Does it fit in your garage?

Started by Trailz, Sep 02, 2023, 03:50 PM

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I'm curious to know what small cabin boat + trailer fits in a fairly standard garage.


In buying my last 3 houses where I wanted to store a pop-up camper, I found there is no such thing as a "fairly standard garage".

Length of a stall varies from 19ft to 22+ft.  A standard single stall garage door is less than 8ft wide, and a double door is 17ft.  A standard door is usually 7ft high with door opened.  A garage door opener will often limit height inside the bay to not a lot higher than 7ft.

Most boats on trailers have a substantial tongue in front of the boat, so length required is not just the boat length, but boat length PLUS trailer tongue in front of the boat.  If your mast is longer than the boat, you have to account for the mast, too.

Similarly, many sailboat trailers put the boat between the wheels to reduce water depth needed at the launch ramp.  This makes the trailer wider than the boat.  So a boat with 7ft beam may have a trailer that is the full 8ft wide allowed (that is the case with my Mariner 19).

I know Sun Cats are just over 7ft high with the mast down on the crutch.  It can be gotten into a garage with lowering the trailer nose to get the front end of the mast below 7ft.  The factory trailer for my Stuart Mariner is available with a folding tongue to reduce garage length needed.  But the mast is 24ft 10in long, and I have yet to find a single garage bay that long.

My guess is that any boat longer than 16ft is going to have major difficulties fitting in a garage bay.  My 14ft box camper is 21ft 10in long, so just fits in my garage bay.  I have to remove the spare tire off the back to fit it in.

Measure carefully, and hope you find what you want.

Fred W
Stuart Mariner 19 #4133  Sweet P
Yeopim Creek, Albemarle Sound, NC

Bruce Mason

Fred gives you excellent advice here.

I would add that you shouldn't rely on dimensions provided by others. I wanted a easily-trailered, open-cockpit catboat for day sailing, to be berthed in my garage. The Com-Pac offerings beat the other boats in production for my needs. I would have gone with a Sunday Cat or Daysailer, but the height on the trailer was a concern. I went with the Picnic Cat, which I'm very happy with, because Tom Ray when he worked at Gulf Island Sails measured the height of the PC on a trailer as 76". When I took delivery I found that the minimum height for my boat and trailer was 79", and the mast stub hit the garage door frame. I was able to remount the tongue jack and gain about an inch, which made the difference. Tom said he'd done the best he could on uneven ground, and I'm sure there's variations between trailers anyway.

There are lots of work arounds, but do the best you can to get accurate measurements up front!
Aroo, PC 308
Narragansett Bay, RI


My MacGregor 19 with a 40hp Merc fits in a 21/22 foot bay with a 7 foot door. The bimini collapses, and the tongue extension I added is hinged to fit; but the original trailer that came with the boat fits fine. Roger designed a lot of his boats from the 80s to fit in a standard garage and they were light enough to be towed by the anemic cars of that era. My Potter 15 on an oversized ShoreLandr trailer (which originally carried a 17-foot boat) easily fits, and I'll bet a WWP19 would be OK, too.

Dave Scobie

Sage 17, Sage 15, SageCat (15' catboat), Montgomery 15, Potter 14/15.

Riley Smith

As well as various and sundry custom boats....


Vela is a Sage 15. 9x8 ft garage door. No issues outside of my backing up skills fitting into the garage. But I winter store her in the car port. 10ft wide and more direct access. Only ~6 feet of height clearance on the portside. Still plenty of clearance.

Ken j