Heavy weight boat trailer -10 ton



I am considering purchasing a 36' to 40' heavy weight long distnace cruiser . I am hoping to renovate a relatively old boat at home over a few lay-up seasons
gradually bringing it up to spec. while sailing in local waters. I live about 40 minutes drive, through a rural area ,from the nearest boat yard and therefore have to consider how to get the boat to and from the water each season. I have seen trailers which farmers use intermittantly to transport diggers etc. They normally pull these trailers using farm tractors.
Has anyone else had experience of using this type of trailer as a mobile boat cradle for a such a heavy weight boat?


Yep - but not quite as big.

Carted a 27ft x 10ft lifeboat (4 tons) on my mates trailer for 35 miles (oilyard to farmyard for fitting out) and 40 miles (farmyard to marina for launching) without too many problems.

Problems to look out for are:

1. Stability. Farm trailers are not particularly wide and if the boat has a keel there's a lot of weight up high so "very slow round corners" and avoid roads with a camber.

2. Sideways movement. We manufactured four box section "cranked" uprights to fit into existing holes to make sure the boat itself couldn't cant over.

3. Width. At 10ft for the boat plus a foot for the "cranked" uprights we were well over the 10ft limit and should have had a Police escort. We decided that the fine would probably be less than hiring a Police Car and got lucky. (Mind you - 6am start in the Scottish Highlands isn't that busy!!)

4. Other Road Users. I acted as "point" with hazard lights flashing to warn oncoming traffic.

5. "Bouncing". Farm trailers aren't the best sprung things you can find. Slow or very slow and smooth roads help.

6. Fore and Aft Movement. Back of trailer had a rail fitted but lashed the boat down with a whole swath of belts.

7. Stop after first mile and every five miles thereafter to check lashings. A couple of the belts came a bit loose due to movement.

8. Make sure tractor and hitch system is up to the job. Luckily mate has brand new John Deere with 35 automatic gears in forward and reverse and a hydraulic hook that grips the trailer hitch.

9. Give yourself plenty of time. We averaged about 15 miles an hour. At about 20 mph the tractor/trailer combination started "bucking" regardless of road condition.

10. Cover the trailer and boat in flashing yellow lights. How anyone can be "surprised" coming up behind something that big is amazing but a number of frustrated Schumacher's had to brake suddenly to avoid running into us from behind.

11. Height. Just make sure that trailer / boat combination isn't too high otherwise you will bring down every telephone wire and domestic electrical supply wire on the route. (Check with the local Council, BT or Electricity Board. There is a specification. I THINK it is 16 feet but CHECK if you are above 12 feet overall height.)

12. Last tip. If you are refurbishing a boat give yourself a difficult but not impossible deadline to meet. Ours was six weeks to turn a lifeboat into a four berth motor sailer in our spare time - it took eight weeks (plus a few more weeks working in the Marina - and there's still something to do). Too long a period and it will finish up as a garden ornament. One boat I see on my way to Aberdeen has been a "garden project" for the last EIGHT years.

Best of luck and regards :eek:)

Ian D