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  Low-boy vs. on-top trailer

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Author Topic:   Low-boy vs. on-top trailer
Arch Autenreith posted 01-14-2002 02:05 PM ET (US)   Profile for Arch Autenreith   Send Email to Arch Autenreith  
My trailer has the keel-rollers mounted on the cross-members level with the frame perimeter. My budís Master Craft ski boat trailer is manufactured so that the keel rests below the frame perimeter. I can see a couple advantages. One is that it rides lower. That by itself lowers the center of gravity but the wheels, because they canít be on a traditional axel use a torsion bar and the wheelbase is also wider which also adds to the stability while towing. Also, because it rides lower it would have less wind resistance if it were much above the height of the tow vehicle (as is the case with me).
I would think that launching might be easier at some launch ramps as it would also float sooner and therefore I wouldnít have to back so far into the water. Any other pros / cons I havenít thought of? What say you all?


russellbailey posted 01-14-2002 02:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for russellbailey  Send Email to russellbailey     
Our 15' Striper is on a low-boy trailer, where the cross-members drop a bit below the side rails. It ends up with the hull about 15" off the ground.

I like it a lot compared to our prior flat type, which rode about a foot higher. The gunwale is quite low and makes it easy to load stuff into it while on the trailer while standing on the ground. It also fits more easily into the garage.

On the negative side, you have to trailer with the motor tilted, and there is not much room below the cross members for support hardware (bunk or roller attachments) without the possibility of the hardware dragging on rough road.

I can see where on a bigger whaler a flat-type could be better, but for our little whaler I like the low-boy type better.

triblet posted 01-14-2002 04:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
My Montauk is on a trailer where the cross
members drop below the frame. It has
leaf springs and a dropped axle. I love it
because the boat floats sooner.


lhg posted 01-14-2002 05:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
A proper trailer for most Whalers, particularly if equipped with keel rollers, should have a moderate "V" frame. See picture of the Nauset in 16 Reference section, or picture in Cetacea Page 4.

Some trailers, however, actually have too deep of a vee frame, such as the Pacific brand, making it more difficult to convert to keel roller design if needed.

Arch Autenreith posted 01-14-2002 06:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for Arch Autenreith  Send Email to Arch Autenreith     
And here I thought I was in the majority with a non-V frame trailer. Oh well, at least my observations were more or less correct: the lowered version seems to be a better setup. I wonder if I could get new "v" cross-members at a reasonable price? Probably not. Now come to think of it I think they're welded on anyhow (then galvanized).

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