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Cradles, Trailers & Jackstands
A boat on shore needs support that handles the boat's weight without stressing the hull unduly. What this means in practice is that the cradle must be sized to place support at the hull's strong points, at or approximately at the bulkheads just in front of and just aft of the keel, and on a boat like the 27 Marks I to IV, it must compensate for the disproportionate weight placed on the bow by the keel shape. Saving a few hundred dollars on a cradle that doesn't satisfy these requirements can permanently damage a valuable boat. At the same time, the support must allow access to the hull for cleaning and anti-fouling painting. Above all these requirements, the support must ensure the safety of people working on the boat or in its vicinity; see more on this below.
The most common cradle in Ontario is made by Marine Cradle Shop in a 5-pad (principal example below) or 7-pad configuration. Dimensions of their C&C 27 cradle are given below. Since the Mk III and IV differ from the Mk I and II mainly in the length of the stern section, the Marine Cradle Shop cradle is identical for Marks I to IV. The same company makes the Cradle Ride trailers shown below.
Sailboats, trailers and your insurance company – Recently insurance companies have broadened the restrictions on trailering to all vessels. If you used to be exempt from the limitation on your radius of travel, you aren't now. Going more than 300 miles from home (yes, miles, in a country that's officially metric) will cost you extra.
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Safety with respect to a cradle is largely common sense:
Safety with respect to jackstands requires skirting some pitfalls that appear to be common enough that Seaworthy, a magazine devoted to boat insurance loss prevention, devoted an article to recommended practices. Jackstand support failure is often progressive; a tarp tied to a stand works loose and begins to flap; the flapping loosens the jackstand and ultimately it falls. Or a block of wood between the stand and the hull falls out because the stand has subsided into gravel or weak asphalt, so the stand then falls.
Also, people are occasionally injured or killed by toppling boats, usually because the person is so preoccupied with working on the boat that he (and it's normally someone working alone) has moved a jackstand without thinking. If you use jackstands, it's worth taking these recommendations to heart:
C&C 27 Marks I to IV are very similar in the mid-section, so one size fits all.