Which Trailer Sailer Is For You ?
Which Trailer Sailer is for you? There has never been a better time to get into Trailer Sailer's. There are literally hundreds of designs to choose from. No matter your sailing interest or capability there is something that will suit. If you interested in buying your own boat there are many very affordable options.
Trailer yachts started with the Silhouette, designed in 1953 by Robert Tucker for home construction in marine ply. Trailer yachts in Australia really took off with New Zealander Richard Hartley's 1963 designed Hartley TS16. By the 1980's there was virtually a new design coming out every month, with many thousands built over the next two decades. Australian boat manufacturing virtually ceased during the 1990's with the advent of modern manufacturing in low cost labour markets. This left imported Trailer Yachts as the only option. However, relatively they were quite expensive, heavy and not designed with Australian traffic regulations in mind! This remains a factor today and something that needs to be considered when choosing what design to buy.
Fortunately, Australian made trailer yachts were very well built and designed. Designers and builders worked hard to manufacture their view of the perfect trailer yacht. This has meant we now have a huge array of trailer yachts to choose from. Whilst most are now over 20 years old, trailer yachts are generally kept out of the water, and often under cover, which has certainly ensured their longevity. Depending on the design and condition of the trailer yacht you choose, good examples can be found from as little as $5000 through to well over $30,000 for large later models.
When pursuing your Trailer Sailer dream, some things to consider are;
- Sailing ability - select a design that is well within your current sailing ability. Sailing is meant to be enjoyable so you want to always be in control and not scare your crew off!
- Personal agility - weather crewing or owning choose a trailer yacht that suits your physical ability and agility. The larger, heavier and higher performance the trailer yacht the more physical strength and agility you require. Many actively sail trailer yachts from toddler to well into their eighties. There is definitely a trailer yacht for everybody.
- Length - most trailer yachts are displacement yachts. This means the longer the yacht the faster it will go. Whilst this may seem appealing, in reality all racing is handicapped so regardless of speed it should be a relatively even playing field. Don't shy away from slower boats as your sailing will be a lot less stressful and you get more of it.
- Where will it be kept - NSW road rules define a maximum overall trailer/yacht/mast length that is allowed to be parked on the street. Most of the larger trailer yachts will exceed this dimension.
- Weight - Trailer sailers have to be towed. Consider your tow vehicle in your purchase decision. Whilst technically you can tow to the maximum allowable braked weight specification for your vehicle, practically about 70% of this value makes for comfortable towing. You want to ensure you maintain control of your trailer yacht and that it doesn't end up the other way around!