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Author Topic:   Whaler Trailers
RCD posted 02-12-2001 03:59 PM ET (US)   Profile for RCD   Send Email to RCD  
Ok, so I am a dope. Bought a 1979 Montauk last year. Boat was in great shape, trailer collasped on first run. I was sold a E-Z loader as a replacement, but all rollers. Now I read in the forum that bunkers are considered a must. Should I sell me new trailer and buy one with bunkers?

Also, any advice on covers?

maverick posted 02-12-2001 06:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for maverick  Send Email to maverick     
RCD - "No rollers" is what you want, except on the keel. I have a friend that had rollers on his Outrage, and you could see where over time small dents were left in the hull from the rollers. He took the rollers off and bolted 2x4's covered with carpet in the place of the rollers. Worked great. I probably wouldn't sell your trailer; rather, figure out a good way to make it work without lots of more expense. Best, Maverick
david in boston posted 02-13-2001 09:11 AM ET (US)     Profile for david in boston  Send Email to david in boston     
I did the same thing, replaced the rollers with pt 8' 2x4s with brackets and bunk carpet from west marine for about $40. it works fine. you must have 2-3 keel rollers though and most of the hull weight should be on the rollers. ive seen guys put dish soap on the bunks for ease of sliding but never had a problem with that. I also use transom straps to hold the boat to the trailer. good luck, David
whalernut posted 02-13-2001 05:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalernut  Send Email to whalernut     
David, do you use one wrap around transom strap or two individual transom straps that go from the ski eyes to the trailer. The reason I ask is that I have used both and found that the two transom straps work better and more secure. They seem to stay tight! Plus they don`t get in my way when working in the boat(`16 Currituck). Whow do others feel about this as it seems it is a subject that hasn`t really been discussed? Also, I use the ratchet style straps with the padded hull protecters on them, well worth the extra money spent for them! Regards-Jack Graner.
Hank posted 02-14-2001 01:18 AM ET (US)     Profile for Hank  Send Email to Hank     
There seems to be general agreement that the proper way to support a Whaler on a trailer is with rollers on the keel and bunks at the stern for lateral support. I wonder is there any reference to the proper number and location of the keel support rollers for the Montauk. The reference article on this site is very informative but does not have specific information for the various Whalers.
I have a 1984 Whaler Montauk and have just purchased a new trailer. The dealer will adjust the trailer to fit the boat so this information would be much appreciated.
andygere posted 02-14-2001 03:16 AM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
I use the bellyband style hold down on my Montauk, and I'm thinking of switching to the dual transom-style straps. It is a little difficult to get the longer strap tight, and the webbing has a tendancy to stretch a bit on a long trip. One question: Have you ever forgotten to remove them before launching? I'm a little worried that since they are more or less out of sight I'll forget to take them off one day....


whalernut posted 02-14-2001 03:57 AM ET (US)     Profile for whalernut  Send Email to whalernut     
Andy, I have never forgotten to remove the straps before launching, but I rarely have to launch as I keep my Currituck in a dock, and put it there in the spring, then clean it about 2 times at a car wash in the summer and then to clean it in the late fall and to winterize her. So that equals about 4-5 times a year. I think it would be best for you to go with the dual rear transom tie-downs(ratchet-style with pads to protect gelcoat), they are out of the way and and hold like the dikkens! I believe I purchased mine from C&ME marine out of Buffalo,NY. This place has a brochure and have the best prices anywhere for pretty much anything they carry.They don`t even charge a hazardous fee for shipping Bottom Paint or solvents!If I find their brochure, I will post thier 800 # for everyone to get one!Regards-Jack Graner.
bigz posted 02-14-2001 06:00 AM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    
Securing a boat to trailer -- suggested method:

4 to 5 point hold down --

2 -- transom ratchet straps -- from lifting p-s eyes to trailer (might want to install galv. eye bolts on trailer for attachment)

1 to 2 --- gunwale to gunwale ratchet style (these you can get tight unlike the buckle type) straps depending on size of Whaler to trailer (might want to install galv. eye bolts on trailer for attachment)--gunwale protectors as Whalenut mentioned will protect your rub rail from crushing ---

1 -- trailer winch post ratchet short strap to bow eye (never depend on the winch cable or rope) this should be attached as low as possible on the post

Hank, you want a forward pick up bow keel roller, a stern keel (loading) roller and in between at least 2 keel rollers, all weight on the rollers -- adjust bunks so they just provide lateral support ---


triblet posted 02-14-2001 10:15 AM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
I've tried to forget my transom straps a
couple of times, usually at Pt. Lobos where
the prep routine gets turned around a bit
by doing half of it in line waiting for the
park to open, and the other half is rushed
(if you are quick before the parking lot
fills, it's easier to make that nasty 90%
turn down the ramp.).

Under normal circumstances, I just make
a clockwise circle around the boat: trailer
plug, VHF antenna, tag lines, transom straps,
motor off the brace, more tag lines, fenders,
bow dock line.

While the boats in the water, I store the
straps on the floor in front of the driver's
seat of the truck. That way I'm unlikely to
forget to put them on, and will notice them
quickly if I do.

All in all, I prefer the transom straps to
a belly band. The belly is a weak part of
the boat. The transom is strong. And
if you were to go over a real bad bump,
the transom strap has better leverage to
counteract the motor's momentum.

I disagree with lhg -- with his rig there's
nothing that's strong fore and aft. And
aft is the most likely direction for the
boat to come off the trailer. I use the
winch strap, backed up with a short safety
chain, also to the bow eye, with a rubber
mouse on the chain.


Hoop posted 02-14-2001 01:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for Hoop  Send Email to Hoop     
Chuck, what is a "rubber mouse on the chain."

Hank, I guess I also have the same question ... despite all the posts on this topic. What is the correct number and size of rollers for a Montauk? Qty 3 - 10 inch rollers? Or 8 inch rollers?

All, I also use transom straps ... the locking lever variety. I've never forgotten to leave them on, but I do have a fascinating picture etched in my mind. I remember some years ago seeing another Whaler owner at the ramp, straps still attached, backing in on the trailer all the way. And then the owner gunned the engine to power the boat off the trailer. The whole trailer and car shook as one! Good thing that engine was not strong enough to pull the whole thing into the drink!

lhg posted 02-14-2001 02:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
I have to agree with Chuck that the fore-aft motion needs to be neutralized in any proper triler set-up, particularly if the trailer has several poly keel rollers.

My 25 Outrage is rigged as low as possible on the trailer, and secured as follows on the keel roller setup:

1. Special DL 6000lb rated winch strap on DL
2500 lb 2 speed winch. I also carry a spare strap with me. The weakest point on these winch straps, incidentally, is usually where the hook is stitched in. This often distinguishes the good ones from the cheap ones.

2. Bow eye safety chain from winch stand to protect against winch strap breakage, particularly when launching/retrieving. Essential with a keel roller setup.

3. A second HEAVY CHAIN hooked to bow eye from a big eye bolt on the trailer main frame. This chain angles up in a FORWARD direction to the bow eye, and secures the boat in case of an accident or panic stop. Winch stands are not all that strong, and are meant to pull the boat rather than resist forward movement, and I don't want the 5500lb boat crashing forward over the tow vehicle if I rear ended somebody! This setup is probably not as necessary with a smaller Whaler, but with a big one, I think it's essential.

4. I use four transom straps, two on each side, rather than two. Belly straps I don't care for. I do believe that transom straps prevent at least rear motion of the hull on the trailer if they are rigged correctly. I have seen many boats where they are not, particularly the float-on bunk type, where the transom of the boat is back a couple of feet from the trailer frame.
I have two sets of 1/2" transom eyes on the boat, one set in the conventional position as if the boat had a notched transom. The other set is higher up, above the bracket, and serve as the lifting eyes on the hull. The picture of the boat on the trailer in Cetacea page 11 shows these. The big bow chain is also visible.

One time I tried launching the boat, having forgotten to remove the transom straps. After unhooking the winch and safety chains, the boat would still not roll off the trailer. Thinking I wasn't in far enough, I backed down farther. Then I realized the trailer was floating, and had forgotten the straps! In reality, what we are doing is strapping wheels underneath the hull, not strapping a boat to a trailer. The boat always weighs more than it's trailer! Kind of like putting rollerskates on the boat.

bigz posted 02-14-2001 02:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    
Hoop, think 8" would work fine for a Montauk, I used 10" on an Outrage, the bow keel pick up roller the closest to the winch post can be a 4" --- you need 3- 4 total, depends on how many cross members you have on the trailer ---

I am sending Jim a BW trailer set-up schematic using a 21 Revenge, it shows the concept clearly regardless of the boat size --


bigz posted 02-14-2001 02:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    
I might add the "belly straps" have nothing to do with strength they are for lateral support that's all --- look at it this way the more secure your investment is the better --- penny wise pound foolish as they say --- hey whatever your comfortable with!

The point is weight on the rollers, lateral support form the bunks and the boat secured to the trailer --- tires maintained, wheel bearings maintained and lights and brakes it you got them in working order --- and drive with a little common sense --- Tom

andygere posted 02-14-2001 02:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
I think I'm sold on the ratcheting transom straps and will be ordering a pair this week. I am also ready to replace my winch since the antireverse mechanism is poorly designed and must be carefully engaged for it to work. What brand and rating (which I assume is tensile strength in lbs) are folks using for their Montauks? I always use a heavy safety chain on a stainless shackle to secure the bow to the trailer.

In terms of keel rollers, my trailer is set up with a single 12" under the transom, and 3 more 6", rollers located at each crossmember. I've purchased Stoltz replacements and will install them this spring.

lhg posted 02-14-2001 05:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Andygere: I am partial to the Dutton-Lainson black powder coated winches. They come complete with HD winch strap attached. Overton's has the 1400lb model for $30, and the 1800LB model for $42. The big 2 speed model for a larger boat, that I use, is $55. The DL brand is not as easy to find as the Fulton, but I think heavier duty and for less money. Highly recommended.
triblet posted 02-14-2001 06:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
A "rubber mouse on the chain" is a small
rubber strap with a hole in each end. You
put the hook through one hole, slide it to
the middle of the S hook, and now after you
put the hook on the bow eye you put the other
hole over the end of the hook. It keeps
the hook from coming off.

Shipshape make them, p/n 16691A. West sells
the for $4, p/n 368433. They are made for
the safety chains on your trailer, so you'll
find them in the trailer section of the

BTW, in California, some means of positive
rentention is required on safety chains.
You can use these rubber gizmos, hooks with
gates, shackles, or chain repair links. You
can't just use a bare S hook.

BTW2. When a rigger (the guy who hooks
things up to a crane in the construction
world) needs to make damn sure the cable
doesn't come out of the hook, he'll wrap the
open end of the hook with some line. This
is called "mousing the hook".


andygere posted 02-15-2001 04:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
Is 1400# the appropriate rating for a Montauk winch? The unit on my trailer now is a 1400, but I've often wondered if it's correct. Are the gear ratios substantially different on the 1400# and 1800# HD models? For an extra $12, I'm inclined to order the 1800.
lhg posted 02-15-2001 04:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Andy: The 1400lb winch has a 4.5/1 ratio, Overton's stock #25689. The 1800lb winch has a 5.5/1 ratio, Overtons' stock #25690.
I'd go with the 1800 model, as a little extra winching power doesn't hurt. Their phone is 800-334-6541.
whalernut posted 02-15-2001 04:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalernut  Send Email to whalernut     
Guys I own a Dutton-Lainson Trailer Jack Stand #800 lb. model and can attest to the quality. I paid $29.95 thru C&ME Marine catalog in Buffalo,NY. They sell alot of Dutton-Lainson products and find that that brand is gaining some ground on the very good, easy to find Fulton brand, competition between 2 very good brands is very good! I would also go for the 1800 lb. winch over the 1400 lb. model for $12 extra dollars and it comes with a winch strap for $42, thats a great price!I will purchase one for my Currituck soon, and will look at Dutton-Lainson very closely and probably buy that brand, because of the price-quality! Regards-Jack Graner.
hauptjm posted 02-16-2001 09:18 AM ET (US)     Profile for hauptjm    
Since, I was planning on changing out a very tired wire and winch this month, I have two questions. For a Outrage 18 what capacity winch, and what capacity strap should I get?? You would not believe the variations on the answer I get. I trust you guys more than my local West Salesperson.
andygere posted 02-16-2001 01:05 PM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
Thanks for the info guys!
lhg posted 02-16-2001 04:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Jim: The trailer for my 18 came with a Fulton 2000lb 2 speed winch, which is also a very nice product and handles the 18 easily
(trailer has ten keel rollers on it). But without the strap, it costs $4 more than the DL 2500 2 speed, with HD strap. I'd just go for the 2500lb model, about $55 complete, catalog #25692. This thing handles my 25 with ease. You'll be very happy with it.
kevin posted 02-16-2001 09:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for kevin  Send Email to kevin     
well, i have my own whaler trailer problem that i haven't seen addressed in this forum.

its a long story, but i have an old 21' outrage and a new karavan bunk trailer. the boat sits as low on the trailer as i can get it.

the problem is i want to add keel rollers but the crossmembers on the trailer are not suitable. the outrage is practically flatbottomed while the crossmembers are vee-shaped. the boat keel is over a foot off the top of the crossmembers.

if i could get 3 straight crossmembers to fit the trailer my problems would be over. simple, right? well i'm still looking. no sympathy from the boat dealers.

i could weld up my own crossmembers but they would be ungalvanized. i could powdercoat them?

i've considered building my own brackets to raise the rollers high over the crossmembers. decided this would be unstable and look stupid.

geeze, for all the hassle/cost i should just try to find a suitable trailer and sell the karavan. am i missing a brand? i like the keel roller setup shoreland'r has but, again, all their on-line brochures show vee'd crossmembers...

to the new england boat show...


Dick posted 02-16-2001 10:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dick  Send Email to Dick     
The dealership I worked at for years has allways used bunk trailers with no keel support and has never had a problem. If I remember correctly the new 13 sport comes pre-packaged from the factory on a bunk trailer with no keel support. I have my Montauk on a Shorelander bunk trailer with no keel rollers. I do not see the need for keel rollers if the bunks are large enough and positioned properly.
Bill Davis posted 02-17-2001 10:22 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bill Davis  Send Email to Bill Davis     
On the trailering topic, I have a question about how to secure the safety chains. After I cross them under the trailer tongue, and run them up and through the holes on my bumper mount, do I put the hooks on the holes, or do I hook the chain on itself. Wish I could draw a picture.

Maybe hooks aren't the best thing to have on the end of those chains.

bill yer buddy.

triblet posted 02-17-2001 08:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
Cross them.

Get rubber chain mice (see earlier in this

Hook the hooks into the holes in the hitch.
Put the hooks in from underneath, not from
above. It helps keep them in place if the
rubber chain mice get eaten by a rubber cat.
Or by UV.

Cut the chains so you have as little slack
as possible. When you cross the chains,
you'll find that in a corner, one chain will
keep about the same droop (the one that goes
to the outside of the turn on the truck end).
The other will get looser. I had good demo
of this yesterday. The guy I was diving with
offfered to tow my Montauk to Monterey
for the dive. That's cool, he's a neighbor
and I wanted to be sure our tow rigs were
compatible (he has nice little Yukon RIB)
so we could bail each other out some time.
Anyway we could JUST get the hooks on his
rig. We did a test of a tight corner in the
cul de sac in front of my house, and NO

Do a test turn (360 degrees, full lock on
the steering wheel with a trusted friend
with a loud voice watching the chains before
hitting the road.


matt posted 02-17-2001 10:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for matt  Send Email to matt     
chuck-normally the chain mice do not get eaten by the rubber cat as long as it is dogged off.consult the farmer in the dell handbook for futher details.LOL
Bullbay posted 02-26-2001 10:05 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bullbay  Send Email to Bullbay     
I had the gunwhale to gunwhale rachet mount with protectors for my Montauk and still crushed my rub rail. I have since put eybolts on the bunks of my float on trailer and use two rachet straps in the ski eyes on the stern. I mounted the eyebolts on the bunks so the straps would not come in direct contact with the hull.

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