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Author Topic:   Trailer: Guides
jimh posted 06-16-2002 11:25 PM ET (US)   Profile for jimh   Send Email to jimh  
I need to add some guides to my hybrid float-on/keel roller trailer. I thought I would start with a simple pair of vertical posts at the extreme rear of the trailer. Most of these I've seen involve a piece of PVC pipe and some supporting pipe, clamps, etc.

Anyone have any strong feelings about who makes the best one of this type? I have seen brands like FULTON and SHIPSHAPE.

bdb posted 06-17-2002 07:18 AM ET (US)     Profile for bdb  Send Email to bdb     

I mounted a pair of the Fultons last year. A simple, and well thought-out product with good directions. I was concerned that the single tubes wouldn't provide enough "hold" or "guide." But they work great. The boat is in perfect position every time. Simple, inexpensive, and they work.

Harpoon Harry, guidin' on

tabasco posted 06-17-2002 07:30 AM ET (US)     Profile for tabasco  Send Email to tabasco     
Since I am sort of a novice in trailing, I was considering installing the guide posts for my new Montauk. Now that I have loaded & unloaded the boat more than a dozen times I found that they are not necessary. Even if I don't hit the loading exact, the bunks automaticly places the boat in the perfect position.......So I decided not to install them as I see no advantage.
tabasco posted 06-17-2002 07:36 AM ET (US)     Profile for tabasco  Send Email to tabasco     
PS: I found that the secret to easy trailer loading is not to let the trailer fenders go completely under water.The tops should be two-three inches above the water. If the fenders are below the water line,the boat floats too much and you lose control.
OutrageMan posted 06-17-2002 08:11 AM ET (US)     Profile for OutrageMan  Send Email to OutrageMan     

I had a set of Fultons on my rig. Not only did I have the verticle posts aft, but I had a "V" athwartship that the bow guided on. On my 22 it would have been on the same plane as the 2nd set or rail stantions.

As I fully admit, my slow speed manuvering leaves a significant amount to be desired, and these additions really helped.


reelescape1 posted 06-17-2002 09:15 AM ET (US)     Profile for reelescape1  Send Email to reelescape1     
I prefer them so the lights can be mounted out of the water. The ones with square galvanized steel supports inside are the best.
lhg posted 06-17-2002 04:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Jim - get in touch with Backlash. I think he added Fulton Guide-ons last year and likes them.
Ed Stone posted 06-17-2002 09:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for Ed Stone  Send Email to Ed Stone     
Without seeing the fulton guides I would
think they should be made from heavy gauge
aluminum,fully adjustable and PVC after
the bend with PVC caps at the top.
Also taillights and tag mounted near the
top.Run separate wires for each light
with no splices all the way from the
trailer plug.
Ventura16 posted 06-17-2002 10:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for Ventura16  Send Email to Ventura16     
I added side guide bunks to my trailer last year. They don't stick up as high as the post type, but still do a great job of centering the boat even in high winds. Now it's virtually impossible to load incorrectly...much easier, especially when I am by myself.


kingfish posted 06-18-2002 08:13 AM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     

Mine are Shipshape guide on posts (West Marine and Overtons) that have the square galvanized tubing inside, as reelescape 1 mentioned. I installed lights near the tops (LED's) and positioned the posts with an inch or so clearance to the hull on each side. I've never seen posts that were strong enough to be able to rely on to take and hold the weight of the boat in strong winds or cross currents. I rely on them visually; if the hull is touching a post on one side or the other, the boat is not centered.


Swellmonster posted 06-18-2002 09:01 AM ET (US)     Profile for Swellmonster  Send Email to Swellmonster     
The tall vertical guide-ons ALSO help in locating your trailer when backing it down a steep ramp.
kingfish posted 06-18-2002 10:33 AM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
Yes, they do - big time. I'd forgotten that.
Backlash posted 06-18-2002 07:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for Backlash  Send Email to Backlash     

Yes, I mounted the 50" Fulton guides on my trailer last year and love them. I've got mine adjusted pretty tight against the rubrail of the boat and they do an excellent job of centering the boat on the trailer. As others have mentioned, they are also a big help when backing the trailer down the ramp. Prior to this I had the 24" "roller style" guides which were basically useless. On a steep ramp the boat would actually float over the guides. The vertical rollers would also wear spots in the gelcoat. Get the 50" Fultons.


kamml posted 06-18-2002 08:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for kamml  Send Email to kamml     
jimh - I had the Fultons post style on my previous roller trailer. They were really a guide to the first-mate when she landed the boat to the trailer as I had to submerge the fenders to get the trailer low enough in the water to get the boat to start up the rollers. They really helped well in the strong tidal current at the Hilton Head landing we used. The boat would sorta bounce off of them and allow me to get a strong hand on the bow to guide the boat further up the trailer. My newest float on trailer is much lower to the road and wider and has the long side guide bunks. My decision on their utility is still out after only one launch and landing. I fear that debris trapped in the side carpet may further scratch my poor old Whaler gelcoat, only time will tell. Ken
Louie Kokinis posted 06-20-2002 09:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for Louie Kokinis    
Maybe Iím weird, butÖ.I hate the things.

I always power the boat onto the trailer, and have found side guides only get in the way of fenders (ok bumpers), and tend to jam in the smirk, and don't look good.

Jim: save your money! I have a complete set of brackets for the long side bunk style taking up space in my garage. I canít give you the bunks since I am using them to rest my trucks canopy :( but, you are welcome to the rest.


reelescape1 posted 06-21-2002 09:22 AM ET (US)     Profile for reelescape1  Send Email to reelescape1     
Pics at
Salmon Tub posted 06-21-2002 10:22 AM ET (US)     Profile for Salmon Tub  Send Email to Salmon Tub     
Jim, I am not sure of the size of your boat, but I would say that you may want to take a look at the carpeter bunk guide-ons. The reason why is that once the boat gets between the bunks, it does not have the ability to swing or rotate between them. I launch and load in an area that always has a bit of a breeze, and if it is blowing from the side, the bunks prevent the bow from getting blown off the centerline of the trailer.
andygere posted 06-21-2002 05:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
I have the side bunk guides on my Montauk trailer, and as ST says, they work really well when it's windy. The downside is they make it hard to wash and wax the sides of the hull. I modified them with SS t-nuts so they can be removed, but it's still kind of a hassle. Since my boat is usually in a slip I don't mind. If I had to do it over, I would opt for the vertical post type. In either configuration, getting the lights out of the water is the single most important benefit. Here's a photo showing my set up:
lhg posted 06-21-2002 06:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Andy, as an aside, and just to be helpful!
First of all, nice Whaler! Secondly, I have noticed in several of your pictures that your Mills canvas does not seem to be set properly, and seems to be way too loose . When installed and lashed acording to their instructions, it should be "drum" tight, like a Marine Corp bedsheet where you can bounce a quarter! I have several pictures showing the Mills canvas set on a Montauk, and they confirm this. You might want to check the installation location of the fittings, or their instructions for proper "taughtness" & lash-down. Sometimes this stuff can be tricky, so tricky that an installer will think their dimensions are not right and make adjustments. This is the wrong thing to do, as their measurements are intentional to stretch the sunbrella. Even after years of use, mine sets so tightly, that I have to use the zippers to actually take up the tension on the final closures, easing one to get another started. But when done right, it's like a banjo skin. When JimH received his new canvas from the Members, it took us all several tries and cross checking mounting point dimensions ( I think a few had been altered) to achieve the proper taughtness. Their canvas is purposly designed to fit and stretch like tight glove. See the Mills photo "advertisement" in Jim's latest Lake Michigan trip article.

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