Best way to haul a pontoon boat

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by hatchm, Jul 29, 2005.

  1. hatchm

    hatchm New Member

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    I just bought a pontoon boat (used, 10') from a guy here at work and am wondering what the best way to haul it is.

    I have a Thule roof rack that I'm thinking about building some extensions for (my bars are only 58" wide and the boat is 66") or I have a trailer hitch and was looking at the EZ Packer that I found at easypacker.com and was wondering if anybody had tried or use it. My only other issue is that I'll probably be going out with my brother so we could do one of each (top, back) or try the double packer.

    I thought (and am still thinking) about rolling my own along the lines of the EZ Packer but steel alone is about $100 and the powder coating would probably run a pretty good amount too.

    Thanks in advance,
    Hatch
     
  2. ncitrez

    ncitrez Too many hobbies.....

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    Just throw it in the back of your truck! ;) ;)

    Seriously, if you have the means, go with a nice trailer. Roof loading is a complete pain in the ass. It's really nice to be able to load your boat fully assembled - saves a lot of time. Just remember to let some of the air out of your pontoons to allow for varying air temps and elevation changes.
     
  3. hatchm

    hatchm New Member

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    Yeahhhh, I think the wife would really get rid of me if I had to buy a truck to haul the boat (not that she knows about it yet ;-) ). I am looking at buying a trailer too, just need to wait to see how much is left in the account after a trip to Montana next week and figure out where to stow it (which is the advantage of the roof rack idea and the EZ Packer).

    Thanks,
    Hatch
     
  4. barbless

    barbless Member

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    Heh, heh...sounds like you really need that truck then... ;)
    Seriously, though, a truck seems like the best accessory for a pontoon boat. that's my plan - 1) truck, 2) pontoon boat, 3) LOTS more fishing. I've even been bringing my lunch to work to convince the wife that I am serious about it. :cool:

    barbless
     
  5. Jason

    Jason Trout Bum

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  6. Scott Salzer

    Scott Salzer previously micro brew

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    How 'bout using aluminum rather than powder coated steel?

    Truck is the best way to go, that's the main reason I got mine....
     
  7. Mike Ediger

    Mike Ediger Active Member

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    I also have a Pathfinder and just throw it up on the 62" Thule bars. It works fine for me and I leave it completely assembled, just strap it down. If you already have the system the bars would be cheaper than a trailer if money is the issue.
    Mike
     
  8. hatchm

    hatchm New Member

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    Thanks all, I have a Pathfinder too, seems to be a popular rig ('93), the wider bars are probably the cheapest way to go ($55 at REI), I just didn't know if I was going to need saddles or if I could just strap it down. That'll be the start until I can talk the Mrs. into a very "useful" trailer for chores around the house...

    I was thinking of steel just for ease of welding (not that I know much) and finding suitable materials.

    Hatch
     
  9. Mike Ediger

    Mike Ediger Active Member

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    I don't use the saddles and I have never had a problem with it slipping either front/back or side/side. I run the straps all the way over the top of the 'toon from the back, the bring the back under both bars and then sinch it down. Works fine. It is a little heavy hoisting the fully loaded boat up. I obviously take off the anchor and rods but I leave oars, bags, everything else on. My pick-up was easier when I would just throw it in the back...but with a family comes a family rig. So this works fine for me now.
    Mike
     
  10. Jason

    Jason Trout Bum

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    I just use tie-downs and go diagonal from front to back. And if I am going for a weekend I have a 12 or 15 foot bike cable that I wrap around it and the bars to lock it down.
     
  11. hatchm

    hatchm New Member

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    Thanks guys, great advice. Guess it's time to (cough, cough) fess up to the missus....

    Wish me luck :)

    Hatch
     
  12. hatchm

    hatchm New Member

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    If I don't make it, I'll make sure my brother lists it up on the classifieds.
     
  13. ZugBug

    ZugBug Member

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    My buddy and I went in together and bought a small trailer to haul our rigs. Got it from Harbor Freight, but you can get the same one at Fred Meyer for about $250 or so I believe. It can fold in half for storage, but we put a plywood deck on it. It works great and we've also used it numerous times for trips to Home Depot and the nursery for landscaping stuff.
     
  14. cuponoodle breakfast

    cuponoodle breakfast Active Member

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    I have a trailer like Zugbug's that I bought on sale at Freddy's for $189. It took a few hours to assemble and I replaced the stock 8" wheels with larger ones. I had it set up to haul my 10' pontoon and now that the pontoon has sold the trailer is being converted to a utility trailer.
     
  15. Ron Olsen

    Ron Olsen Member

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    I take the pontoons off and just put the frame on top of the Exploder. It is easy to fill and attach the 'toons. Now, I use it maybe once a month and storage is an issue. If you have space, and use equipment often, go with a trailer. Do get the bigger wheels, and make sure you are really set up for freeway speeds; an extra tire is handy also. Maybe get a smaller higher milage rig that can pull, less fuel equals more trips! Yea! VW TDI?
    Ronbow
     

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