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Author Topic:   Finding the ultimate trailer
sakojim posted 06-07-2002 11:32 PM ET (US)   Profile for sakojim   Send Email to sakojim  
Ok you guys, For a year I've read many trailer threads about bunks and rollers and I'm getting tired of looking for this ultimate trailer your suggesting.

I've just spend all winter restoring my 65 Sakonnet and it looks great.... mainly because of all of your valuable suggestions I've have been absorbing quietly through out this last year. I just put it in the water with a new 60 hp efi merc and I do not want to leave the water at night.

Now I've got to get a trailer and its not easy, especially here in Michigan. Where should I go to get a galvanized or aluminum keel roller with side bunks? All of the dealers I talk to look at me like I'm nuts. Eagle trailer won't build a center keel support trailer with side bunks for me. I hear they are the best in the Detroit area. All of the other makes are in Florida that look remotely like what you are suggesting. My present trailer is the original trailer and it has keel rollers and side bunks, but I don't trust it looking at it. I've checked with Load Rite, Continental, LoadMaster.

No dealer I can find makes this thing or will make it custom for me. Tell me where this trailer is and I will buy it! I'm about ready to get a (heaven forbid)
all bunk trailer.

kingfish posted 06-08-2002 06:26 AM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     

My Outrage 22' came to me with an EZ-Loader trailer with bunks (4ea. x 8' long) and I had brackets fabricated and added my own keel rollers.

Some trailer/boat combinations will allow you to purchase and use standard roller brackets out of the catalogs.


aubv posted 06-08-2002 08:00 AM ET (US)     Profile for aubv  Send Email to aubv     
Here is another mfg. that builds a very nice trailer that will meet your needs. They build trailers that meet specs for CPD. They are in Florida also.

Einar posted 06-08-2002 01:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for Einar  Send Email to Einar     
I bought a new Carnai (Caulkins) for my Montauk last year. Made in eastern Washington. It is far better than the EZ Loader it replaced. Their website is so so. I would get a brochure mailed.
jimh posted 06-08-2002 04:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Finding a "classic" trailer is a bit of a problem these days. Have you looked at the AMERICAN (brand) trailers? They are made in SE Michigan, and apparently shipped all over the place. (Last fall I pulled into a rest area on the interstate to find a big flat-bed semi-trailer loaded with a dozen of them headed south.)

The trailer maker might not believe in adding the keel rollers, but you can do that part yourself if the trailer has the cross members needed.

For a 17-foot, I would guess that three sets of cross members would be nice. Most important, you have to have a cross member at the very stern, so that it can be set right under the transom. This is the hang-up with many other trailers--they don't have any cross member at all at the stern but end in a wishbone style.

A second cross member is manditory near the axles. If you fit this and the rear one with double rollers, you'll have four good supports on the keel.

A third cross member ahead of the axles can also have double rollers, although maybe with a 17 that is overkill.

The forward part of the keel as it curves upward toward the stem is usually supported with a single roller which can be set on a narrower bracket from the tongue's central frame member.

This is how I have my 15-Sport set up, except I have not gotten around to using the double rollers--maybe this summer's project.

On my 20-foot hull I am still in the process of converting it to keel rollers. It is a very rugged PACIFIC brand trailer and the double bunks have been custom fitted and welded in place. I really like the welded idea, since I know there is nothing to shift around while bouncing down the road. What I am doing on that trailer is adding keel rollers to the cross members so that the loading and unloading is easier when done by hand (as opposed to power loading).

Well, no specific advice there, other than to look at one of those nice AMERICAN aluminum trailers and see if they'll make one for you with an extra cross member or two so you can convert it to keel rollers yourself.


jimh posted 06-08-2002 04:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
[Changed topic slightly--jimh.]
Dick E posted 06-08-2002 07:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dick E  Send Email to Dick E     
Westco trailers in Cayce SC .Pronounced "case".
Makes a great trailer.Get galvanized channel trailer.

It has rollers down the middle for keel support and bunks for lateral support.That's what my 1998 Montauk came on.
Get bearings with Zerk fittings and you just pump new grease in out goes the old.
Call information to get their phone #.

sakojim posted 06-09-2002 10:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for sakojim  Send Email to sakojim     
Thanks all! I will check all of your leads. I saw a pretty good "Load Rite' aluminum 'I' beam trailer that looked like it could be converted with double rollers on 3 beams. It also looked like I could add another beam where you suggested, Jimh. I'll check into American and see what the scoop is. I'm not afraid to convert a trailer if needed. I will update you on my progress.


Highwater posted 06-10-2002 01:03 AM ET (US)     Profile for Highwater    
What would be the best trailer for a 15' Sport (i.e., what is the best style and manufacturer?). Thanks!
DaveW posted 06-12-2002 07:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for DaveW  Send Email to DaveW     
I just replaced my ez-loader roller for my 23 Walkaround and I looked far and wide. The guys at loadmaster are offenssive so I talked to Aluminator who used to bne the biggest Loadmaster dealer in the US and they are now building their own and they are great. They built all of the trailers for the Navy S.E.A.L.S. Guardian Whalers and the African Queen (as in Humphry Bogart--I guess it tours around). I coundn't bring my big whaler (6500lbs.)down because of a blown wheel bearing sot they had me make a few measurements and they made a custom trailer in 4 days!!!!!!. Mine was $3200 for a 7000 pounder and that was $1500 less than their competitors. I am sure they can do a delivery for a fee deal. Call Directory for Aluminator in Leauge City, TX and ask for Steve the owner. Plus, they are beautiful and simple.


RWM posted 06-12-2002 09:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for RWM  Send Email to RWM     
For my 1979 Montauk I purchases a LoadRite 17 2200 90V. It's basically a bunk, but I had them add an additional cross member near the axle. That gave the trailer 3 cross members, including one at the stern. Polyethelene rollers were added to each cross member...two 12" and 1 6".
The boat now rides on the 3 poly rollers with a little weight on the bunks which are 2"x6"x8'. I also upgraded to 14" tires.
The trailer is rated for 2700 lbs GVR and it's a tank and probably overkill. It launchs and retrieves easily and cost me $1600 last year...Bob M.
Oh, It's also hot dipped galvanized and has bearing buddies.
aubv posted 06-12-2002 10:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for aubv  Send Email to aubv     

I have spoken to Load-rite about their aluminum trailers and adding keel rollers they say you can't do it.

bsmotril posted 06-13-2002 09:36 AM ET (US)     Profile for bsmotril  Send Email to bsmotril     
Are keel rollers really needed? I have an all bunk trailer for my conquest that has two very long bunks directly adjacent to the keel line that run 2/3rds the length of the boat. It also has two outer rear bunks that balance the boat. This trailer type is sold by my local whaler dealer for all sizes of boats they have sold, including the Conquest 28. So far I have had no problems using this trailer. Retrieiveing, I drive the boat right on up to the bow chock. Launching, I back in enough to start and warm the engines, then have my wife back up another few feet and stop hard to slide the boat off. Here are some pictures of the rig:


SSCH posted 06-14-2002 07:12 AM ET (US)     Profile for SSCH  Send Email to SSCH     
Whaler at one time had a section in the owner's manual (for an 18 Outrage I bought in 1982, if I remember correctly). It said support your boat on its keel. Use bunks only to pervent side to side rolling of the boat on the trailer. Since then,I understand Whaler has shipped bunk type trailers under their own boats. I would uess that the wobble roller trailers are still a bad idea. The outer glass skin away from the keel on these boats is too thin to stand the pressure of point loadings that these self adjusting rollers impose. I would always think that Commercial Products boats, or those with the heavy layup option might even be able to stand the wobble trailer.

Personal favorite is the steel keel roller, drop center trailer. Having said that I currently am using Loadmaster aluminum, bunk type trailers for both my CPD Whalers. Neither spend much time on the trailers. They hang in a boat house. They do have the newer torsion axles which I love.

whalerron posted 06-14-2002 08:16 AM ET (US)     Profile for whalerron  Send Email to whalerron sells good keel roller trailers...
bsmotril posted 06-16-2002 06:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for bsmotril  Send Email to bsmotril     
I am aware of Whaler Trailer reccomendations. But, it does not say the support has to be rollers. Bungs along the keel do an even better job of providing even support. As long as they are right on the keel line where the overlapping glass is laminated double thick, they do the job just fine.
skred posted 06-19-2002 04:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for skred  Send Email to skred     
In WI, I found Karavan Mfg. and bought a 2000 lb. cap. for my Montauk. Had 3 keel rollers, and 2 bunks I added a small roller up front and set it up so the rollers bore the weight and the bunks stabilized the boat. Worked flawlessly for the 3 years I owned the boat. I'm looking at a similar, smaller galvanized version for my '85 sport 15. Prices are really reasonable: like $379.

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