I’m contemplating buying a Lift Keel Sonata – I have no problems with towing or handling a trailer on any slipway as I have a Land Cruiser, but does anyone have experience of slipway launches of them?
I launch my existing 20 ft 800Kg 19 inch draft cruiser at a marina with a steep concrete slip, and also on a part concrete part shingle beach slip without getting my vehicle wet. I’m keen to be able to continue launching on the beach slip as there is no easy alternative.
Various possibilities occur to me – including piggyback and possibly breakback trailers, as well as just waiting for the tide to float it off, but don’t really want to get more than the tyres of the vehicle wet.
Presumably the rather skimpy aft sections mean that it won’t lift until quite a lot of the boat is in the water?
I’m prepared to design and build another trailer if necessary – anyone got any relevant experience?
I have launched a lift keel Sonata several times now on a 1in6 slip near Fowey. Launching is not really a problem although I use an electric winch fastened to the hitch mounting on the back of a Landrover Discovery to lower the trailer into the water. The boat floats off quite easily.
Recovery is rather trickier as with the stub keel under the boat, the boat sits back on the trailer as it is puuled out of the water. I have postioned a braced bow post well forward on the trailer with an adjustable fork to hold the boat in transit to enable th boat to be pulled further onto the trailer to counteract the set back.
The trailer also has keel guides alongside the centre rollers and docking arms to aid initial positioning.
You will get your feet wet though.
A suoer boat once launched though.
We are also using quite a steep slip way. We have a normal rigid tandem axle trailer towed by a Toyota Hilux 4WD. The wheels of the car do not go into the water and it floats off quite nicely. We keep a line on until we get the keel down and then we are away. Don’t forget a steep slip way normally means the water gets deep quite quickly.
I don’t know if this will be of any help, but I have slipped launched my fin keel sonata from its cradle off the back of a flat bed. It worked really well but we did have to let the cradle run quite a way out and tie the car to a big concrete post. I would imagine a lift keel would have floated a lot sooner having a much shallower draft.
Good luck with it all,