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Old 20 August 2011, 17:36   #1
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Can I ask a DUMB question about trailers?

OK, obviously I am more than capable of asking a DUMB question about trailers. The real poser is - do I deserve an answer?

We are looking at buying our first RIB (well, OK, DH has sanctioned the RIB and I am doing the looking because if I left it to him we'd just buy the first one he saw - though tbh I can't guarantee my method is much more scientific...) and one of the things seriously limiting choice is that the whole thing (ie on the trailer with the outboard in situ) has to fit in the garage. The garage is about 6m long and though I've talked to a couple of dealers about this "total length" ie if you flogged me the whole setup inc wheels, would it fit in the damn garage - they've been charmingly vague about it. I get the impression that "can I fit it in the damn garage" is an unreasonable question.

Presumably all trailers are not created equal, ie they come in different lengths. Am I being dumb in thinking it's just a question of finding the shortest one that the boat fits on comfortably & safely, and so it's more a matter of whether the trailer fits in the garage than the boat? Or is there some functional complicatedness that I'm missing which means you need a trailer precisely 1.27432 times the length of the boat ... unless you are going over 60 on the northbound carriageway of a motorway on a rainy night - in which case you add the length of the left arm of your youngest child, multiply by the julian date of the vernal equinox and then subtract the number you first thought of?
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Old 20 August 2011, 17:46   #2
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OK, obviously I am more than capable of asking a DUMB question about trailers. The real poser is - do I deserve an answer?

We are looking at buying our first RIB (well, OK, DH has sanctioned the RIB and I am doing the looking because if I left it to him we'd just buy the first one he saw - though tbh I can't guarantee my method is much more scientific...) and one of the things seriously limiting choice is that the whole thing (ie on the trailer with the outboard in situ) has to fit in the garage. The garage is about 6m long and though I've talked to a couple of dealers about this "total length" ie if you flogged me the whole setup inc wheels, would it fit in the damn garage - they've been charmingly vague about it. I get the impression that "can I fit it in the damn garage" is an unreasonable question.
Seems a perfectly reasonable question to me. If 9d280 doesn't appear here soon then PM him - he has a spreadsheet listing most of the common brands and what will/will not fit in a standard garage!
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Presumably all trailers are not created equal, ie they come in different lengths. Am I being dumb in thinking it's just a question of finding the shortest one that the boat fits on comfortably & safely, and so it's more a matter of whether the trailer fits in the garage than the boat? Or is there some functional complicatedness that I'm missing which means you need a trailer precisely 1.27432 times the length of the boat ... unless you are going over 60 on the northbound carriageway of a motorway on a rainy night - in which case you add the length of the left arm of your youngest child, multiply by the julian date of the vernal equinox and then subtract the number you first thought of?
Firstly remember its not just length - but width of the trailer (which may be wider than the boat, eh Kerny!).

Here is why I think you have a problem:

(1) there isn't even a standard on how people market ribs - so a 5.4m boat might be 5.4 from bow to the back of the tubes or bow to transom etc.
(2) normally the bow "post" on the trailer is further back than the tube.
(3) normally the tubes at the back overhang the trailer. often (not ideally) the transom does too.
(4) trailers are predominantly sold on weight rather than load length
(5) usually there is scope for moving the winch post, rollers etc forward to move the whole boat forward from the factory standard position.

Personally I think letting the size of your garage force you into a particular package is crazy. Find the right boat then work out what options exist for trailers and then if it wont fit decide if it would be better stored elsewhere.
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Old 20 August 2011, 17:54   #3
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Personally I think letting the size of your garage force you into a particular package is crazy. Find the right boat then work out what options exist for trailers and then if it wont fit decide if it would be better stored elsewhere.
I've showed this to Mrs willk, P. She's not convinced

Redhed - Asking a bloke to assure you that you will be able to back his RIB into your garage is, as you say, not going nowhere

Approach it from the legal angle - ask how how long/wide the trailered boat package is. Say "If it doesn't fit into X by Y by Z, I'm going to not pay and maybe sue you".

Look at Kerny - happy but sleeping in his RIB for security reasons
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Old 20 August 2011, 18:00   #4
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I've showed this to Mrs willk, P. She's not convinced
Mrs willk's judgement is clearly not sound though - simply by definition!

To be fair though - with your next purchase the cost of a new made to measure barn to keep it in will be only a small proportion of the total bill...
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Old 20 August 2011, 18:11   #5
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Mrs willk's judgement is clearly not sound though - simply by definition!
She was very young at the time. She still is

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To be fair though - with your next purchase the cost of a new made to measure barn to keep it in will be only a small proportion of the total bill...
Worryingly (for you), you are beginning to sound like donegaldan... he thinks a space frame hanger would suit nicely
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Old 20 August 2011, 18:20   #6
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To be fair though - with your next purchase the cost of a new made to measure barn to keep it in will be only a small proportion of the total bill...
SHUSH!

He-Red might hear you!

Re: letting the garage choose my boat for me - yes, this is not ideal. I can say with some confidence that the garage knows less about boats than I do. I should hang out with the garage more often, it is making me look good. But the logistics are that we will keep the RIB permanently up here at our holiday house and we will be 200 miles away from it in term time and if we store it offsite it will be shivering in a cold field, poor thing. Plus the local storage options will stick quite a bit onto our time-to-launch - weather is v changeable here and operating out of the garage I think we could be on the water in less than half an hour end to end; the other storage options are a fair detour.
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Old 20 August 2011, 18:22   #7
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Firstly remember its not just length -
Hmm... Now I am trying to remember where I have heard this before...
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Old 20 August 2011, 18:28   #8
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Hmm... Now I am trying to remember where I have heard this before...
Um, here?
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Old 20 August 2011, 18:47   #9
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OK - I accept that other people have good reasons for keeping a boat in a garage, what I was really meaning though was there are lots of boats that will fit a garage, so don't just go with whichever dealer finally wakes up and tells you the total length. Also don't completely dismiss anything which at first glance might not fit - as there are some clever folding "nose" trailers etc, which might save you a few inches.
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Old 20 August 2011, 19:10   #10
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I have a Searay trailer and as is common with American trailers, it is hinged on the drawbar allowing it to fold back so in fact the total length when folded is just the length of the boat.

There are many US trailers built like this and I have seen online the hinge arrangement on it's own that can be welded into a conventional trailer.

http://www.iboats.com/Fulton-34-Bolt...view_id.341674

My Searay boat trailer is not home at the moment but I will run up the road and take a photo of the neighbored Bayliner.
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