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Author Topic:   Keel roller trailers - were to find them?
gimcrack225 posted 10-29-2003 04:28 PM ET (US)   Profile for gimcrack225  
I'm curious if anyone has recently purchased a trailer for a larger Whaler (Walkaround or other Deep Vee) with the Whaler recommended keel rollers? I have not been able to find a single trailer manufacturer illustrating a trailer of this type on their respective web sites. Did keel roller trailers get too expensive to make or does modern hull construction not require them?
Boat trailer dealers seem to have narrowed their universe to "floppy roller trailers" and "bunk trailers" In my owners manual neither of these are recommended. The manual shows a trailer with 4 centerline keel rollers and two bunks for balance.
The water around here is pretty shallow and I not sure I will be able to use a float on bunk trailer. Will a bunk trailer adequately support this 21' boat?
Any suggestions?
gimcrack225 posted 10-29-2003 05:27 PM ET (US)     Profile for gimcrack225    
Answering my own post. Continential Trailers in Florida seems to be the top choice for a keel-roller trailer after searching old posts. Does anyone have any recent experience with these trailers or other suggestions?
bsmotril posted 10-29-2003 05:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for bsmotril  Send Email to bsmotril     
New Whalers in Houston, San Antonio, and Austin are sold with Bunk trailers from the dealer. The main bunks run right along either side of the keep line, with side bunks at the chines. The keel bunks support the majority of the weight and work just fine. Look at the surface area of a bunk compared to the point contact area of a roller. Which is going to have less pounds per square inch? The bunk will, no brainer. See pictures of the trailer at my website:


gimcrack225 posted 10-29-2003 06:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for gimcrack225    
Thanks Bill!
Great web page. I bookmarked it for later study. There are a lot of things that I want to add to my boat like trimtabs. I'm also a train collector.
I am very aware if the load bearing comparison between bunks and rollers. Two pairs of bunks is certainly a good alternative providing keel support but its still a float on solution. My concern is the water depth needed for a float on trailer compared to what I used to do with my Montauk which was back the trailer 1/2 into the water and winch the boat on.
lhg posted 10-29-2003 06:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
I know two people who have bought Continental keel roller trailers fairly recently, one for a 25 Revenge and one for a 19 Outrage. Both are very happy with them. It does require a trip to FL to pick one up, however. You would want the CTWV series (stands for Continental Tandem Wide Vee frame). These are galvanized steel channel frame construction. See photos in reference section.

There are also threads to be searched out for details on buying a Continental for your Whaler.

mustang7nh posted 10-29-2003 09:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for mustang7nh  Send Email to mustang7nh     
I just bought a new bunk trailer for my Classic 22 OR. Apart from some custom/semi-custom trailer mfg (most I found were in Florida and I'm not), you have the bunk vs easy roller trailer. I bought the bunk and hate it. Its not the trailer itself but the fact that the boat is either literally dragged across the bunks which is not easy, or you float it on and because the boat is horizontal on the water and your trailer is at a downward angle; its a real pain to line it up properly. Launching... forget about it, just get the car up to about 40 in reverse and lock 'em up and just maybe you'll get it free. My OR20 had the same problem, but in trying to stay with Whaler lore I couldn't put it on an "easy roller trailer".

I've now come to believe that a typical easy roller trailer with the max number of rollers on each rack is an acceptable way to go if you are not going the Continental or custom route. While some may argue that even with 40 or so rollers the weight is not distributed enough, after reading posts of Whalers falling off trailers onto highways at 55 mph+ and surviving quite well, I am no longer worried. My only caveat is that I would try to float it on as much as possible. I think the bigger risk is cranking it up and over all the rollers as if they were each rolling pins.

My former 23 Conquest sits an a Load-Rite easy roller and it works just great. Boat doesn't seem bothered a bit. But again it has something like 64 little rollers.

My spring project is to buy a couple of crossmembers and have some 12" roller brackets welded to make my own "keel" roller trailer. In hindsight I would have gotten the easy roller trailer. Best wishes.

JEvans posted 10-30-2003 08:01 AM ET (US)     Profile for JEvans  Send Email to JEvans     
Loadrite trailers will setup a trailer for your Boston Whaler and actually set it up for your specific model. Had one built for my Outrage 24 with keel rollers and adjustable bunks. the bunks just kept the boat from leaning the rollers took most of the weight.


gimcrack225 posted 10-30-2003 09:37 AM ET (US)     Profile for gimcrack225    
Thanks for your suggestion. I talked with Loadrite and they said "Drive on trailer-period" Could it be that be that it depends on who you talk to at the manufacturer? Would you be so kind as to give more information? Model number, layout diagram, photograph, contact person? Who was the dealer or did you go through Loadrite?
Thanks much?
gimcrack225 posted 10-30-2003 12:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for gimcrack225    
Thanks for help.
I just purchased a tandem keel roller trailer from Continental as recommended by lhg. What is interesting is that they has discontinued this trailer but their Miami dealer miraculously has two of these trailers still on his lot. One 5000lb and one 6000lb model. Anyone who is contemplating a 5000lb tandem keel roller trailer --- there is one left. (the price is reduced)
whaler3 posted 10-31-2003 08:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for whaler3  Send Email to whaler3     
Shame someone doesn't still make a trailer like the old Little Dude trailer. It had keel rollers with bunks on each side. The bunks on one side had a crank and worm gear that thew cranked up and down to relive the pressure on the hull. The toung also pivited about 3/4 foot back (with a pin to lock it) to allow the trailer to tilt as you pulled the boat on. This made the keel rollers all touch as you pulled it on. So much easer on the boat and the trailer. Does anyone remember this? Lou
Plotman posted 11-04-2003 07:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for Plotman  Send Email to Plotman     
It sure seems to me that it should be a fairly simple matter to buy a bunk trailer and then add some keel rollers to it. You can buy them from West Marine for about $20 each (bracket, roller and axle). Depending on the trailer, you may need to have the manufactuer add a cross member or two - I was quoted $50 each for 2 extra cross members to end up with a total of 6 (including 2 torsion axles).

Total cost $220 above the base bunk trailer, plus maybe 2 hours of work getting the rollers on and adjusted.

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