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Trailer Set-up

Posted: Thu Aug 08, 2019 8:47 am
by jimh
Here are some details from my trailer set-up for a 1990 Boston Whaler REVENGE 22 W-T Whaler Drive on an E-Z-LOADER trailer [model TEZ 19 - 22/24 5200-lbs]. I don't claim the set-up to be perfect, but it has worked extremely well for me for many years, for many miles of towing the boat on the trailer on highway, and allows very easy launching and loading, which we have done hundreds of times at many different ramps.

Fig. 1. Details of trailer at bow.
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Figure 1 shows the trailer rigging at the bow. I elevated the keel roller at the bow so it would bear weight and help lift the bow onto the bow stop rollers. Note that I have drilled two holes through the trailer cross member for the bracket retaining bolts to enable the brackets to be high enough. When drilling holes in a supporting beam, drill the holes exactly on the mid-line of the beam; this will minimize any reduction in strength of the beam. The bow stop rollers are just above and below the bow stem towing eye. Note how the winch strap is exerting an upward pull. This helps lift the bow stem into the bow stop rollers as the boat is loading onto the trailer. Once the boat has been winched into the bow stop roller, two more restraints are connected to the bow eye. A safety chain with S-hook (somewhat obscured in the illustration above) is placed in the bow eye. An adjustable strap is also placed on the bow eye and tensioned to exert downward pull. Between the boat's weight, the winch strap tension, and the strap-down tension the boat is firmly locked in place in the bow stop. (The rather clunky keel roller bracket is the trailer OEM bracket. I plan someday to replace it with something better.)

The winch is a Dutton-Lainson two-speed winch. All but the last six-inches of the winch strap can be retrieved with the high-speed cranking ratio. I only need to switch to the low-speed winch retrieval to pull the boat uphill the last six inches and into the bow stop rollers. To change speeds, the winch handle is moved from one gear axle to another. The removable winch handle is usually not stowed on the winch; I keep it in the tow vehicle. The winch strap is a 2-inch width, which I find comes onto the reel much cleaner and with less folding of the strap edges than the previous winch that had a 3-inch-wide strap.

Fig. 2. Keel Rollers.
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Figure 2 shows the keel rollers. Aftermarket roller brackets have been fitted. The cross member has been drilled so the lower mounting bolts are exactly on the mid-line of the beam. The E-Z-LOADER has unusual bunks. The bunks are grouped in pairs and pivot. This arrangement tends to equalize the weight loading on all the bunks. The height of the bunks has been lowered from the original configuration to be as low as possible. This allows the boat to be carried as low as possible on the trailer. Generally interference between the boat trailer fenders and the hull will establish the limit for how low the boat can be carried.

Figure 2 also shows how Boston Whaler used a clam shell vent as a cover for a through-hull drain. You can see the cabin sump drain covered by a clam shell vent.

Carrying the boat as low as possible on the trailer has many advantages. Foremost, the center of gravity of the trailer and boat will be lower, which will create more stability in towing at highway speeds. The lower the boat is carried on the trailer the faster the boat will float off (or on) the trailer as the trailer is immersed. This aids in launching and loading. Also, when the boat is on the trailer, the lower the boat the more easily one can climb into the boat. This height reduction is very much appreciated as I get older.

Fig. 3. Aft view of trailer bunks.
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Figure 3 shows the trailer bunks looking forward from the stern. Again, you can see the pivot arrangement of the bunks. The inner bunks are as close as possible to keel center line without interfering with the keel roller brackets. Note that the outer bunks are well inboard of the hull runners. If you put the the outer bunks farther out so they fit against the runners, loading the boat become a very precise matter of centering the hull. The starboard sump drain outlet and protecting clam shell must be protected from resting on the bunks.

Not shown are the PVC pipe trailer guide posts. These are essential elements. In addition to holding the boat in position during launching and guiding the boat into position during loading, the guide posts are marked for proper depth of immersion of the trailer. A ring of black electrical tape on each guide marks the proper depth needed to allow the stern of the boat to begin to float. By watching in the rear-view mirror as I back the boat down the ramp, I can position the trailer at the optimum immersion. For launching, I immerse a little deeper than the marks. For loading, I immerse right on the marks. The value of these depth marks is enormous. With consistent immersion of the trailer comes very consistent behavior of the boat when launching and loading. Proper immersion of the trailer is very useful in loading. If the trailer is too deeply immersed the boat wanders in position relative to the center line of the keel rollers. With just the right immersion, and with guidance from the tall guide posts, the boat comes onto the trailer very well centered.

Not shown is the trailer surge-brake hitch coupler, a DICO Model 6 for a 2-5/16-inch-diameter hitch ball. I replaced the original c.1992 hitch coupler last year with a new one of the same model after I noticed in the owner's manual that the manufacturer's specification for service life was five years. The coupler was then 26-years-old, and several components were ready for replacement. To replace the whole coupler was simpler than tearing down the original coupler and replacing several parts. The increase in cost for a new coupler compared to the service parts was very modest.

More information about refurbishment of the 1992 trailer is provided in an earlier thread on that topic.

Re: Trailer Set-up

Posted: Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:52 pm
by rcapriola
I have purchased a 1980 Revenge V22 with (rare) sterndrive. I need to replace the trailer.

What model and weight capacity E-Z-Loader trailer did you chose?

Re: Trailer Set-up

Posted: Fri Aug 16, 2019 8:19 am
by jimh
I did not choose the 1992 E-Z~Loader TEZ19 - 22/24 5800-lbs model trailer; it came with the boat. The original selling dealer likely chose the trailer. I believe this model is still available.