trailers can be pulled with a full size car or van. The follow is our
estimate of the vehicle you will need.
1 to 4 boats just about any vehicle that will
accept a class “A” hitch. Engine size can be 4 cylinders. Check your
dealership for the specifications on your vehicle.
6 to 8 boats something like a SUV with a
6-cylinder engine is preferred. A towing package with transmission
cooler will assure you have no problems.
9 to 12 and above boats should be pulled with
an 8-cylinder engine. Again check your dealership.
A 16-boat trailer needs a vehicle designed for
towing. Full size Vans or Suburban type vehicles that come with
towing packages are perfect.
One thing to keep in mind the weight of the boats
is very little. The wind age puts the strain on the vehicle.
Unless indoors the Optimist is best stored upside
down. The deck is very solid and can support point loading of weight
while the bottom is a composite, which can indent if point loaded for
long periods of time. The Opti is designed to spill water out of the two
small fore and aft deck holes and the small mid ship frame hole. The
three holes are at the lowest point in the boat when the boat is upside
down. These holes prevent water build up and freeze damage.
A bottom cover is not necessary but will keep the
boat clean. If stored outside raising the boat off the ground with a
couple of 4 foot long 2 X 4’s or 4 X 4’s will protect the cover from rot
and staining of the deck from ground soil.
For indoor storage owners usually want to tie up as
little space as possible. Standing the boat on its stern and leaning
the boat against the wall is very acceptable. The boat balances best
with the bottom against the wall. Be careful to raise the boat at least
3/4 inch off the floor with boards to protect the gudgeons from being
Harken sells a complete pulley package for raising
your Optimist to the ceiling of your garage. Being only 77 pounds the
ceiling load factor is not a problem.
Seen below is the Optimist storage and launch
system at Privateer Yacht Club, Chattanooga, TN. They used the same
rack system as shown in our designing a trailer section but with a
thinner 1/16-inch wall steel.
This Facility Features:
- Two inexpensive
Rubbermaid storage sheds for blades and spare parts
- Foam padded
rails with protected by cover material held in place with Velcro
storage out of the weather in the roof over the boats
- Vertical foam to
protect the boats from the metal as they slide into place
- A dolly launch
ramp and dock allowing young sailors to launch the boats themselves
- Secure footings
bolted to the rack to protect the boats in a windstorm.
- 5 gallon pails
sealed and used as buoys
ever you do “DO NOT SHRINK WRAP” the boat. There have been cases of
moisture trapped in the bottom causing the same type blisters big boats
see when they are left in the water.
Docks used for storage and launching the Optimist
should be carpeted or well protected. Most boat damage occurs at
launching, retrieval and storage. Make sure your docks will not harm the
boat if crashed into or if the boat will be tied up for any length of
The above four pictures were taken at Little Egg
Harbor Yacht Club, NJ. This is one of the most user / boat friendly dock
storage systems you will find anywhere. Notice the 8-inch diameter
plastic pipes used for sail storage. While 6 inch will work the sails
must be rolled perfectly and they will not accept laser sails. The
floating docks are only 6 inches off the water and fully carpeted for
ease of launching. Notice the nice carpeted ramps. Storage on the docks
makes launching easy. The docks are wide enough to allow rigging the
boats. Full carpeting protects the boats in a collision.
edge of this dock is carpeted so the Opti’s can be pulled up on the dock
without damage to the bottoms.
Dollies can be used to launch, retrieve and store
the Opti. The Optiparts dolly can accept the Opti upside down for
long-term storage. Tie the boat to the dolly incase heavy winds come
Please share any ideas you come up with. We will add them to this
narrative for others to use.
McLaughlin Boat Works, World
Champion Boatbuilder For Over 40 Years.