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 Ramp Launching a C250WK with a Road King Trailer

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RPLieser Posted - 02/04/2023 : 11:37:05
I'm very used to ramp launching my previous C250WB, and I'm nearing my initial splash of my 2008 C250WK mkII.

If you note my previous post, I'm planning on being ready for both ramp and strap lifting this boat.

I sail in the Pacific, and my goal with the WB was to stop the truck with tires just shy of touching the water - worked great on its Trail-Rite trailer and extendable tongue - just like my old C22.

While I've got the same goal with my WK to preserve my truck, it will obviously be a bit more challenging.

The Road King has an extendable tongue, and I've been able to come up with a mechanism to extend it another 2 feet.

Q: ANY FIRST HAND EXPERIENCE WITH RAMP LAUNCHING THE WK WITH THE ROAD KINK TRAILER WILL BE APPRECIATED.
25   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
RPLieser Posted - 02/25/2023 : 17:08:08
Link posted earlier in this thread:
https://pacifictrailers.com/products/5-lug-pivoting-hub-mounted-spare-tire-carrier-mount-baja-style
Dave Brown Posted - 02/25/2023 : 05:46:29
Sir,
Back the trailer down the ramp,, ( wheel just out of the water ).
Block trailer, lower the 5 wheel. Move auto fwd. install extension.
Reconnect auto. Launch boat. Remove trailer from water.
Block trailer at same place, remove extension, reconnect auto.
Lift 5 wheel, now one can maneuver auto, and trailer around ramp area.
With the trailer in 5 wheel condition, it will only go straight, it will not turn.
To be able to maneuver the trailer around the lot, with out disconnecting
the extension, then one must not have the 5 th wheel, and one must put
Wheels on the extension.
Good question.
Hope this helps
Steve Milby Posted - 02/24/2023 : 21:33:44
Where can we buy the spare tire carrier with the reversible hub? All I can find online are fixed spare tire carriers.
Dave Brown Posted - 02/24/2023 : 21:11:35
Sir,
Back the trailer down the ramp,, ( wheel just out of the water ).
Block trailer, lower the 5 wheel. Move auto fwd. install extension.
Reconnect auto. Launch boat. Remove trailer from water.
Block trailer at same place, remove extension, reconnect auto.
Lift 5 wheel, now one can maneuver auto, and trailer around ramp area.
With the trailer in 5 wheel condition, it will only go straight, it will not turn.
To be able to maneuver the trailer around the lot, with out disconnecting
the extension, then one must not have the 5 th wheel, and one must put
Wheels on the extension.
Good question.
Hope this helps
RPLieser Posted - 02/24/2023 : 12:00:42
Thanks to David Crosby for the great video!

I tow/launch with my RAM 1500 Hemi equipped with limited slip differential. I bought the boat last June in Lake Tahoe, loaded it up and towed it through the mountains/valleys for 8 hours with zero issues averaging 14mpg at between 60-65mph on the flats, in 100 degree heat. Loading it up was an hour long+ exercise with the seller's Tacoma 4WD bed in the water and us trying to get that wing just right below the guides.

I noted in the video that you had just likely moved the tongue extension forward as far as practical and drilled another hole for the hitch pin (I guess that's a question?)

I have done something similar after my initial extraction (note my pics), but have been having serious doubts that it's enough - hence my original thread. I moved the tongue forward a couple of feet and re-drilled for the hitch pin... additionally I located a heavy duty truck rear-spring U-bolt, plate and nuts to hopefully relieve some of what I expect is the inevitable bowing of the extension and to also spread the load a bit.





RPLieser Posted - 02/24/2023 : 11:39:45
quote:
Originally posted by DavidCrosby

I have a lot of experience ramp launching my C250 wk. Here is a video I posted showing a launch. The truck in this case happens to be my friend's F-350. I have a F-150. We do get the back wheels wet, but typically not past the rubber.

The tongue extension has been lengthened an additional three feet over the factory original length.

From 2010 - 2020 I operated out of a club that the boat stayed on the trailer fully rigged. I had to launch and retrieve every weekend. That equates to 200 or more launch / retrievals.

I also have traveled a lot with this boat. We are based out of Carlyle Lake, IL.
I have taken the boat to Kentucky Lake multiple times.
The following places on Lake Michigan: Northport, MI. Elk Rapids, MI. Fish Creek, WI.
In 2019 we launched in Midland, Ontario and retrieved in Little Current, Ontario after exploring Georgian Bay and the North Channel.

I have done two trips on the rivers:
(Alton, IL to Kentucky Lake on the Mississippi, Ohio and Tennessee Rivers)
(Grand Rivers, KY to Iuka, MS on the Tennessee River).
2022 we took the boat to the Apostle Islands on Lake Superior.
2023 we are headed to Charlevoix, MI.
All of this has been done via ramp launch and retrieval.

Good luck, it really is very straight forward once setup properly.

https://youtube.com/shorts/kCNgBC0P11Q

Steve Milby Posted - 02/23/2023 : 13:42:50
quote:
Originally posted by zeil


Dave... Please enlighten us how one would maneuver having two hinge points. Do you place the truck and boat-trailer in line with the ramp and then attach the hitch extension? How easy or difficult is it to maneuver around the ramp area with the extension in place.




I'd also like to hear about your experiences backing and maneuvering the trailer with this extension, Dave. I plan to make a tongue extension of some kind, and yours would be easy to make.

I suppose one could back the trailer down the ramp, chock the wheels, unhook it, pull the truck forward and attach the extension, and then back it into the water. You could do the opposite when pulling the boat out. Isn't that the way the people do it when they use a rope for a tongue extension?

I wonder if it would be worthwhile to attach safety chains to connect the tongue extension to the truck, and safety chains at the other end to attach it to the trailer? (in case either hitch became disconnected)
zeil Posted - 02/23/2023 : 10:25:24

Dave... Please enlighten us how one would maneuver having two hinge points. Do you place the truck and boat-trailer in line with the ramp and then attach the hitch extension? How easy or difficult is it to maneuver around the ramp area with the extension in place.


Dave Brown Posted - 02/23/2023 : 08:54:16
I as well use a 5th launching wheel, and a 20 X 2 inch steel square tube.
Ball on one end and hitch on the other.
Its stored on the trailer when not in use.
This system works very well as I have launched and recovered the WK 250
# 411 , For 24 years with this system
DB
zeil Posted - 02/14/2023 : 17:43:26


quote:
As you know, Sean (City of Havasu firefighter) organized the convention from the beginning and it grew every year. When we attended we were boat 250 (which was pretty close to the max for that year).

It was so much fun. We really had a great time.

Reading between the lines, the event grew to the point where it was just too much for Sean dealing with local business and organizations that had their own agendas regarding the event. I was sorry to see it end.

I would love to hold a similar event at Flathead Lake, but we don't happen to have a 900 slip marina laying around like you find at Havasu.

A small gathering would still be a lot of fun.


Chris... your reference to the annual event held at Lake Havasu brings back such fond memories. It was a wonderful occasion. We just loved it.

In fact we stayed on our boat in a slip on lake Havasu for 6 more weeks following the event before we trailer-ed to San Diego and stayed there for 2 more months.

We totally enjoyed sailing on the lake, bicycling, shopping, dining and walking around town, while exploring the surrounding areas all the while bathing in gorgeous, beautiful warm sunshine during the day and yes... a bit chilly at night.

Perhaps someone on this forum will take the initiative and organize a group of us, Catalina 25ft trailer sailor owners.

It would not take much since the lake, marina and town have all the amenities for an informal get-together for a bunch of people with wonderful sail boats

zeil Posted - 02/14/2023 : 16:49:21
Couple of very useful "ramp tools", helping to alleviate potential launching problems at unfamiliar ramps.

Any local welder will be able to economically fabricate these components from standard black tubing available everywhere.

Once fabricated, expose it outside until rust forms. Then coat/spray it with liquid galvanizing which is 95% zinc. It very durable, easy to touch up and looks like a new trailer part. It is available at your local welder supply store. Paint shops do not carry this product


Heavy duty mounting sleeve for a 10ft trailer hitch extension. Material is standard black tubing available everywhere and fabricated by a local welder. Several spray coats of liquid galvanizing with 95% zinc content, available at a welding or fencing supply shop, keeps it looking new...


Storage of the hitch extension. It is held in place and never moved, by a couple of bungees while resting on felt-pads to eliminate chafing and friction



Spare tire turned into launching wheel during boat launch
Since condition of ramps we visited around our continent were unknown, we used the spare tire often when ramps were deeply grooved, cracked old or sketchy.



Truck equipped with front trailer hitch. It provides better oversight and more maneuverability.
csmcg Posted - 02/13/2023 : 14:28:09
bjoye, thank you very much for the related experience. I'm sorry that is was more of an adventure than you'd hoped. The link to the tire carrier is perfect. I had found it once before but was having trouble locating it again. It looks _much_ easier than the bracket and frame that I have to install and uninstall every time we launch or retrieve now.

Henk, as always, thank you for relating your experiences. My wife and I have both been avid readers of your travel stories and myriad of boat improvements. We got both chuckled at the understatement: "we equipped the C250WB with some likable options".

The reasons you gave concerning the choice between a WB and WK make perfect sense to me. For example, being closer to the ground is certainly a plus as is a wider choice of suitable boat ramps.

I remember there being at least one other 250 at the convention which was a WB. The owners were curious about our boat and we both spent some time checking out the differences.

We were on the lookout for other 250's and I only remember the one other boat so this prompted me to look at our collection of photos...

Long story short, we were set to attend in 2015 and couldn't at the last minute due to a family emergency.

The convention that we did attend was in 2011, so I was way off.

As you know, Sean (City of Havasu firefighter) organized the convention from the beginning and it grew every year. When we attended we were boat 250 (which was pretty close to the max for that year).

It was so much fun. We really had a great time.

Reading between the lines, the event grew to the point where it was just too much for Sean dealing with local business and organizations that had their own agendas regarding the event. I was sorry to see it end.

I would love to hold a similar event at Flathead Lake, but we don't happen to have a 900 slip marina laying around like you find at Havasu.

A small gathering would still be a lot of fun.

I created an album from the trip and put it in the cruising album section.

2012 Havasu Trailer Sailor Convention

2012 Havasu Trailer Sailor Convention


Thanks again everyone.

Regards, Chris
zeil Posted - 02/13/2023 : 11:34:19
Chris: Glad to hear that you were at the 2015 Montana Lake Havasu trailer sailer boat convention. So were we, in fact it was a pleasure to submit a front page article for the Mainsheet Magazine. We would have loved to have met you,

The 3 day event was a hoot and featured competitive sailing, seminars, meet and greet with breakfast and dinners and skipper briefings.

Wish... someone would take the initiative to repeat a similar event.



Photo taken from our C250WB. Boat ahead of us is C250WB "Sea Bear" belonging to Pieter and Angela Holdack and just ready to leave the "London Bridge ", Channel for Lake Havasu
zeil Posted - 02/13/2023 : 11:04:52

We gained experience towing the both the C250WB as well as the C250WK. We use as a tow vehicle a one ton Ram diesel 350 which has ample oomph for towing and brakes for controlled stopping in addition with either the surge or electrical brakes. In fact, towing either boat is a pleasure, even through mountainous areas of the west coast. The WK is a little more costly on fuel.

We feel that it is not so much the towing that finally made us decide between the WB and the WK but for following reasons.
1) Our age. Noticeable difference in deck height above the pavement surface when rigging and de-rigging (scared of heights)
2) Parking issue: C250WK barely fitted in our driveway below some electrical wires
3) Main point: Unknown and unfamiliarity with new ramps length, depth and... sketchy power-boat holed ramp drop off
4) More sling in-out expense anticipated
5) Limited sling availability at smaller lakes and locations
6) West coast tree, dead-heads and logs

On the plus side of the C250WK
1) Newer more modern boat
2) Significant more interior space and headroom
3) Encapsulated and solid keel
4) Stiffer sailing in higher winds
5) Shorter spreaders with inboard rigging and chain-plates
6) 135% head-sail and rigged for a spinnaker

In addition to the above we equipped the C250WB with some likable options:
A smaller fold-able teak table with slide-outs
New fresh water tank and electric faucet
More storage available in the cockpit (no propane tank)

It was a toss-up between the two models and still wonder if we made the right decision





bjoye Posted - 02/12/2023 : 09:55:08
I'm still recovering from being traumatized last fall attempting to retrieve my Catalina 25 WK on my road king trailer with keel guides. Previously, my only experience had been on a private ramp, on a gentle tidal creek with lots of help. This was the first time by myself at a very exposed public ramp. It as a total disaster.

I tried so hard not to be 'That Guy' at the public ramp you see in YouTube videos. Yet with all my planning, it still turned out to be FUBAR.

The previous owner had several postings in these forums about trying to retrieve the boat with a WK and keel guides, so I really planned ahead:
Plan A was use the trailer extension. Plan B with to a strap setup for strap launching/retrieving.

Plan A include new trailer guides on the stern of the trailer to help hold the stern in place, and marking the water level on the guides for that tiny 18" window you have try to hit to slide the keel into the guild window as outlined above.

Plan B setup include the 'Pacific Trailer Spare Tire' setup mentioned above. 30 ft tow strap, galvanized chain wrapped around the front of the trailer, galvanized shackles, and most important: extra tire chocks!

Also 100' floating line on bow, 100' floating line on stern, extra change of clothing, expecting to get wet, ladder to crawl up and down from the boat while on the ramp.

Conditions: 15 knot wind, directly on the beam, which came out of nowhere. (forecast was 5 knots) and 2 ft swell, about 20 seconds apart. Thankfully, it was early in the morning and not much traffic at the ramp.

First attempt: trailer extension. The Road King trailer extension slides out and provides an additional 3 ft. Absolutely useless. Turns out this ramp was very shallow (and long with 10' tides) and as a result, the truck tires were up the axel and the bunks were mostly out the water. Time for plan B.

Second attempt: rigged the trailer for strap launch. First time trying the new setup. Chocked the trailer partially down the ramp, set the spare tire into position, unhooked the tongue, shackled the strap, took up the tension, remove the chocks, and slowly eased the trailer into the water: perfect!

Pull the boat up to the trailer with bow and stern lines and crap! The swell is over 2 ft' and I'm trying hit a window of 18 inches. Every time I think it's all lined up, another swell comes thru, and the wing portion of the keel is out of the box. And with a constant 15 knot wind on the beam, I can't control the stern worth crap, even with the trailer guides.

3 attempts of trying to get the boat lined up, and I ended up doing minor damage to both the trailer and the front of the keel. And I looked like a total idiot. Thank god I'm not on YouTube.

Plan C: call in the professionals. Very fortunately for me, there was a marina with crane 1/4 mile down the road. A quick drive later and I arranged for the marine to lift the boat with the crane onto the trailer. I had to remove the keel guides. All went very smoothly and well worth the $250 lift charge.

So my $.02 of wisdom: Lessons learned:
1. trailer extensions is useless unless you have a very steep ramp or you modify it yourself.
2. One person can not man handle a 6000 lbs of boat in high winds and swell.
3. The 'Pacific Trailer Spare Wheel' setup is awesome! Well worth the money.
4. Strap launching is the way to go. Remove the keel guides. It is just impossible to hit that tiny window.
5. You have to plan to float the boat on and off the trailer.

As for next season, I plan on the same marina to lift me on and off the trailer. I'm clearly out of my league.

P.S. Here a link to the Pacific Trailer Spare tire Extension: $316
https://pacifictrailers.com/products/5-lug-pivoting-hub-mounted-spare-tire-carrier-mount-baja-style
Steve Milby Posted - 02/10/2023 : 14:36:58
The best way I know to research launch ramps is to go online to this forum, or trailersailor.com, or sailnet.com, etc. and tell them where you're going, and ask for local knowledge of suitable launch ramps in the area.
DavidCrosby Posted - 02/10/2023 : 14:27:02
quote:
Originally posted by mjkenny

David, is there a particular web site you use in researching boat ramps? Ive tried one, but it seemed limited on ramp information such as depth.



No. Most of what I do is satellite view within maps. This shows me power lines, parking area, etc. If the water is clear, you can get an idea of ramp length. When I find something that looks suitable, I start making phone calls and sending e-mails.
csmcg Posted - 02/10/2023 : 11:17:27
Thank you Steve and everyone for sharing your experience when travelling with a 250.

Henk, you have had both types of boats and travelled with both. I see that you sold the WK and kept the WB. Did this decision have anything to do with ease of travel/launch/retrieval per your experiences?

We have a 2005 3/4 diesel chevy that tows the boat relatively well but could be improved with some of the suggestions offered in this thread.

In 2015, we towed from western Montana to Lake Havasu for the trailer-sailor convention in February and the travel portion went OK, but I can't say that the towing experience was relaxing. The convention however, was a blast.

My wife has decided that another way to make towing more comfortable is with a new truck :)

Here is the setup while getting the boat ready for a trip to our local ramp.



We have found that the boat pitch-bucks a bit if the bow is not tight against the trailer bow-support structure and will try the brake-check method to shift the boat forward. Additionally, a ratchet strap lead from the bow-eye down to the trailer frame helps dampen the pitch-buck.

We will be adding racks and attachment points for bikes, kayaks and other toys to the trailer soon.

Based upon feedback, it looks like a surge-brake replacement is in the trailer's near future as well.

We had the opportunity to purchase a really nice WB 250 but passed on it last fall. Strictly from a travel suitability standpoint, I'm still kicking myself as it would have increased our travel destination flexibility regarding boat-ramp minimum requirements. The flip-side is that there is storage room for toys on the WK trailer under the boat.

Thanks again for all the wonderful information.

Regards, Chris


mjkenny Posted - 02/09/2023 : 22:03:58
Good insight from everyone. thank you for sharing! Gives me some food for thought.
And thank you Henk for making me smile,

David, is there a particular web site you use in researching boat ramps? Ive tried one, but it seemed limited on ramp information such as depth.

Mike Kenny,
No boat name yet
Cant recall the hull number either
And as for the year built it's er ah oh yeah - 1999
DavidCrosby Posted - 02/08/2023 : 21:42:32
quote:
Originally posted by Robb

I had thought about adding to the tongue extender but wasn't sure if it would fit in its storage location under the existing trainer tongue.



Extending my extension three feet has made a big difference on whether my truck would need to go in the water or not. The extension has made it so that it can no longer be carried in the storage location. I now carry it up on the trailer frame when traveling.

Ramp length and depth are a concern. I research the ramps at my destinations and so far all has worked out.
Steve Milby Posted - 02/08/2023 : 21:21:31
Even a well designed trailer and tongue extension and good tow vehicle can't help if the launch ramp is too shallow. There's no guarantee that a longer extension will get the boat in water deep enough to float the boat off the trailer. Is there another ramp in the area that might be deeper?
Robb Posted - 02/08/2023 : 20:23:46
I've had a number of "not pretty" experiences at the boat ramp with my 250 WK, always due to insufficient water depth to easily float it off the factory trail rite trailer with the tongue extender. Water is always past the back bumper and last season up to bottom of the rear doors on my Chev Silverado 4x4. At that point I tagged out and had it craned out last fall with the other boats at the club ($250.00). I'll have it craned in this spring but the cost should be substantially lower as less crane time will be required. Regarding towing, the Chev truck has the 5.3 liter V8 its barely noticeable when I'm pulling the boat and trailer. Towed it 1000 miles last summer without the slightest issue. Fuel economy suffers a bit obviously but its not bad. I had thought about adding to the tongue extender but wasn't sure if it would fit in its storage location under the existing trainer tongue.
zeil Posted - 02/07/2023 : 12:51:39


These vehicles are definitely not up to the task to pull or stop a C250WB or even less a C250WK. To cool the engine, the heater needed to be turned on full blast going up a hill. Going "down hill", and stops were fortunately anticipated well in advance.
DavidCrosby Posted - 02/06/2023 : 19:38:38
quote:
Originally posted by Steve Milby

I once had a traffic light turn red at the bottom of a hill in the rain. I locked up all my truck and trailer brakes and slid through the red light



Me too!
Steve Milby Posted - 02/06/2023 : 17:24:31
I towed my heavier C25 on a trailer with surge brakes. Properly functioning surge brakes are sufficient. By their design, the harder you try to stop, the harder the surge brakes are applied. I had electric brakes on a travel trailer and they are nice in some respects. You have a controller mounted on your dashboard that enables you to adjust how hard the brakes apply. My only real reservation about electric brakes is that, if the electrical connection fails, your brakes fail. The connection can fail because of a broken wire or a corroded pin in the connector, or a variety of reasons. Surge brakes are a little more foolproof.

The most important thing about trailering a heavy boat is to never forget that you have a heavy load behind you, and, if you need to stop quickly, there's a lot of inertia behind you that doesn't want to stop. That especially applies to dry pavement and to intersections with loose sand or gravel, but it applies to the fourth power on wet pavement. I once had a traffic light turn red at the bottom of a hill in the rain. I locked up all my truck and trailer brakes and slid through the red light, blowing my horn non-stop. Keep speed down, look ahead and anticipate, and never let your guard down.

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