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Author Topic:   Proper Trailer for Boston Whaler Outrage 18
rayl posted 05-09-2004 12:07 PM ET (US)   Profile for rayl  
I am located in Atlanta and have an 86 18' OR. I am in need of a new trailer. One that is properly setup with keel rollers and bunks. Anyone have any good references on brand and dealer in the Atlanta area?


jimh posted 05-09-2004 11:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Continental Trailer in Florida makes a proper trailer for a Boston Whaler.


rayl posted 05-10-2004 11:39 AM ET (US)     Profile for rayl    
Thanks for the reply. Continental is the trailer of choice, but Jacksonville is the closest dealer and a long haul for me(I'm in Atlanta). I wonder if they could ship???


rayl posted 05-10-2004 07:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for rayl    
Anyone have any thoughts on this trailer? It is a magic tilt trailer and several dealers are in the area.

Model # SBV1719W

Looks like it could use some additional keel rollers along the center. Not sure how they would be mounted though.


rayl posted 05-22-2004 06:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for rayl    
Anyone own this trailer? Are you pleased with the setup? Did you add any keel rollers to it or simply settle with the 2 bunks and single front keel roller?


jimh posted 05-23-2004 09:37 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
[Changed TOPIC; was "New Trailer."]

When choosing a trailer for a classic Boston Whaler like an Outrage 18, if you wish to have a keel roller set up you will need a trailer with several cross members. These days many trailers are made with only two cross members. That may be sufficient to provide enough strength to the trailer frame, but it does not provide a place to mount many keel rollers.

In some cases it may be possible to order additional cross members as an option. If the cross members are engineered to be strong enough to permit only two of them to provide enough strength to the trailer frame, adding two more may tend to pile on the weight (and cost). You can estimate that each additional cross member will add about $100 to the trailer's price.

If the trailer is engineered so that the large wooden bunks extend several feet beyond the trailer frame, this will also be a problem. The actual frame of the trailer may be too small for the rated length of boat, since the builder expects the bunks to stretch the trailer by 2-feet or more. For a trailer to be used with keel rollers, you may have to order one that is specified for a larger boat. This may add several hundred dollars to the price of the trailer.

Each keel roller will need:

--Stoltz Poly Keel Roller ($28)
--Stainless Steel Axle ($10)
--Galvanized Mounting Bracket ($ 10)
--Stainless Steel Mounting Hardware ($ 7)

(I am figuring the hardware will be shared among two rollers mounted back to back.)

Thus each keel roller will add about $55 to the cost of the trailer. If you have eight keel rollers, this will add $440 to the trailer's price.

The added weight of the additional cross members, eight keel rollers, and all the hardware used to mount them, will directly reduce the rated capacity of the trailer. Thus the tires, wheels, springs, and axles may all have to be upgraded to produce a trailer with the same net capacity. This again increases the cost.

The additional weight will also require an upgrade to the brakes. And this will again tend to increase the costs.

Another cost working against the keel roller trailer is the labor to install, align, and then adjust them to the boat. None of this labor is necessary in the short-frame/long-bunk float-on trailer, and this is again a significant cost saver. There is no adjustment (nor is much adjustment possible), so the dealer saves all of the labor cost associated with adjustment of the trailer to the boat.

It is not hard to see that configuring a trailer for keel roller use might add as much as $1,000 to the price when compared to a short frame, 2-cross member, long wooden bunk "float-on" trailer. In many boat deals the trailer is a "throw-in" or heavily discounted item, so the dealers like to keep the cost to a minimum.

I am sure also that trailer manufacturers have found the market to be quite price sensitive, and these float-on trailers are a way to keep the price as low as possible.

This price difference accounts for much of the decline in popularity of properly rigged keel roller trailers in the "stock" configurations found in catalogues these days. It is still possible to buy such a trailer, but you may have to order it as a "custom" trailer.

Royce posted 05-23-2004 12:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for Royce  Send Email to Royce     
When I bought my 1985 Outrage Cuddy 25, it came with a 10 year old Magic Tilt trailer that was set up with the two 4X12" cypress bunks and one double front keel roller. I striped the trailer and replaced the axles, springs, crossmembers,lites, brakes and actuator. I also added two additional double keel rollers on the cross members behind the placement of the original keel roller set up. The cypress was in good shape so I re-carpeted it and replaced the support hardware. The boat trailers very well on this set up and the boat is well supported. Would I do it again--probably not! I would buy a high quality trailer with Kodiak disc brakes. On the west coast we have Pacific and Trailrite. Best to buy quality now rather than pay double latter. I will be installing 10" Kodiak Brakes on my Pacific tralier that carries my 18 Outrage.
whalernut posted 05-23-2004 08:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalernut  Send Email to whalernut     
Great thread. JimH, which one of those Continental Tilt trailers do you reccomend for my 1973 Currituck? also, it doesn`t mention if the Keel Rollers are standard or an Option? Thanks-Jack.
kamie posted 05-23-2004 08:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for kamie  Send Email to kamie     
I agree with Royce. I am finishing the rehab of a 1982 Cox trailer. Plan to put the boat back on her and make the final adjustments tuesday or wednesday. Replaced the rollers, converted wobble rollers to bunks and moved everything forward 12 inches so the transom is supported. If I had it to do all over again, I would sell the trailer and buy a new one with brakes.
2manyboats posted 05-24-2004 02:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for 2manyboats  Send Email to 2manyboats     
I bought a magic tilt for my 22 outrage. I added two extra rollers ( not hard to do ). I drove to Deland, Fl to get mine . The 16 hr round trip was well worth the $400 savings over the local dealers , but that was in the good ole days when gas was only $1.30 a gal.
rayl posted 05-24-2004 03:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for rayl    
Which trailer did you purchase? How many cross members did it have? The magictilt I was looking at has two cross members at the "rear" section. I too want to add rollers to these members. The difficult part will be doing this so that the bunks can be moved out far enough to the sides, without lowering the boat so much that the fenders are in the way. The boat actually "overhangs" the sides a bit.

Re: your post regarding the structural integrity of the cross members on one of the trailer types I listed. The bunks used on these trailers are supported by the same cross members I would propose adding the rollers to. If the bunks are then relegated to only a stabalization role, wouldn't the load bearing aspects be "generally" the same? That is.. if I can overcome the issue presented above in this post.

BTW, I am learning more about the "physics" of trailering than I ever thought possible. The downside is that it is difficult to talk to a "run of the mill" trailer dealer. It is irritating as hell when they don't understand the finer points of trailering a whaler! :-)


jimh posted 05-24-2004 06:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Regarding the adding of cross members:

If the original trailer was engineered/designed so that just two cross members could bear the load of the boat, it seems reasonable to assume that if the trailer designer/manufacturer re-designed his product to have four cross members, the thickness of each cross member could be reduced. The load bearing would be divided among four cross members instead of just two, so it would seem reasonable that the size/weight/strength of each one could be smaller/lighter/lower.

When you add more cross members of the original size/weight/strength then you are probably over-building the trailer. This is not particularly bad, but it does drive the weight and cost higher than it might be if the trailer had been designed initially with that many cross members.

I don't really know how much structural analysis goes into designing a boat trailer. It may be that boat trailer designs have evolved via trial and error, more than from finite element analysis. At least on trailers built in Mississippi.

Now trailers built in Spokane, maybe more finite element analysis--who knows?

2manyboats posted 05-24-2004 07:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for 2manyboats  Send Email to 2manyboats     
I don't remember the model # of the trailer. It was built as a float on with just one roller near the front. The rollers were added at a exiting crossmember just ahead of the front axle. The second was added at the rear of the trailer. I was able to use standard brackets and 12" rollers. The depth of the vee on the 22 allowed them to reach without spreading the bunks more than an inch or so.
also I don't know if anybody still builds boat trailers in Mississippi, but I am sure we build house trailers and we never have to add rollers to them.

Fishcop posted 05-24-2004 10:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for Fishcop  Send Email to Fishcop     
To all on the East and South.
What prices are they wanting for a new galvanized trailer?
I just specked out a new tandem w/discs for my 1987 25' Outrage and loaded, it was $4500(12,000lb rated). A 7500lb was $3900 and a 5500lb was $3000. (All California Prices).
I had a single axle galvanized on an 18'OR and not too long ago, it was $2000 for a new trailer. Both trailer retailers will set up the trailer anyway I wanted (bunks, rollers or rollers and bunks).
I trailer my boat 150+ miles each trip and when the 17yr old trailer goes, I plan on ordering a new one with discs, ect.
Just curious if the prices of new trailers in your area keep the used market going.


rayl posted 05-25-2004 09:02 AM ET (US)     Profile for rayl    
I don't have any exact numbers for you, but I would contact Advanced Boat Trailer in Jacksonville. They are a Continental dealer(the closest to anywhere outside of Fl) and could provide you a cost. I think you will find they are much cheaper than what you have stated. I could be wrong though, since I am not in the market for that size trailer. The magictilt I am referring to in these posts is rated for 3400lbs(so says the trailer model decal) and it was about $1500.


rayl posted 05-25-2004 09:06 AM ET (US)     Profile for rayl    
Did your boat "overhang" the fenders of your trailer? Where you able to slide the bunks out toward the edge of the trailer so that they were relegated to only "side-to-side" stability? I am concerned that as I move the bunks out so that the keel rests on the rollers, the boat will lower itself such that the outermost chines will be very close to the fenders.


greyg8r posted 05-25-2004 09:54 AM ET (US)     Profile for greyg8r    

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.

Yes, you are paying more than us Floridians.

I was scoping a brand new trailer for my 25' Grady rated for 10,000 or 12,000 lbs, I can't remember. It had twin axles, all stainless disk(c?) brakes, some sort of breakaway hubs that can be easily replace and all aluminum and stainless steel construction. Total price was $4400. I see large galvanized trailers on eBay for about $3200, but I don't know what their specs are.

The $2K for a galvanized trailer for an 18' seems a little high; I would have thought it would go for about $1500 here in Florida.

But, you live near the California coast which has, in my humble opinion, the best weather in the US. So that may be worth the extra cash you spend in commuting, trailers, housing, etc.


Fishcop posted 05-25-2004 11:14 AM ET (US)     Profile for Fishcop  Send Email to Fishcop     
Thanks to all.

It appears that the cost of shipping would make the trailer costs similar. I will keep the 17yr old together as long as possible.


LHG posted 05-25-2004 05:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for LHG    
Just today I ordered a new Continental keel roller trailer, 4" hot dipped galvanized welded one-piece frame with 4 cross members, 8' wide overall, for a 21' Whaler, 4000# capacity, 14" wheel tandem, Tie Down SS Disc Brakes (on one axle @ a cost of $450 extra). Total price is $1750. To this, I will have to add vertical guide-ons, ($50) and about $300 for 10 Stoltz 12" rollers (replacing the standard black ones) and SS shafts. It's a lot of trailer for the price.
kamie posted 05-27-2004 09:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for kamie  Send Email to kamie     
If I was looking at Continental Trailers, which model would be right for the Outrage 18?
JohnPDX posted 05-27-2004 10:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for JohnPDX  Send Email to JohnPDX     
Hi Ray,
Remember that 18' Whaler I picked up in Wilmington and stoped by your place to load up the tower? That Magic Tilt did just fine running across country behind the UHaul. Same model you mentioned above although I would recommend radials rather than bias plys for high speed driving that you will do to the coast.

Tower is not on the boat yet as I am still working on the hull and engine.


rayl posted 06-07-2004 03:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for rayl    
I remember... Some trip you made. So, did the trailer have any additional keel rollers installed? Also, how far out are the bunks on your setup? Where does the boat rest on the bunks when on the trailer?


JohnPDX posted 06-08-2004 10:26 AM ET (US)     Profile for JohnPDX  Send Email to JohnPDX     
The trailer has 3 keel rollers, 1 bow stop roller at the winch, and 2 long bunk boards. The bunk boards extend about 4 1/2" beyond the transom. I have not measured the tongue weight but I can say that after 3000 miles of high speed towing that trailer was rock solid and had no sway and balanced nicely. I thought it might be nice to have one additional cross frame member and roller just as the turn of the keel/bow but not sure that is really worth the effort.

I am going to Line-X the tower as soon as I wrap up the hull console modifications. Slow project due to other commitments but having fun just messin around in the garage.

I will be posting some re-hab pictures soon but happy to send you shots of the trailer if they would help you out.


rayl posted 06-09-2004 09:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for rayl    
Please do shoot me some pics. The guys I bought the trailer from have ordered me some additional rollers, just not sure how they will fit. They were "free" of charge to make me happy. Yeah right! Nothgin is free. :-)


RCS posted 06-12-2004 11:07 AM ET (US)     Profile for RCS  Send Email to RCS     
I may be too late to help but.... I am also from Atlanta.I made the trip to Jacksonville to buy a Keel roller Continental trailer. My two cents would be that in the long run you are better off to just go pick up a trailer in Jacksonville, just the way you want it set up, rather than buying one in Atlanta and having to fool with adding cross members, Stolz keel rollers, etc.
I will tell you what I would change if I had it to do over again:
I would not buy the wide model they sell, no benefit really and just more trailer to maneuver.
I would definately order it either with brakes or at least with the axles that have the flange already welded on to accept the brakes.

Mine is for a 20' Outrage and I did spring for the 12" Stolz rollers.

One last thing. Around Atlanta, say at lake Lanier, ramps with docks parallel to the ramp are rare I have found. This can make loading onto a keel roller trailer a two man operation. In hind sight, I wish I had tried to find a bunk trailer with two pairs of bunks similar to the set up jimh has on his Revenge. I personally think they are much easier to load and launch (for one person) than a keel roller trailer. The double bunk set up has got to provide at least as much hull support as the keel roller type.

Good luck,

Anthony posted 06-14-2004 12:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for Anthony  Send Email to Anthony     

What model Continental trailer did you order? I am looking for one for a Outrage 18. I have a catalog but I am not sure of what one would work. I want the Keel-Roller Bunk with the Stoltz rollers.

Thanks Tony

LHG posted 06-14-2004 03:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for LHG    
I'll try to answer some of the questions here.

First of all, for RCS, for one man drive-on loading, I would recommend doing what BW used to do for their own brand CPD trailers. In addition to the double 12" keel rollers on each crossmember, and outside stabilizing bunks, they installed and additional set of 2 x 6 bunks, about 8-12' long, right up tight to the keel rollers, making a perfect "Vee" cradle to guide the boat on the trailer during drive-on loading. They still are not load bearing, however. These would have to be adjusted with the boat on the trailer, so that the carpeted edge of the bunk guides the boat keel right into the notch in the roller. This still does not eliminate the problem that the boat will roll right back into the water if the winch is not attached first - hard to do by your self unless you leave the power on while you get out! (I've seen guys do that).

I have recently learned that Continental now only makes the galvanized channel frame trailers in the straight cross member versions for the Tilt-Frame series. These are available in both a 6-8" wide and 8-0" wide version. As RCS noted, the "v" crossmember channel frame trailers are only available in the extra wide version, 8-6" overall.

What I would recommend for those with an 18 Outrage is to order the C-9 straight frame trailer in the 6-8" wide version. This way the boat will not sit as high above the fenders. The C-9 is a good trailer, and will carry 10 keel rollers. When ordering, the tongue should be shortened 18"-24" inches, since otherwise it will be too long. This trailer is actually designed for a 20' boat. When I bought a new trailer for my 18 Outrage, I used this same trick, and the trailer is super. Mine is also 6-8" overall, making it more "garageable".

There are photos in the trailer reference section of JimG's Continental C-9 straight frame trailer in tandem version. He ordered the 8'-0" model, which I don't think is necessary.

RCS posted 06-14-2004 05:05 PM ET (US)     Profile for RCS  Send Email to RCS     
LHG, I had considered just what you mentioned, adding a pair of bunks near the keel, not to hold the boat in place but to help center the boat and make it easier to just drive it on rather than wench it up. As you mention, if you are alone, you would still need to leave it in gear to keep from having the boat slide back down while you hop out and attach the wench strap. I thought about adding the second pair of bunks, and while the boat was loaded on the trailer, lower the keel rollers slightly, just enough to put a little friction on the bunks and hold the boat in place while on a ramp. That kind of adjustment might be a little trickier than it sounds however.

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