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NEVER SCARED posted 07-31-2002 01:20 PM ET (US)   Profile for NEVER SCARED  
Howdy fellow whalers and whaleretts,

I just added MORE rollers to my trailer. I had one set on each cross member, now I have two sets, one on each side. I used rollers I found at WalMart. They are pretty hard black ones but not as hard as those pricy amber colered Stoltz rollers. I understand these are prefered. Why? Wouldnt you rather have slightly softer rubber than really hard ones against your precious gelcoat?

Never scared

lhg posted 07-31-2002 01:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
The black rollers crush and deform (sag and go out of round) under continued weight of the boat on the trailer. They only have a plastic sleeve in them, and have no inherent structural support of their own, depending on the 5/8" roller shaft instead, which tends to bend, for weight carrying capacity.

The polyurethane of the Stoltz rollers is much tougher and does not crush under the boat weight, and most importantly, has a large diameter steel sleeve inside of it to provide the bending (anti-sag) resistance.
But the steel sleeves are also why you need to use the SS roller shafts to avoid freezing up the assembly. The Stoltz people told me that in a proper installation, the roller is designed to turn on the shaft, making launching/recovery that much easier. My experience is that the black ones won't turn on the shaft readily, since they deflect under load, binding them up. They turn at the shaft support points only, which adds considerable resistance to the launching/retrieval rolling process.

I believe the Stoltz rollers make the most sense under heavier boats. Under a lighter weight boat, with two rollers per cross frame, I would think the black ones would be OK, since there would not be that much weight per roller (ie 6 12" black rollers under a Montauk).

I believe the extra cost for a proper Stoltz assembly (about $35 for each 12" roller & SS shaft) is money well spent, if you do a lot of trailering. The ease of getting this task done quickly, and without frustrations and wasted time at the ramp, should be worth the cost.

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