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Moving a Sunfish

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
We are in the middle of moving 16 small boats, 8 of which are Alcort/AMF Fish family. We'd like to hear and share tips on different hacks folks have used to move one or more boats.
-One of my favorite hacks is using pool noodles to cushion things, we have taped noodles to regular bunks on trailers to add extra cushion.

Double Stack Magic Tilt trailer.jpg

Same double stack trailer loaded up. Duct tape and old towels are handy to pad spars for long hauls.

Double Stack ZIP Sunfish trailer.jpg

-Another tip we learned early on here was to not tighten ratchet straps too tight, they can exert thousands of pounds of force and actually crack the deck close to the flange area.
-With the friction straps, we tied extra knots with the excess strap as we had an instance or two where the strap pulled loose and we even lost one. As a result we no longer use friction straps.

Right now we are loading several PODS containers with multiple boats, and on the last few we left the primary boat on its dolly, between the tires and the hull strap the boat will have a pretty cushioned ride. Here's MADISON in command of PODS #3.


Shipping with U Ship, we've done that New York to Florida for our Catfish SMEDLEY, expensive, but all we had to do was watch them unload the boat.



What tricks do y'all have? We know Alan has a few!

Alan S. Glos

Well-Known Member

I have a love/hate thing with ratchet straps as (a) it is easy to apply too much pressure and damage a hull and (b) they have been known to wiggle loose or even break. I use them for cartopping but I also use nice soft rope with a trucker's hitch as a back-up tie down, see photo of my current race boat at the start of a 1,000+ mile trek from the Florida Panhandle to Upstate NY in the dead of winter. Another hint: When you have the ratchet at the correct tension,
wrap the ratchet mechanism with Gorilla Tape to prevent the to mechanism from slipping. Last another good off the shelf padding is neopreme pipe wrap
that you can buy for cheap at any at any good hardware store. It is pre-split and self adhesive; two layers makes for very good padding.

Alan Glos
Cazenovia, NY


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signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
The UShip shipper did the Whaler trick. I believe he had a forklift pick up the trailer frame. He custom designed the rack and side steps for the truck.

po-man sailor

Active Member
That rack must have a hell of a load rating. That whaler trailer combo looks like a crimping tool. Keep us up on how it goes and send us that guys contact if all goes well.
I still wish you wernt moving away from me down here before we got to visit. GOOD LUCK!

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
The Catfish move happened several years ago when we had it shipped down to Florida from Schenectady. Now its back up in Virginia. Maybe we should take it back up to Waterbury to make full circle.


Active Member
So is it best to move the Sunfish up-side-down if we car top. I'm trying to plan one of our first voyages to Panama City. (I know, I have the boat trailer ahead of the boat!)

I thought there was some place on here where people discussed the best form and location for supports in a car top / trailer situation. I want to fabricate something for our NV3500 roof rack.

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Upside down yes. Alan should swing by soon with tips and tactics, he is the car top guru.

This little Standard Sailfish he brought us in 2016 was a walk in the park, only 90 pounds.
Photo (L-R): Grasshopper Kent, Sensei Alan

Kent and Alan Spray.jpg