How to Lift a Boat off a Trailer – Boston Whaler 13 Restoration – Part 9

boston whaler resting on both stands

If you do boat restorations, you’ll eventually have to get the boat off a trailer and onto boat stands. Moreover, you’ll probably have to flip it over as well. I’m restoring this Boston Whaler 13 and have finished the interior. I have to get this boat off the trailer and onto boat stands. That way, I can repair any damage and get the hull finished. In this article, I’ll be describing how we pull the boat off the trailer and onto a boat stand.

The stand we are using isn’t a normal boat stand you would expect. My Boston Whaler has a dry weight of 320 pounds. This gives us a lot of flexibility in what stands we use. It also let’s us move the boat around by hand. The stands I used for this consist of cinder blocks and 2×4’s. The 2×4’s have been carpeted to protect the gunwales, which are finished.

Preparing to get the Boat Off the Trailer

First, we need to prepare the stands for the boat. I used eight cinder blocks, two 2×4’s and some old carpeting. I also used some pave stones to level out the boat stand as the area I’m working in sits on an incline. Using seven foot lengths of carpet, about eight inches wide, I stapled these on to the 2×4’s. This will give the boat a non marring surface to rest on.

Next, I positioned two cinder blocks on either side of the boat towards the rear. I also put a paver on top of the port side cinder blocks, and two pavers on the starboard side. This serves to provide some leveling as the ground on the starboard side sits lower than the port side. This is not critical but helps in keeping everything in balance.

Once the cinder blocks and pavers were in position, we hooked up our truck to the trailer and pulled it forward about 3 feet. At this point, I placed the carpeted 2×4 across the cinder blocks and pavers.

Getting the Boat off the Trailer

Now that everything is in position, it’s time to start pulling the boat off the trailer. Being that this Boston Whaler is so light, it was a simple matter of pulling it back by hand. Since Whalers need to rest on keel rollers, pulling it back was fairly easy. I pulled it back far enough to lift over and rest it on the 2×4 and leave about 18 inches hanging over the back.

At this point, I set the front cinder blocks, pavers and 2×4 in place. While carefully holding on to the transom, I had an assistant slowly drive the trailer forward. Make sure your assistant drives slowly and carefully. My son did a spectacular job on this (as can be seen in the video below). I had him drive it far enough forward that bow started to dip while the keel was still on the rear roller of the trailer. Check out his YouTube channel here: HomieJoey

Next, I placed the second padded 2×4 across the front cinder block supports. Once this was done, my son simply drove the trailer away whicle I held on to the transom of the boat. The whaler gently dropped onto the 2×4 and the boat was off the trailer!

Flipping the Boston Whaler 13 Over

Of course we weren’t completely finished. We needed to get the boat flipped over. This was fairly easy to do. No doubt because the boat is fairly light. This worked well with a 13 footer but may be a little more difficult with larger boats. A friend of mine did something similar with a 15′ Whaler, so it’s not in the realm of being impossible.

We did this by gently sliding the boat over to the starboard side. This was accomplished by having one of us on the transom and the other at the bow. We simply slid it over a foot or so at a time, alternating between bow and transom. I should mention that it’s a good idea to keep an eye on the cinder blocks while doing this. It would be quite easy to tip them over if the 2×4 pulls against them to heavy or to far.

Boat flipped over on stands

Once we had the boat over as far as reasonably possible. We simply lifted the boat up and rested it on it’s ports side. We then walked it over some more. Once again, once we had it far enough over we simply lowered it and gently dropped it on to the 2×4’s.


Adjust Your Boat Stands

The last thing we needed to do was to adjust the stands. I did this by moving the cinder blocks close to the boat on all sides. This has the weight of the boat resting directly on the cinder blocks rather than the 2×4’s. if you look at the video, you’ll see the 2×4’s bending slightly with direct weight. Having the weight rest on the cement blocks seems like a better idea.

Last Words

Now that the boat is off the trailer and flipped over, I’ll be working on patch and repairs. Once the weather warms up enough, I’ll get the glass work done and start the painting. Then we’ll flip it back over!

Here’s a link to the complete series of this Boston Whaler 13 Restoration

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