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Thread: Switching a Caledonia Yawl from one trailer to another in a garage - how?

  1. #1
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    Default Switching a Caledonia Yawl from one trailer to another in a garage - how?

    Hi all,

    After one and a half years, my Caledonia Yawl is sitting in my garage and waiting for the Canadian border to open; she can soon go on the trip to her new home in Canada.
    Since my trailer is not great anymore (wheels, axels), the buyer decided to bring his trailer. So far, so good.
    Our initial plan was to switch trailers at a nearby lake. Release the boat in the water and retrieve it with the new trailer. Now everything got delayed, and meanwhile, it's November and cold. Not that cold is really a problem, but it's not so appealing, and the longer I think about it, the more I see potential issues coming up, especially if the new trailer would need a lot of adjustment.
    I asked a couple of companies if they could help, but they didn't want to do it, ask for a lot of money, or don't have time.


    Long story short, I wonder if there is a way to switch trailers that can be done in my garage? I thought about renting a gantry crane like one of those 1-2 ton versions. Lift the boat, pull the trailer, and support the keel with wooden blocks as the trailer comes off and do it reverse for the new trailer. Maybe that would also work with one of those cranes made for engines.


    Not sure. I assume there must be a way without heavy equipment. Not everybody building a wooden boat has a gantry crane or the like at home to get its new boat on a trailer. Or?


    I appreciate all suggestions.


    Thanks,
    Christoph
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    Default Re: Switching a Caledonia Yawl from one trailer to another in a garage - how?

    Could you add some eyebolts in the overhead and simply lift it with some ratchet straps or a pair of come-alongs? Depends on what your ceiling structure is like, but that's a possibility. If you pull all of the "stuff" out first I think you're only talking about 600 lbs or so.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Switching a Caledonia Yawl from one trailer to another in a garage - how?

    Get two cases of beer and 8 neighbors..
    or take it onto some grass - winch it off to the grass and winch it on to the other trailer - if you have rollers that would be great.

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    Default Re: Switching a Caledonia Yawl from one trailer to another in a garage - how?

    Its not a heavy boat @ 350kg. I'd lift it up with a block and tackle from the ceiling joists. Piece of wood between straps to avoid compression/ paint damage.

    Otherwise block up. Prop laps. Deflate tyres!

    Rolling it off onto a few beer barrels is another way with some props.
    Last edited by Edward Pearson; 11-11-2021 at 11:45 AM.

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    Default Re: Switching a Caledonia Yawl from one trailer to another in a garage - how?

    If an engine hoist has the reach to hoist the center of gravity and keep itself stable, the weight should be no problem. I've seen boats 2-3 times your weight lifted with an engine hoist, but I'm not sure what your beam is.

    Do you have 4-5 friends in relatively good shape? If I recall, this boat as no keel, and ballast is removable. It can't weight more than ~450lbs or so. 4-6 people should be able to lift it and carry it between 2 side by side trailers.

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    Default Re: Switching a Caledonia Yawl from one trailer to another in a garage - how?

    Thanks for your reply. I thought about this for a second, then I checked some pictures from construction… and came to the conclusion that that is not the structure I would put weight on.
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    Default Re: Switching a Caledonia Yawl from one trailer to another in a garage - how?

    Sorry they were other replies in the meanwhile.
    No strong friends, all have back issues …

    The beam is 6 feet. A CY hull is about 450lbs the decked version may be some more.

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    Default Re: Switching a Caledonia Yawl from one trailer to another in a garage - how?

    One can pretty easily cobble up a temporary "gantry" by using construction scaffolding. It will easily span the beam of the boat at the bow and stern. Use ratchet straps, come-alongs, or chain hoists to lift the boat. Once that is done the old trailer is removed, the new trailer is slid in. Adjustments are easy and safely made since the boat can be lifted out of the way. No one risks their back. Scaffolding is not expensive to rent for a day.

    Jeff

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    Default Re: Switching a Caledonia Yawl from one trailer to another in a garage - how?

    Two bottle jacks and a small pile of blocks/dunnage...
    no problem

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    Default Re: Switching a Caledonia Yawl from one trailer to another in a garage - how?

    Quote Originally Posted by jshepherd View Post
    ........lift it and carry it between 2 side by side trailers.
    Would that work? Surely you have to walk the boat off the end of one trailer and on to the end of the other, otherwise half the lifters would have to climb over the first trailer, and the other half would have to climb over the second. I would therefore place trailers end-to-end, rather than side-by-side.

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    Default Re: Switching a Caledonia Yawl from one trailer to another in a garage - how?

    That ceiling structure is far stronger than you're giving it credit for. Engineered trusses like that may look flimsy, but they will carry hundreds of pounds.

    I'd put straps around the hull, crank it up with come-alongs or chain hoists or good old-fashioned handybillys, and then swap the trailers. The great advantage of this is that as you lower it down on the new trailer, you can suspend it a few inches high and then adjust all the bunks and rollers to fit just so before dropping the boat to make contact.

    Here's about three times the weight of your boat, hanging from a similar ceiling structure by a pair of chain hoists.

    37 Trailer fit.jpg
    -Dave

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    Default Re: Switching a Caledonia Yawl from one trailer to another in a garage - how?



    I'm going to disagree with Dave, that does not look like anything I'd want to hang anything heavy from, at least as-is. Put a couple of 4x4 posts under the truss carrying the weight and you would have something solid to work from. If the hull really only weighs 450 pounds you might get away with 2 chain hoists, more distribution is better.

    Really the simplest solution is put the trailers end to end (not side by side) and have 4 friends pick the boat up and slide to the new trailer.
    Steve

    If you would have a good boat, be a good guy when you build her - honest, careful, patient, strong.
    H.A. Calahan

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    Default Re: Switching a Caledonia Yawl from one trailer to another in a garage - how?

    I just offloaded a 6000 pound boat off a trailer onto blocks in my sideyard today.

    Tie back of boat to tree.

    Place a block or cribbing under transom

    Pull trailer forward until some weight of boat is on the block

    Reposition transom block as required.

    Place boat stands at transom corners ( or build up piles/ stacks of block, saw horses, barrels...whatever support you have for your lightweight boat)

    Pull trailer forward so that just the forward 25-percent or so of boat is supported by trailer.

    Place bow blocking

    Pull trailer all the way out.

    Use jack to adjust boat to proper bow up attitude; apply shims, blocks, etc. as needed

    To reload:

    Back trailer under boat to bow block.

    Connect winch strap.

    Lube bunks with liquid soap


    Winch boat forward while backing under boat.

    Stop and adjust as necessary. ( Stop backing, winch some more. Back again while winching....what you need to do will become obvious.)

    Be safe.


    Kevin
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

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    Default Re: Switching a Caledonia Yawl from one trailer to another in a garage - how?

    All good suggestions, Thank you!

    Quote Originally Posted by Woxbox View Post
    That ceiling structure is far stronger than you're giving it credit for. Engineered trusses like that may look flimsy, but they will carry hundreds of pounds.
    ….

    Here's about three times the weight of your boat, hanging from a similar ceiling structure by a pair of chain hoists.
    ….
    This actually gave the answer I was looking for. Thanks for posting this picture. I don’t think my structure is strong enough or better I don’t want to try. Oposed to your situation the “joists” are going in longitudinal direction and they are not really joists. Would they be real floor joists and go transverse I would not hesitate. However, the structure that is over the doors looks pretty substantial and could probably carry the bow, while the stern could be lifted by an engine hoist.

    DSC_2883.jpg

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    Default Re: Switching a Caledonia Yawl from one trailer to another in a garage - how?

    Quote Originally Posted by Schooner36 View Post
    or take it onto some grass - winch it off to the grass and winch it on to the other trailer - if you have rollers that would be great.
    This will work fine. Somewhat embarrassing story, but I inadvertently unloaded my boat of about the same weight onto the ground and had to reload it onto the trailer doing the same thing.

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    Default Re: Switching a Caledonia Yawl from one trailer to another in a garage - how?

    I don't want to belabor the point too much, but as the son of an engineer, I do need to stand up for the profession.

    If you want to get geeky with it, read this report. A variety of trusses assembled in a similar manner to the one in question were tested, some to destruction. For the steeper, 6/12 trusses, it took 6,000 pounds or more of pressure before failure. And we're talking here about putting half the weight of a 450 pound boat on a truss, or 225 pounds. To look at it another way, if a 225 pound person walked in that attic space, would you expect the roof to collapse?
    -Dave

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    Default Re: Switching a Caledonia Yawl from one trailer to another in a garage - how?

    Quote Originally Posted by Woxbox View Post
    I don't want to belabor the point too much, but as the son of an engineer, I do need to stand up for the profession.

    If you want to get geeky with it, read this report. A variety of trusses assembled in a similar manner to the one in question were tested, some to destruction. For the steeper, 6/12 trusses, it took 6,000 pounds or more of pressure before failure. And we're talking here about putting half the weight of a 450 pound boat on a truss, or 225 pounds. To look at it another way, if a 225 pound person walked in that attic space, would you expect the roof to collapse?
    And even if a carpenter left out a nail or two and it did come down, you will be right there to comfort his wife, and pay for the damage

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Switching a Caledonia Yawl from one trailer to another in a garage - how?

    If you are still nervous about that - put a few planks across several trusses.



    Quote Originally Posted by Woxbox View Post
    I don't want to belabor the point too much, but as the son of an engineer, I do need to stand up for the profession.

    If you want to get geeky with it, read this report. A variety of trusses assembled in a similar manner to the one in question were tested, some to destruction. For the steeper, 6/12 trusses, it took 6,000 pounds or more of pressure before failure. And we're talking here about putting half the weight of a 450 pound boat on a truss, or 225 pounds. To look at it another way, if a 225 pound person walked in that attic space, would you expect the roof to collapse?

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Switching a Caledonia Yawl from one trailer to another in a garage - how?

    From the last line of the report:

    2. No loads were applied directly to the bottom chord as
    would be expected in most construction.

    To my understanding those truss assemblies are not designed to be hung from. Also, the bottom chord pictured by the OP looks to be in 3 pieces held together by staple plates as opposed to single lengths of wood. I will admit that my distrust of lightweight roof framing trusses goes back to my early education as a fire fighter, they fail faster than stick-framing under flame impingement so I might just have a bias that is showing. I did have my architect redraw my shop framing so I could stick build it.





    Steve

    If you would have a good boat, be a good guy when you build her - honest, careful, patient, strong.
    H.A. Calahan

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Switching a Caledonia Yawl from one trailer to another in a garage - how?

    I just came here to say nice boat.

    Also, after getting everything out of the boat, is there any way you could spin the boat on the trailer so the bow is aft? If you have rollers in the back you may have to remove them. Then you'd use the winch from the new trailer to pull her aboard.

    I have a dolly/cart that I built a few years back for this sort of thing. It's pretty low to the ground but just high enough that I can shove a boat off her trailer onto to the cart, and then use the trailer winch to pull her back up.
    Quote Originally Posted by James McMullen View Post
    Yeadon is right, of course.

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    Default Re: Switching a Caledonia Yawl from one trailer to another in a garage - how?

    PIECE-O-CAKE

    lower tongue to ground

    block up under stern

    jack tongue back up

    block tongue up and place tongue jack wheel up on blocks as high as you can w/ the jack compressed to the max

    jack the tongue up again

    you can now hold the bow and thusly the entire hull off the ground by suspending the fwd section under a simple child's swing set frame

    the bridal unit and i (400#+ combined) swing easily in a cypress swing suspended from an old el cheapo metal swing set frame (picked up off the curb) sitting on the front porch of the barn

    EASY PEAZY

    sw
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    steve

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    Default Re: Switching a Caledonia Yawl from one trailer to another in a garage - how?

    This might seem to be a glib answer,but if you need to ask the question of how to lift the boat,you probably ought not to be doing it.

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    Default Re: Switching a Caledonia Yawl from one trailer to another in a garage - how?

    We have a group here of blokes who build and/or restore wooden boats - average age probably around 75. We just use leverage and blocks/tackles to move everything.
    For your CY I'd just slide it off the current trailer onto blocks on the grass with supports each side to hold her vertical. Then just use the winch on the new trailer to winch her onto the other trailer. These boats a re strong :-)

    Good Luck Neil

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    Default Re: Switching a Caledonia Yawl from one trailer to another in a garage - how?

    Quote Originally Posted by neil.henderson View Post
    We have a group here of blokes who build and/or restore wooden boats - average age probably around 75. We just use leverage and blocks/tackles to move everything.
    For your CY I'd just slide it off the current trailer onto blocks on the grass with supports each side to hold her vertical. Then just use the winch on the new trailer to winch her onto the other trailer. These boats a re strong :-)

    Good Luck Neil
    I've been sliding boats of that size off and on trailers for years. Garage has an eye bolt in back for a stern line. A couple of horses with nice wide tops about the height of the after end of the trailer when it's level. Tie the boat to the garage, pull the trailer out aways, slide the horse underneath same. Use the jack to lower the boat onto the horse, then continue to slowly work the boat out until the bow is supported and you can get a second horse underneath it . Lower the boat onto that horse and slide the trailer out. Reverse the system to load the boat, in this case use the bow winch to pull the trailer under the boat. Do it slow and adjust as you do it. Watch out that you don't tip a horse.
    Ben Fuller
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    Default Re: Switching a Caledonia Yawl from one trailer to another in a garage - how?

    Quote Originally Posted by Woxbox View Post
    I don't want to belabor the point too much, but as the son of an engineer, I do need to stand up for the profession.

    If you want to get geeky with it, read this report. A variety of trusses assembled in a similar manner to the one in question were tested, some to destruction. For the steeper, 6/12 trusses, it took 6,000 pounds or more of pressure before failure. And we're talking here about putting half the weight of a 450 pound boat on a truss, or 225 pounds. To look at it another way, if a 225 pound person walked in that attic space, would you expect the roof to collapse?
    I agree, I have pulled engines out of cars using the apparently flimsy trusses that come in kitset garages. As a precaution I put a couple of temporary under struts to shorten the effective span.
    I've also worked in a truss plant and seen the rig that tests trusses to breaking point. Trusses much flimsier than those in the pic bend like a banana before breaking.
    There is nothing quite as permanent as a good temporary repair.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Switching a Caledonia Yawl from one trailer to another in a garage - how?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Fuller View Post
    I've been sliding boats of that size off and on trailers for years. Garage has an eye bolt in back for a stern line. A couple of horses with nice wide tops about the height of the after end of the trailer when it's level. Tie the boat to the garage, pull the trailer out aways, slide the horse underneath same. Use the jack to lower the boat onto the horse, then continue to slowly work the boat out until the bow is supported and you can get a second horse underneath it . Lower the boat onto that horse and slide the trailer out. Reverse the system to load the boat, in this case use the bow winch to pull the trailer under the boat. Do it slow and adjust as you do it. Watch out that you don't tip a horse.
    I have done this as well, although with a boat half the weight of a CY. Very easy and requires no special equipment or strong friends.
    - Chris

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    Life is short. Go boating now!

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    Default Re: Switching a Caledonia Yawl from one trailer to another in a garage - how?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike-in-Suffolk View Post
    Would that work? Surely you have to walk the boat off the end of one trailer and on to the end of the other, otherwise half the lifters would have to climb over the first trailer, and the other half would have to climb over the second. I would therefore place trailers end-to-end, rather than side-by-side.

    On that trailer, it does look like end to end would be a better choice. I had in mind my small boat trailer which has a mast holder in front that is too high to lift over. I also am clouded by my daily life on small residential construction sites, where careful dancing of heavy items over other items is the order of the day. When we can use the telehandler we will do that, but in some situations it just takes enough guys grunting to get something in place.

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Switching a Caledonia Yawl from one trailer to another in a garage - how?

    Quote Originally Posted by PILOTARIX View Post
    Thanks for your reply. I thought about this for a second, then I checked some pictures from construction… and came to the conclusion that that is not the structure I would put weight on.
    I agree that you shouldn't put weight on it. But your little boat isn't "weight". Each end is a bit like a man doing a chin-up on the truss's lower chord. If your building's structure can't handle even that, you have a dangerous, seriously under-engineered building. I think you are letting the boat's physical size influence your perception of it's weight. It isn't in the same league as, say, a car. It's just a few hundred pounds.

    Maybe even better, as Schooner 36 said, just slide it onto the grass and winch it onto the new trailer. I have done that singlehandedly, more than once, with a boat about that size. Again, your boat just doesn't weigh that much.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Switching a Caledonia Yawl from one trailer to another in a garage - how?

    Hi all,

    Thank you again for all the answers. Very helpful, and I got the answer I was looking for.
    The truth is that I was probably just a little intimidated by the size of the boat, and yes, the weight is not so high.


    I can definitely walk on these trusses; actually, I do that every day while walking into the closet behind the master bedroom. So far, nothing has happened. The structure did not collapse, considering my weight . Now looking at these pictures, I consider myself lucky that I am still alive.


    OK, and to be honest, even though I will probably be banned from this forum, my (definitely uneducated) opinion (I am not an engineer) about the current stick build construction, or better, the stick build construction of our house is "seriously under-engineered." If the wind goes towards 40 mph in gusts, you can feel the whole thing shaking. Last autumn, we had a couple of days where the wind was around 35 in gusts. After that, the so-far perfectly fine walls in the garage now had a lot of drywall cracks. That doesn't really appear well-engineered.


    Anyhow, the beam over the garage doors seems to be pretty sturdy. There I will attach the chain hoist for the bow, and for the stern, I will rent an engine hoist. That will do it.


    Thanks again for all the input.

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Switching a Caledonia Yawl from one trailer to another in a garage - how?

    A 2x stuck under the joist on either side of the boat/trailer/hoist would be good insurance.

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Switching a Caledonia Yawl from one trailer to another in a garage - how?

    ...even though I will probably be banned from this forum, my (definitely uneducated) opinion...
    If uneducated opinions would get someone banned... no, I'm not even going to finish that thought. The jokes write themselves folks. I just live here.
    - Chris

    Any single boat project will always expand to encompass the set of all possible boat projects.

    Life is short. Go boating now!

  32. #32
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    Default Re: Switching a Caledonia Yawl from one trailer to another in a garage - how?

    There’s probably a tree nearby with an appropriate limb.
    Although, whilst building that very boat, I lifted it many times with an engine hoist.

  33. #33
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    Default Re: Switching a Caledonia Yawl from one trailer to another in a garage - how?

    Hi all,


    Just to close the loop.


    She is gone.


    With the two lifting points changing and adjusting the trailer was easy. It was good that we did it this way. In the end, the trailer needed a good amount of adjustments.

    IMG_0125 3.jpgIMG_0127.jpg

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    Default Re: Switching a Caledonia Yawl from one trailer to another in a garage - how?

    That's slick. Always sad to see one go, though. What's next?

  35. #35
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    Default Re: Switching a Caledonia Yawl from one trailer to another in a garage - how?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hugh MacD View Post
    That's slick. Always sad to see one go, though. What's next?
    There she goes towards Quebec.

    IMG_0136 2.jpg

    Yes, that was a little bit a sad moment.

    I hope that is not the end of my wooden boat excursion. There will be another wooden boat in the future—smaller, easier to handle, and more suitable for smaller lakes closer to home.


    But the actual replacement of the Caledonia Yawl is that.


    P1000943.jpg


    I know she is not a wooden boat, but a sailboat, and sailing, she performs really well.
    Oh well, and she has a bathroom.

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