farmer boy 5:45pm, 23 March 2011
Hi all, I am a bit ahead of myself because the boat is nowhere near ready for her (my) maiden voyage but I was a bit shocked to find out it costs £140 to get it dumped in the water by a crane.

I have a trailer (much to my dismay - something else that needs fixing!) which, hopefully, will transport the boat to the briny deep. It seems perfectly sensible to reverse the whole thing down the slipway and off she floats.... "seemples" as the Mearkats say.....
but.... far down a slippery slipway will I need to go to float the beast? I have visions of salt water lapping around the rear doors of the Landrover and spending the next 12 months watching it rust away to dust.

I assume I should tie it (the boat not the car) to something - or is it best to have a stalwart nautical type (Neil Rothwell comes to mind) on board during the launch to power it away in a flurry of white spray?

No doubt the trailer will disintegrate soon after it gets a whiff of salt air so will saving a few quid cost me a fortune in rust cure in the future...
I would be interested to hear from anyone who has been bold enough to do it... and what the pitfalls are!
busy home [deleted] Posted 8 years ago. Edited by busy home (member) 8 years ago
If your trailer is at all reasonable ,, bear in mind a new one is £2000
do not dunk it. Salt water WILL get in side the box (is it box?)
and rust it from inside ,, you cant see it and it will break on the road on a busy round a bout..
If its girder a power wash and dry will be ok but the wheel bearings will need to be dismantled and greased immediately ..
Generally its cheaper in the long run to crane them off>
If you do decide to diy Chose a calm day VIP. put it on a slip, chock wheels on trailer, disconnect , drive land rover up slip tie a rope between the two
pull foreward .remove chocks, put a rope and a man on boat,reverse .pray all goes well. PS we pay £50 cash
Mike A1 8 years ago
I've not done it with an Achilles but based on my experiences with launching a smaller boat I agree with everything Ron has said. In addition you need to check there is enough depth of water before the end of the slipway to float her off. Check at low water. If the trailer drops off the end (even without the boat) it will probably be very difficult to get it out again. (Been there, done that.)
pjbharrison 8 years ago
Previous owner of my boat parked trailer and boat at waters edge at low tide. Came back a few hours later and waited till he could motor off trailer. Moored boat. Waited till tide went out and collected trailer..... Not Recommended....

Crane in/out at Howth Marina €57. Club arrange a mobile crane at Skerries pier €60.
Check with local club for crane in dates

Congrats on work carried out to date and thanks for the updates. Its been entertaining and informative
Slycat777 8 years ago
My tip is.. when you are launching the boat, make sure you have some way to note how deep the trailer has gone in the water. A vertical pole on the trailer that you can mark.
Then you'll know how deep to put the trailer to recover the boat!
Scott and Portia1386 8 years ago
Keep up the good work. I would agree with the others. I have used both methods to recover smaller boats and would say that if you feel brave enough to do it, reversing the trailer down at low tide is better as you have more control over where the trailer is going and can take it carefully especially if you have any concerns about the trailer’s integrity. We once let a Hunter Europa with a dodgy trailer down a slip on a rope tied off to a jeep. It went in like a runaway train. There were a number of scary moments until it came to a stop. I would not recommend it for an Achilles. The reversing down method is much better on the nerves, I also agree with Ron about cleaning the trailer afterwards

My advice would be don’t pay for a crane


PS You can’t get bored sailing an Achilles
Slycat777 8 years ago
Some interesting points.
I'll have no option this season but to dunk my trailer to launch. Its got box sections.. worth drilling some holes so I can at least try to rise out with fresh water after?
Skykomish E29 Posted 8 years ago. Edited by Skykomish E29 (member) 8 years ago
Yes we had a trailer with our earlier Skipper17 even this size was a handful to launch and she had a swing keel so floated in 12 inches of water!!! You will have to completely sink the trailer to launch a fin Keeled Achilles. Are you keeping her afloat all season? if so it is worth the crane in fee as bearing replacement alone on a 4 wheel trailer will cost you that in time and parts.
Our bearings went on our trailer within one season despite hosing her off and greasing the bearings. (some say sealed bearings are better but personally I would still advise against launching from a trailer).
Docking arms are a good addition to the trailer these are upright poles about 2 metres in length attached to the outer sides of the trailer, then when you bring the boat in to float her back on your trailer you just need to bring her in between the two posts. This made recovery simple for the Skipper nut still think with a bigger boat like the Achilles you will have your work cut out.
It may be worth injecting WaxOyl or Dinitrol into the box sections to help keep the salt off the steel but as Ron Says you are looking at a lot of money to replace a rusty trailer.
blueachilles 8 years ago
Just been charged £84 for a crane-in. Much easier option than launching off a trailer.
lukeeole 8 years ago
over many seasons of experience launching and recovering Eole (A24) from a tidal slip at Neyland -Milford Haven area it is far better to position the trailer and boat first and let the water meet you instead of trying to do a quick job and making mistakes, this allows you to do things a little slow and hopefully not do any damage.

It is always easier to do it at the start of the tide when the rate is reduce meaning you dont have the tide trying to push you back against any part of the trailer to such a degree that you cant counter act it with the use of rudder and engine.

attempt to position the trailer at an angle to the waters edge so that when you do start to leave the trailer the tide is also pulling you off and not trying to push you forward (point head into tide)

docking arm as i have seen posted by earlier are essential i have a pair on my trailer the stop you twisting as you come off and taking chunks out of the hull which will mean you have to go straight back onto the trailer you are trying to get off of to make repairs

support pads must be secured before you put the trailer in the water as once you begin to float there is a risk the can turn at an angle and again damage the hull (if they are the same design as my props)

as mentioned earlier i would be cautious of doing this with a good road trailer and most definately DONT put your vehicle in the water as everyone know that ends in huge problems, Eole has a perpose built trailer (more launching trolley) just to do this, I am home on the weekend getting ready to launch her next weekend if you would like me to take some photos of the trailer and how we launch her I would be happy to do so

with recovering your trailer, make sure you have buoys or fenders attached to it to make it visable to other sailors/boats and preferably lit at night/early morning, the just tie a long rope to the trailer before it is submerged and haul it at as soon as possible
farmer boy 8 years ago
Would love to see some pics... thanks.
Andrew Curry 8 years ago
Have posted a few pics of Amaryllis being launched from her trailer.
lukeeole 8 years ago
i have a very similar design trailer but FAR mor robust, doesnt have the problem putting the hubs under the water as it has a set of steel wheel which we use for putting it in the water, as i said i will take a few photos for everyone if i find the time when we launch it in a weeks time
blueachilles 8 years ago
Once the tide has come in, and the boat is in 4-5 feet of water ready to go, and presumably some way from the shore, how do you get aboard? By dinghy I assume.

How do you stop the boat drifting off? Amaryllis has no lines attached (yet?) in the photos.

Blue is craned in and out, which always seems a fairly easy process, even if it is unnatural to see your pride & joy up in the air.
Andrew Curry Posted 8 years ago. Edited by Andrew Curry (member) 8 years ago
I would have went out in the dinghy once the water was getting about a foot from the water line. As the tide then came in you would check the sea cocks etc. Once you felt the boat start to move you undo the rope on the front of the trailer start the engine and reverse off the trailer. Its all very simple.
Daddsie 8 years ago
Crane in and out is free at Weymouth Sailing club as long as you are a mooring holder.
Andrew Curry 8 years ago
Now thats a proper sailing club.
RRatCalypso 8 years ago
Just to add ... (Just joined, gettinng my achilees next week !!). On my last boat (11ft Dory !) I always let the wheel bearings cool down prior to imersing the trailer into the water.
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