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  Trailering to minimize hull stress

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Author Topic:   Trailering to minimize hull stress
Sean Hoffmann posted 08-09-2000 04:47 PM ET (US)   Profile for Sean Hoffmann   Send Email to Sean Hoffmann  
Howdy folks,

Well, my 13'SS with the hole in the keel is now at the shop (see my on the Repairs/Mods board). Of course three weeks worth of hindsight is 20/20. If I had known that the hull needed major repairs, I probably wouldn't have bought the boat. But enough of my whining.

As supspected, the repairman found additional damage to the keel by removing materials--unknown materials--that were used previously to repair the keel. In essence, the front six feet of keel has to be repaired, and in some spots the foam has been exposed and gotten wet. What I don't know is how long the previous owner used the boat with a leaky keel. Additionally, he will repair a previous patch the size of a softball on the hull as well as a few other past repair jobs on the hull, all for a tune of $650. He's a friend of my Dad and is cutting me a deal on his labor fee for this job.

This beats the $875 quote I received from the folks recommended by the local Whaler dealer here in San Antonio. Their quote was based on 16 man-hours at $50 ea., plus $75 for materials, based on visible damage only--they would have found more as they began to chip away the previous repair attempts.

Anyway, the fellow doing the repair mentioned that he thought it is possible that the hull is suffering unnecessary stress by constantly sitting on the the bunks rather than the rollers. There are three rollers on the trailer under the keel (not counting the bumper near the eyehole on the bow). While sitting on the trailer, the hull (keel) touches the front roller only. The middle and rear rollers are about an inch below the keel, since the rear of the boat is sitting on the bunks.

Is this a potential problem? Do I need to raise the middle and rear rollers so they come in contact with the keel and rely less on support from the bunks? I know for certain that the softball-sized hole near the bow was caused by the boat hitting the rear end of the right-hand-side bunk when launching and trailering the boat.

The trailer is a crank-on with a pin that, when disengaged, allows the back half of the trailer to swing up and down, supposedly to make putting-in and taking-out easier. A couple of folks recommended that I shouldn't even bother with disengaging the pin; instead, back the trailer into the water a bit further than usual and still employ the crank-on method.

Yet another question: When the repairs are complete, should I install a keel protector? I've seen them in the West Marine (or was it Cabela's) catalog. It's a V-shaped strip of nylon or polyurethane that's placed on the front keel for protection, probably for mooring in shallow water or beaching. Although they're pricey, I was considering purchasing the longest one offered (six feet, I think) to affix to my newly repaired hull, which should be ready in a couple of weeks.

Your generous insight is greatly appreciated!
Sean

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