Leveling up a boat on trailer

steveinak

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Got my boat home on sunday, parked next to the shop and now its time to get my arse in gear and get the split house project going. I need to level up the boat so where do i take the level readings from? Do i put a straight edge across the gunnels and put the level on that? Just use the deck? Use the engine box? or use the old-time boat builders way and stand back and eyeball it once i get it close?? I know Brian has mentioned taking all but one set of tires off the trailer and then blocking it all up but i'd rather not have to do that if i can just block up some of the trailer framing instead.

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duxbait

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I would use the deck... I would think thats about as level as you are going to get? and anyways you will want the wheelhose to come off the deck at 90 degrees
 

tunaorlater

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Use the water line. That's what you will be looking at once it's done. The deck should be pitched back.
 

MDI45

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Steve,You wanna use the water line like Tuna said take a measurement off the bow and at the transome.....that was told that by Wayne Beal ........he said thats the best way
 
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Downeaster

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When I was building, I called it a water level. Buy male and female garden hose barbs and about three feet of clear 5/8" hose. Attach an 18" piece of the clear hose to each barb and then screw the barbs to any garden hose. You don't have to be fancy or even careful but make sure that the hose is filled with water and that there isn't any air trapped anywhere.

You now have the world's best level for a project like this. Duct tape the clear hose adjacent to your waterline and have at it with a jack. I would recommend your pulling the trailer's tires and blocking it up with cinder block, lumber or what have you so that nothing will slowly shift during you project.

Figuring that you have the garden hose and blocking materials, you'll spend less than ten bucks on this and maybe less than five. Good luck!
 

Downeaster

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Steve,You wanna use the water line like Tuna said take a measurement off the bow and at the transome.....that was told by Wayne Beal thats the best way

Concur here too. First thing that I'd do once a hull was in the shop was to determine where the waterline should be and level the hull to it. Everything (the floor installation, whatever) on your boat was contingent upon starting with that level waterline.
 

Powderpro

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Steve- All the guys are correct, the waterline is what you use to level the boat. I typically use my 6'6" long level to get a good accurate reading, but a 4'er will work fine too. My Wesmac is on a triple axle trailer, we removed the tires from the back 2 axles, and the front axle tires are still about 5" off the ground. So in other words, the frame at the back of my trailer is literally touching the concrete floor and the frame on the front of my trailer is about 4' off the ground (that's a pretty steep angle). The frame of my trailer in the front would be about 6' off the ground if I did not remove the tires from the back 2 axles. Removing tires from the back axles is the only way to go;). If I did not remove those tires, I don't know how I would have leveled my boat.
 

mcm44

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Leveling question

Hi all, im new to this forum, bear with me as i ask why are boats leveled? Is it for storing properly or load distribution to the hull?
 

harpoon83

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In this case I believe he is leveling the boat in order to do some work on it, construction usually works best when things are level and plumb.
Normal storage only requires an eye-ball leveling, no need to break out the bubble-stick for yearly storage.
I could be wrong, just my take on it.
 

tunaorlater

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You can buy a laser level and stand pretty cheap these days, there are about 4 million different uses for it while you are finishing a boat. And there great for leveling the hull because u can swivel it around and hit all points.
 

Raider Ronnie

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steveinak

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Steve,You wanna use the water line like Tuna said take a measurement off the bow and at the transome.....that was told that by Wayne Beal ........he said thats the best way

Mike,
What do i measure to? the ground? if the ground it will totally different cause the ground ain't level, i could see that working if it was on a concrete pad or inside a shop.
 

steveinak

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When I was building, I called it a water level. Buy male and female garden hose barbs and about three feet of clear 5/8" hose. Attach an 18" piece of the clear hose to each barb and then screw the barbs to any garden hose. You don't have to be fancy or even careful but make sure that the hose is filled with water and that there isn't any air trapped anywhere.

You now have the world's best level for a project like this. Duct tape the clear hose adjacent to your waterline and have at it with a jack. I would recommend your pulling the trailer's tires and blocking it up with cinder block, lumber or what have you so that nothing will slowly shift during you project.

Figuring that you have the garden hose and blocking materials, you'll spend less than ten bucks on this and maybe less than five. Good luck!

I knew i bought one of those a few years ago at a thrift shop thanks for reminding me !! P9250799.jpg

I'm not going to take the tires off we get quite a few earthquakes here and one moderate shake and i'll be hiring a crane to pick up the boat and trailer to put the tires back on it or to put the boat back on the trailer.

P9250799.jpg
 

steveinak

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Steve- All the guys are correct, the waterline is what you use to level the boat. I typically use my 6'6" long level to get a good accurate reading, but a 4'er will work fine too. My Wesmac is on a triple axle trailer, we removed the tires from the back 2 axles, and the front axle tires are still about 5" off the ground. So in other words, the frame at the back of my trailer is literally touching the concrete floor and the frame on the front of my trailer is about 4' off the ground (that's a pretty steep angle). The frame of my trailer in the front would be about 6' off the ground if I did not remove the tires from the back 2 axles. Removing tires from the back axles is the only way to go;). If I did not remove those tires, I don't know how I would have leveled my boat.

Brian,
When my boat is on the trailer it sits slightly bow down but i can get water to run out the scuppers by cranking up the front of the trailer with the front jack stand, my problem is the side to side level, when going around the deck with a 2' level its seems to be about a 1/8 of the bubble off center all around so i don't think it will take that much to get it level. All i'm really worried about is getting the rear corner of the split house wall to look right when looking at it from the stern.
 

steveinak

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You can buy a laser level and stand pretty cheap these days, there are about 4 million different uses for it while you are finishing a boat. And there great for leveling the hull because u can swivel it around and hit all points.

Doesn't a laser level need a level surface to start with ? I don't think it would help me level the waterline if the ground isn't level ?? right or am i to Polish and missing something ??
 

tunaorlater

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No they self level. The tool has a ton of uses on and off the boat.
 
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