Trailers

A conversation among Whalers
DJ_Ambrose
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2018 6:44 am
Location: North Jersey

Trailers

Postby DJ_Ambrose » Sun Mar 10, 2019 1:12 am

Hi all. I'm in a bit of a quandary and I was hoping you guys can offer a little help. I'm may buy an Outrage 20 that is in great shape, is a really good deal, butt has no trailer. I should probably add that the total extent of the trailer's use would be to take the boat from my driveway, a little over a mile on flat, 25-MPH, low-traffic roads to the marina, where I would then launch and drive it to my dock. Then in the fall from the marina back to my driveway.

I know a local mobile marine mechanic who does great work, is patient, lets you buy your own parts, all with a labor rate about half that of the marina. And, I like working on the boat off-season, as well, and, as we all know, most marinas are not too fond of this idea.

I priced new trailers and there is just no way I can justify spending about a third the total cost of the boat on a trailer that's going to travel two miles a year. I've also spent a lot of time looking for a used trailer but couldn't find any appropriate, reasonably priced, bunk and keel roller trailers. If the boat's going to spend all winter on it, I want it to be on the proper type of trailer.

Here's some of the other ideas I had and want your advice about:

--buy an appropriately sized roller trailer--there seems to be about 15 roller wheel trailers for every bunk and keel-rollerl trailer out there; cut the roller wheels off, have my friend weld a few brackets for me to mount bunks on, and a few cross members (if needed) for keel rollers.

--here's an interesting one: I've found there are TONS of boats ranging from free to $400 dollars on places like Craigslist that have trailers in decent shape. Get one of these boats with trailers, and then donate the boat to one of those boat donation organizations. I've found a few who have no problem with donating the boat and let you keep the trailer.

--get a free trailer without a trailer title; the ads usually say something like "trailer good for storage only." I sold a boat and trailer years ago and forgot to give the buyer the title. I still have it. I would use this title to get a registration and plates. I should probably say that I'm a retired cop, and I never stopped a trailer in my entire career. But even if I did, I can't imagine I would have crawled under the trailer to see if the VIN on the trailer and reg matched. Plus, honestly, the only thing the state really cares about is that they get their fee for every vehicle on the road. A victimless crime if you will.

Of course, before I pick up any trailer I would replace the tires, wheels, bearings, and make sure the axle and suspension are road worthy.

So, that's it. Any opinions, comments on my ideas, or any of your own would be sincerely appreciated. Whalers Rule--David

jimh
Posts: 7849
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2015 12:25 pm
Location: Michigan, Lower Peninsula
Contact:

Re: Trailers

Postby jimh » Sun Mar 10, 2019 10:05 am

Look for a used trailer with bunks. Then add a keel roller or two. That conversion will be less work that cutting off a dozen floppy roller mounts.

There are plenty of classic 22-foot Boston Whaler classic hulls sitting on bunk trailers with just a couple of keel rollers. It is not absolutely necessary to have the entire weight of the hull resting on keel rollers. Bunks located close to keel center line work, too.

If you were really paranoid about letting the keel carry more weight, once the trailer is in its winter storage location you could use some lumber and two bottle jacks to pick up some more weight on the keel.

User avatar
Phil T
Posts: 1309
Joined: Thu Oct 22, 2015 6:08 pm
Location: NYC then MA, NY, ME,DC,ME, now Kentucky
Contact:

Re: Trailers

Postby Phil T » Sun Mar 10, 2019 1:19 pm

All your ideas are worthy.

Keep in mind parts add up. My current boat came on an old rusty trailer. When I priced all the parts to replace, it was half the price of a new trailer. I have seen decent dual-axle galvanized trailers without brakes on Craigslist for $1,000. Be patient and check often.
Member since 2003
1992 Outrage 17, 1992 Evinrude 115

User avatar
andygere
Posts: 29
Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2015 2:13 pm

Re: Trailers

Postby andygere » Sun Mar 10, 2019 9:05 pm

Your second idea is a good one, often the trailer is worth more than the boat it is under. The problem is getting rid of a boat that is sitting on it. You may end up cutting it up and taking it to the dump, not an awful prospect but itchy and a fair amount of work. I think you would have some difficulty donating a trailerable boat without a trailer.
1989 Outrage 22 Cuddy

jimh
Posts: 7849
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2015 12:25 pm
Location: Michigan, Lower Peninsula
Contact:

Re: Trailers

Postby jimh » Mon Mar 11, 2019 8:35 am

DJ_Ambrose wrote:...I priced new trailers and there is just no way I can justify spending about a third the total cost of the boat on a trailer that's going to travel two miles a year.


You may be under-valuing the OUTRAGE 20 boat. A similar new Boston Whaler boat is probably selling for over $70,000. Investing in a new $4,000 trailer may be a prudent move to protect your asset.

conch
Posts: 152
Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2015 8:43 am
Location: Florida Keys,Hawaii,Mississippi

Re: Trailers

Postby conch » Tue Mar 12, 2019 8:53 am

...I sold a boat and trailer years ago and forgot to give the buyer the title. I still have it. I would use this title to get a registration and plates. I should probably say that I'm a retired cop, and I never stopped a trailer in my entire career. But even if I did, I can't imagine I would have crawled under the trailer to see if the VIN on the trailer and reg matched. Plus, honestly, the only thing the state really cares about is that they get their fee for every vehicle on the road. A victimless crime if you will.


DAVE--my opinion: this is a really poor choice, though it gives us a pretty good insight into your values. If you succeed with this crime what will be next? How will you equip your boat? Shoplift at West Marine?
Chuck

dtmackey
Posts: 445
Joined: Thu Sep 28, 2017 9:29 pm

Re: Trailers

Postby dtmackey » Tue Mar 12, 2019 10:31 pm

conch wrote:
...I sold a boat and trailer years ago and forgot to give the buyer the title. I still have it. I would use this title to get a registration and plates. I should probably say that I'm a retired cop, and I never stopped a trailer in my entire career. But even if I did, I can't imagine I would have crawled under the trailer to see if the VIN on the trailer and reg matched. Plus, honestly, the only thing the state really cares about is that they get their fee for every vehicle on the road. A victimless crime if you will.


DAVE--my opinion: this is a really poor choice, though it gives us a pretty good insight into your values. If you succeed with this crime what will be next? How will you equip your boat? Shoplift at West Marine?
Chuck


The biggest problem with trailers is the VIN is many times printed on a decal that is applied to the trailer and after the UV light, road debris and age, the decal deteriorates or loses adhesion to the trailer. Owners are not as careful with trailer titles as they are car titles since it's a low concern item, and some states do not require titles after a certain age. Many states recognize this and have a "homemade" clause; you can register under that. Knowing this, I have had a set of die punches and stamp the VIN into every trailer I've owned in the past 10 years to be sure that I do not run into this problem. I've also purchased plenty of trailers from friends where the the decal and VIN are gone, with no title requirement I registered as homemade with a new state-issued VIN over the past 30 years.

I know the local boatyards have many trailers trailers without a VIN or way of tracing to an owner. This situation is far more common than some may think.

Before we rush to judgement on someone asking for help, let's understand the problems and laws and not be judgmental.

D-

jimh
Posts: 7849
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2015 12:25 pm
Location: Michigan, Lower Peninsula
Contact:

Re: Trailers

Postby jimh » Wed Mar 13, 2019 8:27 am

A few years ago the State of Michigan changed the procedure for trailer registration and license plates. Instead of having annual license tags for trailers, which used to cost about $15, the State changed to a "lifetime" trailer license plate, and charged $75. It was a way to collect five times more revenue in the first year of the new law from every trailer owner, which probably gave the State budget a boost in that one year.

Of course, if I were to sell my boat and trailer, the next owner would have to get a new "lifetime" trailer license plate and registration, and I would, too, if I bought a new boat and trailer. But, since I haven't sold my trailer or bought another one, I am now money ahead on trailer license tags. At the moment, I have no idea where the paperwork for the trailer happens to be. I hope it is in a thick file I have with lots of paperwork related to the boat, but since it has been over ten years since my last renewal of the trailer license plate and registration, I haven't had to look for it in over a decade.

The trailer VIN should be on that registration paperwork. I might even have a copy of the manufacturer's certificate of origin, too---somewhere.

conch
Posts: 152
Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2015 8:43 am
Location: Florida Keys,Hawaii,Mississippi

Re: Trailers

Postby conch » Wed Mar 13, 2019 10:45 am

dtmackey -- the OP never mentioned "homemade" in his post. He did ask for opinions on a few of his ideas which he listed. I gave him my opinion on the one idea of his involving obvious fraud. No "rush to judgement", and the law seems clear to me.

Many stolen trailers come back to life as "homemade" making our theft insurance costs ever higher. Easy to commit this crime, as the OP explained to us he would never check to determine true ownership of a trailer during his career as a "cop". So good luck on a recovery, and let us not forget those "homemade" boat titles that are around.

Outboard motors? Not tracked/ registered/ nor titled in most states, yet a new motor for a re-power could cost more than our classic hulls. They are easily stolen as are our electronics.
Chuck

Chris70
Posts: 11
Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2019 8:48 pm
Location: Long Island

Re: Trailers

Postby Chris70 » Wed Mar 13, 2019 6:16 pm

I went through almost the same scenario when I first bought my Whaler . I eventually just folded and bought a brand new Venture bunk trailer. The benefits to a new trailer are the reliability, no DMV headaches, and resale value. Having a newish trailer with paperwork is a good selling point if you plan on ever selling the boat.

dtmackey
Posts: 445
Joined: Thu Sep 28, 2017 9:29 pm

Re: Trailers

Postby dtmackey » Wed Mar 13, 2019 10:23 pm

conch wrote:dtmackey -- the OP never mentioned "homemade" in his post. He did ask for opinions on a few of his ideas which he listed. I gave him my opinion on the one idea of his involving obvious fraud. No "rush to judgement", and the law seems clear to me.

Many stolen trailers come back to life as "homemade" making our theft insurance costs ever higher. Easy to commit this crime, as the OP explained to us he would never check to determine true ownership of a trailer during his career as a "cop". So good luck on a recovery, and let us not forget those "homemade" boat titles that are around.

Outboard motors? Not tracked/ registered/ nor titled in most states, yet a new motor for a re-power could cost more than our classic hulls. They are easily stolen as are our electronics.
Chuck


I do not have statistics on the number of stolen trailers to draw conclusions to how much [trailer theft] raises insurance rate, nor do I have this for outboards.

I agree that the system is broken and VINs are lost on trailers. A mandate on engraving of the VIN into the metal on the trailer would solve many problems. There is no way to trace trailers without VINs with any success rate.

In my parts, I rarely hear of trailer or outboard theft. I understand Florida is a very different story.

D-

ranjr13
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2015 10:32 am

Re: Trailers

Postby ranjr13 » Fri Mar 22, 2019 8:13 am

A couple thoughts:

--If you're sure you're not changing boating locations and only need to get it home off-season, consider paying someone with a small hydraulic trailer to professionally move it. For a couple hundred bucks, you have no worries about the care of your boat while you either keep the [casj] in your pocket you would have paid for a good trailer or save up for one.

--Second, don't cheap out if you do get a trailer. It protects your baby while going down the road and while sitting during the off season. A hac, piece of junk, non-bunk trailer may destroy your boat on the road or add all sorts of bends and impressions to the hull if not supported properly. Be safe and protect your Boston Whaler boat. Best of luck.
Bob Norton Jr
Haddam, Connecticut
1988 18' Outrage