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Old 02-20-2012, 04:02 PM
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Default Bottom Painting a Boat on a Trailer

How is done? Can it be done without making a total mess? I've been told to use jack stands to lift the hull and paint where it sits on the bunks. Is there any better way to do it and avoid paying the yard?

FWIW, I've got a 27' grady walkaround with a previously yard-painted bottom.
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Old 02-20-2012, 05:06 PM
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I bottom painted my 305 Express four years ago myself and it was a major project. I had to get it up off my trailer which turned out to be the biggest pain in my opinion. The only way to do it right is to get the boat up on stands and blocks and the trailer out from underneath. There's no way I would attempt to paint the boat with the trailer underneath. That would be killer in my opinion.

You can get it off the trailer with a jack and blocks but it takes time. You have to lift the rear first and block it. Then you gradually start pulling the trailer forward a couple feet at a time by jacking and blocking. Move your jack and block again etc. It takes time but can be done. You need to make sure you have jack stands and blocks positioned properly at all times. Don't rely on the stands to support the boat weight. The blocks do that.

If you thought ahead then you would have laid a plastic tarp on the ground before backing the trailer into it's slot. Once jacked up and on stands then you're free to sand and paint to your hearts content.

Like I said it's a big job and takes time. Would be much simpler if you had a boat hoist to lift and then block. If you rent space at a boat yard then you can do that.
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Old 02-20-2012, 05:22 PM
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I've not done this myself (yet) but have stayed at a Holiday Inn Express before (not last night).

You should be able to do it without a jack. Use the trailer as a lever. Which ancient thinker said if you gave him a big enough lever he could move the world? Galileo? Archimedes?

Anyway, lower the trailer tongue to raise the stern. Block and brace. Ease trailer forward a little, push tongue down, block and brace. Etc., Etc., Etc.
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Old 02-20-2012, 06:22 PM
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I have lowered the trailer jack as far as it would go. Then used a car jack to help lower the tongue the rest of the way to the ground.

From there, block the transom. Now start raising the tongue, the boat will begin to lift off the trailer. Just make sure the front of the bunks keep the boat square to the trailer.

Start blocking the boat even further forward as the boat is raised using the trailer jack.

You may have to play with different blocks to move the trailer to final paint...
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Old 02-20-2012, 06:30 PM
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If you have a cherry picker;

Place your boat stands/ blocks beneath the transom and raise the rear of the boat off of the trailer. Lower the trailer tongue as far as it will go. Then attach the picker to the tow hook on the boat, being sure to place a piece of wood covered with a towel between the hull and the top of the picker. Then slide the trailer out and begin painting.
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Old 02-20-2012, 06:44 PM
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I don't have a cherry picker, don't know if I could grab one to use somewhere. What is the max lifting capacity? I assume it depends by model/angle, etc. and would be stated on the boom. Would make me nervous being under there without some backup support for the bow portion of the hull.
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Old 02-20-2012, 06:56 PM
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I know our picker is rated to 3 tons and most others are also +- 1 ton,

My bad! I left out one of the most important parts. Block the bow after you pull the trailer out! You can either leave the cherry picker hooked to the bow hook for extra support or remove it. We usually remove it.

if you're using cement blocks to block the boat, place some plywood underneath the blocks to level the surface.

Good luck and be safe!
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Old 02-21-2012, 06:53 AM
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Lots of good advice and things to consider. I really appreciate the input!
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Old 02-21-2012, 07:59 AM
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Anyway, lower the trailer tongue to raise the stern. Block and brace. Ease trailer forward a little, push tongue down, block and brace. Etc., Etc., Etc.
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Old 02-21-2012, 09:45 AM
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Thanks guys! One question that comes to mind with the drop, block and brace technique is that we'd be trying it with a bunk trailer. I'd imagine its much easier with a roller. Anyone ever try this with a bunk? Seems that the friction of the forward part of the hull on the bunks raises the risk of pulling the aft sections off the blocks. With the result obviously being not good.
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Old 02-21-2012, 11:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adrenzek View Post
Thanks guys! One question that comes to mind with the drop, block and brace technique is that we'd be trying it with a bunk trailer. I'd imagine its much easier with a roller. Anyone ever try this with a bunk? Seems that the friction of the forward part of the hull on the bunks raises the risk of pulling the aft sections off the blocks. With the result obviously being not good.
Jack the trailer up on one side only. Block the boat at the keel and a few 4x4 with a cut to angle and place them under the very outside edges of the hull and let trailer down. You now can do one side of the boat.When done and boat back on trailer you can go around and touch up the spots where the blocking was. Just did my 30ft 11000lb boat this way. Mine is a bunk.
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Old 02-21-2012, 06:45 PM
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Load the boat tilted on the trailer. Paint what you can get to. Put the boat in the water, then reload it tilted the other direction. Paint the rest. Piece of cake!
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Old 02-21-2012, 08:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adrenzek View Post
Thanks guys! One question that comes to mind with the drop, block and brace technique is that we'd be trying it with a bunk trailer. I'd imagine its much easier with a roller. Anyone ever try this with a bunk? Seems that the friction of the forward part of the hull on the bunks raises the risk of pulling the aft sections off the blocks. With the result obviously being not good.
When I did my 30' boat this way I tied the stern tie downs of the boat to a very big tree. That assured the boat wasn't going to be pulled forward. Worked like a champ.
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Old 02-21-2012, 08:37 PM
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Didn't read all the responses, but you can simply jack the trailer up with boat on it, then block under the boat and lower the trailer from underneath her. Works best with two people and two jacks., will have to do stern then bow and have the trailer hooked up to the truck while doing the jacking.
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Old 02-21-2012, 09:08 PM
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Just did this on my 25ft cc.Get a floor jack,block of wood and 2 boat stands.Place boat stands at stern corners and floor jack with block of wood in center at stern.Raise jack little by little adjusting stands at each corner.All you need is 2-3inches of clearence from the trailer and you can cover everything without even moving the trailer.Just get an extension for the roller and you probably wont even need to crawl up underneath the boat.Really not that big a deal
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Old 02-22-2012, 06:22 AM
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Thanks guys, some great info!
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Old 03-23-2012, 01:09 PM
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What are you guys using for blocks? I checked, 6X6's and 4X4's etc aren't exactly cheap at HD, and I woulld need a bunch to get the desired height.
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Old 11-06-2012, 06:46 AM
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Great info.
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Old 11-06-2012, 07:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adrenzek View Post
How is done? Can it be done without making a total mess?

YES, it can be done and I did it. 28' Formula on a tandem trailer needed lots of rock scrapes filled, then the whole bottom painted.

First, create lifts with 2x8s and drive trailer onto the lifts, in order to give you enough room to move around (and under the axles, etc)

Secondly, cover trailer with heavier plastic (use 6 mil because the cheap 2 mil will blow onto wet paint)

Third, use HVLP with a touch-up gun on the very bottom, and you can use a regular gun on the sides that are seen. Light coats in two or three passes are the way to paint this.

Fourth, when dry, launch boat, and trailer it cockeyed so you can get to the part of the hull that was covered by the bunks (you've already removed bow roller, stern roller, anything you can take off in order to paint it properly.

Fifth, launch boat and replace the bunk carpet.

Sixth, plan a nice vacation or new boat electronics with the thousands of $$ you just saved.

P.S. the hard-to-get-to parts of the hull are those that nobody will ever see, so don't sweat it.
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Old 11-06-2012, 05:51 PM
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Here's what I did for a bunk trailer:
1) Do everything except what is covered by the bunks themselves, and put chocks around wheels.
2) Lift the tongue way up, put blocks under the bow, & lower trailer.
3) Paint between the gap in the front part of the bunks. Part of the bunk is still in contact with boat.
4) Undo step #2 - lift tongue up, remove blocking, lower trailer tongue back down.
5) Lower tongue, block up transom, raise tongue, 1" board under back of bunk, lower tongue, add to blocking under transom, raise tongue, remove 1" board under bunk, paint whatever you couldn't get in step 3
6) Undo previous step and you're done.
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