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Author Topic:   Trailering Technique
djmerrill posted 07-05-2000 10:23 PM ET (US)   Profile for djmerrill   Send Email to djmerrill  
Kudos on the expanded trailering section. I have learned a lot from the various threads on trailers, and you have done an admirable job of condensing them!

The most valuable modification I made to my trailer last fall was following Larry Goltz's recommendation of replacing the black keep rollers with double clear poly (Stolz I think) rollers, 2 per crossbar. This allows me to launch and retrieve in much shallower water, or conversly, to keep the lights and hubs of the trailer clear of the water almost all the time.

The value of this setup was proved out this past weekend when I went to launch at low tide at an unimproved "ramp" on Orrs Island in Maine. This was really just a beach, and it leveled off at knee deep. After backing the boat in until the rear tires of the truck were just touching the surf, the hubs of the trailer were still above water, and the tip of the keep was about 2" out of the water. I stood on the tailgate, leaned on the bow and off she slid. This worked until the bow lifted, and the stern settled gently into the mud. This boat was mostly bouyant, and walking around and lifting the bottom of the motor allowed me to walk the boat off the trailer into about 14" of water. An extreme example, and hardly ideal, but we were launched in about 3 minutes.

Since putting the poly rollers on, I typically hand retreive too, cranking the boat up even the steepest ramps is a piece of cake, and I rarely submerge the back roller. The initial investment was high, about $120 for the whole setup, but the boat is better supported, and it works great!


jimh posted 07-06-2000 01:01 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Thanks for the comments on the trailering section revision.

Your launch ramp story reminds me of one:

We rented a little cottage on the Crooked River (Burt Lake/Mullet Lake chain) for a long weekend last year. The owner told us there was a launch ramp right down the road from the cottage.

To get to the cottage we had to come off the highway and travel about 2 miles down the bumpiest dirt road in Michigan. We crawled down there at about 5-10 MPH, not wanting to jar the boat too much on the trailer behind us.

Finally, we got to the cottage. "Let's go to the ramp right here," I said, "I don't want to have to haul the boat over that road again!"

We walked down a few hundred feet to where the "launch ramp" was supposed to be, but all we found was a spot on the river bank where the road just ran right over the bank and into the river."

"This must be the ramp," I guessed. We backed the boat and trailer down, rolled the boat off into the river, and we were launched without a problem. This was definitely not one of those "float-on" style ramps.


lhg posted 07-10-2000 07:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Doug: Glad to see your keel roller system is working for you. One other thing that I should mention comes directly from the Stoltz roller people, located in Ft Lauderdale.
They advised (and I have done this) that conventional plated roller shafts (with those impossible end caps) should NOT be used with their rollers, as they will freeze (corrode) up on the shafts. Stoltz rollers are made with an inner sleeve of steel(but not SS), rather than the plastic used in the black rubber ones.
So even in a fresh water environment, the shaft will eventually bond to the inside of the roller, losing a lot of the ease of launching. Instead, one should use a well greased stainless steel shaft, 5/8" in diameter, with a hole drilled for a cotter pin at each end (those caps won't hold on an ss shaft). This makes the shafts extremely easy to grease and service as necessary, keeping launching effort at a minimum, with the roller turning on the shaft. There are only two places that I know of who sell these. One is the that Sam Collins recommended elswhere on this site, the other being Ames Trailer Supply in Ft Lauderdale, almost across the street from the Stoltz plant. They cost about $10/ea, but well worth it. You can see why keel roller trailers are so expensive compared to the bunk models. I estimate that just the 12 keel rollers on my 25 Outrage trailer, equipped like this, cost $600!

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