One Way to Lift a Boat off the Trailer.

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LDUBS

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Every so often there is a discussion about how to raise our boats off the trailer. I’ve done this a few times with different boats. Because of a current issue with my trailer I had to do it again. I thought I would list the steps again for others. This will likely be a repeat for many of you.

If the boat is light, then get a friend to help and forget these steps. For heavier boats that cannot be manhandled, or if you are by yourself, this works pretty well.

I built a “cradle” to support the transom. The one I had for my old boat was too small, so I modified it to fit the current boat. I also built a support for the bow.

Here are the steps:

First - Remove the transom tie-downs and bow strap. If you don’t do this you will have a problem lifting the boat off the trailer! Then make sure you chock the wheels.

Second – Lower the tongue jack as far down as it will go. This will raise the transom of the boat. Put the cradle or whatever support you are going to use under the transom.

Third – Raise the tongue jack as high as it will go. The back of the trailer will go down, but the boat’s transom will stay at the height of the support.

Fourth – Put a support under the bow.

Fifth – Lower the tongue jack slightly and the bow will lift off the trailer.

Now the boat is completely off the trailer. This is a pretty handy and easy method if you want to adjust your bunks. Because the hull bottom is just an inch or two away, you can get the bunks spot on. Or, in my case, this was a way to lift the boat so I could make a trailer repair.

This first pic shows shows my old “cradle”. I modified it to make it wider and taller for my current boat.


Old Cradle.jpg




This pic shows the boat after it has been elevated off the trailer.



New Cradle.jpg




This pic shows the bow support. When I did this before I supported the bow with a 4x4 and a couple of jack stands. I got fancy this time. This is pretty robust for a relatively light boat. That is intentional because I’m going to leave the boat elevated until I get the replacement part. BTW, the cross piece that the bow rests on slides in/out of the clunky looking stand. The reason will be obvious if you do something similar. Using a beam and a couple jack stands is a lot easier. But again because it will be a few days up in the air and I will be crawling around under there, I decided on a little overkill.



Bos support.jpg
 

CedarRiverScooter

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LDubbs - Great photos!

At the risk of acknowledging my backwoods ways, I did same but lifted the bow from my garage door's header. It is a doubled up 2X10 so I figured it could support a few hundred more pounds. This way I didn't need to move the jack around the trailer.
 

LDUBS

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CedarRiverScooter said:
LDubbs - Great photos!

At the risk of acknowledging my backwoods ways, I did same but lifted the bow from my garage door's header. It is a doubled up 2X10 so I figured it could support a few hundred more pounds. This way I didn't need to move the jack around the trailer.

Shoot, I would do the same thing if I could.
 

catsmith

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Thanks for the idea LDubs. I used it a couple weeks ago. I used buckets in the rear, saw horses and ratchet straps to pick up the bow, and a upside down kids picnic table as a safety prop for the bow after I pulled the trailer out.

Never could have done that safely by myself.

I did have a stripped down hull to work with. Light and motorless.
 

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bcbouy

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i just traced a cardboard template for the bow/stern,traced them on a couple 2x10's sandwiched and screwed,and floor jacked them up under the hull to redo my bunks,easy.
 

LDUBS

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bcbouy said:
i just traced a cardboard template for the bow/stern,traced them on a couple 2x10's sandwiched and screwed,and floor jacked them up under the hull to redo my bunks,easy.

Your method's advantage is it provides a wider range of possible vertical lift.
 

esahaa

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Hey LDUBS! I just joined the forum after purchasing a 1982 14’ Klamath last week. My first boat! The trailer needs some work and your method will work perfectly. How many 2 x 4’s (what length?) did you use to build both braces? Going to the store to purchase the wood to work on the trailer this weekend. Thanks! Ed
 

LDUBS

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esahaa said:
Hey LDUBS! I just joined the forum after purchasing a 1982 14’ Klamath last week. My first boat! The trailer needs some work and your method will work perfectly. How many 2 x 4’s (what length?) did you use to build both braces? Going to the store to purchase the wood to work on the trailer this weekend. Thanks! Ed

Oh boy, I could measure but what fit my boat might not be the same for yours. I suggest you lower the tongue all the way down then measure the distance from the ground to the bottom of the transom. Then raise the tongue all the way up and measure from the ground to the bow stem where you will put a brace. That will give you a starting point for figuring out how many 2x's you might need. By the way, I bought cheap fir 2x4x8's at Home Depot.

To be honest, while the method I shared works pretty well, if I was doing this again I would consider the method BCbouy described earlier in this thread. It is also pretty straight forward and would allow me to determine how high up I wanted the boat to be for whatever work I was going to do. I would still want a cradle of some sort to support the boat if I were doing a lot of work to the trailer.

Hope this helps. And congrats. Klamath makes pretty good boats.
 

esahaa

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Hey LDUBS. Thanks for your reply. I bought 4 2x4x8’ and starting to build the brace. I decided to change the wheel bearings first as the play was extremely excessive so now on to the next project to change the bottom bunks on the trailer. Maybe the boat will finally touch water for the first time under my watch soon!
 

LDUBS

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I have not been able to get out yet this year. Rain, then gale warnings, then a camping trip, then more rain, and then a contractor redoing my side tracks. Im retired and supposed to have all this spare time. What is going on! haha
 

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