Sep 23, 2020
2 mins read
Transporting big boats is something new for me because I was a small-boat sailor prior to owning Big Magic. In the past few weeks, I'm grateful that I have a friend who has been schooling me on the things needed to haul around heavy boats because this duty has not been part of my life until now.
Since acquiring Big Magic, I am now the owner of a R.H.B. (a "really heavy boat"). Although it is smaller than my Cal 29 sailboat, unlike my Cal 29 it has NO MEANS of propulsion other than its engine which is currently nonfunctional. So it is impossible to sail it to a place where I can work on the engine; it must be trailered.
Thus, I am having to learn about trailers. BIG trailers. Tandem axle trailers.
I have no problem admitting when I'm ignorant. After all, ignorance is cure-able you know. However, you can't cure a disease until you admit you need help.
For example, I did not know, until David Janos graciously explained it to me, that boats above 3500 lbs. are required by law to be trailered only by tandem axle trailers. No puny single axles allowed! Furthermore, a recently law change mandates that ALL new-built tandem axle boat trailers must have hydraulic brakes. This law-change means that older tandem axle boat trailers may have grandfathered-in electric brakes. Electric brakes, you ask? Aren't those dangerous in water? Nah. Apparently not. But it does make them more prone to corrosion. Hydraulic brakes are more resistant as a closed system to salt water. More expensive at the start, but cheaper in the long run, for more reasons than just the capital expense. (Think: time wasted trouble-shooting electrical problems on a job)
Anyway, I've been on the lookout for a relatively cheap tandem axle boat trailer with HYDRAULIC brakes for the past two weeks. I went to look at a work trailer on Orcas Island last week, but it turns out it has electric brakes that weren't even wired in anymore -- probably due to the persistent corrosion problem electric brake wiring can have. The other problem with electric brakes is that one needs a six-pin trailer connector which I do not have. The converter box for the six-pin costs about $100 at NAPA plus the time it takes to install it -- neither of which I am able to afford at this time.
So, my hunt continues!