Trailer: Repair or Buy New

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Cow_Tipper
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Trailer: Repair or Buy New

Postby Cow_Tipper » Thu Mar 28, 2019 10:13 pm

I have a 1992 Montauk 17 with a 30-gallon aluminum fuel tank and a 2008 Yamaha 70. I have owned this boat since 2005 and have been through a lot with it. Now that I have the finances, I am looking to give her a little TLC before we start diving and fishing this season. I have never liked the way that she this MONTAUK 17 on the trailer that I bought her on, and I think the trailer is undersized. My first project is to repair the existing trailer or purchase new, so that I no longer have to sweat while driving to the ramp.

My existing trailer is a 1992 Loadmaster which is rated for 1500-lbs. The load rating is actually the only thing still legible on the original trailer sticker. I have a clean title for the trailer. If my hull weight is around 1000 pounds, plus 210-lbs of fuel, plus about 230-lbs for the engine (from what I can find), that gets boat weight to 1540-lbs. Now add 10-percent for gear and the boat weight is 1694-lbs, over the 1500-lbs limit of the present trailer.

The frame of the trailer is in good shape. It really needs new hardware, leaf springs, bearings, bunks, and possibly an axle. As for the fit this trailer has an overall length of 17 feet. The current setup has the jack stand approximately two feet from the tongue, and the base of the bow stop is approximately two feet aft of the jack stand. At the stern, the distance from the rear crossmember of the trailer to the transom is about 2-feet 3-inches. The bunks stick out past the rear crossmember of the trailer, so the distance between the rear of the bunks and the transom is about 11-inches. The current tongue weight is probably about 75-lbs--a guess. To me, this trailer seems too short for the boat. Also, the hull sits about two-inches over the wheel wells and will rub on the wheel wells from time to time, which I hate.

1.jpg
Fig. 1 Views of various parts of the current trailer.
1.jpg (56.55 KiB) Viewed 4122 times


2.jpg
Fig. 2. More views of various parts of the current trailer.
2.jpg (33.61 KiB) Viewed 4122 times


Q1: Is it possible to make this trailer work?

Q2: Is making the trailer work worth the cost?

On the flip side, I have been shopping around and can buy a new LoadRite bunk trailer for about $1,800 with 2450-lbs capacity and 14-inch tires--as recommended by the Loadrite dealer. I am also going to shop the local Venture dealer.

Q3 Now what to do?

Q4: Can anyone lend some advice?

jimh
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Re: Trailer: Repair or Buy New

Postby jimh » Thu Mar 28, 2019 11:13 pm

Cow_Tipper wrote:Q1: Is it possible to make this trailer work?

You should determine if the "1500-lbs" is the maximum total trailer weight or if it is the maximum load weight. Your estimate for a MONTAUK is probably accurate. Usually a trailer rated for about 1,700-lbs of boat load is used.

Cow_Tipper wrote:Q2: Is making the trailer work worth the cost?

Repairing trailers by buying replacement parts at retail prices will probably not be cost effective if you need to replace many components. Some of the problem with the current trailer fit to the boat could be resolved by moving elements of the trailer around. The transom of the hull should be resting on bunks, not overhanging them by a foot. You are going to be refurbishing a trailer that is 27-years old. I bet your costs will be about half the price of a new trailer.

Cow_Tipper wrote:Q3 Now what to do?


Sell the present trailer. Ask $600 and take $500. Buy a larger trailer that better fits the boat. Everything will be new. The boat will fit better. You won't have a trailer problem for at least five years (unless you boat in tropical saltwater).

Cow_Tipper wrote:Q4: Can anyone lend some advice?


See above. You forgot the weight of the boat battery, usually at least 50-lbs,

I recently wrote an article that documented all the refurbishment costs for my 1992 boat trailer in the past ten years or so. I estimated I have spent about $2,800 on new components, and a lot of my own time ordering and installing them. I think I could have purchased a new trailer for about $5,000. Now I have a trailer that is in nice shape but it is 27-years old. For less than twice the money I could have a much newer trailer--perhaps one that was just a few years old. Details at

viewtopic.php?f=6&t=3874

It is a good article and you should read it.

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Re: Trailer: Repair or Buy New

Postby jimh » Thu Mar 28, 2019 11:17 pm

Cow_Tipper wrote:...the [MONTAUK 17] hull sits about two-inches over the wheel wells and will rub on the wheel wells from time to time...


Usually a trailer with 8-foot 6-inch width will permit a MONTAUK to fit between the fenders. The fenders and the boat should BOTH be in a fixed position when on the trailer. If the boat rubs on the fenders only occasionally, it must be doing so because the boat has been loaded on the trailer off center or tilted side to side.

Image
Fig. 3. A classic MONTAUK 17 being launched from a suitable trailer. Note how the hull fits inside the wheel fenders. The long trailer tongue is a result of an extension. This allows the boat to be easily launched while keeping the wheels of hte tow vehicle out of the water. Note the winch stand is right at the ramp's water line. Photo credit: the late Chuck Tribolet--a great guy.

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Cow_Tipper
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Re: Trailer: Repair or Buy New

Postby Cow_Tipper » Fri Mar 29, 2019 8:56 am

Jimh, thank you for you insight. Although at one point it seemed like you were hinting at rebuilding the existing trailer, I agree with your summary that a new trailer is in my best interest. My local dealer quoted me for a 2450 lb trailer.

Q5: Do you think this is excessive and will make the trailer ride rough?

Q6: What are the typical dimensions of a trailer for a Montauk 17?

Q7: What is the minimum width to have the hull fit between the fenders?

Thanks.

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Re: Trailer: Repair or Buy New

Postby jimh » Fri Mar 29, 2019 9:05 am

Cow_Tipper wrote:Q5: Do you think [a trailer described as "a 2450 lb trailer"] is excessive [for use with a MONTAUK 17] and [what can be presumed to be a load of 1700-lbs] will make the trailer ride rough?

I don't know the answer. If the figure of 2450-lbs is the maximum rated load for the trailer, and if you load the trailer to 1700-lbs, then the trailer load will be at 70-percent of maximum. Exactly how this loading will compare to the requirement that the trailer not "ride rough" is impossible to know.

I often drive my car with only myself in the car and nothing else, which is probably less than 70-percent of the car's maximum capacity. I don't think my car has the quality of "ride rough" at that loading. If anything, I would think my car or a trailer would be more likely to "ride rough" when it is loaded to its maximum allowed weight.

Cow_Tipper wrote:Q6: What are the typical dimensions of a trailer for a Montauk 17?

Boat trailers are usually long enough for the boat to fit onto the trailer so that the transom does not overhang the aft bunks and the bow does not overhang the trailer hitch. Boat trailers are typically not wider than 102-inches, due to travel restrictions for towing on the highway.

Cow_Tipper wrote:Q7: What is the minimum width to have the hull fit between the fenders?

The width of a boat is the dimension called beam, so for a boat to fit between the fenders of a trailer, the space between the fenders would have to be greater than the boat beam. Usually at least an inch or two of clearance on each fender is desired, so add four inches to the boat beam and you should have a reasonable dimension for the minimum width between the fenders of a trailer that will permit the boat to be loaded between the fenders.

Many trailers are built so their width does not exceed 102-inches so that they do not exceed the maximum allowed width on the highway in most states that can be towed without special permits. A Montauk will usually fit between the fenders of those trailers, as seen above in Fig. 3.

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Re: Trailer: Repair or Buy New

Postby Cow_Tipper » Fri Mar 29, 2019 9:30 am

Thanks again, Jim.

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Re: Trailer: Repair or Buy New

Postby jimh » Fri Mar 29, 2019 9:32 am

Cow_Tipper wrote:...Although at one point it seemed like you were hinting at rebuilding the existing trailer...


I think the fundamental problems with the existing trailer are its original maximum load rating of only 1,500-lbs, its apparently rather narrow width, and its apparently rather short length. I don't see those problems as being remedied by refurbishing the trailer. Even if you did fit new axles, springs, wheels, and tires so that they could carry a higher weight load, you will not have changed the basic structure of the trailer. A trailer does not get stronger, longer, or wider over 27-years of aging and use.

If you own a trailer boat, your enjoyment of boating is greatly influenced by the process of trailering and launching or loading the boat. If the trailer makes towing or launching and loading or storing the boat difficult, then the enjoyment of boating you will experience will be reduced. The more suitable the boat trailer is for its mission, the more you will enjoy the boat.

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Re: Trailer: Repair or Buy New

Postby Cow_Tipper » Fri Mar 29, 2019 9:52 am

The Load Rite dealer sounds like a nice guys. I'm looking at model 5S-192450VT, 2450-lbs capacity, 78-inches [between] fenders--the [MONTAUK 17] will fit in there nicely--and a three-year-warranty.

[Please do not use abbreviations for words such as "btw" for "between." This is a particularly bad usage as "btw" is often considered to mean "by the way." There is little to be gained by abbreviating words. We don't charge by the letter as in a telegram.--jimh]

MarkCz
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Re: Trailer: Repair or Buy New

Postby MarkCz » Fri Mar 29, 2019 4:13 pm

I have a 1987 Montauk. A few years ago I replaced the trailer with a 5-STARR [a model of trailer made by LOADRITE] galvanized trailer, model 5S-17220090V with leaf springs. It should be very close in size [to the trailer mentioned above].

The 5-STARR-model trailers are made [by LOADRITE].

My [1987 MONTAUK 17] fits between the 5-STARR trailer's fenders with at least [4-inches] of clearance between fender and hull on each side. The 5-STARR trailer is about 7-feet 8-inches wide. Getting it through an 8-feet wide doorway is tight. I wish the trailer was about 6-inches narrower.

Don't waste your money on the heat shrink wiring option. LOADRITE shoved two wires into one end of a crimp connection which leaves space for water to get in. I coated the connectors with liquid electrical tape.

Get the 14-inch wheels so you can later easily add brakes to the trailer, if you have a small tow vehicle.

I love the 5-STARR trailer, except it is too wide. I think you can now get torsion axles instead of leaf springs.

OldKenT
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Re: Trailer: Repair or Buy New

Postby OldKenT » Fri Mar 29, 2019 9:07 pm

My 1985 Newport 17 (which I think has the same hull dimensions as your 1992 Montauk) fits nicely on a 2017 Load Rite 5S-172200. The 73-inches between fenders allows the hull to sit between the fenders, not over them, with 3-inches of clearance between the hull and the fender on each side, and keeps the overall width of the trailer to 90-inches versus the 98-inches of overall width on the 5S-192450.

If you are going to keep your boat in a garage with a 9-foot overhead door, you will appreciate the narrower overall width of the 5S-172200 as compared to the 5S-192450.

Whichever trailer you get, consider adding length to the tongue so that when you launch into shallow water or at a ramp which is not steeply sloped, you can more easily keep the rear wheels of your tow vehicle out of the water. The 5S-192450 is only 5-inches longer than the 5S-172200.

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Re: Trailer: Repair or Buy New

Postby jimh » Sat Mar 30, 2019 10:45 am

MarkCz wrote:...My [1987 MONTAUK 17] fits between the 5-STARR trailer's fenders with at least [4-inches] of clearance between fender and hull on each side. The 5-STARR trailer is about 7-feet 8-inches wide. Getting it through an 8-feet wide doorway is tight. I wish the trailer was about 6-inches narrower.


If the width of the trailer decreased six-inches, then the width between the fenders would decrease six-inches. Since there is now eight-inches of clearance, you'd only have one-inch of clearance on each side between fenders and boat hull. That narrow fit might make loading the boat onto the trailer without hitting a fender more difficult. I have seen some trailers with the inner face of the wheel fenders padded with carpet to reduce the impact with the boat hull.

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Re: Trailer: Repair or Buy New

Postby jimh » Sat Mar 30, 2019 10:48 am

OldKenT wrote:...If you are going to keep your boat in a garage with a 9-foot overhead door, you will appreciate the narrower overall width of the 5S-172200 as compared to the 5S-192450.


What I think you meant: if the garage door is a higher 9-foot model instead of the usual 8-foot model, you can use a trailer that is narrower and let the boat sit higher on the trailer; with a narrow trailer the boat might have to be raised so the hull chines are atop the wheel fenders.

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Re: Trailer: Repair or Buy New

Postby jimh » Sat Mar 30, 2019 11:16 am

LOADRITE designates certain models as their "5-STARR" models. They make a current model designated MODEL #5S-172200VT which may have superseded the models mentioned above.

I believe the "5S" indicates "5-STARR; the "1720" indicates load capacity; the "V" indicates V-bunks; and the "T" indicates torsion axles. The specification sheet gives dimensions. There are many options available.

Trailers sold into national distribution are often delivered by the manufacturer to dealers on larger flatbed trailers, with many boat trailers stacked up on the flatbed, often in a state of partial disassembly to make a more compact load. The manufacturer's truck delivers them to dealers along a route, unloading the flat bed as they stop at each dealer. A few years ago I happened to be at my local boat dealer when his shipment of two or three boat trailers arrived. There were more than a dozen boat trailers on the flat bed. His three were carefully lifted out of a very ingenious load of stacked trailers on the flatbed. Then the truck was off on its way to the next retail dealer. Shipping in this manner helps to make the shipping cost lower. If you have to pay for a single trailer being custom-ordered to be shipped from the factory, I would expect the shipping charges will be higher.

Usually in an area with a very large number of trailer boaters, there will be locally-made trailers. Sometimes these locally-made trailers can be more cost effective.

One consideration if going with a national brand: you can usually get replacement parts ten years later. I can still get parts for my 1992 E-Z-LOADER trailer from the factory. "Joe's Boat Trailer" in your town might go out of business next year.

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Cow_Tipper
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Re: Trailer: Repair or Buy New

Postby Cow_Tipper » Mon Apr 01, 2019 12:54 pm

I'm thinking about going with the Load Rite 5S-172450VT. 2450 lb capacity. The distance between fenders is 73" and overall width is 90". The Montauk 17 has a beam of 74" I believe, so that isn't going to work well.

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Re: Trailer: Repair or Buy New

Postby ConB » Mon Apr 01, 2019 7:00 pm

Get a trailer wide enough that the hull fits between the fenders.

A standard Montauk or 1980/90 Outrage 18 will fit in a standard 7' high garage door.

And you will thank your self at shallow launch ramps.

Con
!987 Outrage 18 / 1987 150 hp Johnson & 1969 13 / 30hp Johnson tiller

OldKenT
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Re: Trailer: Repair or Buy New

Postby OldKenT » Mon Apr 01, 2019 9:24 pm

Keep in mind that the "beam" is measured at the widest point, which means at the extremes of the rub rails. The sides of the boat which will be between the fenders are a couple of inches or more less than the rub rails on each side of the boat, and it is the sides of the boat, not the rub rails, which will be between the fenders.