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How do you fit these newer, taller boats in a standard Garage?

Post By: FXA0      Posted: 1/10/2019 9:41:12 AM     Points: 162    
I have had 3 boat so far. All aluminum, ranging from 16'6" to 18'. They were all older and/or smaller and not particularly tall boats. I never had a problem fitting any of them through a standard garage door. I never even worried about it. My current garage door is 6'11". Depth is not an issue because I have a 38' tandem. Most of the boats I am looking at have maximum height specs in the 6'10" to over 7' range. Are they just meant to not fit in a standard garage? I have done some research online and even spoke to a couple of sales reps. Solutions I have read or heard:

1. Lower the motor if that's the tallest point. That does not seem solve the problem if the tallest point is the windshield.
2. Deflate your tires. This seems like a PITA.
3. Change the height on the garage door. My wife did not like the idea at all... And we are not sure if the HOA would approve.
4. Unhitch the trailer and lower the hitch before backing it in by hand. I tried that at a boat shop yesterday and did not measure any change in the measured height. That did not make sense to me, but I could not dispute the measurements.

I was thinking that most, if not all driveways are on a downward slope to keep water from getting into the garage. That change in level might help lower the tallest point at the windshield. But that may not solve the problem, given what I observed in #4 above.

What tricks and tips do you have? I am looking at 2018-2019 boats: (1) Tracker Pro Guide 175 with a walkthrough, (2) Lund Impact 1775 or 1785 with a walkthrough, or (3) Alumacraft Competitor 175 or 185 with a walkthrough. Personal testimony on whether certain models fit through your standard garage would be useful too. Thanks.

 Reply by: redleader      Posted: Jan. 10, 11:19:35 AM     Points: 557    
No magic boat shrinker or garage enlarger out there that I know of, Build a taller garage, raise the door or buy a shorter boat.
 Reply by: FXA0      Posted: Jan. 10, 11:33:41 AM     Points: 162    
I figured someone would say something like that... But sometimes larger objects can be put into seemingly smaller spaces. :) I was also hoping that someone could attest that #4 and/or the comment below works.
 Reply by: redleader      Posted: Jan. 10, 11:39:56 AM     Points: 557    
I had a Lund that was so close I had to lower the tire pressure, still ended up breaking the radius windshield which was an expensive mistake prior to building a taller garage. Lowering the hitch would obviously lower the front and raise the rear.
 Reply by: FXA0      Posted: Jan. 10, 12:11:25 PM     Points: 162    
I see. Not an ideal solution then. I get frustrated every time I go boat shopping. From the engineering, to choices, to the pricing, to the quality, to the service... You would think that a boat manufacturer would make most of their boats so that they fit in a garage... I was a Basspro yesterday. I was dismayed that aluminium surfaces (sides of boat) that should be smooth are not. You would never accept that on a car. The thing I do like about Tracker is their pricing structure, which is more transparent than other brands. They do also have a good inventory. I can't even look at the Alumacraft and Impact I want in Colorado. Even getting a quote is not an easy task...
 Reply by: Anteroman      Posted: Jan. 10, 12:52:15 PM     Points: 3656    
I solved this problem when I had an 19' Boston Whaler that was a very tight fit in my garage.
My solution was to buy a trailer for the boat with fat low profile tires. Most standard trailers have 13-14-15" tires, the little fat ones are 8" giving you quite a bit more clearance.
 Reply by: Raskal      Posted: Jan. 10, 12:55:11 PM     Points: 2543    
If you have room in your yard (like beside the house) you might consider a separate boat house/shelter (might actually be cheaper).
 Reply by: FXA0      Posted: Jan. 10, 1:01:53 PM     Points: 162    
Anteroman, that was suggested by one of the sales rep I just forgot to list that. That's probably one of the better solutions.

Raskal, my HOA won't allow that. By the way, the Boga grip I bought from you years ago still works great!
 Reply by: cookster      Posted: Jan. 10, 1:24:52 PM     Points: 61646    
Yep i had the same problem. If all else fails and no other options you could pick up a couple car Dollyís from harbor freight and take your tires off and set your boat on the Dollyís and push into your garage for storage for the winter.
 Reply by: Hawaiian Punch      Posted: Jan. 10, 2:49:26 PM     Points: 4061    
Small tires are not a good idea. Think of it this way . . . .Measure around your tires on the truck or car,then measure around a small tire . . . .now how many time must you turn the smaller tire to match the larger tires turn.If you have a 20in rim,your truck tire turns one turn,while the trailer tire turns 2 or 3 times to keep up,this leads to berrings burring up ect.
You guys with 12 in. tires can tell us about how fast they wear out.
 Reply by: Ryan      Posted: Jan. 10, 4:28:47 PM     Points: 1860    
If you are within a small margin (say 2"), I would consider the smaller tires. Except I would go a different direction. See if you can upgrade to a larger wheel and go with a tire that has a smaller sidewall height. That is what many of the wake boat manufactures do.

If the tallest point on the boat is in fact the motor you could look into a stern jack. Never seen one on a fishing boat, but they used to put them on performance boats with outboards to get more top end.

Other than that, I think you have figured out your options. Personally, I would lean towards raising the height of the garage door. I'd be surprised if your HOA wouldn't allow that.

With the prices of new boats, I don't think it is out of line to spend some $$ on the garage so that you can keep it inside.

Personally, I would hate to keep the boat outside. My fishing boat is outside right now because I have a project in its space in the garage and it is killing me.
 Reply by: FXA0      Posted: Jan. 10, 4:59:14 PM     Points: 162    
^ Raising the height of the garage door would be the optimal solution. My wife hates the idea. But it's easier to ask for forgiveness than for permission, as they say. I read somewhere online that someone spent $1,400 to raise their garage door. Seems low. I would imagine it would cost more. But that thread was several years old, as I remember.

I just got a voice mail about 20 minutes ago from the sales rep I talked to yesterday. He talked to 3 other employees and none of them had a real solution. I just have to go with a shorter boat. At least that's an honest answer. The Pro Guide 175 is out of the picture. I am going to look at an Impact 1875 and take some measurements myself this Saturday. The boat is in Nebraska. Fun drive! But there isn't a dealer in town that has an Impact in stock. Crowley has a couple of Impact XS, but I don't like that floor plan, and I would just rather bother the dealer that I am getting the boat from.
 Reply by: FXA0      Posted: Jan. 10, 5:18:56 PM     Points: 162    
I forgot to mention that the sales rep did confirm that he and other(s) measured the height at the windshield with the winch all the way down. There was no measurable reduction in height, compared to the winch being at a more normal position. That seems counter intuitive. Maybe it has to do with the position of the winch / center of pivot / position of windshield.
 Reply by: Goosehunter82      Posted: Jan. 10, 6:02:04 PM     Points: 44878    
It would be a pain to do this every time but if it's just for the winter or something like that you could put it on the toung of the trailer on a floor jack and lower it down all the way and use the tires on the jack to move it. I've done something similar to get a trailer in and out of my back yard.
 Reply by: FXA0      Posted: Jan. 10, 6:32:32 PM     Points: 162    
I am looking for an every day solution. Actually, I don't see myself using the boat much more than 20 times a year, so it won't literally be an every day solution... I want to store my boat in my garage during the fishing season. I often get home late at night or have traveled back from out of state. Sometimes, simply backing the boat into the garage is already too much work. For storage, I could store it on my brother's property. He only lives 10 minutes. He has 3 acres and a large storage shed.
 Reply by: Silent Dave      Posted: Jan. 10, 7:02:26 PM     Points: 1085    
My 1775 Lund crossover with 150 mercury 4 stroke (2015 model) fits through my 7 foot garage door. Just have to make sure the motor is all the way down going thru the door. Windshield clears easy going in and out.
 Reply by: FXA0      Posted: Jan. 10, 7:34:16 PM     Points: 162    
^ That's good information. From what I gathered already, people are saying their Impacts fit, but it's not exact same model year. The Crossover looks like an even deeper boat than the Impact.
 Reply by: Saltwater808      Posted: Jan. 12, 9:56:59 AM     Points: 163    
Can you install an air ride suspension on a trailer? Or install adjustable air bags in weaker springs if you have coils on the trailer instead of just leaf springs.
 Reply by: motoxxx43      Posted: Jan. 12, 10:35:21 AM     Points: 1868    
I had to replace axles on a trailer a few years ago. They were torsion axles and I had them make the ride height a few inches lower than it was from the manufacturer. It wasnt exactly cheap but 1) the axles needed replaced and 2) it now cleared the garage door. ( If you are going to go that route I can give you some helpful info I learned along the way!)

Another option I considered was swapping the windshield for a lower profiled windshield. That would have been close to the cost of new axles on that particular boat.
 Reply by: redleader      Posted: Jan. 12, 10:37:08 AM     Points: 557    
I think it would be a very expensive endeavor changing axles and suspension to lower.
The cheapest option as other mentioned would be to get some 8" rims, impact wrench, floor jack and change out the wheels when parking in garage. You could just put plywood down and not even use tires. Not the easiest but boats like wives and girlfriends normally require extra effort lol.
 Reply by: Digginjiggin      Posted: Jan. 12, 11:35:26 AM     Points: 289    
Actually, changing a single axle out for a torsion like a Torflex isnít that bad, 300 to 400 bucks typically. And most of the time you can do it yourself as they bolt to the bottom side of the frame. Redneck trailer supplies at Frederick north of Denver will sell you the right axle if you take the measurements they tell you to take. Limiting factor is fender clearance, but the lower profile tire sidewall can solve that most of the time. Quite a bit less than raising and replacing the garage door and way less hassle than using coasters and taking off tires at midnight.
 Reply by: redleader      Posted: Jan. 12, 11:42:30 AM     Points: 557    
Good info. The real question is why would you want a boat over 7' tall on trailer for Colorado waters?
 Reply by: thompo      Posted: Jan. 12, 2:54:08 PM     Points: 220    
I didnít measure before bringing my new Crestliner home from minnesota.

It fits by about a quarter inch lol.
 Reply by: Ajax5240      Posted: Jan. 12, 5:57:16 PM     Points: 26630    
Take a look at what the header/lentil height is over your garage door. That is the area of wall over the top of the door opening before it hits your soffit. This will be a pretty big factor in how realistic it is to increase the door height. If it is a 2 car wide garage door ~16-18í wide there are some calculations that go into changing those things. Itís not just a cut a bigger hole, and buy a taller door kind of thing.

While there are some creative ideas on here, I think anything that makes getting the boat in and out of the garage a chore (deflating tires, taking wheels off, etc) will discourage using the boat, which sure isnít the point of buying a new boat. Gotta make it easy.

If the motor is the clearance issue, a hydraulic jack plate could buy you a few inches.

My driveway is very steep, even my older tracker with a 90hp mercy is a close fit going in. Only an inch or two to spare.

I think the reason the windshield height doesnít change much based on tongue jack height is because itís close to the axle. Only the bow and outbord will change much with that.
 Reply by: Dan Swanson      Posted: Jan. 13, 7:18:36 AM     Points: 1359    
The boat show is next weekend. Bring a tape measure. Some boats sit lower on the trailers than others (Rangers for example). I know several people who have Ranger Reatas and 620 and 621s with standard height garages. The do need to trim the motors down to get through the door but the windshield clears.

Look at boats with bubbles instead of walk through windshields.
 Reply by: FXA0      Posted: Jan. 13, 1:11:05 PM     Points: 162    
I am going to go with the easiest solution: get a boat that fits through the door. I looked at a Lund Impact yesterday. It was taller than I imagined. But the windshield height does go up and down, depending on the tongue height. When I first measured it, it stood at 6'11". The dealer lowered the tongue to 20" (towing position), and the windshield height dropped to 6'9".

At Steve: the real question is why would an 17-18 foot boat measure nearly 7' tall on a trailer? I am not looking at 20+ foot boats. It seems to me that boat manufacturers are working as hard as they can to make boat ownership inaccessible to the common man. You must be a patrician with a mansion and hangar to own a boat. It's a conspiracy to keep us plebs and peasants on the shoreline. :)

At Thompo: congrats on your new boat!

At Ajax: my driveway is very steep too, so I am worried about my motor.

At Dan: that's exactly why I am unhappy about what seems to be lacking foresight/engineering in the boating industry. My friend has a Ranger 620. That 20' boat fits perfectly fine through his standard garage door. Yet, here I am worrying about fitting a much more modest boat through my garage door... I love the 620, but I don't like its price tag. I cannot justify that sort of investment to my wife, or myself.

 Reply by: Dan Swanson      Posted: Jan. 13, 4:02:29 PM     Points: 1359    
I get it 600 series boats are pricey. The 1880MS is better priced but still not cheap. You might look at the Ranger aluminum boats. The 1788 is priced about where the Lund Impact is. If they are on Ranger trailers they will probably be not as tall. Unfortunately nobody publishes boat height on trailers as far as I can find.

The boat show should have other brands you can check out too.
 Reply by: FXA0      Posted: Jan. 13, 5:11:54 PM     Points: 162    
I did look at a couple of Ranger's VS series aluminum boats. The 1788 is in the VX series. It appears to be based on the Tracker Targa hull. It's a tall boat, but you are probably right about the Ranger trailer not being as tall. I prefer the floor plan on the Impact 1875 to anything in Ranger's aluminum boat series. It's almost a 19' boat, yet its storage length is just 21'5". I can still park a car in front of that boat in my tamdem garage.

The 1880 angler looks pretty good, but I would personally prefer the Skeeter WX 1910. Of course, getting service and warranty work on the Skeeter would be more difficult, as there aren't any Skeeter dealers in Colorado.
 Reply by: Dan Swanson      Posted: Jan. 13, 5:32:29 PM     Points: 1359    
The first Ranger deep v boats shared designs and construction with Tritons. Great riding for an aluminum boat. But with the purchase by White River Marine Iím not sure anymore. I havenít driven th new models.

The closest Skeeter dealer is at Glendo.
 Reply by: RogBow      Posted: Jan. 13, 6:19:38 PM     Points: 1660    
Your idea of just getting one that fits is the only real solution. The last thing you want to do at 11 pm is mess with tires etc.
 Reply by: redleader      Posted: Jan. 13, 11:16:38 PM     Points: 557    
Thats crazy, I had the problem with a 21' baron back in the 80's.
Hard to believe they're building shorter ones now as tall as that beast was.
Good luck finding the right fit.
 Reply by: Hawaiian Punch      Posted: Jan. 14, 12:16:31 AM     Points: 4061    
FXAO . . . .I don't know if this will help you,but when my friend moved to a new home he found the garage was too short for his boat trailer.He got a trailer tounge hinge kit and we installed it.(That's right! CUT YOUR TRAILERS TOUNGE IN HALF!) I helped install it and if you need to go that way,I'll help you do it for your boat.
 Reply by: FXA0      Posted: Jan. 14, 8:03:40 AM     Points: 162    
Thanks for the offer, Hawaiian Punch! The problem with my garage is not length/depth. My tandem garage is 38 ft deep. The problem is the height. Standard garage doors are supposed to be 7' tall. In reality, depending on how the door was trimmed/finished most garage doors will actually be between 6'10" and 7'0". Mine is 6'11". Or maybe even a hair below 6'11". :)
 Reply by: Hawaiian Punch      Posted: Jan. 14, 8:16:05 AM     Points: 4061    
No problem . . . .I didn't think the length was an issue,just wanted to toss that out there.

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