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Author Topic:   Trailer Set-up for old Whalers
bang4dabuck posted 06-10-2007 12:19 PM ET (US)   Profile for bang4dabuck   Send Email to bang4dabuck  
I have 1968 Katama. It is [difficult[ to get on and off trailer. I have an old Tee-Nee trailer which has both center rollers and roller bunks three and a half to four feet. It seems as though I am to replace roller bunks with some wood bunks with glides. What size and six inch or 8-inch? What length? Should I get rid of the center rollers ? I did put some side bunks on to help get the boat on straight and that helps but can hurt in other ways.
DanT posted 06-10-2007 05:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for DanT  Send Email to DanT     
I have a 1966 [E]astport on an old TeeNee trailer. It originally had 6 keel rollers and 2 roller bunks. I removed the rollers from the bunks and installed 3 foot long carpet covered 4"X4" boards instead. My trailer has a tilt feature and I find it easy to unload and load. Almost all the weight of the boat is supported by the keel rollers, the bunks carry very little weight.
HAPPYJIM posted 06-10-2007 05:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for HAPPYJIM  Send Email to HAPPYJIM     
Here's some good info.

SpongeBob posted 06-10-2007 09:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for SpongeBob  Send Email to SpongeBob     
We just rebuilt the trailer for my son's new to him '72 Tashmo. It was a Tee Nee also. We replaced the roller brackets. Replaced the rollers with [Stoltz] rollers. Replaced the bunk brackets and bunks extended. Replaced the hubs and bearings also. This was still way cheaper than a new trailer. I delivered the boat to him from Bradenton, FL, Tampa Bay area to Annopolis, MD. It towed great, no problem. The boat launches and retrieves like a dream. Very easy to slip off the trailer and very easy to crank back on. The tilt feature is great. These trailers were made as keel roller trailers and for maximum effeciency should be kept that way. The rollers support the keel and the bunks just supply lateral support. Set up correctly they are a dream to use. I want to make it clear that I believe that both keel/roller trailers and all bunk trailers are both proper trailers. I have an all bunk trailer for our 22 Outrage, love it, and wouldn't change it. You have a keel/roller trailer, it was not designed for bunk loading. I was told by the local trailer shop that to convert my son's to an all bunk trailer in all probability would result in a trailer that would be harder to load and prove inadaquate given the trailers initial design. This dealer sells mostly all bunk trailers but advised us to keep it in its original form because it was a well made trailer and would work as new with the repairs we were contemplating. We went with his recomendation and have been more than pleased.


bang4dabuck posted 06-11-2007 04:12 AM ET (US)     Profile for bang4dabuck  Send Email to bang4dabuck     
Was that Dave's or Whalertown? I forgot all about the tilt feature, damn it. I am still going to switch out those roller bunks to wood w/glides. Any pointers on lining up and adjusting the bunks to their proper height ?

SpongeBob posted 06-11-2007 11:41 AM ET (US)     Profile for SpongeBob  Send Email to SpongeBob     
The trailer was rebuilt in FL not MD. I would stay away from Whalertowne. I'm not knocking them from what I hear they are a great Whaler dealer. What you need to find is a trailer dealer. Usually these guys carry a line or two of boat trailers as well as utility and coverd box trailers(Wells Cargo and the like). Most also have parts retail side of the business. There has to be one in Annapolis/Baltimore/DC area. They can supply the parts and usually do the work if need be. If you can't find one locally, which I doubt, there are online suppliers or heaven forbid one of our national chain marine retailers,they're every where.

As far as the setup is concerned it's pretty easy if the boat is off the trailer. The rollers need to be "in plane". By that I mean they need to all be in a straight line with the centers aligned and level with one another. Centering them is pretty straight forward, use a steel tape if you need to. Leveling can be accomplished with a very srtaight 2x4, and I mean very straight, set on edge. Set the height for the first and last rollers and place the 2x4 on top of the two rollers on edge. Then you simply adjust the remaining rollers to the height of the bolltom edge of the 2x4. Make sure that all rollers are touching the 2x4 and rolling freely. After years of use most roller shafts will be rusted and the nylon bearings in the rollers get trashed. More often than not the rollers themselves will be split in places. Replacing the rollers with new polyurethane ones with stainless shafts will make a world of difference.

This can also be done with the boat on the trailer but it's more labor intensive. Jack up the boat and support it with wood blocks at the keel in several places. I guess you could put the blocking between the bunks and the hull, as long as you aren't going any where there shouldn't be any damage. Change out the front and rear roller and lower the boat. Then lower and change out the intermediary rollers and adjust them for height.

We raised the rear roller on my son's trailer a little higher than it was. Maybe about an inch and a half. We did this for two reasons. One was to get the foot of the motor a little higher off the ground(these are low trailers). Two by raising the rear roller and realigning the rest we raised and leveled the presentation of all the rollers to the keel as the boat is brought onto the trailer. Another way to look at it is that we placed the rollers closer to parallel with the surface of the water when on the ramp and therefore more parallel with the line of the keel when the boat is afloat.

By all means get rid of the roller bunks and replace them with carpeted bunks. On a keel roller trailer you shouldn't need nylon/teflon glide strips. To set them up first level the boat. Use blocks or whatever, this is very tempory. Raise one of the new bunks until it barely touches the hull it's entire length and secure it. Then remove the blocking and do the same for the other side. You don't want the boat to wobble but you don't want the weight of the boat resting on the bunks, they are there just to keep the boat level.

This isn't difficult to do. The only tools needed are wrenches and a hammer. Maybe a grinder with a cutoff wheel if the old shafts and bolts resist. We replaced everything related to the rollers and bunks, brackets, shafts, bolts. All replaced with stainless when we could. It should be good for at least another 10 years.

One trick I learned of later that I would have done is to drill holes through the outboard ends of the roller shafts and use cotter pins or clips(similar to those that hold hitch pins in place) to hold the rollers in place. These would beat the caps that I used and would be easier to service the rollers.

Good luck.


jschmidt63 posted 06-11-2007 07:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for jschmidt63  Send Email to jschmidt63     
I have a 70 katama on a bandit trail with keel rollers and long bunks. Initially I had a problems loading and unloading. I added side roller guides to help line up the boat when I load, which help, although they mark my gelcoat, so I may switch to just plastic upright guides.

One thing I found for ease in loading and unloading was to make sure I sink the trailer deep enough. I can easily launch now by floating off the trailer. Would prefer not to sink trailer that deep but it works. For loading, I sink the trailer to just over the top of fenders, the rear keel roller is fully submerged and the mid roller just at water. Now it finds the proper position on the bunks and then guides the boat along each keel roller properly.


bang4dabuck posted 06-12-2007 06:47 AM ET (US)     Profile for bang4dabuck  Send Email to bang4dabuck     
So for the bunks basically use just replace the roller bunks with same lengths or there abouts (3 footish) or longer ? It seems I saw a photo of a similar hull where the bunks looked to be almost hanging beyond the transom by a couple of inches.
This was on the article HAPPYJIM suggested, very last photo. This looks to be one of the older hulls i.e similar to mine. Also you go with 4x4's or 2x6's ? John, what do you do at low tide ? I could of gone with but opted for 4' carpeted side bunks because getting it on trailer straight always was a problem. Did I take the right path on this issue, not sure.
DanT posted 06-12-2007 07:56 AM ET (US)     Profile for DanT  Send Email to DanT     
On my Tee Nee trailer I removed the bunk rollers from the galvanized steel channel and replaced them with two 2X4's covered with carpet. I'll send you a photo.
jschmidt63 posted 06-12-2007 08:56 AM ET (US)     Profile for jschmidt63  Send Email to jschmidt63     

if you have roller bunks I have read in here thats not good for whalers. Everyone seems to suggest keel rollers of various types with carpeted bunks.

My bunks I believe are simply 2x4 carpeted, could be 2x6 but not sure, think they are 2x4. Dont have a good photo at the moment sorry. I have three keel rollers. They are the dark black rubber that I will have to replace with the high density urethane,the black rubber seems to be cracking really bad.

As for launching at high tide, been lucky enough to only use ramps in salt for Chesapeake bay that have really good reach, even at low. I admit I may have problems on a short ramp, I probably couldn't launch. But most descent ramps that accommodate larger SW boats have the reach at low. If you are having problems aligning your boat as you load, as I did, really consider guides on the side of the boat. Without the guides it was hit or miss for me, with the, and with the trailer at proper depth, loading is spot on.

Good luck.

Will look for photo


SpongeBob posted 06-12-2007 11:11 AM ET (US)     Profile for SpongeBob  Send Email to SpongeBob     
As others have said use 2x4 bunks. We used 5' bunks. They stop 4 or 5 inches before the transom. To launch and retrieve the boat we only sink the rear roller. The rollers allow the boat to be cranked easily. The boat self aligns on the rollers. I think to many people sink their trailers to far and this allows the boat to float port and starboard over the trailer and this makes it difficult to center. If you sink the trailer only a little when the keel hits the first roller the boat starts lining up. Wind and current can make it difficult but sinking the trailer to far can make it harder. When we first got our 22' Outrage I had a hard time aligning the boat on retrieval. The trailer had guide posts but they didn't help. After a couple of months someone at a ramp told me I had the trailer to deep and it was floating(I never looked). I started experimenting with different depths and found that the boat centered and loaded easiest when the water was just above the second roller. This is a bunk loading trailer. But whether we crank it or drive it part way this depth is the combination. We tried my son's Tee Nee trailer at several depths (trying not to let the axels get wet)and we found the best combination was with the rear roller under the water 4 or 5 inches with the tilt feature released. This was on only one ramp at his apartment complex so it may vary. But we found no need for guide bars.
bang4dabuck posted 06-14-2007 07:02 AM ET (US)     Profile for bang4dabuck  Send Email to bang4dabuck     
Does everybody with a TeeNee use the tilt feature ? I could see it useful in unloading at low tide or shallow ramp. I don't see it at loading time.

Do you all find that its a hassle to get the hook of the winch on the bow eye. That SOB is too low. Any tricks there?

DanT posted 06-14-2007 05:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for DanT  Send Email to DanT     
I always use the tilt feature, I prefer to load and unload without dunking the hubs and axle in the salt water. To unload I just release the tilt, push up on the bow until the trailer starts to tilt and the boat easily rolls off the trailer. To load, I walk out to the end of the trailer (do not release the tilt yet because the trailer may tilt from your own weight) pull the boat up on the first roller and connect the strap. It does require a good stretch to hook the strap onto the bow eye. I then release the tilt pin and use the winch to pull the boat onto the trailer.

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