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Author Topic:   Trailer Guide-Ons
JB posted 04-02-2001 05:50 PM ET (US)   Profile for JB   Send Email to JB  
Since I frequently launch my 15' by myself and I've noticed some trailer gauges on the hull bottom, any suggestions re: trailer guide-ons - bunks vs. posts, hints, suggestions, etc...
Ed Stone posted 04-02-2001 10:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for Ed Stone  Send Email to Ed Stone     
Hey JB,
The uprights would help center your whaler.
Maybe the trailer is to deep in the water.
I understand what your saying ,if the keel
is not centered it somtimes strikes the
support for the rollers.
Ed Stone
Dick posted 04-02-2001 11:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dick  Send Email to Dick     
I use a Shorelander trailer with full length 2X6 bunks and no keel rollers for my Montauk.
In my opinion and from selling Whalers keel rollers are not only not necessary but make a simple drive on loading a major project.
With properly set up bunks and no keel rollers the boat has no place to go but straight into the bow stop.
triblet posted 04-03-2001 12:06 AM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
I have what is probably the same Shoreland'r.
It is possible to get the boat on crooked.
Been there a couple of times.

I've since added the Fulton Guides. They
work. I also see folks with the Shipshape
posts, the Shipshape rollers, and side
bunks. They all seem to work, but I think
I'd avoid the rollers -- one more thing to
rust and sieze up.


andygere posted 04-03-2001 02:30 AM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
My Montauk trailer has side bunks, about 5 feet long. They are nice for guiding the boat onto the trailer, but the previous owner put some deep scratches in the gelcoat by using staples to attach the carpet. Also, they make it very hard to work on the sides of the boat (for fixing scratches or washing, waxing etc.). If I had it to do again, I'd opt for simple guide posts. I may try to convert my current rig. The best use for guide ons: Keeping the tailights out of the water.
Hoop posted 04-03-2001 10:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for Hoop  Send Email to Hoop     
I've got side guides on my Pacific trailer. Sure makes single handed boat loading easy. Saved my any number of occasions when there was a crosswind. Hoop
andygere posted 04-04-2001 06:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
After giving it some thought, my plan is to make the carpeted bunk boards on my side guides removable. By counersinking SS T nuts under the carpet, the boards can be bolted to the uprights from the outside, making it easy to remove the boards for repair and cleaning of the hull.
JB posted 04-05-2001 10:21 AM ET (US)     Profile for JB  Send Email to JB     
I'm still a bit confused - should I get vertical upright guides or horizontal bunk-type guides (and fabricate some sort of removable system for washing the boat?). It may be entirely true that, in an effort to retrieve the boat, I've been putting the trailer in too deep rather than using the winch more to crank it straight up on the trailer. Anyway, thanks for the input...
lhg posted 04-05-2001 02:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
If you're going to get these, I would definitely get the vertical PVC upright guides. As mentioned, I think Fulton makes good ones, and make most sense for a "drive-on" loading situation .

With a boat as small as the 15, however, I do wonder whether you really need them. Just back the trailer in so the last roller is just at or below water level, get the boat centered on the roller and hooked up tight, then winch. As you winch, you can stop and back the trailer in a little deeper if necessary to make winching easier.

FISHNFF posted 04-05-2001 04:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for FISHNFF  Send Email to FISHNFF     
I use upright rollers mounted between my rear fender step and the rear lights on the trailer. I have the extra commercial rub rail which is through bolted to a SS backing plate 6' long about midway between the regular rubrail and the chine. This prevents the mounting of the horizontal guide. I have absolutely no problem with this type (vertical) and permits easy cleaning and waxing.
Carl posted 04-07-2001 07:59 AM ET (US)     Profile for Carl  Send Email to Carl     
BW stronly recommends against trailering without keel rollers, relying on bunks only. When I called them to ask about trailer setup they explained that the keel is the only area where the fiberglass is strong enough to bear the wieght of the boat. Bunks should be used only to hold the boat upright on the rollers. The possible result of no rollers is excess pressure in weaker areas leading to delamination of the fiberglass from the core. The hull is not a monlith of uniform strength.
jimh posted 04-07-2001 09:17 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I have a 15-Sport and a Shorelandr trailer with keel rollers.

To recover the boat, I usually just back the trailer in until the aft roller is just submerged a couple of inches.

I can usually haul the boat up onto the first and second rollers by hand, and from there I can lean over (from the courtesy dock) and attach the winch rope, which I have pre-set on the trailer in that area.

If there is no courtesy dock or I have put the trailer too far away from the dock or there is five feet of water missing from the lake (recent Great Lakes levels) and the dock is way too high, then I have to carefully walk down the trailer frame and attach the winch line.

The trailer has two metal walkways welded down the centerline which are coated with non-stick material. These allow me to walk down the trailer to the bow of the boat and attach the winch rope.

If it is a hot day and the water is warm, I just wade in and hook it up.

Since I have not backed the trailer in too far, the winch post is normally not over water, so I can stand on the ramp and winch the boat the rest of the way onto the trailer.

This is another advantage to not dunking the entire trailer in the lake: you don't have to get your feet wet winching the boat up.

I don't have vertical guides. Since the boat is in hard contact with the stern roller and there is tension on the winch line, this tends to keep it coming onto the trailer in a straight line. If there is a big cross wind we try to load on the upwind side and then I get my wife to fend the boat off the dock as I winch, keeping it on centerline of the trailer.

As long as you get the bow started in the center of the first roller and keep tension on the winch line as it comes up the rollers, the boat will generally center itself on the trailer.

If there are waves coming into the ramp, then I keep the trailer as shallow as possible. This way the waves won't lift the boat off the rollers while loading. It takes more cranking, but there is not much effort needed to crank a boat as light as a 15-Whaler up a roller trailer.

We never "power load" or "power unload" as this is prohibited at all the ramps we use, although that technique is used by all the PWC operators. That always amuses me because these guys are already wet and in wet suits, so you would think it would not be a big deal to just get in the water and crank the little jet-ski onto the trailer. But, no, they unleash a fury of propulsion to drive the jet-ski onto the trailer bunks. Go figure.


triblet posted 04-07-2001 12:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
Carl, my "Boston Whaler Center Console
Series Owner's Manual", says either keel
roller or all bunk style is OK:

"Float-on trialers are of all bunk style.
These are suitable for use as long as the
bunks conform tot he shame of the hull, give
support near the center keel, and provide
good fore and aft support to spread the total

It's rollers anywhere but under the keel that
they don't like.

There are lots of people on this list with
all bunk trailers, including me, and I can't
remember any of us having a problem because
of it.


lpaton posted 04-08-2001 09:39 AM ET (US)     Profile for lpaton  Send Email to lpaton     
My 1996 Outrage III rides on a side roller only trailer. It has 32 rollers. After readig on numerous threads that keel rollers are the way to go I am modifying the trailer. I will install about 8 keel rollers. I have it figured out that I can keep the side (wobble) rollers in place for lateral stability and guide on with most of the weight on the keel rollers. Does this sound OK or should I scrap the side rollers and install bunks?
Dan posted 04-08-2001 11:11 AM ET (US)     Profile for Dan  Send Email to Dan     
I e-mailed Boston Whaler regarding my 17 Outrage 1999, and they wrote back saying all bunk trailer was okay. I sure wouldn't mind some keel rollers, but it might be hard to attach them to my trailer.
Ed Stone posted 04-08-2001 11:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for Ed Stone  Send Email to Ed Stone     
Here is the website of a trailer builder in
Fl. that makes a superb 4 bunk trailer.
They have custom built a lot of Whaler
trailers.If the bunks are set right it is
next to impossible to load the boat wrong.

Ed Stone

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