Are you a boat owner who is having a hard time getting your boat off the trailer?
If you are, then you’re on the right page. In this article, we will be talking about the two different ways of how you could lift your boat off the trailer.
These steps are made easy to follow. You will also be getting several advice along the way to make the processes much more comfortable. Shall we begin?
Table of Contents
Lifting a Boat Off a Trailer by Using a Portable lift
The most common and most straightforward way to lift a boat off the trailer is by using a portable lift. Portable lifts are designed for this specific purpose. Using it will save you plenty of time and energy. It will also mitigate the risk of encountering injuries or accidents while lifting the boat. Here are the steps on how to use it.
1. Put as much air as possible to your trailer tires.
You must inflate your trailer tires to its maximum capacity. Make sure to check the manufacturer’s suggestion of how much your tire can take to prevent any accidents. Doing this will help you have a smoother lifting later on.
2. Chock each side of the trailer wheels with brick or wood.
You can purchase pre-made wheel chocks in hardware stores. However, you could also use big blocks of excess wood by cutting it into triangles. I recommend you use wood instead because they are more economical.
3. Lower the tongue of the trailer
Lower the tongue of the trailer to its lowest possible setting. Make sure that it forms a slope so that you can successfully do the next step.
4. Set up the boat stands on the transom
The next thing that you have to do is set up your boat stands. Make sure you place it securely under the transom for optimal support and keep snug to avoid it from falling off.
5. Do the opposite of step 3
Raise the trailer tongue to its highest setting. Do not worry about the boat falling off because you have already placed stands on the transom. This will help slowly ease your boat off the trailer without leaving scratches or dents.
6. Fasten the Trapeze and the bow eye
Here comes the fun part. Notice the bow eye on your boat? Hang the trapeze in there by using the hitch pin. Then, secure it by using its clips.
7. Connect the Trapeze to the Pivot stand
Once the trapeze is securely attached to the bow, the next thing that you have to do is to connect the trapeze to the pivot stand. The pivot stand acts as your portable lift mechanism. Use the spring pin to secure the connection. I recommend that you ensure that the trapeze is a little more elevated than the pivot stand.
8. Connect the eye nut and winch stand the opposite side of the trapeze
On the other end of the trapeze, connect the eye nut and winch stand. Once that’s done, turn the winch to secure the cable tightly. Make sure that each leg of the stand is pointing away from the center.
9. Put the safety chain
Upon purchase, a portable lift comes with a safety chain. Make sure to use it and put it in the base of each stand. I like leaving a two-link slack as an allowance to prevent it from having too much tension and breaking.
10. Lessen to contact of the trailer and the boat
To do this, you must lower down the tongue of the trailer. This will slowly increase the space between the trailer and the boat hence releasing it quicker.
11. Crank the portable lift
Once the tongue of the trailer is already down, then you are set to go. Crank the portable lift until the boat is fully separated from the trailer. I recommend that you do this slowly and regularly check if all the supports are correctly placed. If there is no problem, you can now remove the entire trailer off the boat.
12. Place the boat stand
When the trailer is off, set up the boat stands, the placement of the boat stands differs from one manufacture to another. I like reading its instruction manuals so that I will know where to put it best.
When using a portable lift, make sure that there is no incline in your boat when you are removing the trailer in step 12. There is a tendency for the trailer to roll if the boat has a slope. This can cause severe injury or damage to property.
If you follow all the steps correctly, then you have saved a lot of energy and effort in separating your boat from its trailer. It is reasonably safe too.
Lifting a Boat of the Trailer Using a Hydraulic Jack
If you do not have any portable lift available to you, then you could also use a hydraulic jack as an alternative. Compared to the portable lift, a hydraulic jack is a more versatile equipment. You can also use it when you are working on cars and motorcycles, which makes its price worth it.
However, this method is only applicable to boats that are 15 to 25 feet long only. If you own one that is much bigger than that, then the best option is to use a portable lift instead. Here are the simple steps of lifting a boat off the trailer using a hydraulic jack:
1. Prepare the boat
Boats can be heavy so they can dig into soils. This is why when preparing to remove the trailer, make sure that you are working on a solid and even surface.
2. Chock the wheels
This will prevent the trailer from doing unnecessary movements. If you have a wheel chock on hand, then that’s great, but if you don’t, I suggest you use leftover woods instead.
3. Place the hydraulic jack in the middle of the transom
Now its time to use the hydraulics. Position it in the middle of the transom. However, you need to place thick cardboard or plywood on top of the hydraulics to avoid any damage to the boat exterior. Lift the boat until there is a space on the support runners.
4. Install the boat stands
Once the boat is lifted, place the boat stands on each edge and sides of the boat.
5. Get the trailer off
When the boat is already fully supported, you can now remove the trailer by simply sliding it away. However, make sure that you do this slowly, and you do not hit the hydraulic jack because that can cause your boat to fall.
6. Remove the hydraulics
Place some more hollow blocks in the middle for added support. However, make sure to put a cardboard or plywood layer on top to avoid dents and scratches. Slowly lower the hydraulics until it’s off the boat.
There you have it. That’s how you use a hydraulic jack to lift a boat off a trailer. Much easier, right? However, this method is only applicable to smaller boats, and it would need to be extra careful because it has lesser safety nets compared to the first one.
Owning a boat comes with a lot of benefits. However, many can consider lifting it off the trailer as one of its most significant drawbacks. But, with the simple ways mentioned above, you are sure to save time and effort.
Using a portable lift is the best choice for bigger boats. It is the safest method, as well. However, if you are a risk-taker and your boat is under 25 feet, then use the hydraulic jack. Either way, both do not require a lot of effort.