Best way to haul a pontoon boat

#1
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
 

ncitrez

Too many hobbies.....
#2
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
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
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
 
#7
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
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
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
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.
 
#13
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
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.
 

Ron Olsen

Active Member
#15
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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