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Author Topic:   Proper trailers for Whalers
kent posted 05-15-2000 12:08 PM ET (US)   Profile for kent  
Jim, I enjoyed reading your article on trailers for Whalers. Very well written and good information. I have made an observation in regards to trailers that is interesting. As I understand it, Boston Whaler has never been involved in the business of selling trailers. Usually the boats were sold as boat only by Boston Whaler and it was up to the customer and the dealer to outfit the boat with a trailer and power. Whaler themselves would not get involved with this process except to perhaps pre-rig the boat for the customers choice of power. That was pre-Brunswick. Once Brunswick took charge, boat and power packages, using Mercury of course, became available. Trailers still remained up to the customer.

With the introduction of this years new 13 ft. model, this appears to have changed. I have seen 3 of the new packages here in Canada in person and a photo of 1 in the US. What I have noticed about all 4 of these packages is that they are all identical, right down to the trailer. All of them have been the galvanized EZ-Loader brand. I bought a new trailer for my 13 last summer, before the new 13 package was available, and by coincidence, the trailer I bought is exactly the same as the ones included in the 2000 packages.

As I understand it, it is Boston Whaler (or Brunswick) that is putting these packages together. It doesn't appear to be the dealers making them up. The thing about all of these trailers that I have seen is that they are bunk style with no keel rollers, except for one at the very front, the lightest part of the boat. This in spite of Whaler's many recommendations about the necessity of keel support. After reading some of the information previously posted here, I decided to add 2 more keel rollers to my trailer, 1 at centre point and 1 at the back to help support the outboard.

I would be interested to know why Whaler is using the EZ-Loader trailers in their packages. Has Brunswick taken over yet another company. As far as I know, EZ-Loader is still their own. Has anyone seen any other brand of trailer in these new 2000 packages? Finally, if keel support is so important in the 13-17 ft. models, why wouldn't Whaler made sure to have included a trailer with the keel support with this package? Are the new 13 ft. models built differently, and don't require it?

lhg posted 05-15-2000 07:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Kent: Your first paragraph above is basically correct regarding Whaler's recreational boats, but what is not widely known is that the Company has sells it's own designed and branded trailers in the Commercial Products division, and has done so for years. My guess is they are subbed out to a trailer manufacturer, but these are very substantial, heavy duty and probably high priced equipment. They are available for the 15'-27' models. The Whaler Comm Prod catalog states the following: "Whaler trailers are designed for each specific hull length and shape. Particular attention has been given to SUPPORT ALONG THE KEEL and ease in launching and retrieval. These drive-on trailers are available in painted or galvanized finish and each offers many standard features normally listed as options on other brands. Stoltz polyurethane keel rollers, caster jacks, waterproof lights and Bearing Buddies to name a few." All of these trailers are shown in the catalog with at least 8 12" keel rollers installed.

Regarding the new 13' Sport model, a Dealer (a REAL Whaler dealer) told me this is a Whaler first time effort to sell an entire, low cost package. If you want the boat, you get the Merc engine & EZ Loader bunk trailer whether you want them or not. All of the boat companies are moving in this direction. Why all bunks & no keel rollers?
My guess is lower price. Bunk trailers are much cheaper to build than a good keel roller trailer, and probably the small boat isn't heavy enough to delaminate the hull on the bunks. My guess is that Sea Ray probably already has some supply relationship with EZ Loader, so they were the low bidder for the 13' model. I think Bayliner already has a deal with EZ Loader trailers for their boat/trailer packages. Since Sea Ray took over the company, I have seen many new Whalers of all sizes sold on all bunk trailers, so maybe something is changing with the design or construction of the NEWER hulls. Or maybe bottom line selling price has become more important at Whaler.

Finally, I had a 2 1/2 year old EZ Loader trailer fail on me at 60mph towing my 18 Outrage on a 3 lane interstate, & I'm lucky to be here to tell about it. So I will NEVER own one of their trailers again, period! I believe they are cheaply built, but at the same time marketed & priced as a premium brand, which they are not. Mine was sold to me, as a package when I bought my 18 Outrage new in 1986. Actually, the Whaler dealer tried to put the boat on a cradle roller EZ Loader, and I refused, demanding a keel roller type. But the tongue rusted through from the INSIDE (after only 2 years ), and completely failed at the point where the single bolt holds the tongue to the frame, just behind the winch stand. The boat, because I had it properly strapped on the trailer, held the (now) two halves of the trailer together, the main frame having separated from the tongue! The boat fishtailed violently from side to side, whipping the car's rear wheels around like a toy. Traffic panicked around us and let us pull off on the shoulder as I slowed down from 60mph. One close call to a major accident! So don't mention EZ Loader to me!
The tongue steel section was way to thin and rusted through, and when I called EZ Loader, they refused any repair. And here's the good part - the guy said that's the risk you take when you get one of their PAINTED trailers. He said he could never understand why boat dealers in the mid-west refused to offer the higher priced galvanized models. So I asked him why they even make them - he said cheap selling price and higher dealer profit! So I had a new tongue installed, using 1/4" tubular steel section, for $700, and immediately sold the trailer for the same $700! What a nightmare. Now I've got a really heavy duty trailer under the boat.

whalernut posted 05-15-2000 08:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalernut  Send Email to whalernut     
I have looked at the new `13 Sport and the EZ Loader trailer under it. The boat seems cheap, and the trailer extremely cheap. Boston Whaler and the dealers(although alot of dealers have no clue what a Boston Whaler is) are doing a great diservice to the boat and the customer. I can`t express enough how much I hate Brunswick Corporation for buying and ruining Boston Whaler. I agree EZ Loader trailers are high production, low quality trailers. As a side note, Jim I am towing a 1975 `17 Currituck from Richland, Michigan to Conneaut, Ohio(about a 6-7 hour drive) at speeds of as much as 65MPH. It has 8inch tires, their in great shape so what is top speed for this size tire? Regards-JACK.
Louie Kokinis posted 05-15-2000 08:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for Louie Kokinis    
I have to add my 2 cents to this one.

I ordered a Shorelander because the commercial products trailer cost $6000 US more (that was my first mistake!). My boat was delayed so the Shorelander distributor sold my trailer, thinking he would have time to order me another. My boat arrived - I couldn't wait - ezloader had one in stock - I bought it(BIG MISTAKE).

Ezloaders product & service SUCK! - I think my statement says it all - no need to go into the painful details.

Thank god the Whaler dealer supported me! He had custom fabrication done - AT HIS EXPENSE!

I had all ezloader stickers removed from the trailer, and will never buy another ezloader product. period.


How's that for a customer testimonial?

kent posted 05-15-2000 11:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for kent    
Okay guys, now you have got me worried. That's quite a story, Larry! After an experience like that, I don't blame you for not wanting anything to do with EZ-Loader. Actually, this is not the first time I have heard bad things about EZ-Loader, but unfortunately for me, it has been after I bought a new one. When I went to buy a new trailer, there really didn't seem to be a lot to choose from. In the class of trailer that I was looking for (1700 lbs.) the offerings were EZ-Loader, Shorlander, and Escort. They all seemed pretty much the same and priced similiarly. I settled on the EZ-Loader because the dealer was offering an end of season special. The people around here that have really big boats seem to have their trailers custom made. There are a lot of competition type ski boats here and almost all have custom fabricated trailers.

There are a TON of EZ-Loader trailers used on smaller boats in my area. Their popularity also was a factor in my buying one. Poor products don't usually have much of an impact on the market, but I guess cheap ones can. I can only hope that they have improved their product since your experience with your '86 model, Larry.

I will have take a closer look at the trailers in the Boston Whaler 13 package. When I bought my EZ-Loader, I thought it was quite substantial for a 13ft. boat. The trailer is rated for 1700 lbs. and the boat and outboard only weigh in at about 510.lbs. Add fuel and gear and I think it would a stretch to get the weight up to 1000 lbs. The tongue is a 3"x3" square tube that extends from the coupler, through the front of the Y, where it is bolted and continues on back to the centre cross frame, where it is bolted again. The Y pieces of the frame are 2"x3" square tubing. Only the 2 cross frames are 2"x3" C-channel. The frame is galvanized. All of the members are 1/8" thick. I'm stuck with it now, so I guess I will have to keep a good eye on it! I am really surprised to see Whaler associated with a product that seems to be so poorly rated. It must be a sign of the times.

Back to the keel support, though. Since my boat is a '60 something, do you guys think that I have done the right thing by adding the other 2 keel rollers, centre and rear? Is there anything else I should do for keel support? The trailer that the boat was on was a 1950 Gator that was totally rusted out, so much so that it wasn't roadworthy. Thus the new trailer. It had a real strange bunk setup and had 3 keel rollers. It seemed to work well with the boat, as there was no trailer damage on the hull.

Jack, as far as your trailer with the 8 inch tires is concerned, you shouldn't have any problems IF everything is in good shape AND you take it easy. I trailer my 14 ft. tin boat all over the place and it has 8 inch tires. No doubt, bigger tires would be better. If it is the trailer that is coming along with your new boat and it is new to you, I would suggest that you clean and repack the bearings and put in NEW seals BEFORE you leave for home. If the bearings or races look damaged or rusted or pitted AT ALL put in new ones. I would always carry a spare set of bearings and be prepared to do a roadside replacement if you have a bearing fail while travelling. Make sure that the tires are good and CARRY A SPARE! I see so many people that don't have a spare tire for their boat trailer. Foolish with any size tires, but totally nuts when you are running 8 inches. I usually keep the speed while trailering ( I have 4 different trailers that I drag) down around 55-60 MPH. I would rather go a little slower, enjoy the trip, and make it to where I am going. Good luck bringing that new boat home!

Anyone know of anyone looking for a nice new EZ-Loader trailer? Hasn't even been to the boat launch yet!!

lhg posted 05-15-2000 11:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Jack: I would take Kent's advice on bearings seriously if you're towing a 16' Whaler on 8" tires. That's what they sold back in the early seventies. When I bought my 1971 Nauset, it also came with a trailer with 8" tires. I did have trouble with them continuously, and finally got smart and switched to a trailer with 13" wheels, which I strongly recommend. I would look into making such an upgrade. You'll be amazed how easy it is to sell almost any used trailer. They're hard to find and there are plenty of buyers. Jim' s advice on trailering in his new article is worth reading.
kent posted 05-16-2000 12:09 AM ET (US)     Profile for kent    
Jack, I agree with Larry about upgrading to bigger tires. You may not have to sell the trailer to do so. If the trailer is good, and not an EZ-Loader (OUCH!), you could probably easily upgrade to a 12" tire. This would be a VAST improvement over the 8 inch. I have done this successfully. All you would have to do is find 12" rims with the same bolt pattern as the 8's. Not difficult. Then you would have to modify the fender mounts. Again, not a problem. You may even want to put on new fenders, as most older trailers could use them. Ther worst case senario would be you would have get new hubs to make everything. Even that is not bad to do. Just be sure that you would have enough clearance over the raised fenders before you make the change.
kent posted 05-16-2000 01:37 AM ET (US)     Profile for kent    
I think the one of the most important aspects of successful trailering is the maintenance of the wheel bearings. It is a easy job and you can save some money if you do it yourself. You can also be assured that the job has been done right. For those who would like to do it themselves, but aren't quite sure how to go about it, may I suggest that you go to:

It doesn't get any more concise than this.

By the way, don't be lulled into thinking that because you have bearing protectors on your hubs that you don't have to clean and repack the bearings regularly. It is not so!

whalernut posted 05-16-2000 05:46 AM ET (US)     Profile for whalernut  Send Email to whalernut     
Thanks Guys, the trailer has new tires and the bearings have just been packed. I think I will upgrade to a new trailer, not an EZloader! I will drive it back at 55mph to be safe. Thank you again Guys-JACK.
Walt Steffens posted 05-16-2000 04:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for Walt Steffens  Send Email to Walt Steffens     
Kent: I wouldn't get anxious about owning an EZ-Loader Trailer. I am not here to boost or badmouth the product. Yea I have owned several of this brand along with several other makes most of which are no longer in bussiness. If the product was so terrible or unsafe the company would have been sued out of existance. Besides stress strain calculations work the same for all manufactures. As in all products you get what you pay for. It is a common pratice in many industries to build a "price" line product for the entry or cost driven customer. In addition it has been documented in earlier posts, that dealers can miss apply the product (roller cradle for example) as well as size a trailer to minimum weight specification for price as well as convinence so as to use whats in stock. I have had this personally happen to me. I bought a 22 Revenge WT in '84 and it came on a trailer that was sized on the light side, with only 500# extra capacity. I later bought a heaver capacity trailer when I got smarter.

It is the responsibility of the owner/operator to insure that his rig is loaded correctly and mechanically sound. That is why I go over my trailer at least once a season with a wrench looking for loose fasteners and inspecting brake lines and the surge brake actuator. This is done in addition to doing a pre-flight walk around inspection during the hitch up process as well as a walk around every 2 hrs on a long tow. Best WLS

djmerrill posted 05-16-2000 09:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for djmerrill  Send Email to djmerrill     
I've got to agree with Walt's post on this subject. Each owner needs to evaluate the trailer he has (or is considering) versus his needs. My boat came with an EZ Loader. My observations show about 75% of the boats here in the Northeast under 20 feet do too. They are definately mass market, not top of the line. They are not the "whalers" of the trailer world.

However, I pay attention to it and make sure it is set up properly. In addition, I don't use it a whole lot, as I live on a lake and keep the boat in the water. So, it suits my needs well. If I trailered cross country often, as some members of this forum do, I would want a more substantial and durable trailer. No one can afford an unsafe trailer, but I don't think EZLoaders (at least the ones I've seen) come from the factory with unsafe designs. By the way, just about all trailers in this area are galvanized or aluminum.

My $0.02

kent posted 05-16-2000 10:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for kent    
Thanks foe the input, Walt and DJ. I am really not too concerned about the trailer. If I was, I would have given serious consideration to get rid of it. It is just a bit un-nerving to see a product that one has just recently purchased so badly thought of. I thought that I was a better judge of product than that. I wouldn't even consider saying that EZ Loaders are the best trailers on the road. I know that they aren't. But for my application, pulling a 13 ft on short 250 mile trips a couple of times a year to the coast, and down to the local launch, I think it should serve me well. If I was in the big boat league, and trailering it all over the country, I would likely do as others here do and have a custom trailer built.

There are a lot of nice custom aluminum trailers under the big boats here. I see a definite trend away from the painted steel trailers, probably from a weight and maintenance perspective. I know that some people don't like the look of the galvanized trailers, saying they look "tinny", but for me, also owning and maintaining a painted trailer, I don't care for the paint. I thought I would give the galvanized a try.

As far as fitting the trailer to the boat, I could have went with the next size down. I opted to go with the bigger size, for a safety margin. The trailer is rated to haul a 13-17 ft. boat. While I think that it would be marginal for a 17 ft., I think it is very substantial for the 13 ft.

I agree with you about the maintenance issue. No matter how good a product is, if maintenance is not up to snuff, then that product will at some point become unsafe. I agree that it is up to the owner to take measures before it reaches that point. I can say that I am very maintenance oriented, and am quite capable of recognizing potential problems.

I am still wondering if I have properly supported the keel on my boat. Any comments,anyone?

jimh posted 05-17-2000 02:28 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I'll jump in here with a comment or two:

Trailer requirements can vary widely. My brother-in-law just bought a boat and the trailer is a little rough. But they'll keep the boat on a lake, in the water. He makes one launch and one load each season, and the trailer only goes about 200 yards from the cottage to the ramp. So it's fine for him.

If you're going to haul 7,000 lbs of boat up and down the interstate all summer, take it to Florida in the winter, bring it back in the spring, haul it to Lake Superior and back, you'll want a different sort of beast under your boat.

One thing I learned early in trailer-boat travels: any trouble with the boat ruins the trip. We had a nice long weekend planned at Waloon Lake in Northern Michigan, but after we got there we had boat problems. Man, I was miserable. I sat there in a blue-funk for three days. The only one who got in the lake was the darn dog. (By the way, the dog has her own webpage, too. See ) I kept muttering, "All this money for a cottage for the weekend and the only one who had fun was the dog!"

After that we learned that you spend the money ahead of time to make the boat as bulletproof as possible, otherwise you put your whole trip (and all your fun) at risk.


Walt Steffens posted 05-17-2000 08:34 AM ET (US)     Profile for Walt Steffens  Send Email to Walt Steffens     
Kent: My current boat the '25 is on an EZ-Loader. It has a combination of 4 -6" wide by 20' bunks to supplement the 4 custom fabricated double roller keel supports. The 17' I had was on a Tee-Nee trailer and had a similar but lighter 2 bunk type set up. To my mind the most important thing is that you insure support at the keel as close to the transom as possible as you have the wt of the engine there.
kent posted 05-17-2000 11:18 AM ET (US)     Profile for kent    
Thanks, Walt. It sounds like I should be okay, then. I have 3 keel supports, front,centre, and at the stern. The 2 bunks are about 8 ft. long and 3.5 inches wide. That should be lots of support for a little 13 ft. The only thing that I didn't like about the trailer was the covering on the bunks. It is very light. But I think that is the case with most commercially produced boat trailers. I can see the covering needing replacement in short order. I have done that before, though. It's kind of a fun job, didn't mind doing it at all!
Al Phillips posted 05-18-2000 11:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for Al Phillips  Send Email to Al Phillips     
Concerning the question about trailers equipped with bunks rather than keel rollers:

In '89, when I bought my Montauk, the dealer matched my boat with a bunk type trailer. Upon reading the BW owner's manual I came across the warning not to use roller type trailers (cradle type) on the smaller Whalers since the hull was not sufficiently thick to withstand the point stress of the rollers. The manual recommended a keel roller equipped trailer because the keel was the strongest part of the boat.

Although the manual said nothing about bunk type trailers, I became concerned that my trailer may not be compatible with my boat. I called Rockland, and was told that the bunker trailer would be okay. BW's only concern was the cradle roller trailers. Keel roller AND bunk types will support the weight of the boat just fine.

lhg posted 05-19-2000 12:53 AM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
I think we've probably worn out this issue of keel rollers vs bunk trailers. People should go with what makes them happy. My guess is that after the company was sold in 1990, they were not anxious to antagonize their Dealers and tried to protect them from a money losing and reputation damaging situation like the one described above. Some of the new people may have not known any better anyway and it's been my experience that most Dealers always put the cheapest trailer they can find under a boat. But to this day, Whaler's own Commercial Products trailers have keel rollers and not bunks except as a guide-on function. Keel roller trailers are hardly made anymore and most dealers can't even get them, and because of the additional manufacturing cost, are mostly being replaced with the aluminium Float-on variety, with total package price becoming increasingly important in the Whaler selling philosophy since 1991. For seven years, beginning with the Reebock era, the company lost its shirt and sales volume plummeted as the new, unpopular & less expensive, designs were brought in. That's why Brunswick picked it up so cheap. During this period, almost all Whalers sold left Dealerships with bunk float-on trailers, evidently approved by the Company. And many, but not all, of those owners had problems with those trailers and difficulty in launching. And this is still being done today with the current boats. I just visited a large dealership, and every single boat was going out on a bunk trailer. So maybe something has changed in the NEW designs and they no longer need keel support.
But I still prefer the double keel roller setup, and know that it is by far the easiest way to launch and retrieve a boat, whether you winch it on or drive it on. And I know that I have hulls which are absolutely perfect, with no delaminations, sponginess or bottom "hook", even after 14 years.
jimh posted 05-19-2000 09:12 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
It is getting hard to find a keel-roller type trailer these days.

My current trailer is a Shorelandr, and it has keel rollers and bunks. When I browse through the new Shorelandr catelogue I don't see a model like it.

My trailer also has a nice arrangement where the axle and springs are attached to a carriage. The carriage can be moved fore and aft on the trailer frame, which allows you to adjust the tongue weight.

I have the trailer set up so that the transom of the boat (15') is directly above the rear keel roller, which is attached to the rearmost lateral cross member of the trailer. The outboard is as close to the last keel roller as possible, not hanging 5-6 feet behind it.

The trailer is a flat bed, not a vee-bed, and this puts the outboard far enough above the pavement that I can tow with the outboard in the lowered or operating position. I think this stabilizes it far better than being titled up when on the road.

After I moved the boat forward on to the trailer as I described above, the tongue weight was much too high. Fortunately, thanks to the carriage arrangement, I could move the axle location forward a little to compensate, and I was able to balance the trailer back to proper tongue weight.

But I don't see this moveable carriage arrangement in the current catalogue, either!


Al Phillips posted 05-19-2000 09:28 AM ET (US)     Profile for Al Phillips  Send Email to Al Phillips     
Hmmm, at the risk of being arrested for cruelty to animals (beating a dead horse), I feel an overwhelming compulsion to clarify my message concerning bunk VS keel roller trailers.

I agree completely with lhg's statements about keel roller trailers. Nothing supports the weight of a boat more safely than rollers under the keel. BW says this in its 1989 "Owner's Manual for 9foot - 17 foot Models."

The manual's warning against "roller type trailers," as BW called them, pertained to a style of trailer that was very popular at the time. This kind of trailer supported much (most?) of the boat's weight on rollers that contacted the sides of the hull. I.e., the keel did not carry the load. These trailers had no bunks. Only rollers were featured on this type of trailer. Hence the name "roller trailer." I don't know the proper name for these trailers, and, therefore, may have created a misunderstanding when I referred to them as "cradle type." Whatever their correct name, they should not be confused with the type of trailer that uses center keel rollers to support the weight of the boat.

There now, the horse is dead!

rjwiii posted 05-19-2000 11:37 AM ET (US)     Profile for rjwiii  Send Email to rjwiii     
The horse is not quite dead! I own a new Sport 13' which was combined in a package from Whaler with the EZ Loader bunk trailer described above. After reading this thread, I wrote to Chuck Bennett at Whaler and asked if the bunks provided sufficient support or should I get additional keel rollers. Here is Chuck's reply:

"The 13' Sport is outfitted with the float-on, bunk style trailer from the
factory and seems to work well with the boat design. These are suitable for
use as long as the bunks conform to the shape of the hull and provide good
fore and aft support to spread the total weight. The 6' bunks are more than
adequate support for the 13' Sport.

Chuck Bennett
Customer Care Rep."

I am not endorsing Whaler's position or anyone else's, merely reporting it for your information.

Chuck Bennett
Customer Care Rep.

rjwiii posted 05-19-2000 11:39 AM ET (US)     Profile for rjwiii  Send Email to rjwiii     
Sorry, that last comment is mine, I forgot to delete the second Chuck Bennett line.
lhg posted 05-19-2000 02:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Jim: Your above post on adjusting a trailer to fit the boat & load are right on the money! No one should buy ANY trailer without a fully adjustable (fore & aft) wheel carriage, since this is the key to safe trailering of a boat. In addition, to prevent hull "hook" (deformation of the bottom into a slight concave shape, killing performance) you're right, the weight of the transom (engine weight) must be fully supported at the keel, under the engine(s).

I couldn't tell if your trailer is galvanized or not, but if it isn't, internal corrosion
of the painted tubular members, like the tongue, is a serious problem, as I have previously reported. When these are galvanized, the hot dipping process also coats the interior of the tubular section, but the painted ones like EZ Loader and others use, are raw steel inside, and you can't see the rust develop, which started happening before it was even sold new! This is exactly what happened to me. The tongue section on mine looked perfect from the outside, but from the inside had corroded to paper thickness, and finally failed. And you don't need a salt water environment for this to happen, as atmospheric moisture, condensation and humidity will do it, as it did for me. Anybody that has a painted trailer should "tap out" the tubular sections once in a while and listen for bad metal on the inside. (Like Whaler does with their hulls!)

This is why, in my estimation, I prefer the structural steel channel section trailers, or aluminium "I" beam trailers, mostly only available in Florida these days.
The complete frame, either in straight across or "vee" configuration, with no concealed interior surfaces, is first welded together and then hot dipped galvanized, giving you an incredibly rigid frame that won't squeak and come apart. Only the tongue section is tubular section. A 2000lb capacity for a trailer like this for a Montauk is about $700 and about $1100 in a 2800lb capacity for an 18 Outrage, and upgrading to one of these is a worthy consideration, for the $500 difference it might cost.

kent posted 05-19-2000 09:05 PM ET (US)     Profile for kent    
Hot dipped galvanized trailers are available across all the brands of trailers, even the "cheap" brands like EZ Loader. My EZ Loader is galvanized, as are all the ones that I have seen under the new 13's in the packages. In my neck of the woods, almost no one is buying new painted trailers, except the guys with the $30,000.00 ski boats, and most of those trailers are custom fabricated and painted/striped to match the boat. A galvanized trailer doesn't look too cool under a boat like that! The same applies to the fancy bass boats. If you are going to have problems with corrosion on a painted steel trailer, I don't think it is going to matter what brand it is.

Rjwiii, I would be interested to know how you are liking your new boat. Do you find it much different than the old style? How is the stability of it in the water, especially from the side to side aspect? Would you consider it a stable fishing platform?

Greg N posted 11-29-2002 09:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for Greg N  Send Email to Greg N     
You guys seem to know a lot about Trailers.
I have a 1969 17' Whaler with a 1998 75 hp Yamaha. It came with a TeeNee Trailer with 4 keel rollers and 2 bunks about 5' long. Where the leaf springs attach to the trailer frame is very heavily rusted. Also one set of bulk supports just snaped.
Question is that it seems like this trailer has seen it's better days. What is the recomended trailer for a 1969 Whaler? Is there a model that I could get double use with my 21' McKee Craft? Same hull design as the 17' Whaler only bigger.
Thanks for the info.
Greg N
lonestarpa posted 11-30-2002 08:02 AM ET (US)     Profile for lonestarpa  Send Email to lonestarpa     
Hi Guys, just thought as an old boat/trailer head (early 60's) bring a picture of the way it was..... no one I knew had galvinized or aluminum trailor, all painted steel, we were usually in salt water, with about 2,500 lb. 18 foot boats. Very few people put their trailors in water over the wheel hubs, this kept 90% of the running gear out of the water. Loading and launching were aided with a winch, and if rigged properly either roller of bunks made little difference. If you read your (older) whaler manual carefully you'll notice that weight is carried on keel, there should be 1/4 "flop" from side to side under the outside "oututermost" supports so it's a moot point if it's a bunk or roller. Sometime after the introduction of galivinzed trailers we started to see "float on" trailers, I guess that the trailer compaies realized that if you launched in the "old" style (dry bearings) that a galvinized trailor would last for ever, that would never help sales. That's more than my .02 worth because we have never had to replace a trailor under a boat and we usually keep a rig (often used to start) for over 15 years. As far as speed of launch and load, I figure 1 min. out, 2 min. in thats with a hand winch. My greatest joy is when I hit the water and an "expert" tells me that I don't have my wheels deep eneough... ect. and I am able to load, and leave BEFORE he can finish telling me how to do it the modern way. Joe

lakeman posted 11-30-2002 11:23 AM ET (US)     Profile for lakeman  Send Email to lakeman     
I have found this topic interesting for I have always been a advocate for buying the best heavy duty trailer that would fit the boat correctly no matter what the cost, if your trailering needs are long hauls(more than 25 miles one way).
I wonder what it would cost to get another trailer under the new Montauk that I am buying in the spring.
One question about whaler trailers,are the 13 inch tires on the New Montauk trailer sufficient to tow high speed long distances in the heat of summertime Florida.

I have not heard anyone suggest that instead of buddies bearings which have some problems,which also come on the EZ loader trailers from BW, to replace the entire hub with sure lube or other hub manufacturer of flow through wheel bearing grease system. I have had these on my Boat Master Trailer and have only replaced the bearing once and that was just for the sake of doing it or preventive maintenance.
I would like to point some interested people to a company called Boat Master Trailers in Ft. Meyers Fl. Not that other people do not make good trailers but because Null brake system they offer,(I do not think it is on any other brand of trailer) it is a bronze and stainless disk brake system and I have had this disk brake system on my boat trailer since 1989 and have only replace the pads 3 times and had it rebuilt twice, the first rebuild I replace the conventional fluid with synthetic. I live in Florida and fish 99% salt.
I am a fanatic about maintenance.

I can work on a boat but not spell correctly

whalerdude posted 11-30-2002 01:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalerdude  Send Email to whalerdude     
I am glad that this thread came back to life.

(Larry (LHG) I hope you read this) I want to know what trailer to buy for my Montauk. It came with a custom shorline 'trailmaster' trailer but it is the 17 Outrage trailer! I am not happy with this arrangement. There are keel rollers but they do not touch the keel.

Should I spend the $$ for the commercial products div. (Whaler) trailer or go with one of those aluminum trailers from Florida?

Fred Mueggelhopper posted 11-30-2002 04:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for Fred Mueggelhopper  Send Email to Fred Mueggelhopper     
So, does anyone think that there would be a market for a well designed brush finished stainless steel trailer?
Greenhead posted 11-30-2002 07:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for Greenhead  Send Email to Greenhead     
I have been looking for a trailer for my new/used 21' WA and in the process of doing so found that LoadRite trailer company ( has a line of trailers specifically built for Boston Whalers. A local trailer dealer told me about the "Whaler series" trailers and he described them as heavy duty bunk with double keel rollers and extra cross members. I haven't found the Whaler series trailers listed on Loadrite's web site but plan on calling them for details.
aubv posted 12-01-2002 08:46 AM ET (US)     Profile for aubv  Send Email to aubv     

I would second the suggestion by Lakeman, we purchased a Boat Master trailer this year for a 2001 23'OR(5800lb). I have pictures if anyone is interested. It is a unique experience to watch the reaction from people when they see the trailer, it sure turns a lot of heads! It is almost dangerous to drive with the boat and trailer together! ;-)

That aside, I can now trailer a 23' boat easier than our 17'. I never realized how much difference a trailer can make. I can load the 23' bms in about a minute.


With very nice aluminum trailers available, why use stainless? Would there be any cost or weight savings? What would the advantage be other than maybe look nice?

xsailor posted 12-01-2002 09:57 AM ET (US)     Profile for xsailor  Send Email to xsailor     
A few points not raised:

Aluminum trailers are not 100% aluminum. If not properly isolated the steel/aluminum interface where the 2 metals meet will suffer differential corrosion.

Aluminum trailers are not very rigid, usually built using "I" sections, instead of "box" sections. The torsional movement is transfered to the hull, axle and other rigid componants.

Aluminum trailers cost more - go with a good galvanized trailer, and rinse it - go fresh water fishing and park the trailer on the ramp !

LAKEMAN - I'm with you on spelling, infact I believe an old fellow called Winston Churchill (SP ?) said theat it's a very shallow individual that can only think of one way to spell a word!

Dave W

seaplus18 posted 12-01-2002 11:42 AM ET (US)     Profile for seaplus18  Send Email to seaplus18     
I recently called our local Whaler dealer concerning transporting a 22' Outrage approx. 350 miles using a roller type trailer. This would be a one time move and the boat would be removed from the trailer once at destination. He said using a roller trailer in this situation would be fine especially since the weather is cold as is the hull. What do you think? Also, I have read many posts concerning roller vs bunk trailers but do not recall reading anything about Whalers in storage. Every boatel and other inside storage facility I have seen supports the boat hulls on vertical bunks with a 3" to 4" width and with no support for the keel. There are many Whalers in these facilities. Has anyone experienced any problems due to this type storage?
NHKatama posted 12-02-2002 11:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for NHKatama  Send Email to NHKatama     
Thinking about buying a new Alum Load Master Trailer for my 16'7" hull. These trailers are made in the Tampa, FL (area). Has anyone out there bought one of their trailers and if so, are you happy with the quality, fit to the hull, etc. Any comments with regard to this trailer, or any opinions on the best Trailer for a 16'7" hull would be appreciated.

Thanks, ~~~~Pete

andygere posted 12-03-2002 03:02 AM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
The 22 Outrage I just bought is sitting on an EZ Loader that is a bit of a hybrid. It has a 12" keel roller right under the transom, but not another until a few feet before the bow. 2 pairs of bunks run from the stern nearly to the bow. I'm considering adding keel rollers to the cross members (I think there are two) to add extra support and make loading and launching easier. I'm not crazy about having to sink the trailer so much to launch and land the boat.

Louie, is this what you did to your trailer, and if so do you have any photos or suggestions?

PMUCCIOLO posted 12-03-2002 03:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for PMUCCIOLO    
I purchased a Shorland'r trailer for my 17' Alert, and I've been delighted with it. It is my understanding that Commercial and Government Products uses Boat Master Trailers.
Greg N posted 05-07-2003 12:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for Greg N  Send Email to Greg N     
To NHKatama Pete about Loadmaster Trailers
I've been looking at the Loadmaster for my 17Whaler and 20 McKee Craft. They look sharp and strong and the oil bearings sound like a good idea.
Did you buy the Loadmaster? How do you like it?
Thanks in advance for the reply
Greg N
bsmotril posted 05-07-2003 01:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for bsmotril  Send Email to bsmotril     
Let's look at some of the logic behind the spec for keel rollers. The intent here is to support the hull where the laminate is thickest because Whalers have thinner skins than a typicla non-cored boat. If you have a 2000 lb boat sitting on 5 keel rollers with 1 square inch of contact area, (assume the rubber compresses a bit), then the hull is exerting 400 lbs/inch squared on each roller, (or the roller on the hull). Now lets replace those rollers with 2x6 bunks 12 feet long right down either side of the keel line. And I mean really close together, maybe an inch between them on the trailer centerline, this is how my trailer for my Conquest is set up. I now have 144x6x2, or 1728 square inches of support surface and a hull-roller force of 2000lbs over that surface for 1.15 lbs per square inch. Which scenario do you think is more likley to deform the hull skins, 400 psi or 1.15 psi? The issue is not whether you use bunks or rollers, the issue is where you put them and support the hull. Both work when under the keel line where the cloth layers overlap and there is double thickness. I also believe that heavy wood bunks help to stabilize and stiffen a marginally constructed trailer. The galvanized wood screws would fall out quickly. But, you can replace with countersunk stainless bolts and fix that for good. BillS
floridasailor posted 05-07-2003 03:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for floridasailor  Send Email to floridasailor     
I have looked in the archives and the Whaler info on trailers and one area that is not mentioned is the number of keel rollers required to support a hull properly. Should the spacing be every 2 feet, 2 at 6 inches apart on 3 foot centers, etc.??? With a limited number of cross-bunks it may be necessary to install angle or channel to mount the rollers.

Does anyone have any data on this spacing?

doobee posted 05-07-2003 11:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for doobee  Send Email to doobee     
I believe Load Rite is the company that makes the trailers for the Commercial Products Division.
NHKatama posted 05-09-2003 10:45 AM ET (US)     Profile for NHKatama  Send Email to NHKatama     

Yes I bought the 17-18ft Loadmaster Trailer for my 72 Katama. It fits on very nicely, and I am very pleased with it so far. I ordered this trailer with 3 stolz 12" keel rollers, so in addition to two 7' long bunks I have good keel support. Anyway if you want more info I would be glad to talk to you about this trailer.

Also, for anyone that would like an Alum LoadMaster Trailer, I am going to make another run sometime in the next 6 months let me know if there is interest I will make a run, need atleast 7 people that want to buy and I will run down and get them. If interested please email me.

Thanks, ~~~~Pete

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