Cruising Sailors Forum Archive

Boat yard equipment

Our club currently has an older backhoe with a pintle hitch on the bucket that we use to move a hydraulic yard trailer when setting and picking most of the boats. The yard trailer is now getting old and on the smallish side with the influx of larger boats. We also have a travelift that we purchased used many years ago that is having hydraulic issues(again) and is also getting to the point where we have to screen new boats coming into the club for weight and length. As I have mentioned in the past, we have no paid help at our club, that was how the founding members set it up to keep the boating affordable. The membership does all work including lifting and launching. Currently we limit boats to 45'LOA and 25,000 lbs. Sailboats are limited to a 6' draft because of the possibility of low lake levels at times.

All of that said, the members are in the planning stages of replacing our boat moving equipment. None of us is an expert so we are talking with various manufacturers around the United States. Naturally, each has exactly what we need and is anxious to make a deal. The talk is to possibly get a self-propelled yard trailer and do away with the trailer/backhoe method. Our club is relatively flat but is 100% packed gravel with no plans to pave it. We are also dry land poor even though we have a very large basin for the number of slips we have. Winter storage space is at a premium which is why we use jack stand instead of cradles. We have no space for cradle storage in the summer and no space to set boats using just the travelift for winter storage. The boats are pretty well packed in leaving enough room for emergency vehicles should the need arise.

I'm passing all this information on because I was hoping to get some insight from the group here on how your boat yard handles things, equipment used and opinions on what direction we might go. The other clubs and marinas in our area all have a great deal more land so they place and pick boats with their lifts, they aren't much of a resource.

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