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Author Topic:   TRAILER--Update
jimh posted 04-11-2001 03:15 AM ET (US)   Profile for jimh   Send Email to jimh  
With Spring finally arrived, many boaters will be getting their boats back in the water, and that means trailering.

In the REFERENCE section of this website there is a long series of articles that discuss trailering in detail.

I just made a few changes and updates to the article on trailers, which might warrant a few comments. You'll find the changed section at


triblet posted 04-11-2001 09:27 PM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
Your trailer section continues to insist
that keel roller trailers are the ONLY way
to go. My '98 whaler owner's manual says:

"Float-on trailers are of the all bunk style.
These are suitable for use asl long as the
bunks conform to the shape of the hull, give
support near the center keel, and provide
good fore and aft support to spread the total

There are a bunch of us on this list with
all bunk trailers. I can't remember any of
us having had a problem caused by the bunks.


Dick posted 04-11-2001 10:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dick  Send Email to Dick     
The Whaler dealership I used to work for used nothing but float on (bunk) trailers with NO keel rollers. They have never had a hull problem. I have my 99 Montauk on such a trailer and will use nothing else. I drive my boat onto the trailer powering it into the bow stop, simple, easy and precise with an all bunk trailer. Whaler used to specify keel rollers for the older Whalers, either they changed their mind or us lucky ones with newer boats have better hulls.
jimh posted 04-11-2001 10:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     

I wouldn't say the article "insists" on keel rollers. It might lean toward them a bit, but it clearly mentions the current recommendations of the factory. It says:

"All the previous statements by the factory urging use of keel rollers notwithstanding, the current thinking at Boston Whaler is that using a float-on bunk trailer is acceptable as long as the hull is well supported by multiple bunks."

It wasn't me, but the factory that drafted the original statements clearly recommending use of keel rollers.

It is hard to say if acceptance of bunk/float-on trailer is really a question of preference or a case of necessity, given that there are practically no keel roller trailers made by trailer-makers with national distribution.


jimh posted 04-11-2001 10:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
If it weren't clear, the section I revised has to do with tongue weight and the affects of side winds on boat trailers versus the affects of the same winds on travel trailers.

My thinking is there might be some conditions common in boat trailers that tend to mitigate the affects of the side winds.

Any comment about that?


lhg posted 04-11-2001 10:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
I think Dick says it correctly. Doubt if the new hulls are any better. I bought a '71 Nauset new, and overall it was as high a quality boat as far as the finish and fittings went, as the current ones. But keel roller trailers are VERY hard for a Dealership to come by, and considerably more expensive. So the newly re-created BW, beginning with the considerable boating knowledge and experience of the famous shoe company, simply had to change to accomodate the trailer & Dealer marketplace, overall marine industry pricing competition, and change the guidelines. Since Reebock got involved, I would have to agree with Dick, as I have not seen a SINGLE BW dealer offering the keel rollers under the boat. The bunk trailers are simply cheaper to build, with less cross members, fewer bolts. Each of 4 to 10 roller assemblies can cost $50 each. You can put 4 bunk boards on for less than $50 alone.

What I don't understand, is why so many think you can't drive a boat on a keel roller trailer. You can, and it uses half the power, kind of like the roller conveyor tables used in industry. I drive my 25 right up on the roller trailer all the time, assuming it's legal at the launch ramp, with most of the rollers even out of the water. Someone can stand at the winch, and simply hook it up.

Last September, on a 4 Whaler expedition, (see Cetacea page 20), the 3 of us with keel roller trailers pulled out boats right out quickly, no effort at all. Fifteen minutes later all four of us were still helping our Moderator trying to get his boat correctly on a the (curse, curse) 4-bunk Pacific trailer. It took us 4 trys. Those 20' Revenges are big & heavy with twin engines, and not easy to push around on the carpet! Winching it up was impossible. And none of us are amateurs, if I do say so myself. So that is why JimH feels the way he does.

I think we should let the trailer thing die peaceful death. To each his own. It's whatever "floats your boat"!! Bunk trailers are here to stay, so the bunk fans do not need to worry that their product will become obsolete.

lpaton posted 04-12-2001 09:46 AM ET (US)     Profile for lpaton  Send Email to lpaton     
I hate to ask a question on trailering after all that has been said but couldn't get an answer on this one so am reposting.
My 1996 Outrage III rides on a side roller only trailer. It has 32 rollers. After readig on numerous threads that keel rollers are the way to go I am modifying the trailer. I will install about 8 keel rollers. I have it figured out that I can keep the side (wobble) rollers in place for lateral stability and guide on with most of the weight on the keel rollers. Does this sound OK or should I scrap the side rollers and install bunks?
hauptjm posted 04-12-2001 10:38 AM ET (US)     Profile for hauptjm    
Ipaton, if I understand correctly you should be o.k. What you need to remember, is that all of the weight of the boat should rest on the center rollers. ALL. The side bunks, or in your case multi-rollers, should ONLY provide lateral stability. With that set-up you should be fine.
lpaton posted 04-12-2001 10:45 AM ET (US)     Profile for lpaton  Send Email to lpaton     
Thanks for prompt reply
Laird Paton
lhg posted 04-12-2001 02:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
There is the question of whether the "wobble" roller can provide the much needed STABILITY. They're not designed to work that way, since they rely on weight carrying to work properly. Assuming you can get all of the weight on the keel rollers, I would think a couple of 4' long 2x4 carpeted bunks would give you greater security when lashed down with dual transom straps. When you have a setup that rolls so easily, transom tie downs, directly to the trailer frame, are extremely important, since you don't have all that bunk friction to keep the boat in place. And you'd have less chance of "dents" in the hull at each roller.

I have to wonder what kind of a BW Dealer would have put the boat on a trailer like that. If current Whaler buyers today are lucky, he's out of business!

lpaton posted 04-12-2001 03:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for lpaton  Send Email to lpaton     
The whaler dealer who sold me the combo dropped selling whalers as he never managed to sell one in 2 years. He did not know anything about trailering them.Nor did I till I found this forum.When the wobble rollers wore through the gel coat I knew something was wrong.
I bought the dealer's demonstrator. When people saw the price of a whaler compared to other boats they went to the small cruisers with cuddy,carpet and crappers. I had been dreaming of a whaler for 14 years ever since I had a striper 15 as a work boat working off the coast of west africa. I suppose some day I should write about that in the testamonials section.
Thank you
whalernut posted 04-12-2001 09:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalernut  Send Email to whalernut     
JimH. and all, I have inquired about a Load-Rite trailer for my 73` `16 Currituck and they make one specifically for the `16-`17 ft. Whalers! Just getting 1 quote it cost $1250.00 for the trailer and they come with bunks and a keel roller system! The jack is $36.50 and guides are $78.50. I am not sure as to the trailer quality or construction(painted or galvinized? I don`t know how many keel rollers either? I will inquire more on this matter and get back to all of you. They are made in PA. and very available to me at a number of dealerships as I live in PGH. The model # is 17170090VW. They have a web-site and a search for dealers on there! I am not sure of the web-address, I punched them up in Yahoo search engine. They also may have exact Whaler trailers for smaller and larger Whalers? I may try to buy one soon, if they(trailers) meet very high quality standards? Does anyone have one of these for their Whaler or any other boat and as to the quality? Regards-Jack Graner. P.S. Does the prices sound right? I have never bought a new trailer.
DIVE 1 posted 04-12-2001 09:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for DIVE 1    
The CPD factory trailer under DIVE 1 is a Load-Rite trailer. Ours is galvanized and the quality of construction is top notch. The thing is a tank with wheels and a boat on top. It has 8 Stoltz keel rollers, side rollers and full length carpeted bunks. If you need more info, let me know.
B Bear posted 04-12-2001 10:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for B Bear  Send Email to B Bear     
All this is very interesting.
Here is something new:
I went to my Dealer and asked him about the trailer he had provided. A keel/roller set up, I was concerned about the hull warrenty. I also had e-mailed him the responce I had recieved from the Boston Whaler Service Department which recommended "Bunk style with 3 to 4 keel rollers" and the supplement for the manual which stated the same thing.
This made him nervous, so together we called the service department where he got the same answer I did. From there we asked and got connected to the Engineering Department where he described the trailer setup to an Engineer that then said the keel/roller setup was acceptable since the keel rollers took all the weight and the side wobble rollers just gave "lateral support". This trailer is self centering. He had told me that it had scared the B-Jesus out of him, since it had been his impression that Boston Whaler had said that the trailer setup he had been providing was fine and if this had changed he could be liable for thousands of trailers he had already sold over the years...... that is why he went all the way to Engineering to find his answer and to confirm it with his Regional service rep.
Interesting, but true.
whalernut posted 04-13-2001 05:22 AM ET (US)     Profile for whalernut  Send Email to whalernut     
Thanks Jim,I appreciate it, great info. B Bear, interesting facts! It is nice to know the Load-Rite is such high quality, thus the higher prices for them I guess? Regards-Jack Graner.
jimh posted 04-13-2001 09:00 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Adding the keel rollers can be a bit of an expense.

12-inch Stoltz roller....$30
12--inch gal. bracket....$10
Stainless steel shaft....$10
SS Mounting hardware.....$10
TOTAL per set........... $60

If you need eight rollers, you are adding almost $500 to the cost of the trailer, not to mention the labor to install and align the rollers.

blackdog posted 04-18-2001 09:16 AM ET (US)     Profile for blackdog  Send Email to blackdog     
Jack- I have that trailer for my 16 Dauntless. should be around the $1100 range but I only have 2 rollers, a jack and no spare, galv. 14inch tires, 1400lb 1 speed winch with a web starp. Works well, I need to install more rollers.
See my post below from market section.

Hey guys. Load Rite make a Keel Roller / Bunk type as I have one.
They are are made in PA.
I don't think the web site shows them but you can get one. My trailer holds a 16 Dauntless and is also used for Montauks

bigz posted 04-18-2001 10:13 AM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    
Jack Load Rite has two qualities of galvanizing the Electro and hot dip make sure your getting the hot dip even though I know heaven forbid you would ever ever have her near saltwater --- for the small difference in $$ it makes for a big one in longevity ---

Jim that's fine and dandy but you really don't need Stoltz rollers, give the black composition ones a nice Armorall coating every now and then --- grease the shafts (even just the zinc ones) use galvanized hardware and this will provide as much as you'll ever need until either you sell the rig or the trailer falls apart.

Bear --- interesting story --- well let me say that Cox trailers (out of business or were sold around '97 it was a family run operation) at least on the East Coast (south to north) were sold extensively with BWs in the 70's through the 80's these were keel roller usually with the low slung cross frames, and had roller bunks (not the dinky aftermarket you see today but heavy duty close spaced rollers) ---- now I think it's time to explain that wobble rollers and bunks rollers are not the same animal --- the wobble as explained by Larry is designed to support hull weight all over with individual rollers usually in sets of 4 on arms attached to a pad which tilts swivels--- bunks carpeted or roller are designed to support nothing only to provide lateral stability (this reference is in regard to keel roller/bunk trailer not an all bunk style) ---- so whether one is using carpet or roller bunks if properly set up makes little difference --- the advantage of roller bunks greased up is that they provide almost a "fictionalless" contact surface when loading or unloading the boat ----
B Bear posted 04-18-2001 04:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for B Bear  Send Email to B Bear     
Thanks agian, I am sure what is on my trailer is not the wobble but the bunk rollers since they are very close together and quite soft. I am learning all the time from you and others on this great site.
whalernut posted 04-18-2001 05:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalernut  Send Email to whalernut     
Blackdog, I can`t belive they only have 2 rollers on that trailer, my old (Fulton 73`) trailer has 4.Where are they located, and do you have any pictures of it? I guess 2 more would be in order for a Loadrite, what do you think? Also Blackdog, which form of Galvinizing does you`re trailer have? Bigz, thanks for the info on the Galvinizing, my guess the price they quoted me was for Electro-galvinized, since is is near all Freshwater? Regards-Jack Graner.
blackdog posted 04-19-2001 09:29 AM ET (US)     Profile for blackdog  Send Email to blackdog     
Yes I am very green at this boating stuff so you live and learn. The 2 keel rollers are for and aft. I think there should be another amidships but I will need to buy and cross member and install my self. I think it will cost about $180 or so. It was and still is appoint of contention for me with the dealer. But hey, you now dealers try keep costs down when you package a boat and trailer. Mistake # 2 – But I am learning. I wish I found this site before I bought.
I do have some pictures but I can’t get the dam scanner working. I ‘ll try again this weekend.
Not sure if the trailer is hot dipped, how can you tell?


B Bear posted 04-19-2001 11:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for B Bear  Send Email to B Bear     
My trailer also had two keel rollers fore and aft, we both have the same boat model. I had asked the dealer install a thrid in the center and I will be picking her up tomorrow. Even though BW reccomends 3-4 keel rollers for our model, it is just that, a reccomendation. I guess from years of reading the Coast Gaurd regs. I see things like this..... it is a differnece like "shall" vs "may", in this case "reccomend" vs "requires".

Here is how I see it. The dealers are responsible, when suppying a trailer, to ensure that it will meet the manufacturers requirements. They too are the first in line, in the chain of complaint, if something were to go wrong. They will submit any repirs to the company concerning the warrenty aspect and to make things right. If they fail in any way to honor the warrenty or customer satisfaction in dealing with a problem concerning the hull caused by the trailer supplied by them, they are then answerable to the company as well as finically lible to the customer for thier failure to provide the proper style trailer. I don't think any reputable dealer who wants to stay in business would take such a risk.
As far if the trailer is dipped, plated or painted that would be another story.

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