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Author Topic:   need new trailer
peter welch posted 02-22-2000 08:23 PM ET (US)   Profile for peter welch   Send Email to peter welch  
I have a "classic" 16'7" whaler hull, transformed from a Currituck to a center console, that needs a new trailer. My local boat dealer carries Long trailers. I would welcome any advice on whether this brand works well or whether I should seek out another brand of trailer. Thanks! Peter
jimh posted 02-23-2000 11:03 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The trailer for whalers should be a bunk *AND* keel roller trailer. The keel rollers should carry the majority of the load; the bunks provide lateral stability while on the trailer. This configuration is not always available from every manufacturer.

As for brands of trailers, it seems to be one part of the marine business still localized, although there are a few nation-wide companies. (Shorelandr comes to mind.)

What constitutes a good trailer will depend on your local waters and your intentions. I'm pretty much a fresh water boater, so I don't worry about corrosion as much as someone who is in Florida coastal waters.

If you're going to be doing trailering in the mountains, you'll want better brakes than someone (like me) who lives and hauls in flat lands.

And if you want to tow at higher speeds, get some larger tires on the trailer. I'm a slow poke doing only 60 mph with my 12-inch tires.


lhg posted 02-23-2000 01:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Peter: Jim's advice is correct, and trailers do tend to be localized in availability. Where do you live? Even in fresh water I would get a galvanized trailer. In Florida there are some particularly nice hot dipped galvanized channel frame trailers, with all keel rollers, available for a Montauk, with 13" tires, for about $750. Look for a capacity of between 1700-2000lbs.
dfmcintyre posted 02-23-2000 08:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for dfmcintyre  Send Email to dfmcintyre     
Peter -

I'd also follow what larry and jim have mentioned regarding the type (bunks & rollers) and stick with a name brand, and you will minimize problems. 13 or 14" tires will let you pull at freeway speeds. Even if your mostly in freshwater, give larrys comment about a galvanized trailer some serious thought. If I _had_ to choose between brakes and galvanized, it would be a tough one, but I'd probably go with the galvanized over brakes. 2000 as a weight to shoot for, as during trips to a resort, you can easily load another 500lbs in "stuff".

Shorelander is a good brand. Had an Easy Loader under one of mine some time ago. I'm now lookng at a galvanized Eagle double axle. Eagle is made here in Michigan.

Best - Don

Tallydon posted 03-01-2000 08:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tallydon  Send Email to Tallydon     
I have a question. My Dauntless 15 came with a trailer that only has a bunk system to support the boat. There are no keel rollers for support. Am I damaging my boat?
Tom Byrum posted 03-02-2000 08:04 AM ET (US)     Profile for Tom Byrum  Send Email to Tom Byrum     
I just bought a new trailer from Pacific Trailer in Union City. It is a dual bunk trailer without any rollers and was reccomended by the local Whaler dealer. In fact for about a year or so now The Outboard Motor Shop (Whaler dealer in Alameda)has been buying all their trailers from them. They make a drive on style with four bunks. Two are placed near the keel but not actually under it.
lhg posted 03-02-2000 06:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Carpeted wood bunk trailers are by far the cheapest to manufacture, and that is why most dealers are peddling them. They require very few cross members to the frame, and eliminate the roller assemblies (perhaps as many as 10 or 12 for a good trailer), which are not cheap, especially if you're using the Stoltz poly rollers. But I think they're hard to use, and require burying the trailer in water to get the boat on or off.
That is why someone even came up those plastic slides to attach to the carpet. The principle of a roller to move goods is still the most efficient, and Whalers should be supported at the keel. Good keel roller trailers are getting increasingly hard to find, and most Dealers won't be bothered with doing so. But I believe they're well worth the extra money. Boston Whaler's own Commercial Products trailers have double keel rollers at each cross member.
Tom Byrum posted 03-04-2000 12:09 AM ET (US)     Profile for Tom Byrum  Send Email to Tom Byrum     
Larry I am sure you are right about the difference in costs to make a roller vs bunk trailer. And I know you are probably right about the roller trailer being the best choice for a Whaler but you missed the target completely when you said a bunk trailer is harder to load your boat. The trailers I am referring to are known as drive on trailers. You back your trailer till its wheels are about 3/4 under water and then you drive your boat right on to your trailer. You gas it till it hits the bow stop then you yell ok. At that point your trailer driver pulls up the ramp with you still sitting in the boat. Total time approx 30 seconds. No ropes, no dock, no help no wet feet. Most people are not aware how easy this is or they are afraid the props will hit and hence you have the slow bury the trailer and hope its centered when you pull out type of loading. A good drive on trailer supports your hull high enough that the props cant make contact with the ramp and also self centers the boat provided you are not too deep. If done properly there is no better or quicker way to load your boat. It also is great when you dont have to wait on the people lined up at the dock waiting their turn to pull their boat out. You just load next to them because you dont need a dock. Granted this is not moron proof and you should do some math before your first attempt but it is definitly the easiest way to load your boat.
kingfish posted 03-04-2000 08:44 AM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     

The BW double keel rollers in your 3/02 post: are they double fore to aft, or double perpendicular to the keel (one following the deadrise on each side of the keel?)- ?


bigz posted 03-04-2000 01:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    

The dual bunk trailer is a fine idea for the smaller whalers which don't sport the deeper v of the bigger ones and weight. Those two parallel adjacent to the keel offer plenty of support and the outboard one on the chimes stabilize the boat -- would work great as you mentioned.

Back in the 70's in the New England area, where one heck of a lot of Whalers were sold, the Cox combination keel rollers and roller bunks trailers were sold with Whalers particularly with the Revenge, Outrage and then the newer deep V Outrages. The keel V rollers (usually one per cross frame member -- depending on the boat usually 5 or 6 with a bow roller) supported all the weight and the outboard chine bunk rollers usually about 5' or so long with as many as 6 to 8 rollers per bunk just "kissed" the hull giving it stability. If this was set up right and one wasn't careful you could launch your boat flat our on the ramp it slides off so nice and fast!

As Larry mentioned in another post about dual keel rollers,the Cox had the provision to add an additional roller to each cross member effectively giving the keel fore and aft support --- but for anything smaller than say a 25 Outrage (which wasn't introduced till the 80's and Cox was still around then but not now) that was over kill I think, weight certainly wasn't a factor below that size so why spend the bucks for 5 or 6 more rollers and brackets --!!

Anyway just my thoughts and it sounds like you have a nice set up --- plus if an old line dealer like the Outboard Motor shop is selling them for Whalers there you go can't ask for better endorsement than that I'd say --- Regards Thomas

Tallydon posted 03-04-2000 09:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tallydon  Send Email to Tallydon     
Can't say that I have problems with my dual bunk trailer at the ramp for my Dauntless 15. It is easy to unload and load as described above. Also, my whaler is always centered on the trailer after I load it, I just have to be careful on how far I submerge the trailer; too much and it floats everywhere, too little, then I have really struggle to get it up to the trailer stop. After a few times of using my trailer, I got a feel for it and now no problems.


triblet posted 03-05-2000 11:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
I have an all-bunk trailer for my Montauk.
Ever since I silicone sprayed the bunks,
I have NO trouble getting it on and off.
I I submerge the backs of the bunks about
four inches (that means only about half
of the bunk length is in the water),
Admiral Linda has no trouble winching it

Before I siliconed the bunks, it used to be
a bit of trouble to get it on and off. I'd
usually unhook the winch strap in the parking
lot, back down till I had about six feet to
go, Admiral Linda would unhook the safety
chain, and I'd roll back and nail the brakes
and it would slide off. First time with
the silicone, it slid to the end of the
safety chain on the ramp.

I put a whole can of silcone on the bunks,
and let it dry for a couple of (VERY HOT)
days while we houseboating and waterskiing.

Chuck Tribolet

Clark Roberts posted 03-06-2000 10:24 AM ET (US)     Profile for Clark Roberts  Send Email to Clark Roberts     
Chuck, thanks for the silicone spray suggestion... I have been using soap, applied
every 4-5 launchings and didn't even think of silicone... next time my 21 Revenge is in the water for a few days, I'm going to recarpet and fog on the silicone.... Thanks, great idea! Happy Whalin'... Clark.. Spruce Creek Navy
lhg posted 03-06-2000 01:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Thanks, guys, for your comments on all-bunk trailers, which I agree can work for many people, under CERTAIN ramp conditions. Just look at the trailers at any ramp, and you'll see most are the drive-on type with no rollers. But I am still sticking with Whalers' recommendations for supporting their hulls properly, (at least for their pre-1993 models) and my own experiences of 32 years of boating. I have found the roller type trailers to be useable under ALL conditions, especially if rigged with the Florida style vertical guide-ons. The trailer under my 25 Outrage is designed for drive-on use, and the keel rollers make it very easy to do, with little power, even if all of the rollers are out of the water. And I have been at plenty of shallow slope ramps where a bunk trailer wuold have been a nightmare for a large boat like a 25. On steep ramps, the guide-ons really help, since the boat can be lined up straight and floated right up to the winch stop. Keel rollers also help in driving the boat up a steep ramp where you can't get much of the trailer in the water. I have seen guys with all bunk trailers really struggling to get large boats on & off these bunk trailers, reving up engines at the ramp, churning up the bottom and undermining the pavement ot the ramps under water. Many ramps have restrictions against driving a boat on a trailer. Just yesterday, I was able to get out on Lake Michigan for some March 5th salmon fishing (caught 5 silver/coho salmon in about an hour!) and found Lake Michigan at an all time low water condition. Boat ramps all around the Great Lakes are going to have very little water for launching, and people with bunk trailers are in trouble as far as I can see. Let me describe the conditions at Chicago's best ramp, where under normal conditions you could launch a 30' cigarette boat from a bunk trailer. It is shallow slope ramp, and the trailer can only be backed in to about 15" of water depth, after which there is a 4' dropoff where the concrete ramp ends. With my 18 Outrage, the rear keel roller was just at water level. All other rollers were out of the water. Fully backed in the ramp, the boat was not touching the water! But I was able to un-hook the winch and roll the boat off the trailer, and winch the boat back up on the trailer quite easily. I believe I will even be able to launch my 25 at this ramp, but many with other types of trailers will be out of luck. So I guess it's all around flexibility and ease of use under adverse conditions that gives keel roller trailers their appeal to me. If anyone wants to see a picture of the double keel roller trailer for my 25 Outrage, go to my son's website at
KCarlsen posted 03-07-2000 09:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for KCarlsen  Send Email to KCarlsen     
Just thought I'd add my 2 cents to a thread that has been very informative to me. I copied the following out of a 1969 BW catalog under the subject trailers.

Boston Whalers do not require special trailers, but there are six important considerations on which selection should be based:

1) Load Ratings - 13ft.............600 lbs
16ft.......1200-1600 lbs
(avoid either under or over rating)

2) For long haul use biggest available tires.

3) Use wooden side supports, not rollers. Except in the case of a few special designs, side rollers may become misdirected and damage boat.

4) Center or keel rollers must take nearly all the weight, bearing on keel NOT adjacent hull surfaces. Forward adjustable side chocks are unnecessary.

5) Winch stand arrangement should have bow stop above the bow eye on boat hull with winch below it. This allows winch to pull eye straight in until bow comes home on bow stop securely. Locating stop above eye provides security in a panic stop.

6) If you use a belly strap, provide wooden protective device to prevent detaching rub rail.

So thats it. Straight from BW back in 1969. Now granted, hull styles have changed but the underlying message is still valid.

Chuck, nice idea using silicone. I have an old Holsclaw trailer that I completely repainted, added new shocks, (this trailer has 4 coil springs), new bunks, 4 new keel rollers, lights etc. It is well made, has many adjustments and carries the 16'7 hull as if it were sitting on a pillow. I will use silicone on the bunks to ease entry.


david in boston posted 03-07-2000 11:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for david in boston  Send Email to david in boston     
I am changing to bunks from rollers and need to know where is the best placement of bunks for a 72 montauk? I recently aquired this boat. Thanks David
Ed Stone posted 03-08-2000 06:04 AM ET (US)     Profile for Ed Stone  Send Email to Ed Stone     
I had a 1976 Whaler with the original magictilt trailer.After I replaced the rollers with new axles and those yellow hard rubber rollers the trailer worked great.All I had to do was touch the water with my trailer tires and release the brake on the electric winch.I had to use the brake to slow the boat down because it rolled so smooth on urethane rollers.
See Ya,Ed Stone
lhg posted 03-08-2000 02:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Updating Kurt's quotation from the 1969 catalog, the Owner's Manual that came with my 1989 Outrage says the following on page 21:
"The keel of your Boston Whaler is the strongest area. For this reason, the trailer you select should contain center keel rollers to support the entire weight of the boat. Padded bunks should be located so they do not interfere with the bottom spray rails and need only provide lateral stability.

Roller (cradle) type trailers (such as EZ Loaders) should not be used on Boston Whalers. Although this type of trailer is popular, they can cause damage to your boat and to the foam sandwich construction.
Roller (cradle type) trailers do not support the boat at it's strongest point - the keel.
The rollers can cause a ripple effect on the fiberglass which could disrupt the bond between the fiberglass and the foam core. In addition, rollers can put excessive pressure on the molded bottom spray rails when the boat is being launched and retreived." (end of quote) (words in parenthesis are by LHG for clarity) To me, this also says not to use an all bunk trailer, since the bunks would be carrying all of the weight at places where the hull has nothing but a layer of fiberglass skin and easily crushable foam, and no inherent weight supporting strength.
Why risk crushing the foam and delaminating the hull under the bunks? Bunk trailers leave the keel of the boat, and possibly engine weight on the transom, unsupported.

Peter posted 03-08-2000 10:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     
Just thought I'd add my 2 cents to make the trailer discussion as complete as possible. I have a Cox trailer set up as described by Thomas (BIGZ)for an 18 Outrage -- keel rollers and roller bunks. Works just like Thomas says -- if your not careful, you could launch the boat flat on the ramp. The trailer is great for the tidal conditions found in New England
Tom Byrum posted 03-08-2000 10:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom Byrum  Send Email to Tom Byrum     
Larry your last paragraph finally makes sense to me. The part about being easier to load will keep me arguing forever as I cannot imagine any way easier or quicker than the way I have been doing it for the last 15 or 20 years. I am going to pickup my new trailer tomorrow and you got me a little worried now. Its on a borrowed trailer right now and I am going to pull it to Pacific Trailer where they will load it on the new trailer and make any adjustments needed. You really got me thinking maybe a little too late. But I cant imagine a Whaler dealer reccomending a trailer that could cause me trouble. Then again maybe not.
lhg posted 03-10-2000 02:20 AM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Tom: Hope your new trailer works out for you. Assuming it has four bunks, two on each side of the Vee, I would get the center two bunks as close to the keel on each side as possible, forming a tight "vee", and you should be allright. The four bunks should have enough surface area (particularly if they are long 2 x 6's, to distribute enough of the boat's weight to avoid crushing the foam. Or maybe you can add some rollers at each cross member, to pick up as much of the weight as possible. And Peter, you're right about the risk of rolling a boat right on to the ramp. I saw someone do that with a 22' Revenge and it was not a pretty SOUND. He had just bought the boat (used) and it WAS set up properly with a good keel roller trailer. I was near by, talking to him about his purchase, but when I turned away to concentrate on getting my own boat ready for launching, he unhooked the winch cable, as he had always done with his previous bunk trailer, and as he backed down the ramp the Revenge rolled right off onto the concrete. The boat suffered surprisingly little damage, with the keel & transom having taken most of the force, and everyone standing around was impressed how tough the Whaler hull was. No holes or cracks, just keel gelcoat abrasion. A lot of lesser boats would have been trashed by an accident like this. But those same rollers allowed us to help him get the boat back on the trailer by winching the TRAILER back under the boat. When I launch my boats, I don't even think of releasing the winch strap until the boat is ready to slide into the water. I even installed a secondary bow chain as a back up in case the winch strap should break, especially when pulling the boat back out up the ramp.
Peter posted 03-10-2000 01:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     
Larry, I had a friend launch his 18 on the ramp once. Wasn't pretty. When launching my 18, I back the trailer into the water until the water level is just below the hubs, then and only then, do I unlatch the tilt lock, disconnect the trailer tie-down straps and the winch cable. After than, I just give a little upward push on the bow and away she goes. The toughest part of my set up is I have to scurry to get in the bow and I usually have to stand in the water a little bit when launching. Small sacrifices to make to keep the boat in good shape.
triblet posted 03-11-2000 12:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
> I even installed a secondary bow chain as
> a back up in case the winch strap should
> break, especially when pulling the boat
> back out up the ramp.

The voice of experience (;-): Every trailer
should have a safety chain. Nylon and
sun and salt and abrasion contribute to
a relatively short half-life for winch
straps. I'be been very glad I have one

Chuck Tribolet

Tom Byrum posted 03-11-2000 10:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom Byrum  Send Email to Tom Byrum     
Well I got my new trailer yesterday and I am happy with it. It has four bunks with two of them about 6" away from the keel. They are totally adjustable though and I could move them closer if I wanted. What do you think Larry? Man what a bunch of idiots Pacific has working for them. If anyone deals with them make sure you get everything in writing because the head people there will look you in the eye and lie like hell! The trailer is pretty good quality though. But it is way overpriced. You guys are all talking about safety chains and dropping your boat on the ramp and such with keel rollers and I gotta smile a little. You just dont know how easy it really is with a driveon trailer. That is if the support dont cause damage to the hull.
triblet posted 03-12-2000 10:34 AM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
> You guys are all talking about safety
> chains and dropping your boat on the
> ramp and such with keel rollers and I
> gotta smile a little.

I'm the guy who was talking about safety
chains. My Montauk is on a BUNK trailer.

Chuck Tribolet

bigz posted 03-12-2000 12:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    
Hey Tom glad your trailer turned out ok sounds nice ---

On another subject - chuckle ---- a bow eye chain to the trailer bow post is just a prudent idea really a no brainier --- one should never depend on the winch to hold the boat regardless of the size when trailering ---

That however is not where the slip slide and drop accident might occur --- as mentioned in other post it's when you unhook the safety chain release the winch cog loosen the winch line unhook it and aren't really set to launch that all heck can break loose regardless bunk or roller --- heh heh

Peter who has his Cox set up like ours, we have a 20' Outrage on it.... is well aware of how fast that sucker can slide with a bare minimum of help --- in fact when I went to those Strolz keel rollers decided to replace the shafts and drill out the ends to use ss cotter pins instead of those darn nut caps so I could easily pull the shaft and slap on heavy marine grade bearing grease every now and then..... slick as ....... well you know!

Always remember to have your painter attached loose so when you shove off it just maybe a wader but not a swimmer ----- :) regards Thomas

Tom Byrum posted 03-13-2000 09:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom Byrum  Send Email to Tom Byrum     
Sorry bout that Chuck. I guess my mind was stuck on the roller loading thing. Coulda been all the wine I drank at a bbq that night though, not sure.
whalernut posted 03-31-2000 07:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalernut  Send Email to whalernut     
I am looking to buy a `77 Newport and it has a Little Dude trailer under it, made in Ohio. It is a bunk trailer but did not check if it had keel rollers but will do so. Does anyone have any knowledge about this brand of trailer and how to add keel rollers if it doesn`t have them.. Please respond-JACK.
peter welch posted 04-04-2000 09:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for peter welch  Send Email to peter welch     
I never thought I'd start a thread with so many replies! My dealer and the replies here convinced me to go with a bunk trailer with non-adjustable keel rollers. Galvanized everything except springs so it should hold up in salt water for a number of years. The dealer threw in the first can of silicone spray which seemed to work great. Thanks for all the good advice. Peter
Louie Kokinis posted 04-08-2000 03:22 AM ET (US)     Profile for Louie Kokinis    
I am loading onto a 4 bunk system with no keel rollers (guardian doesn't require them) and find that Pam works great. A can will keep all 4 of my bunks slick for 4-5 outings.
Ed Stone posted 04-21-2000 10:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for Ed Stone  Send Email to Ed Stone     
I have ordered a new trailer for my Whaler.
It is a aluminum trailer with a torsion axle.
Four bunks to help support the keel.We had to offset the center bunks because of fish box drain and water pickup on the raw water washdown.The center bunks towards the stern are going to be 4 inches off the center.
I am not sure what size tires and wheels I should have.We are only 4 miles from the boat ramp but if I decide to make some road trips,what would be the recomended size tires? 13's or 14's.It will be a single axle trailer.My boat,motor and gear weigh aprox.
See Ya,Ed Stone
bigz posted 04-22-2000 07:08 AM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    

14" and add brakes would be the way to go, in my humble opinion.



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