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Trailer launching a 25/27.

Albin's "power cruisers"
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JimboC
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Trailer launching a 25/27.

Post by JimboC »

I’m dipping my toe in the market for an Albin and really trying to decide if I should be looking for a 25 or 27. The short answer is that my preference is for a 27. BUT . . .

This will be a trailer boat and will likely never be berthed at a marina. Also, at least for the short term, jaunts will be mostly long weekends with a longer cruise or two each year. So . . .

The question is, how trailerable, REALLY, is the A27? And I guess I should clarify that I’m not referring to towing it. My truck would pull two of either. I’m specifically looking at launching/retrieving from the trailer. I can’t really be paying the yard to sling launch me every weekend I take her out.

So how do they launch and retrieve? And is it significantly more painful to launch and retrieve the 27 over the 25? It’s only a little bigger, but it’s also a LOT bigger.

I get that I will need the depth at the ramp. What else? Thoughts? I don’t want to get a 27 and end up not using it because it’s too much to launch and retrieve if the 25 would have been OK.

Thanks.

Jbo
dkirsop
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Re: Trailer launching a 25/27.

Post by dkirsop »

As you have noted, depth at the ramp is critical. The presence, or absence, of an adjacent walk way also has significant impact on ease of launch. Being able to walk beside the boat to guide it off the trailer makes launching and retrieving an easy process. I launch in spring and retrieve in fall using a basic ramp with no walkways so being able to get on and off the boat safely is critical. Here are some photos to illustrate how my trailer is set up.

I strongly recommend setting up with roller bunks and keel rollers. If you can, configure your trailer with 3 evenly spaced pairs of keel rollers. I added my rollers as a later addition and my trailer can only accommodate 2 pairs. Using standard carpet bunks can be a problem when tides are not ideal which led to me fitting the roller bunks. Two trailer guides to help align the boat and a keel guide really help to get the boat sitting squarely on the trailer.

I recently added a bow ladder to the trailer as I am no longer sufficiently agile enough to hoist myself onto the deck from the trailer. It's a great addition.
Now the pilothouse roof needs repair!.jpeg
Front Rollers.jpeg
Rear Rollers.jpeg
Trailer Guide 1.jpeg
Fwd Keel Roller.jpeg
Keel Guide Port.jpeg
Keel Guide Stbd.jpeg
Depending on your shaft seal you may have to burp it to allow air to escape the shaft log each time you launch otherwise the seal will overheat.

Hope this helps.
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Hull No. 1013, 1971
JimboC
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Re: Trailer launching a 25/27.

Post by JimboC »

Thanks for the detailed thoughts and pictures. The fact that roller bunks would be a necessity crossed my mind after I posted this question.

Also, I’ll have to remember to ask about this: “ Depending on your shaft seal you may have to burp it to allow air to escape the shaft log each time you launch otherwise the seal will overheat.” when the time comes because it means nothing to me. I’m just not familiar. Sounds like a problem that might not get identified until too late if you don’t know what to look for and how to do it.

Thanks, again.

Jbo
SalishAire
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Re: Trailer launching a 25/27.

Post by SalishAire »

We initially looked very seriously at a 27 which came with a nice trailer. We sat back and reviewed our purposes for buying a small boat and very high on the list was being able to pull the boat across the country to interesting waters (eg Spring 2023 we pulled it over the Rockies to Ontario Canada and toured the canal system). If we had gone with a 27 in theory we would have needed a wide load permit in many if not all of the states we crossed whereas our 25 is 8'6" and therefore "road legal". We own a diesel F150 which pulls the 25 easily but we doubt would have pulled a 27 comfortably. In the end we chose a 25 for those reasons and have decided the less interior space is OK for the advantages in mobility.
Norman and Clarice Gregory
A 25 Hyacinth
Lacey WA
https://claricenorman.blogspot.com/
SalishAire
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Re: Trailer launching a 25/27.

Post by SalishAire »

We are VERY familiar with trailer launching boats having owned 6 of them over decades (our only moored boat was the Nordhavn 46 we lived on for 7 years). So here are our thoughts: 1) anything that slows down the launching process decreases the frequency of use of the boat (in other words boats that are a hassle to launch are used less by the owners). Our goal is tor reach the launch ramp and be on the water within 15 minutes. 2) Yes we almost always launch in salt water but in order to achieve #1 above we need to get the trailer wet - we plan of frequent maintenance and galvanized or aluminum trailers are far the best in our world. 3) Steep slippery launch ramps are best handled with 4X4 low range engaged. (Keep in mind that any surge brakes don't work in reverse - if you want better control you need electric over hydraulic systems). 4) We prefer bunk trailers having watched a number of boats on roller trailers role onto the ramp before the trailer gets to the water (people who live in marinas have interesting things to watch for entertainment). Also hot climate folks report that rollers will dimple thin hulls over time.
Norman and Clarice Gregory
A 25 Hyacinth
Lacey WA
https://claricenorman.blogspot.com/
JimboC
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Re: Trailer launching a 25/27.

Post by JimboC »

This: “ anything that slows down the launching process decreases the frequency of use of the boat”. 100%

Exactly why I’m trying to clarify any differences between launching and retrieving the two.

I mention this to Joe from Motor City Boatwerks and it didn’t calculate for him, but I think it’s essential if you’ll be launching for a few days at a time.

Jbo
DesertAlbin736
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Re: Trailer launching a 25/27.

Post by DesertAlbin736 »

Dkirsop & Salishaire both make great points in favor of the 25 (I've met both of them in person & we all three are enamored of the 25). There's not much I could add except to say every boat involves compromises of one sort or another. Our modus operandi is just like yours, and we've logged over 20,000 road miles in 9 years of towing round trips from Phoenix, 4 times to NW WA for 6 week cruises in the San Juans & BC Inside Passage, twice to east coast for jaunts on Erie Canal, Long Island Sound, & Chesapeake Bay, and an 800 mile round trip run over to Huntington Beach, CA for a cruise out to Catalina Island. Bunks vs rollers are each valid choices & matter of preference as noted. Wide load permits can be an issue for the 27. We have sailing friends who haul an O'Day 270 (27 ft + a big mast) similar distances as we do, but they're affluent enough that they can handle the cost of crane stepping the mast & sling launching their boat.

You mention the Motor City Boatwerks guy up in Detroit, and if he is who I think he is he's heavily biased against the 25 in favor of the 27 on grounds of size & roominess & has posted an online screed masquerating as a "review" of the 25.
La Dolce Vita
1971 Albin 25 #736
Yanmar 3GM30F
Gig Harbor Boatworks Nisqually 8 dinghy
Residence: Peoria, AZ
Homeport: Lake Pleasant, AZ & beyond
JimboC
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Re: Trailer launching a 25/27.

Post by JimboC »

Yes. Thats him. I do think he’s a little biased against the 25s, but I also agree with most of his “concerns”. At the very least, I give him credit for posting potential cons as it does seem that generally it’s hard to find anything but positives on-line and all boats are compromises as we know.

I think many of his “cons” don’t apply to me, but I do appreciate the article he wrote detailing what he perceived them to be. That said, I think my wife would be more comfortable in the 27, and if she’s not going, I’m not going. :)

Big disadvantage for me is that there’s really no presence of Albins here(Atlanta), so I’ll have to figure out some way to get a few in-person views to really have an idea which would work best for us.

Jbo
tribologist
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Re: Trailer launching a 25/27.

Post by tribologist »

JimboC wrote: Sun Feb 04, 2024 7:29 pm
I mention this to Joe from Motor City Boatwerks and it didn’t calculate for him, but I think it’s essential if you’ll be launching for a few days at a time.

Jbo
Lol…. Opiniated Joe.. he will never get that boat in the water so he will never figure it out.
Driftless
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sail149
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Re: Trailer launching a 25/27.

Post by sail149 »

Hi , I have my A27 AC on a trailer , but I would only consider it for transportation and storage at home purposes. Definitely not for trailer launching from , I expect you would need a trailer extension Like I use with my 3.5’ deep sailboat keel.
If I wanted to do a long transport ( wide load) to a different coast or area I would pay for a travel lift launch at the new location probably $150 ? And then use boat in that area for a season or couple of months for sure.
The A25 however was always made to be a trailerable, I wish I had one now to be honest. I could live with the 8’+ beam. I would probably also still not trailer launch to avoid all that salt water on the trailer and avoid the need for roller trailer .
The A27 on a trailer is a huge beast , but mine trailered fine 400 miles using a big dually 7-8l v8 pickup . Fuel economy as expected 8-10mpg?.
Cheers Warren
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'84. 27AC. Lehman 4D61
tribologist
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Re: Trailer launching a 25/27.

Post by tribologist »

Even the A25 is borderline. Just your municipal launch is often to short and shallow. Most of the launches we use could not do a Wanderer or a 27. Above lock 6 in waterford, Ilion marina, Brewerton, Rocky Hill, ct, whitehall, NY, Lock 1 on Champlain. All to small for the 27. I dont recall seing anyone using a 27 as a true trailer trawler. Eg more that 1-3 launches/year
Driftless
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WillieC
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Re: Trailer launching a 25/27.

Post by WillieC »

500 smackeroos for travel lift in Port Orchard. (This a year and a half ago...)

In, then out? Start forking. I think there was some kind of deal if you had them do bottom paint, but yeah, no.

We were in Sweden and Norway end of summer last and found a small boat community that had a tractor rigged up for hauling. It was a community event at both ends of the seasons. It was near where Ingrid Bergman and fam used to hang out. Everyone knew when she was on her island.
JimboC
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Re: Trailer launching a 25/27.

Post by JimboC »

This is the info I was hoping(and dreading) to get. If I get a trailer trawler, it needs to be trailer launchable 90% of the time. or, really, why bother with a trailer trawler?

Albin 25/27, and Nimble Wanderer were really my top three, with the Albin 27 #1 at the moment. Moot point if it’s not really trailer launchable. Guess it’s the A25 and praying for deep ramps(?).

So for argument - I’m sure this will sound silly, but I’m just the guy to do it - if I were to want to “test” the local ramps . . . I presume I could take a 40 foot rope to the water’s edge at any given ramp and anchor the rope there, then walk into the drink and if I found (for a round number) 4 feet of depth by the time I got to the end of the rope, that should be an acceptable launch point. Is that right-ish for an A27? Or a fool’s errand? Preferable to me to “test” multiple ramps this way than invest in the boat and get to the point of launch only to learn it’s a no-go.

Am I crazy?

Jbo
DesertAlbin736
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Re: Trailer launching a 25/27.

Post by DesertAlbin736 »

So for argument - I’m sure this will sound silly, but I’m just the guy to do it - if I were to want to “test” the local ramps . . . I presume I could take a 40 foot rope to the water’s edge at any given ramp and anchor the rope there, then walk into the drink and if I found (for a round number) 4 feet of depth by the time I got to the end of the rope, that should be an acceptable launch point. Is that right-ish for an A27? Or a fool’s errand? Preferable to me to “test” multiple ramps this way than invest in the boat and get to the point of launch only to learn it’s a no-go.
One way to test ramps (if they have a dock alongside that you can walk) is to "sound" it using a long boat hook or pole, or I suppose an old fashioned lead line (you could make one from a short length of lead or iron pipe). Fashion a cavity at the end of the lead that you could pack with heavy grease & each time you pull it up check for sand or mud sticking to grease. That would indicate then extent of the concrete ramp. In tidal waters always try to launch & retrieve as close to high tide as possible. In our case the trailer tongue extends about 5 feet in front of the bow & on a decently sloped ramp have to back in to where the rear truck wheels just touch water's edge to float off. That means the rear axle of the trailer is about 27 ft down the ramp & into the water. Most decent ramps go at least that deep.
DSCN3628edit.jpg
So for argument - I’m sure this will sound silly, but I’m just the guy to do it - if I were to want to “test” the local ramps . . .
We did just that on our last long road trip to Erie Canal in 2021. At the end of the run we hauled out from Lake Onondaga, NY at a ramp we weren't sure of (zero visibility water).
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Too bad you're way out there in Atlanta. Our boat will be for sale later this summer when we take it up to the Pacific NW for one last cruise (WillieC's stomping grounds) and leave it on consignment with a broker in Olympia, WA in mid to late July. In fact in anticipation of this summer's trip I recently did a fresh bottom paint job on the hull, went through the trailer's hubs & brakes replacing three of four sets of hub bearings that went bad (I confess, I've neglected them since returning from NY in 2021), & packing with fresh grease. Also overhauled the Kodiak disk surge brake system, installing new calipers, flushing & bleeding the lines. Yet to do is replacing 2 older worn tires on one axle. The others are only 3 years old with 5,000 miles on them.
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La Dolce Vita
1971 Albin 25 #736
Yanmar 3GM30F
Gig Harbor Boatworks Nisqually 8 dinghy
Residence: Peoria, AZ
Homeport: Lake Pleasant, AZ & beyond
JimboC
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Re: Trailer launching a 25/27.

Post by JimboC »

Thanks for the encouragement/help, DesertAlbin. I’m sorry your sale isn’t offset 12-24 months in the future or I would drive out to pick it up. The timing is just a little bit off for me. I’m getting close, though.

Hope La Dolce Vita finds a good new home.

Jbo
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