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Re: Launching

Title: Re: Launching
I have owned my San Juan for three years.  The first two years I kept the boat on a trailer in the driveway thinking I would tow it to different destinations on the weekends.  I did go to a few places but it does require work.  The boat and trailer combination can be very heavy so you need a substantial towing machine (if you want to do it safely).  I have never weighed my rig but I have a loaded boat on a heavy twin-axle trailer.  I am guessing the entire rig weighs in the 5000 lb range.  It is also very expensive towing something so heavy.  The gas mileage in my truck would drop to about 10 to 11 miles per gallon.  

The boat itself is easy to launch and retrieve from the trailer.  I altered my trailer to use large hull bunks (2”x6” lumber covered with marine carpet) and rollers under the keel.  You really don’t need a deep ramp to float the boat. I have actually been able to push the boat off the trailer in really shallow water.  Getting it back on is more of a challenge.  I think the biggest issue is rigging the boat.  Stepping the mast isn’t too difficult but it is also no walk in the park.  It takes planning and rigging.  The motor is heavy and needs to be removed before towing on the highway.  I also have a roller-furling foresail and this is more difficult to secure for highway travel.  

I really don’t know exactly how long it took me to rig and launch the boat once I arrived at the boat ramp.  I would estimate two hours before everything was exactly the way I wanted it to be; however, stepping the mast, getting the motor ready, and launching the boat probably takes about 45 minutes to 1 hour and fifteen minutes.  Once the boat was in the water I would rig the boom and mainsail and run the rigging to the cockpit.  Packing the boat with gear, getting my electronics/nav working, and getting folks oriented to the boat (as well as myself each time) was probably another 30 minutes to an hour.  It is definitely doable for weekend use.  I am not sure I would go through the trouble for day sailing.  I now keep the boat at a local slip and certainly I am using the boat more often.  It is great for afternoon sails and I can easily put it on the trailer if I want to travel for a weekend at another destination.

In my opinion the San Juan 23 is a good trailerable boat.  Your expectations should be realistic and know that it is a large, heavy trailerable sailboat and stepping the mast, rigging the boat isn’t complex; however, it is work.  Try the trailer route for a summer or two and then you will know if that is the way to go.  The shallow draft  should allow you to easily find a slip it you change your mind.  It is a great boat.  Good luck and have fun.


On 8/23/06 12:19 AM, "DB27513 (David)" <db27513@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

Im at the other end of the pole - we keep it in a slip full time - in fact havnt had it out in 2 years.. bottom really needs some work.  But we are looking to trailor around some before we move to a larger boat and loose that option.. just need to get some wheels that can tow 5000lbs


Isaac Corbell <corbelljack@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

I am a newbie and looking at a nearby SJ23.  I am curious about "how-to'launch" on a boat ramp.  I looked at the archives.  Did I miss any threads you can direct me to?  I wonder how deep the ramp needs to be, how much trouble or ease it is to launch.  Also, what is the lauch to sail comfort ratio.  Such as, 1 launch for every 6 months, or 1 launch per week trip or 1 launch every day before cursing sets in.  In other words, I don't have a permanent slip.  I could anchor it for up to a week, I guess in a public waterway nearby and dingy over to it each day.  I just can't determine if this is really a "slip" boat or not.

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