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  1. #1

    How big is too much to handle?

    Hi all,

    Can I ask what size aluminium / plate boat is too big for one person (generally). Would most well setup 5.5m boats be usable into your 60's ? Would you be better to go for a 5m runabout ?

    I suspect a number of members here have gone through the process of downsizing. I'd like to know what triggered it and when it happened. I can't imagine owning a larger boat gets easier over the years!

    Cheers,

  2. #2

    Re: How big is too much to handle?

    6.25m is perfect for solo
    6.7m is getting up there
    Just make sure yu are set up so you can easily drive the boat on and off the trailer
    I have some tips here on how I set mine up for quick and easy use - has served me well for several years now without a problem
    http://www.ausfish.com.au/vforum/sho...ving-a-Dunbier
    Just get what you want - set it up right and enjoy it!
    Cheers

    Trev

  3. #3

    Re: How big is too much to handle?

    Handling a boat solo has more to do with your skill set, your set up and your preferred launching facility than the size of the vessel. Cost can come into it a bit with retirement meaning a drop in disposable income but there are plenty of "old boys" around with pretty substantial toys.

  4. #4

    Re: How big is too much to handle?

    Quote Originally Posted by scottar View Post
    Handling a boat solo has more to do with your skill set, your set up and your preferred launching facility than the size of the vessel. Cost can come into it a bit with retirement meaning a drop in disposable income but there are plenty of "old boys" around with pretty substantial toys.
    Good points. FWIW, I can launch (drive on/off) and retrieve my 7.5m platey single handed, but preferrably at a ramp wth pontoon alongside ramp.

  5. #5

    Re: How big is too much to handle?

    I’ve fished solo out of my little cat Webster twin fisher and effectively out of my old 5.2m Kevlacat as a few times I’ve been the only one capable of operating the boat and parking the trailer. I think if you are planning on doing it solo often you need to ensure 3 things.

    1. Make sure you have a good drive on trailer. Nothing worse than waiting half an hour back at the ramp for some bloke to back his trailer in then manoeuvre the boat and winch it on after a long day while you’re sat in the water waiting for the pontoon/ramp.

    2. Access off the boat onto the the trailer once you’ve got it on. You’ll be keeping the engines in gear while you scurry forward to hook up the chains then back on to turn the engines off then back off to drive her out.

    3. Time of launch/ where you launch. Coming back in usually isn’t too much of an issue if you get the retrieve down pat. But launching can be another story when there’s a line up at the ramp and it takes a while to back it down, launch the boat, leave your car on the ramp while you tie the boat up and then run back to clear your car from the ramp. If you have a local ramp that makes that process quick then no worries. If not you need to time your departures so that the fewest people will be lined up as possible or possibly have sinkers thrown at you.
    Democracy: Simply a system that allows the 51% to steal from the other 49%.

  6. #6

    Re: How big is too much to handle?

    My “downsize” was from a 632f Haines Signature to a 580 Tournament Bluewater centre console.
    My reason was that I was told at 47 that I require both knees replaced so I had a few things to consider.

    I didn’t want to be restricted to pontoon only launching and retrieving and even though I had a boat latch this still required me to beach the boat and park the car if there was no pontoon (spinnakers at Bribie is my usual ramp.) This took its toll on my dodgy knees as the cabin was a hindrance and wading in waste deep water throwing the leg over was also not ideal.

    After some serious thought I decided on a centre console which works a treat as I only have to put my bum on bow and swing the legs over and I’m standing on the flat surfaced casting platform made easier without bow rails.

    90% of my boating is solo as the kids have grown and moved out so the cabin for me was always a waste of Fishing space as I never slept in the cabin (made me nauseous) and always swagged it on the deck. The Tournament’s casting deck is large enough for me to still roll the swag out for overnighters.

  7. #7

    Re: How big is too much to handle?

    Yep, agree with most things posted, the biggest factors are, the trailer, the ramp and your skill/routine if you can drive off the trailer, tie up the boat to a suitable jetty/pontoon, then it's a cinch, reverse procedure when you come home, tie up boat, get car, hop in boat, drive on trailer (a boat catch gizmo can be handy) get out of boat, drive car out, job done, when it's crowded it can be nerve wracking though.

  8. #8

    Re: How big is too much to handle?

    I think the previous comments all pretty well hit the nail on the head (time & time again)

    From my perspective - A well set up large boat & trailer can be easier to manage than a small poorly set up tinny .

    I've gone from a 5m side console (reasonably well set up) to a 6.15m CC (well set up) ...... It's easier for me to launch and retrieve the larger boat . The catching mechanism (Bar-catch) is a god send for solo work. My spare tyre is my step down onto the drawbar - eventually I'll have steps built into the winch post (when it becomes more difficult) …… Often I don't even get my feet wet .

    Not having a pontoon available makes it difficult in anything other than a tinny that you can manhandle …….. for me it was no drama in my old 480 Hornet but just crap in the 5m Seajay …… & really difficult in the 615 WR Barcrusher . So pontoons are a must .


    It was mentioned earlier - but skill set & preparation for solo launching / retrieving is pretty important - Most people at a ramp will be patient with someone going solo - if they look like they know what they are doing. If not try not to use a boat ramp at peak periods ….. launch earlier or come back later . There are ramps that I avoid because it's too difficult to solo launch - but that's just the reality regardless of age.

    Chris
    Give a man a fish & he will eat for a day !
    Teach him how to fish
    & he will sit in a boat - & drink beer all day!
    TEAM MOJIKO

  9. #9
    Ausfish Addict disorderly's Avatar
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    Sep 2006
    Location
    In the Jungle

    Re: How big is too much to handle?

    For everyone that doesn't have a built-In boat catcher like Chris's Barcrusher, what does everyone else use for a catch/latch.....?

  10. #10

    Re: How big is too much to handle?

    I've seen people on here using a dedicated rope tied to the stern cleat with a loop that goes over a hook fixed to the trailer Disorderly.
    Foolproof and simple.

  11. #11

    Re: How big is too much to handle?

    Quote Originally Posted by disorderly View Post
    For everyone that doesn't have a built-In boat catcher like Chris's Barcrusher, what does everyone else use for a catch/latch.....?
    For me, it’s a L&R boatlatch. Works a treat and can be installed pretty easily yourself.

  12. #12

    Re: How big is too much to handle?

    Cheers all.

    Is there a valet service at boat ramps ? I'd like the valet to park and retrieve the car ...

    :-)

    There is 'boat latch' (https://boatlatch.com/) and 'boat catch' (https://boatcatch.com/) which one is better / works ? Are they the same thing essentially ?

    Rgds,

  13. #13

    Re: How big is too much to handle?

    For the few fishing clubs I was in there were always older fellas 60+ who ere looking for people to help take their boats out.
    They were always bay type boats bigger then 5m

    Use to take them out in their bigger boats for offshore stuff and took them out on mine for river creek stuff

    It’s just not launch and retrieve
    It’s storing maneuvering it at home, towing in traffic. Getting into it at home for maintenance

  14. #14

    Re: How big is too much to handle?

    Hi smakka. I agree with all previous comments, having been solo launch/retrieve with my 6.2M CC alloy boat for last 4 years. I always launch from my preferred ramps in the early hours, 5.00am generally, to avoid busy times and return around midday. The boat catch works a treat with a 19mm ss pin ensuring it is well secured to the winch post. I always secure the safety chain before driving up the ramp. I also suggest you consider a boading ladder to help climbing up/down/ over the bow rail. Keep the skids well lubed with Lanox to ensure the boat slides on an off the trailer easily. Make sure the trailer is not too deep in the water otherwise the skids don't work as well.

    PS. There are valet services a commercial marinas but you will pay for it. $100+ each week. Cheers SS.20190828_141706.jpg

    Sent from my LG-H815 using Ausfish mobile app

  15. #15

    Re: How big is too much to handle?

    Quote Originally Posted by disorderly View Post
    For everyone that doesn't have a built-In boat catcher like Chris's Barcrusher, what does everyone else use for a catch/latch.....?
    For my previous 3 boats - it just meant driving the boat on - hit the winch roller ….. leave the boat motoring forward - walk up to the front lean over & hook on the winch strap - walk back & back the motor off ( turn off)
    The Seajay - I actually have to step over the rail onto the draw bar and hook up the winch - wind up …… get back on & turn the boat off .

    The catch …. just means I hook up & can immediately turn the motor off .

    It sounds a little daunting ….. but once you learn how much power you need to have - it's a breeze …….. The boat wont go any further forward because of the angle of the trailer and the resistance of the skids / rollers & the winch post .

    Any well set up drive on trailer will handle this …….. yes it is more difficult with a cabin boat & in that case I would invest in boat catch / boat latch or something similar .

    Chris
    Give a man a fish & he will eat for a day !
    Teach him how to fish
    & he will sit in a boat - & drink beer all day!
    TEAM MOJIKO

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