Houseboat Trailers & Transport - Buy one, Rent one, or Hire one?
Houseboat Trailers - Hydraulic Flat Bed, Travel Lifts
We're buying a houseboat, and wondering about houseboat trailers, do we buy one, rent one, or hire someone to transport it for us?
We're "newbies" when it comes to houseboats, but the previous boats I bought, usually came with it's own transport trailer. I see that houseboats don't come with them, so how do we go about transporting a houseboat?
Thanks for any help, Robert.
Reply - Answer
Well Robert, congratulations on purchasing a houseboat, and don't worry, "newbies" are more than welcomed. We all started somewhere, and there's a very helpful group of people here. :)
When it comes to moving a houseboat, it is generally cheaper in the long run to hire a professional boat mover. You can click here for a free quote for a good houseboat transport company.
Now about houseboat trailers, you're right, trailers usually come with smaller boats or pleasure craft. Unfortunately, with houseboats, because of their large sizes, and beam/widths, it would be rather expensive to include one with them all.
So depending on the size, most houseboats stay on the lakes and rivers where they are launched, and they generally travel anywhere by water, if possible.
Now if you were to buy a houseboat, and you want to have it transported "out of state", you would generally hire a transport company to move it to it's new location. We have a great article on houseboat transport tips and companies.
When it comes to Trailerable houseboats, and since they usually comes in sizes from 22ft to 30ft, they have their own custom fitted trailers, and can be pulled, or towed with most standard large vehicles.
When it comes to smaller pontoon houseboats, they have unique style trailers that have two long "fork like" arms, and they can used to lift the pontoon houseboat by using and supporting the cross-members between the pontoon cylinders.
When you want to move or trailer larger "full hull" style houseboats, they are generally lifted with either a hydraulic or electric Travel Lift (right hand side picture above), and are used to place houseboats onto transport trucks, or used to move/store boats around the boat yard.
The travel lift is driven to a special wharf dock area, where the houseboats can be driven in between the overhead structure, and large web straps or slings are precisely placed under the hull, then raised evenly and slowly.
Once raised, the travel lift is capable of slowly advancing on large balloon style wheels, to where the houseboat can be lowered onto a flat-bed transport trailer. (left hand picture above)
The house boat is usually blocked, and strapped down onto the transport truck trailer, ready to be hauled. The reverse procedure is used to launch the houseboat at its new location.
One last popular houseboat trailer method, is with large, long, high weight capacity, long arm hydraulic trailers, that can be used to haul out large house boats via the traditional "launch ramp" method.
They back these big hydraulic adjustable trailers into the water launch ramp area, and the houseboats are driven directly onto the carpeted pads located between the adjustable arms/forks.
Then with a fifth wheel style transport truck, they are capable of pulling the trailer & houseboat out of the water, and ready for hauling, maintenance, or repairs.
This concludes my attempt to use "words" to "visually describe" the different houseboat trailering methods possible and commonly found in many boat yards and marinas...
Lastly, hopefully some of our readers will share and post comments about their houseboat trailer & transport experiences. Feel free to use the "Click here to post comments." link found at the bottom of this page.
Thanks again for sharing, IAN - from www.all-about-houseboats.com
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