JCM: HOME OF THE 'LOST ART' OF TRAILER SAILING
Fleet duals in the Moreton Bay Regatta 2007. Jules Art Designs
Trailer Sailers, once called trailer yachts, were once an integral part of the marine industry. Today John Crawford Marine is arguably the only used boat yard that sells and maintains an interest in this almost by-gone era and the boats made back then. Our sales staff are often asked “why there are so few Trailer Sailers made today in Australia?” and we believe there are two simple answers.
1. In the mid 80’s fuel pricing and the cost to manufacture rose dramatically. Coinciding with rising inflation, the costs to manufacture skyrocketed including the price of fibreglass resin (a petroleum based product). Hence the retail price escalated.
The boats were often sold with a common salesman line at boat shows in the late 70’s and early 80’s that “Even on a school teachers wage; you could afford a Trailer Sailer!” However with the huge rise in pricing the average family could no longer afford the boats, hence the industry all but collapsed.
However there still remain a few local and loyal boat builders producing low volume but high quality TS’s for the market like the Ross 780 etc. But to our current knowledge, no 5.2 to 6.8m production Trailer Sailers are made and sold through a dealer network. Maybe with the current economic climate changing, we may see a demand return for these boats.
2. The powers that be agreed to introduce a 7 day working week which led to logistical issues like who is going to drop the teenager off to the shop when he/she has to work on Saturday or Sunday? Mums and Dads started working weekends to remain employed and hence the “weekend to the family” structure began to erode.
Now we are time poor (or poor time managers) and sailing takes time. Time to rig at the ramp, time to get out of the harbour, then cruise under the power of sail – relaxing until you remember it’s Sunday and by the time you get back to the ramp, de-rig, prepare for road travel, get home, wash the boat and get the children ready for bed and ready for school day on Monday, watch 60 Minutes and do the ironing…well, you need another weekend to get over it! The family is now literally slaves to the 7 day trading week and may only get to enjoy sailing for a few hours…which inevitably leads to frustration and the sale of the boat.
This is why the manufacture of Trailer Sailers (based on feedback from sellers of the boats over the past 10 years) has all but disappeared in Australia.
However on a brighter note, John Crawford Marine advertises our current stock of Trailer Sailers that we have for sale on our webpage and also on the Trailer Sailer Club of Queensland’s webpage www.tscq.org.au. Make sure you browse through our Trailer Sailer library as it is home to a lot of information that may also assist you in researching and sailing these fine craft.
On behalf of the staff at John Crawford Marine we do hope that you find this section of our webpage helpful.
Full sails and deep water!