to pull the trailer under the boat, or while pulling the trailer out from under the boat, you may need to anchor the boat unless it's on the ground. Otherwise you may tip over a support or pull the boat off of one.

Good luck!

PS: with 3-4 buddies you'll be able to manhandle the boat quite easily, but I've launched and retrieved using some or all of these methods by myself.
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
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Re: What's the best way to remove boat from trailer?

Postby jalmeida51 » Thu May 02, 2019 5:18 pm

I have never removed my Daysailer 1 from the trailer but I have removed a Rhodes 19 C/b from a trailer. That boat is about 400 lbs. heaver than the Daysailer. With the trailer jack, I lower it all the way down. This puts the stern up, I used cement blocks on each side of the boat. Not touching the boat. You slide a 2x4 under the rear of the boat laying across the cement blocks. I would put the 2x4 close to where the bottom and the transom meet. You jack up the trailer jack which puts the rear of the boat on the 2x4. The more you jack up the trailer jack the more you get the boat off the rollers and bunk pads. You still have to get the bow off the trailer. I did this myself but if you had someone helping you it make life easier. Put a steel pipe through the bow eye. Put some cement blocks or wood blocks each side of the pipe. On each set of blocks, between the blocks and the pipe you put a car axle jack . Just crank the jacks up and the bow is off the trailer. I would support the boat with blocks of wood or old tires. There are other ideas on U Tube which may help you. Best of luck, John
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Re: What's the best way to remove boat from trailer?

Postby Zinger88 » Fri May 03, 2019 11:30 am

I did a thread not long ago on how I revamped my old trailer with new bunks. There's some pics showing how I rested the boat on some old tires I'd picked up for free from a local Discount Tires store (they even took the tires back once I was finished with them). Unfortunately I don't have any photos of the actual process of removal/retrieval but if you have a tilt feature on your trailer it makes it a breeze. I used two tires for the job with one aft of CB trunk and one forward of CB truck. I had a few extra tires that actually weren't needed but utilized them anyway on the port and starboard sides just for peace of mind....

Jim H
'76 Daysailer II, Sail #7920, Windsong
Burton, TX
~~ _/) ~
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Location: Burton, Texas

Re: What's the best way to remove boat from trailer?

Postby TJDSII6630 » Sat May 04, 2019 9:22 pm

Getting the boat off and back one is not difficult but can be tricky.
Snagging the bow eye is the main hazard for me.
I tie the boat to a tree using the aft cleats and slowly drive away.
I have a nonbreaking trailer so when the bow is about to drop
I put tires underneath the bow to hold it up.
Reverse the process to reload but I in hook the trailer from the car.
The stretch of the rope helps as you can tension the rope and
lift the bow and or trailer toung and she will come on up in stages.
The winch may be a bit high until weight gets forward so the
tinge will drop.

I careen her with the main or jib halyard.
5 concrete blocks will keep her at 30 degrees or so.
Use enough weight because if it starts sliding and gets away
from you it will come up and hit the hull or mast
2 are ok if you have the mast all the way down.
I use motor cycle tires to level her while on the ground.
I should have a picture or two with the boat hanging from
The swing set in my gallery.
I have found it easier to put her on the ground.

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Re: What's the best way to remove boat from trailer?

Postby GreenLake » Sat May 04, 2019 9:30 pm

Can confirm the concrete block when at 90 degrees. (In my recollection it took only one).

If mast is not raised, you can flip over the boat with help of moderate manpower. It's more a rolling then a lifting at that point as long as the rubrail is supported a the same level you dropped the keel onto originally (in my case it was the ground).

If you have supports that you can stack, you can raise the boat by lifting one end, inserting some bricks/logs on your support, repeat on the other side. Again, moderate manpower (2 to lift, 1 to place).

I used a combination to get the boat off the trailer, flip it and finally raised it to a working position to work on the hull.
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
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Re: What's the best way to remove boat from trailer?

Postby AlaskaDS » Sun May 03, 2020 12:20 am

Launch it on the water. Make a weekend of it, sailing and trailer work.
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Re: What's the best way to remove boat from trailer?

Postby GreenLake » Sun May 03, 2020 12:24 am

If you can beach, dock or moor it on the water, sure. In my case, getting the boat off and back on the trailer is really not much harder than launching it in the water. So I'd probably not do that, because it otherwise adds an element of time pressure . . .
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
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