Hobie Forums

Long Distance Trailering
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Author:  andrewphelan11 [ Fri Jan 29, 2021 10:09 am ]
Post subject:  Long Distance Trailering


I'm looking for some advice on long-distance trailering. I am moving locations, about 1,200 miles apart, and want to bring my Hobie 18 along. It's on a trailer that is in fairly good condition. The trailer hubs could likely use a little bit of maintenance, but I will cross that bridge only if I decide to trailer it the entire way.

I'm evaluating different options and asking for opinions. The way I see it, I have four possibilities:
1. Trailer it the entire way myself (19 or so hours)
2. Take the boat apart and put the boat and trailer inside of a box truck/ semi (expensive)
3. Put the entire boat and trailer as is on a flatbed trailer and have it towed
4. Leave the boat behind (Far and away, my least favorite option, not really in the cards)

One thing to note, the mast of my 18 is about 28' 3". I liked the idea of taking everything apart and putting in a 26' box truck, but I'm not sure if I could realistically make that work because of the mast. I suppose it could go in diagonally, both vertically and horizontally, but I would need to actually measure to see if I could buy myself an extra 2' 3".

Has anyone made a move like this before? I'd love to get some advice and recommendations from you guys.



Author:  srm [ Fri Jan 29, 2021 12:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Long Distance Trailering

What is the concern with just trailering it yourself? If you’re comfortable driving with a trailer and your trailer is in decent shape, it really shouldn’t be a big deal. Hobie’s are light, so it generally doesn’t cause too much strain on the tow vehicle unless your car is really small and you have a lot of hills to deal with.

I’ve done a fair share of distance trailering (including a cross country trip to the Hobie NAC’s in 2012). The main thing is to make sure your trailer is in decent shape including greasing up the wheel bearings and carrying a spare tire (or better yet two!). Also make sure you have a lug wrench and jack that work with your trailer (don’t assume the ones for your car will work).


Author:  mmiller [ Fri Jan 29, 2021 12:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Long Distance Trailering

Rudders off, trampoline off. Mast well supported and tied at the mast stand. Good padding at the aft crossbar. Lines to lock the boat in and not slide forward when braking.

Author:  andrewphelan11 [ Fri Jan 29, 2021 3:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Long Distance Trailering

My main concern is just the number of things that could go wrong over such a long distance. It sounds like if I just take the proper precautions I should be okay. I've taken it on about a 4-hour trip and it was tedious but manageable.

I'd really like to find a way to get the trailing end of the mast higher off the ground. I've got a cradle that tightens down on the rear crossbar that the mast lies in, but I'd like to try to get it up even higher so the comptip doesn't get damaged in transit.

I do have 2 spare wheels for the trailer that are in good shape, so I'm covered on that front. The jack suggestion is good, I would not have considered that, as is the removal of the trampoline.

Trailering the boat myself is probably my first choice, as it is the most economical, but I suppose more than anything else I'm looking for reassurance that it is not a terrible idea.

Thanks, both of you, for your responses thus far.

Author:  mmiller [ Fri Jan 29, 2021 3:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Long Distance Trailering

Mast head should be no further aft than the boat's transoms. That makes it plenty high. You can reverse the mast for the trip... CompTip up over the car. Mast track up is stiffer.

Author:  rattle 'n hum [ Sat Jan 30, 2021 6:10 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Long Distance Trailering

There are plenty of folks that come down to the Gulf Coast from way up north (Canada even) just to race for a week. I've done a LOT of trailering, too, (but not that far).

Long ago someone posted a 1-10-100 rule of thumb.....checking hubs (for excessive heat), tie-downs, etc. at those mileages will provide some reassurance. I've got a well-maintained trailer and proven tie-down system and just do a quick check when stopping for gas or whatever.

No one I know (including a lot of meticulous rock star sailors) routinely removes the tramp for trailering (even long distance)..

Rear of mast should not be so low....can the crutch be lowered some at the front?

Double check tire pressure, including spares, before you head out.

Look over your rig and visualize how difficult it will be to change a trailer tire if you have a flat. It can be a real time consuming PITA and hard just to access the darn thing...not much clearance with the boat on there. I had a friend that had the bad tire grab the fender and bend it badly.....required him to unload the boat to make the change. Keep this in mind if you have to pull over....limp to a flat solid surface WAY off the highway for safety as you may be there a while. Maybe even try a dry run in nice conditions so you'll be better prepared when you have to do it in the freezing rain/snow or blazing heat....at least make sure the lugs aren't frozen.

My biggest concern is heavy stop and go traffic and/or tight lanes....big cities, construction zones, etc. Good lighting and leaving plenty of braking room in front of you helps as well as avoiding rush hour and using navigation aids. I'll sometimes take a longer route just to avoid such issues.

Think ahead to avoid tight turns, backing up, and such in tight spots like parking lots. There are plenty of truck stop/travel centers these days to accommodate folks who are trailering.

Give yourself plenty of time....don't rush.

NOT a terrible idea with precaution and preparedness.

Author:  jclarkdawe [ Sat Jan 30, 2021 5:44 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Long Distance Trailering

I've done a lot of trailering with a variety of trailers, including trailers over 5 tons. A beach cat is no big deal, even in smaller cars. You simply go slower than normal, at a speed you feel comfortable at. I know a woman who transported her horse from the East Coast to California without ever backing her trailer, as she didn't know how to do that. (She still doesn't.) Simply planned her parking and if she got blocked, she waited.

One thing I'd suggest to reduce your stress level is make sure your tow insurance includes trailers. Not that there's much that can go wrong with a trailer, especially if you keep up with maintenance, but the tow insurance will reduce your stress.

Watch your temperature gauge and if it's running high, you may be causing your transmission to over-shift. Avoid the heavy traffic and rush hours if you can. When you come back to your vehicle after each and every stop, perform a walk-around and check that your trailer, chains, straps/holddowns and electrical are still hooked up. It's not unknown for people to disconnect you for entertainment.

Jim Clark-Dawe

Author:  dorienc [ Thu Feb 04, 2021 4:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Long Distance Trailering

Make sure your wheel bearings are recently greased and adjusted.
Torque the wheel lug nuts, and check all tire pressures.
Make sure trailer electrics are ok.

I carry a scissor jack with a few pieces of 2x4 to raise it if necessary. Also have a lug wench that fits the trailer lug nuts.

No big deal, I've towed my boats that far a few times, and a substantial distance (if not quite that far) a whole bunch of times.

Author:  speed633 [ Thu Feb 04, 2021 7:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Long Distance Trailering

Set yourself up for success. Make sure you have plenty of time in your schedule and make sure your trailer is good.

Like many others I have trailered my boats many miles and only had a bad time when I didn't follow my above recommendations. I have more good stories than bad ones.

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