New to me Boat, did I make the right move...plan on towing

rothfm

Master Chief Petty Officer
Joined
Sep 26, 2006
Messages
890
So, Found a great deal on a Tiara Pursuit 26' dual console with twin v6 outboards. It has a hardtop, curtains, Heavy Dual axle roller trailer, Furuno Radar.

I Still have my 20'6" Sunbird Neptune 202 Cuddy. Possibly will be selling. Sits on a fully rebuilt bunk trailer.

Man, The Tiara looks huge in my driveway, and sits really high on a roller Venture trailer. But has everything on my must have "list".

I'm very good and efficient at trailering, and pride myself in my gear and mostly launch/retrieve solo.

My dilemma in seeing it now in my driveway, is the height/size overall. Probably because I'm so used to my 20-21 Cuddy....I plan on trailering the Tiara to the same places, in the same manner as my original.

Looking to get input from others that are towing in this size boat. Am I crazy? Guess just needing some positive feedback. Part of me says its the same process as my smaller boat, whats different I ask myself! Part of me says Dam, slip it. But really dont want to spend the $$, and I like to fish different areas.

Its a nice boat, and I got a sweet price, part of me says clean it up and flip it...Then again I like the looks and it fits the bill of what I'm looking for.

Wishy-Washy here!
 

dingbat

Supreme Mariner
Joined
Nov 20, 2001
Messages
11,976
The difficulty in launching and recovering go exponentially as you go up in size.

Launching a 26’ boat by yourself isn’t going to happen.

Better have a good truck to tow
 

rothfm

Master Chief Petty Officer
Joined
Sep 26, 2006
Messages
890
Thanks Digbat, I do appreciate the feedback.

Trucks a packaged 250 no issue. By "not happening"- Can you elaborate?

I launch/retrieve alot: 1 minute to launch, 2-3 mins to retrieve. Not tooting my own horn, but very experienced at the ramp and do get compliments at my process/efficiency.

I am a 3am solo fisherman. Have a measured rope from the bow cleat to winch post....Float the boat off, get out-walk boat over to dock, tie up, park truck.

Retrieval: Tie up boat, get truck backed in--Use bow rope to walk boat into guides and up most of trailer length, winch last 3ft

Easy peasy---Maybe I'm naive, but what would be different in your opinion?
 

rothfm

Master Chief Petty Officer
Joined
Sep 26, 2006
Messages
890
Maybe I should also rephrase: I'd like to hear from those actually currently towing 25/26 foot boats, their experiences and if any solo launch in particular.
 

Blind Date

Chief Petty Officer
Joined
Mar 5, 2014
Messages
462
In the 14 years I've owned it, I have launched my 25' SeaRay Sundancer many times by myself . No big deal. Definitely a lot easier if I have help but but nothing that can't be done solo. It's all what your used to. The new boat seems huge right now but after you've had it for awhile it won't seem so big.
 

eric102

Seaman
Joined
Aug 28, 2018
Messages
59
Have been trailering my 27' Searay for 28 years now with many solo launches and as long as there is a boarding dock its no big deal to launch and retrieve a boat of this size. I can't imagine how much money I've saved over those years in slip fees and maintenance costs by having the boat on a trailer plus the convenience of having it at home to work on it.

One thing to watch out for while trailering a taller boat here in the Pacific Northwest is low hanging tree branches, took me a while to get used to that going from a 16' to a 27'. Have found a few branches and leaves in the boat when arriving at my destination, fortunately nothing got damaged.
 

hnt

Petty Officer 2nd Class
Joined
Dec 31, 2010
Messages
104
I have a Pursuit 2460 single I/O.....not quite as big as yours but I always launch and retrieve it solo, You already know how important it is to have good equipment and procedures to make it work. The boarding dock is a requirement for me, but that's not a problem where I boat.
I was at a busy ramp two weeks ago and two old men were sitting in lawn chairs watching the entertainment. When it was my turn to retrieve my boat, I tied up my boat, took my dog to the truck and backed the trailer down. I had the boat loaded and out of there in just a few minutes and pulled over to a spot out of the way to secure everything. One of the old guys came over and said that was the fastest and best retrieval they saw all day.
The point is its all about practice and getting it down. On the other hand, I have seen 4 guys struggle for a half hour trying to get a 16' aluminum boat out.
Oh and your new boat only looks big in your driveway.....Wait till you get caught in a storm and it won't seem so big. Enjoy your new boat!1
 

dingbat

Supreme Mariner
Joined
Nov 20, 2001
Messages
11,976
Thanks Digbat, I do appreciate the feedback.

Trucks a packaged 250 no issue. By "not happening"- Can you elaborate?

I launch/retrieve alot: 1 minute to launch, 2-3 mins to retrieve. Not tooting my own horn, but very experienced at the ramp and do get compliments at my process/efficiency.

I am a 3am solo fisherman. Have a measured rope from the bow cleat to winch post....Float the boat off, get out-walk boat over to dock, tie up, park truck.

Retrieval: Tie up boat, get truck backed in--Use bow rope to walk boat into guides and up most of trailer length, winch last 3ft

Easy peasy---Maybe I'm naive, but what would be different in your opinion?
In this case, size doesn't matter. It's the weight that makes the difference.

I fish inshore and offshore competitively both as an individual and a team member.

Fished a 28' Contender (#8200) in a King Tournament last week. No way where we pushing and or pulling that boat on or off the trailer. Took two of us, (one in boat, one in truck), to launch and load from a drive-on trailer at a pretty decent ramp.

Nothing wrong with your technique per say, similar to mine, but what your not taking into consideration is the 3X increase in weight and a lot more windage and displacement to deal with.

You said you where in awe of its size sitting in the drive way. Wait until you try to manhandle it around the docks by yourself. You just don't "walk" +#6,000 of boat around. Throw in some wind and waves (pretty typical on the coast) and it gets darn near impossible to do w/o help.

My personal boat is @ #5,600. I can get it off and on the trailer by myself if I have to, but it isn't easy. Even with an electric winch. Considering selling my roller trailer for a bunk trailer (drive-on) to make things easier going forward

Then there how often do you launch?

If your the average boater who might launch 5 or 6 times a year, it's not bad. If your like me that launches 50-75 times a season, it gets old in a hurry
 

Tassie 1

Chief Petty Officer
Joined
Apr 13, 2018
Messages
539
The difficulty in launching and recovering go exponentially as you go up in size.

Launching a 26’ boat by yourself isn’t going to happen.

Better have a good truck to tow

You sorta knew some smarty pants was gonna come along and say the opposite, eh?

have a mate with a 42 ft commercial flybridge plate boat who not only does it solo but with a fiat tractor,

the boat weighs somewhere around the 16-20 ton range,
dosen't move it far though, but dosen't like it sitting in the water when not being used,

can't put up a pic as it's not my boat,
 

Scott Danforth

Grumpy old guy who plays with boats
Joined
Jul 23, 2011
Messages
33,407
the only problem I see with towing such a large boat, especially with radar on it is hitting the radar on trees and stuff. especially if you live in a residential area where they dont trim like they are supposed to.
 

roffey

Commander
Joined
Nov 22, 2012
Messages
2,041
I had a 26 foot Wellcraft that I "could" launch and retrieve by my self. Much easier if you have a helper and even better if you have an experienced helper but its doable for sure. Wind was always an issue.
 
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Lowlysubaruguy

Chief Petty Officer
Joined
Dec 3, 2012
Messages
470
Similar boat lots of towing ahead. I had a 2013 one ton DuraMax my boat with one upright guide on the passenger side of the trailer is 9’7” wide just short of 12’ high probably averages 12,000 pounds with fuel and gear. It towed decent but left me not 100% comfy in high winds and corners on narrow roads. I moved to a dually one ton it’s night and day more stable. One launch I use is supposed to be one way but there’s a huge tree that hangs lower than my boat I have to come in on its exit it’s not a big deal when it’s not busy but I have to make my approach without pissing anyone off.

I have practiced launching it a hand full of times which went well it loads great. Docking is the big challenge by myself if theres a side current or wind I want two people and it’s mainly because I’m paranoid about damaging it. Ill tell you I bought way to pretty of a boat. My other boat is welded aluminum I don’t even have fenders for it I dock it tie it up and go. If your ok with a little dock contact and have the right fenders and there placed right it’s manageable by yourself I am just not ready to see my boat with dock damage. My boat has a very aggressive curve up front requiring large fenders the right fenders and there placement is critical if your docking by yourself.

I managed a little more run time this year you’ll get over the anxiety your experiencing and one day you’ll forget you ever wondered if you made the right decision I have, and I had a lot of conflict after buying this one. As far as a slip, it’s easier to pack my gear in the boat in the driveway than dragging it down some boat ramp 100 yards after you master your driveway, mines a ***** it will be fine. My neighbors no longer have to stop and wonder if I am overcharging them ( there all my customers) which was the biggest factor for me my boat glows in the dark. But I got over that to.
 

PITBoat

Petty Officer 1st Class
Joined
Jul 26, 2018
Messages
208
Thanks Digbat, I do appreciate the feedback.

Trucks a packaged 250 no issue. By "not happening"- Can you elaborate?

I launch/retrieve alot: 1 minute to launch, 2-3 mins to retrieve. Not tooting my own horn, but very experienced at the ramp and do get compliments at my process/efficiency.

I am a 3am solo fisherman. Have a measured rope from the bow cleat to winch post....Float the boat off, get out-walk boat over to dock, tie up, park truck.

Retrieval: Tie up boat, get truck backed in--Use bow rope to walk boat into guides and up most of trailer length, winch last 3ft

Easy peasy---Maybe I'm naive, but what would be different in your opinion?

You've got it. Have a go and see what happens. I walked my 20-footer around with the anchor rope in a couple of feet of water the other day and it was surprisingly easy. I can see how walking a bigger one around might not be too bad either. How easy it floats off of/onto the trailer might be an issue...
 

cptbill

Petty Officer 1st Class
Joined
Oct 6, 2012
Messages
348
Always looks like a daunting task when you see it all alone on the trailer, Just launched my Wellcraft 270 coastal today and I always do it solo. I will say the launch ramp here is great, gradual slope nice long floating dock, it turns out to be pretty easy. I will say that the first time I did it I was very nerves but I picked a middle of the week day, on crowd so I got to take may time. This is the first boat in 25 or so years that I could move on my own so it was almost like the first time. It all worked out great and it gets easer every time
 

Sprig

Petty Officer 1st Class
Joined
May 2, 2016
Messages
389
One major issue launching and retrieving a boat solo that size is the wind and tide/current. Strong winds and strong tide/current make launch/retrieval by yourself challenging with any boat but the bigger the boat the more challenging to dangerous and impossible it becomes.
Towing, launching, retrieving a boat that size is a real pain in the posterior. I don’t care how good and experienced you are it’s a pain and a hassle. You’ve already spent a lot on the boat and the 250, spend a little more and birth it. I can tell you from lexperience how much easier and pleasurable it is to just drive to the boat, spend a day on it and then drive home.
 

rothfm

Master Chief Petty Officer
Joined
Sep 26, 2006
Messages
890
For anyone following this thread,

Booked a Marina today...My Tiara is a large 26' , borderline what I'm going to feel comfortable towing on a regular basis, even with my experience. Just Thinking about spec'ing up the trailer/truck/tires and brakes--seemed to take alot of the fun out of the whole situation. Been doing that with my other boat for years, I just want to go boating and fishing.

Having to be super-vigilient with all the hardware, towing, launching, retrieving and mainly dealing with the Maniacs both at the ramp and on the hiway, after a long day fishing, takes away from what I'm after.

Super excited to try the marina thing this spring and see what happens.

Thanks for all the input, helped me with decisions.
 

Lou C

Admiral
Joined
Nov 10, 2002
Messages
6,803
I’ve kept our small boat on a mooring behind my house for years. Even that, while you have to use a dinghy or water taxi service to get out there is far superior to trailering around here with the narrow roads and steep hills we have here. It’s a great seaside neighborhood but no one trailers larger boats here everyone keeps them in a marina or on a mooring. So you’ll learn all about bottom paint, anodes, etc. Beats the heck out of trailering! Even keeping a sterndrive in salt water its not that big of a deal, a few days of prep a season. Trailering here would result in it getting sold; not worth the hassles.
 

rothfm

Master Chief Petty Officer
Joined
Sep 26, 2006
Messages
890
Thanks LouC.

Been hauling 10 years now...Keeping the trailer in top notch shape, along with all the other things I mentioned above, Time for a change. And I aint getting any younger.

Used to get up at 3am, prep, tow over an hour to the ramp early to avoid the Circus.....Really lookng foward to the change.

Thanks again for everyones input.
 

garbageguy

Lieutenant
Joined
May 8, 2012
Messages
1,310
You're gonna love having a slip. We do. We work for it, and its worth it for us
 

cptbill

Petty Officer 1st Class
Joined
Oct 6, 2012
Messages
348
I tow and launch/recover my wellcraft 270 Coastal by myself all the time , in fact never had help. You just need a routine that works for you and a launch ramp that's not a P.O.S. I'll admit I was a little nerves at first but it turned out to be way easier than I figured
 
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