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Author Topic:   Trailer Question
blackdog posted 10-19-2000 09:11 AM ET (US)   Profile for blackdog   Send Email to blackdog  
I have read the trailer section of this site and it has given me some good insight. I don’t think I will try some of the trig functions…
With that said does any one have an opinion as to how many rollers are needed for a 16-foot boat. After reading the trailer section I studied my Load Rite roller and bunk trailer, I have 2 rollers. One supporting the forward section and one is supporting the Transom. Is two enough?
bigz posted 10-19-2000 09:36 AM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    
BG -- if you can get at least one more admidships would be better even "betterer" would be two --- bottom line you want all the weight on the rollers not the bunks --- Tom
Petero posted 10-20-2000 11:49 AM ET (US)     Profile for Petero  Send Email to Petero     
I have a Load-Rite also for my Outrage 18 that came rigged with bunks and two cross members that had two rollers each, for a total of 4 rollers. According to Whaler that represented four point support, which they considered adequate. I purchased two additional cross members with brackets directly from Load-Rite (they have a web site and Chuck Lincoln in customer service has been very helpful) and added four more rollers for a total of eight. They are relatively evenly spaced beginning from about 4 inches in from the transom. I did have to have holes drilled in the frame for one cross member to place it where I wanted, otherwise I used the holes that were already there. I am happy with the result and feel that the boat has much better support. You would improve your boat's support with the addition of one more cross member with two rollers per bigz.
bigz posted 10-20-2000 12:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    
BG didn't realize Load Rite had the ability to add additional cross members for roller support --- I would follow Petero's advice -- then as BW states only have the bunks very lightly touching just enough to give you laterial support --- Tom
blackdog posted 10-20-2000 12:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for blackdog  Send Email to blackdog     
Thanks for the info. I have e-mailed BW to see what they recommend. I would think 2 is not enough to support the weight for a long period of time such as winter storage. It is also very hard to load as I think the hull is only making contact on the aft roller so it has to slide on the bunks until the bow roller makes contact.
rwest posted 10-20-2000 07:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for rwest  Send Email to rwest     
I now have my second 16 ft classic Whaler. Both the presetn one and the previous one had 4 keel roolers as well as side pads. This seems to be enough for this size Whaler as long as the side pads dont support too much of the load. Too much and the boat will be hard to unload or load.
jimh posted 10-21-2000 09:02 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The keel roller trailer is definitely the way to go. When we joined Goltz, Gibson, and Farnsworth for a weekend of Whalering on Lake Michigan, we ended up having to recover the boats with a 25 knot cross wind. The ramp was also rather shallow, due in part to the extreme low water levels this year on the big lake. Here is what happened:

The three guys with keel-roller trailers just backed them in enough to submerge the rear roller or two, and they winched their boats up on the trailer.

My trailer--currently set up as a float-on bunk style rig--had to be backed in until completely submerged. I had to wade into the water a few feet to get to the winch, and I struggled to crank the boat up the last few feet on the bunks.

Because of the strong cross wind and the tendency of the hull to lean into the wind, the boat kept coming on the trailer with a list. When it did this, the hull would be cocked so that instead of resting squarely on the four bunks, it rested only on two.

I had to back the boat and trailer down into the water and try again.

Finally on the fourth attempt, I got the other guys to come over and use their feet to press down on the gunwales of the downwind side of the boat, trying to keep it level as it settled on the trailer.

Until this situation, we had not been having too much trouble loading the boat on the float-on trailer, probably because we'd always been at ramps that were quite steep and with very calm conditions.

After this experience, I have accelerated my plans to convert the trailer to keel-roller loading. It'll probably be the first thing I do next spring!


Tom Byrum posted 10-21-2000 05:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom Byrum  Send Email to Tom Byrum     
Jim you need to rename your trailer. Call it a drive on not a float on and use the prop not the winch. Dont bury the trailer and it will self center the boat for you.
Keith Silliman posted 10-21-2000 07:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for Keith Silliman    
It's funny, but I also recently started to have trouble with the "float on" trailer I use with my Montauk. I particularly had trouble yesterday, as I put it on the trailer for overwinter storage. I put it back in the water at least four times.

On the Hudson at the ramp I use, you contend with current, tide, wind, waves and wakes. Every time you put in or take out, it is a different experience.

I have seen several boat being driven onto their trailers-- I don't think I have the nerve to do this yet-- Speaking of nerve, I let my 15 year old bring it into the dock for the first time the other day, while I handled the lines (role reversal). I don't think I have ever seen his eyes get so big as when I told him to bring it in.


triblet posted 10-21-2000 07:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
Get EZ-Guiders and spray the bunks with

Chuck Tribolet

tbirdsey posted 10-21-2000 09:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for tbirdsey  Send Email to tbirdsey     
Have to second Jim's experience watching the three amigos winch their whalers onto the keel rollers. My 18 is set up this way as why my previous 16.

Keith, I've seen many struggle at the HH Ramp, but with the keel rollers its the same drill in the current, wind, wakes, tides, you name it - and it works every time. Usually don't even have to get the bearings wet and never get myself wet. The more rollers the better; you really can't have too many. I have 6 for 18 and would like to have 8.

kingfish posted 10-22-2000 08:28 AM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
Tom - the three there's a mental picture!

I've got three rollers on the trailer for my Outrage 22', and by next spring will have at least five; would have to add cross members to get any more than that(could happen).

The bottom profile on Outre' is such that there is an outboard strake (almost a sponson) on both sides at the stern and the outboard bunks are positioned just inboard of these; great stability, but not much margin for error in lateral location of the boat on the trailer; two inches either way and I've got a strake perched up on a bunk.

I learned something about the success of winching on rather than driving on at the Huron River ramp at the Portage Entry Rendezvous a year ago this past August. The ramp there (the wet part) is steep to begin with, and when I went to haul out, there was traffic, and I was a little cramped up close to the dock on the up-river side. The bottom also sloped up dramatically side-to-side (shallower near the dock), and there was a pretty healthy current running. I'd only had the rig for three or four months, but I'd gotten pretty adept at loading it up, and usually did it by backing the trailer in far enough that I could nearly float the boat up against the bow chock; I intentionally didn't power it on because most ramps I'd seen had specific requests not to do that, as it washes the bottom out.

Anyway, here I was, by myself, front of the trailer out of the water, rear of the trailer out of sight, the tops of the guide posts the better part of a foot out of level, a current running, and a crowd gathering. (One good samaritan did come over to help, finally.) I pulled the boat out *four* times only to fine a chine up on a bunk before the dynamics of how the unlevel bottom side-to-side affected the normal centering of the boat between the guide posts dawned on me. About the same time, the guy who ran the ramp came over (at that point, I hoped he had a gun that I could use to shoot myself)and kindly suggested I pull the trailer a good ways further out of the water, get more length on the winch cable, and crank the boat on.

Which I did, successfully the first time, and have done ever since. The boat *does* self-center this way every time, and the more rollers you have, the easier it is. (And, Chuck, I have tried your trick of siliconing the bunks, and that makes it easier, too.)



tbirdsey posted 10-22-2000 06:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for tbirdsey  Send Email to tbirdsey     
Kingfish: You've learned the technique! One thing you can do without adding crossmembers to your trailer is to double up the rollers at each existing cross member. It should be relatively easy to do; It will help make the winching easier; you may still want the additional cross members to distribute the weight along the keel a little bit more.
kingfish posted 10-22-2000 09:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     

Doubling up on the two main cross members will give me five rollers; the fifth roller is on the tongue cross member only two or three feet back from the bow chock and consequently well up on the bow rise of the keel, probably not much to be gained from doubling. There is a spot almost midway between the two current cross members where a third could be popped in fairly easily; two rollers on it would give me seven (which is seven more than it had when I got it). Probably going to be a winter project.


jimh posted 10-22-2000 10:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
To clarify: I didn't have the trailer submerged to the point where the boat floated up to the winch post. I still had to winch it up the last six feet or so.

The problem is this: the front of the hull is hard on the bunks while the stern is still floating. It is only when the stern settles onto the bunks that you find out you're a little cocked.

Also, having lots of winch power really helps. On LHG's 25-footer, he must have 10-times the winch power I currently have, so it was quite easy to yank that big boat up the rollers.

My trailer's winch is too small. That is another upgrade coming next season.


lhg posted 10-23-2000 12:41 AM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
I use one of Dutton Lainson's 2500lb 2 speed winches, complete with 5000lb strap, about $54 at Overton's. This is a good, solid piece of machinery. I rarely have to use the lower gear to get the boat on the trailer.
The winch that came on Jim's trailer looks like it was for a 13' Whaler.

I agree with Chuck Tribolet that a good pair of sturdy vertical PVC guide-ons is essential for ease of getting a boat on the trailer. These are useful for either style of trailer.
They allow a keel roller trailer to be used as either a winch-on (shallow slope, or shallow ramp), a float-on(steep slope ramp) or a drive-on(steep but short ramp), depending on the ramp conditions and number of people to assist in retrieval.

blackdog posted 10-23-2000 09:46 AM ET (US)     Profile for blackdog  Send Email to blackdog     
Launched and retrieved this weekend on the Delaware River at a fairly good ramp that wasn’t too steep. I can see why the more rollers the better. I made sure the bunks got wet and just backed the trailer in far enough to submerge the rear of the bunks and first roller. I had such a hard time cranking the boat up on the trailer. I think my trailer doesn’t have enough rollers, (two - I am sure) and possibly the winch is too small. I also had a hard time getting the boat centered. Possibly bunk anlingment? I had to haggle on the price of the boat so I think they took it out on the trailer end.. No spare, two rollers, light winch.
triblet posted 10-23-2000 11:16 AM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
Admiral Linda winches my Montauk up. NO
rollers. Bunks about half submerged. Single
speed winch. Silicone spray on the bunks.

And before anyone accuses me of Admiral
abuse, she can either get cleaned up and
back the trailer down the ramp, or stay
in her drysuit and winch. It's her choice,
she prefers to winch and let me do the

Chuck Tribolet

hauptjm posted 10-23-2000 01:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for hauptjm    
To Triblet: "ain't equality great"!!! But, seriously, I agree with the basic notion of the more the merrier with regard to rollers. I have an 18 that uses a 15 year old Sportsman (origial trailer to boat) with 8 rollers and a large wedge roller at the very rear. Nine in all. That may be overkill, but I have ever broken a sweat winching it in. Of course, it depends on the ramp but, I have had occasions that required practically winching it in the length of the trailer.

To lhg: Larry, do you know if your manufacturer produces something like yours, but in a smaller capacity. I guess something more in the 2,000-3,000lb. range, for my 18.

Backlash posted 10-23-2000 02:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for Backlash  Send Email to Backlash     
Interesting thread.
Petero...thanks for the information concerning adding crossmembers to a Load-Rite trailer. I too didn't realize they were available from the factory and will definitely contact them.
John your defense, the launching ramp you referred to near the Huron Boat Basin is positively one of the worst ramps I have ever used. It is uneven, too narrow, a mud hole, usually congested, and there is always a cross current from the river. I'm happy if I can just get the boat on the trailer without blowing out any tires! should be able to easily winch your 16 on the trailer with a single speed winch sized to the load. Additional keel rollers would help. Sounds like the bunks could be too tight against the hull also; i.e., not enough weight on the keel rollers. your defense, to say the ramp was a little shallow is an understatement! Most of the way in through the marked channel to the ramp my sounder was reading 1.6 to 1.8 feet! Consequently, it was necessary to trim the outboards well out of the water which made maneuvering in this stiff cross wind comical. It was also difficult to get the rear of the trailers adequately submerged due to the shallow water.
I agree with all previous posts that you can't have too many keel rollers.
blackdog posted 10-23-2000 02:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for blackdog  Send Email to blackdog     
Bye the way, B/W responded to my e-mail about the # of rollers. 3 should be sufficient for 16 a footer. Looks like I will be footing the bill myself for the extra rollers as I spoke to the dealer and they sold many of the 16’ last year with no complaints. It is possible one of the rollers is hung up also
lhg posted 10-23-2000 05:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Regarding keel rollers, a couple of years ago I met the Stoltz people (it's a father & son business out of Ft Lauderdale), and they told me that THE KEY in using their rollers is to purchase a stainless steel roller shaft, and keep it well greased in the roller. This is not widely advertized because most of the boat places don't carry these SS roller shafts. Stoltz rollers don't deflect and bend under load like the black rubber ones do, because theirs have a steel sleeve (not SS however) in them, in which the shaft turns. The problem is that using a conventional plated shaft results in the roller "freezing" on the shaft (particularly in salt water), greatly increasing rolling resistance. The key is to have the roller freely turning on the shaft, and the shaft freely turning in the bracket.
I use this set up on my trailers, and the boats come on and off the trailers so easy it's amazing. The winch strap cannot be released until the boat is backed in to launching position. These Stoltz/SS shaft assemblies are expensive, but worth every penny in my estimation.
Ed Stone posted 10-23-2000 11:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for Ed Stone  Send Email to Ed Stone     
I've had both types of trailers for my
Whalers.My 76 Whaler had a 1976 trailer
that I rebuilt.I added the yellow stolz
rollers and the stolz bow stop.Some of the
cross members had rocker syle with twin
rollers.They also recomended stainless
shafts.(I had trouble with the small caps
keeping the shaft in the roller.)On that
trailer I only had to have the tires touch
the water to unload the boat.
I had a electric winch to pull the boat
up.Only a small portion of the frame touched
the water.After the rebuild the trailer
worked like a champ.

The next Whaler I bought with a trailer
had a Galv. Performance trailer with a
Manual crank.I shopped by going to the
boat ramp looking at empty trailers.
I knew I wanted keel support for my
Whaler.I chose a local custom trailer
They build one heck of a trailer.
when properly fitted you can not
load your boat wrong.
I leave the outer bunks clear of the water
by just a little bit.Either pull it on
or drive it on boat centers itself
every time.Locally he has built trailers
for the coastGaurds Whalers.

lhg posted 10-23-2000 11:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Ed: The traditional end caps don't work on the SS roller shafts. The stainless is too hard and they can't grip. Most SS roller shafts have a hole drilled, for SS cotter pins instead. These are easy to remove when the roller needs greasing.
Ed Stone posted 10-25-2000 10:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for Ed Stone  Send Email to Ed Stone     
Hey larry
I did try drilling it once at the boat ramp.
The cordless drill and drill bit did not
stand a chance against that stainless.
Most of them stayed on ,only the roller
that touched the water had problems.
I agree cotter pins would have been
the ticket.
Ed Stone
DIVE 1 posted 10-25-2000 10:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for DIVE 1    
Drill the shafts in a drill press. Start out with a center drill to get a good start for the real bit, then drill the shafts with a cobalt bit at a low spindle RPM.
bigz posted 10-26-2000 07:20 AM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    
Ed, in addition to Dive 1's drill press suggestion, which is hard to do at a boat ramp --- chuckle --- use some cutting oil --- amazing what a little of that stuff can do ---

Might add if you can't dock her and then take the trailer home to work on it --- I have had success jacking up sections of the hull using two bottle jacks and 2x4's then working on individual rollers ---

A source for pre-drilled ss shafts can be found here --- [url][/url] in fact all your trailer part needs can be had from these folks --- though I get my tires locally ----

Congratulations on the new your new "gal"! She sounds fantastic, need a boat review, me thinks, at least some of us would like to read first hand accounts of the new Whaler design performance and usability ---

Regards,and best of luck ---


blackdog posted 10-31-2000 04:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for blackdog  Send Email to blackdog     
Is my winch too small? Took a good look at winch (Not Wench). Single speed rated for 1400lbs. The owner’s manual lists the weight of the Dauntless 16" at 1300 Dry. Add the motor and 40 gallons of gas. Could this be the problem?
lhg posted 10-31-2000 05:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Blackdog: You could possibly use a heavier winch. My 18 Outrage weighs 1250lb, plus engines, fuel etc, and my 2800lb capacity keel roller trailer (9 12" rollers) came with a 2000lb 2-speed winch, by Fulton, I believe.
Handles the recovery job just fine, and never have to use the lower gear, but it's nice to have, just in case. I'm a strong believer that you can never have too much winch on a boat trailer!

Regarding an earlier post by Jim, the trailers I have been using are only made and sold in FL, but are some of the best galvanized, channel frame, keel roller models around. You could drive over to the panhandle area and probably pick one up. It would have to be specially ordered, but this only takes a week or so. For your 18 Outrage, I would recommend model # CWV9, which is rated for 2800# capacity, single axle 14" wheels, vee frame, holds 9 rollers, and 93" wide. You could have the tongue shortened 18", and have them use a 3" x 4" tongue section. If you want more capacity, the same trailer can be ordered with tandem 13" wheels, 4000# capacity, model #CTWV9. The single axle will cost about $1000, the dual axle about $1450.
Single axle SS disc brakes will add about $350. (probably not necessary for an 18 Outrage) The trailers are made by Continental (Water Land Manufacturing, Inc) out of Miami and Tampa. They are well made and competiviely priced. I have one that is 11 years old, with absolutely no signs of rust.

FISHNFF posted 11-09-2000 03:39 AM ET (US)     Profile for FISHNFF  Send Email to FISHNFF     
I know this bunk/roller debate has gone on forever. Here in the S.F. Bay Area, the local Whaler dealers, all over the state, sell bunk trailers for Montauks. Pacific, Calkins, and Trailrite trailers also reccommend bunks. The big Whaler dealer here says they are not neccessary and only add rollers at a customers request. I have just purchased a Pacific galvanized with monoleaf springs and a 2 1/2' tongue extension. I am going to add rollers because it only makes sense. I have a commercial hull, but I want to make sure. I have roller guides at the ends and usually submerge the trailer to somewhere between the hubs and the fender for no problem loading.
Hoop posted 12-03-2000 07:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for Hoop  Send Email to Hoop     
Does anybody have experience with "Trailer Glyde Sliks" or equivalent? These are nylon/plastic pads which are screwed to the top of trailer bunks and which allow the boat to slide off. EZLoader makes something similiar, I've read. I heard that they are so slick that boats may slide off too-easily! It would be great if they worked well, though.

This topic hasn't made Jim H's "trailer reference section" yet.

FISHNFF, have you gotten those rollers on your trailer and how is it working? Like yourself, I just got a Pacific float-on trailer for my Montauk from that same dealer. Now that I have some launches under my belt, I definitely see the advantages of not having to back so close to the water. And I've only launched in salt water so far where boats float higher; I've got a feeling that in fresh water, I'll have to have my truck wheels well into the water?

Hoop, San Jose, CA

whalernut posted 12-04-2000 05:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalernut  Send Email to whalernut     
Blackdog, I have a 1973 `16 Currituck and the original trailer. It is a Fulton bunk trailer with at least 3 keel rollers. It is built like a tank, I can`t believe how over built the trailer was made, It doesn`t seem to be anything like the new ones. Also I can drive with the motor all the way down, with over 6 inches too spare! The engine is a 1975 85h.p. Johnson. The trailer is also higher than the new ones being made, I guess the new ones are lower for more stability, but most people can`t leave their engines all the way down. Good luck-Jack Graner.
blackdog posted 12-05-2000 09:55 AM ET (US)     Profile for blackdog  Send Email to blackdog     
Spoke with the dealer yesterday with regards to the winch size. When I first dropped the boat off 2 weeks ago I went over the winch rating off 1400 lbs, the sales rep claimed that because you are pulling and not lifting the boat the 1400 lbs winch would be enough? Am I stupid or does that sound reasonable?

Also my earlier problem winching could be attributed to one of the 2 rollers being hung up on a U bolt. Then bunks also needed to be adjusted. The trailer is rated for 2200lbs and doubles for the Montauk or the Dauntless.

Whalernut. Yes the trailer is very low and I would not ever drive with the engine down. It is very stable on the road and you can float on if you need to.

triblet posted 12-05-2000 12:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
The downside of being able to drive with the
engine down is that you need to put the
trailer farther into the water in order to
launch. My trailer requires me to put the
motor up, but the keel is only about 9"
off the road, so I don't need to back in
very far. I wouldn't be able to launch at
Pt. Lobos, where the diving is great but the
ramp sucks, with a highboy trailer. The ramp
just doesn't go very far.

Chuck Tribolet

andygere posted 12-06-2000 03:23 AM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
Seems like it's trailer mod/maintenance month. I just purchased 4 Stoltz keel rollers for my Montauk trailer to replace the frozen black blobs on there now. The only one that has a steel sleeve is the 12" v-style that sits at the aft end. Even so, I am now wishing I ordered the SS shafts - I'll use a lot of grease and hope for the best. Another issue: The old rollers were 1/2" shaft, the new are 5/8". Brackets are galv and in good shape, so I will redrill with an oversizer. The electricians where I work swear by them and say 1/4" steel is no problem. We'll see. Any opinions on trailer winch brand, ratio, capacity for this boat? The existing one is rusty, and the anti-reverse does not work well. Finally, what is the consensus on lower unit support gizmos for trailering? It does seem like a large moment arm working on the transom when towing with the big ol' 85 tilted up.
lhg posted 12-07-2000 12:09 AM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Since you're boating in salt water, go the extra mile, taking the Stoltz people's own recommendation, and order the SS roller shafts. You'll be glad that you did.

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