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Author Topic:   Whalers and roller type trailers
TunaJoe posted 09-29-2005 02:26 AM ET (US)   Profile for TunaJoe   Send Email to TunaJoe  
I found a good deal on a galvanized tri-axle trailer for my 275 Conquest. The problem is that it's a roller type instead of a bunk type. Whaler says that they don't recommend this type of trailer. Does any one know why? I'm only using it to pull my boat out for repairs and service.
Backlash posted 09-29-2005 08:03 AM ET (US)     Profile for Backlash  Send Email to Backlash     

It is my understanding that Boston Whaler does not recommend a roller trailer for any of their models because there is the possibility of the small rollers dimpling the fiberglass hull which could lead to separation of the foam and glass.

That being said, most roller trailers can easily be converted to bunks. If you're just using the trailer for occasional short trips, I'm not sure I would worry about it. I believe there are several members here who have used roller trailers for years without a problem.


kingfish posted 09-29-2005 08:46 AM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
Just to clarify what we're saying, (Steve, please forgive the Royal "we"), trailering short distances is probably OK, but leaving the boat on the trailer for extended periods between trips is where it starts getting iffy. Also, over time with numerous launches and retrieves, the rippling action of the rollers against the outer skin of the Whaler hull can act to delaminate the fiberglass from the inner foam.


BW23 posted 09-29-2005 09:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for BW23  Send Email to BW23     
I've seen numerous Whalers on "keel" rollers trailers without any problems.

A boat that size should have at least 10-12.

swist posted 09-29-2005 10:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for swist  Send Email to swist     
If the Whaler is so indestructable, it's hard to believe a roller trailer is going to damage it worse than pounding in heavy seas. What's the story here?
kingfish posted 09-29-2005 10:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
Not talking about "keel" type rollers, as they are what BW recommends. Talking about bunk rollers, out in the field of the hull bottom.
CHRISWEIGHT posted 09-30-2005 05:19 AM ET (US)     Profile for CHRISWEIGHT  Send Email to CHRISWEIGHT     
Not going to go against BW recmmendation but our current boat, heavy for its size 16sl, has been on a roller trailer for 12 years and so far no problem, boat lives on the trailer and is towed probably 2000 miles a year.

trailer is a Hallmark roller coaster has sixteen rollers and One keel roller near the bow.

regards chris.

JMARTIN posted 09-30-2005 11:30 AM ET (US)     Profile for JMARTIN  Send Email to JMARTIN     
I have had a V-22 Revenge on as all roller trailer for 12 years also. The trailer has 32 rollers, none on the keel. So far no troubles and the trailer allows a one handed load and unload without burying the wheels in salt water. But, I did not know at the time of trailer purchase that all roller was a no no. If I had it to do over again, I would follow Whalers recomendations. I do not think that just sitting on the trailer is liable to cause any harm. Coming up on the trailer is where you might get into trouble. My boat never has keel support. It is either on the trailer or on planks in the dry storage marina. John
MyOutrage posted 09-30-2005 12:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for MyOutrage  Send Email to MyOutrage     
A roller type trailer will leave indents on a whaler. When I was shopping for my 18' Classic Outrage I looked at a boat in Virginia. Once I saw the roller type trailer I became suspicious and looked for indentations on the hull (no bottom paint so it wasn't hard to do). Sure enough, clear as day you could see where the hull rested on the rollers. Do I believe that this could lead to delamination... you betcha. Did I buy the boat... no way (I didn't even offer the guy a low-ball bid).
JMARTIN posted 09-30-2005 01:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for JMARTIN  Send Email to JMARTIN     
A roller type trailer may leave indents on a Whaler. No bottom paint easy to see that there are none. John
NEJohnson posted 10-01-2005 12:02 AM ET (US)     Profile for NEJohnson  Send Email to NEJohnson     

I owned a '79, 20' OR. When I purchased the boat it was kept in an Ocean Harbor, also bad for a foam core, outboard powered craft.
The boat was kept primarily in the water
When I asked about the trailer, the owner said only that it was in very poor condition, nothing to look at.
I decided to buy the boat without looking at it on the trailer.
When I did pick up the boat & trailer package it was dark out, another mistake, and the owner was very nervous and figety.
Guess what, when I got home I found out why, the surface of the hull had been indented by each roller.
This can also happen to boats utilizing other construction methods, if the weight of the hull is to much for the pressure point that a roller or insuficent bunk area will create.

RocketMan posted 10-01-2005 06:59 AM ET (US)     Profile for RocketMan  Send Email to RocketMan     
A roller has more potential to create a stress risor than a bunk due to surface-to-line contact between the bunk and the hull. This results in a very small contact area and relatively high pressure where the roller is supporting the hull, which is why you need a high number of rollers. One out of place roller at a highly loaded point can wreak havoc. I've seen rollers fatigue holes in hulls with this condition and think that trailering over long distances amplifies this condition.

The bunk contact surface is flat-to-flat, resulting in a much lower stress risor, due to surface-to-surface contact. This results in a more distributed load, lower local pressure points, reduced stress risors, etc.

A combination of keel rollers and bunks works well because the rollers help get the boat on and off the trailer while the bunks provide the lions share of support.

RocketMan posted 10-01-2005 07:49 AM ET (US)     Profile for RocketMan  Send Email to RocketMan     
I guess I need a proofreader. That first sentence above should state "A roller has more potential to create a stress risor than a bunk due to surface-to-line contact between the ROLLER and the hull." Sheesh.
swist posted 10-01-2005 09:17 AM ET (US)     Profile for swist  Send Email to swist     
" I owned a '79, 20' OR. When I purchased the boat it was kept in an Ocean Harbor, also bad for a foam core, outboard powered craft."

And why is this, many of us moor our boats in harbors off the ocean? Or did you mean something else?

MyOutrage posted 10-03-2005 12:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for MyOutrage  Send Email to MyOutrage     
To take Rocketman's post one step further, I'm told that the purpose of the bunks is to stabilize the boat to keep it from rocking. All of the weight is suppose to be on the Keel Rollers (keel being the strongest part of the boat). So, you've got two factors in play here to protect your boat from delamination problems (1) flat surface to flat surface as noted by Rocketman (2) Little surface pressure from the bunks.
RocketMan posted 10-03-2005 09:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for RocketMan  Send Email to RocketMan     
MyOutrage, if that's true I'm all wet. I set my Sakonnet up to have the weight fully on the bunks with the rollers adjusted to just make contact when the boat is in the vee block. This way it rides on the rollers when loading at the ramp and transitions to the bunks in the last foot or so. I figure the bunks are sufficient support without the rollers. And I didn't want the weight primarily being on the rollers to avoid the roller line contact issue being discussed here, and, thinking the friction on a dry bunk would reduce the likelihood of the boat wanting to shift when trailering vs. being on the rollers. It's been that way 20 years and has worked well.
MyOutrage posted 10-03-2005 09:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for MyOutrage  Send Email to MyOutrage     
O.K. Rocketman loads the bunks, My Outrage loads the keel rollers... Anyone want to break the tie?
kingfish posted 10-03-2005 09:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
This is sort of an odd forum (Post-Classic) to be discussing trailer support under Classic Whalers, but here we are, and here I go a little further yet: The nomenclature in the Classic owner's manuals is very clear in their recommendations, and that is for the weight to be supported on the keel, the strongest lay-up of the boat. It's difficult to gain keel support any other way than with keel rollers; the bunks in the recommended scenario only serve to stabilize the boat so the weight is carried on the keel rollers.

There are all sorts of reports and real life experiences in which people have used other types of systems successfully, but weight-bearing keel rollers is what Whaler has always recommended for the Classics. I am not trying to speak to the post classics, as I have never read a post-classic owners manual.


Tom W Clark posted 10-03-2005 11:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     
Classic Whaler, Post-Classic Whaler, it makes no difference. The Unibond process is the same and the trailer needs are the same. Ideally the hull should be supported on keel rollers with the bunks providing lateral support.

But having said that I can tell you that an all roller tailer is NOT the kiss of death for a Whaler. It's just not that black-and-white. I have owned three Whalers that were kept on all roller Calkins trailers. None of them suffered any sort of catastrophic failure. But dimpling of the hull IS a possibility even if dimpling in and of itself is nothing more than a cosmetic blemish.

For the record I have owned two montauks which suffered ZERO dimpling from all roller trailers. My Outrage 18 had minor dimpling (depressions of maybe 1/8" depth at the most).

My first Montauk was on its all trailer for one year before I sold it. My second Montauk was on its all roller trailer for 8 years before I sold it. My Outrage was on it all roller trailer for 17 years before I sold it. Do you notice a trend here?

Given enough time and miles I think an all roller trailer can deform the hull, but it is not necessarily going to be significant. But not all trailers are created equal. Calkins (now being sold as Carnai) trailers do put much of the hull's weight on keel rollers. EZ Loader all roller trailers generally have ZERO keel rollers. I would NEVER put a Whaler on an all roller EZ Loader trailer.

What does Whaler say (used to say) about all this? They have always recommended a keel roller trailer, but have never said the use of any other type is prohibited. For a time they also endorsed an all bunk trailer IF the center bunks were very near the keel and provided support there. They have never recommended an all roller trailer.

bigjohn1 posted 10-04-2005 08:21 AM ET (US)     Profile for bigjohn1  Send Email to bigjohn1     
Tom, the great background you provide brings to mind a question to this first-time Whaler owner. I have an '05 170 MONTAUK that shipped with an EZ Loader trailer with two lone bunks and of course the bow stop. It doesn't have a keel roller or a bow roller. Reading all the foregoing info leads me to think that I should have both. As I look over a few other pics of 170's on trailers (either EZ Loader or Karavan) I don't notice keel or bow rollers on them either. Should I regard this as a problem? I notice that EZ Loader has these parts in their catalogue.
Alex K posted 10-04-2005 11:52 AM ET (US)     Profile for Alex K  Send Email to Alex K     
I have a 15' Alert that was shipped on an EZ loader bunk trailer with guide-on posts like your Montauk. I had the same considerations. I ordered an 8" keel roller for the aft cross member and a 5" for the first cross member to support the bow near the bow stop from BassPro. Waiting for these roller to arrive I found out how comfortable and easy it is to load this trailer when your alone. By adding the rollers I would loose this comfort plus the risk to to scratch the keel at the roller brackets. For the size and weight of our boats I think long and wide bunks are perfect and I won't install my rollers. If I lived in the US I could sell them to you ;-) If you do the math and check how much weight will rest on a square inch of bracket you will find that you can put more pressure on it with your thumb. This fact gave me piece of mind.
MyOutrage posted 10-04-2005 12:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for MyOutrage  Send Email to MyOutrage     
Loading a boat on a keel roller isn't hard at all. I do it solo all the time. Is it easier or harder than loading a roller type trailer... don't know.
LHG posted 10-04-2005 01:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for LHG    
About 3 years ago, I decided that I would never get into another CW discussion on the merits of keel roller vs bunk trailers under Boston Whalers.
JMARTIN posted 10-04-2005 02:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for JMARTIN  Send Email to JMARTIN     
As long as we are talking about support and the problems with too much or not enough, how about those of us who keep thier boats in dry storage? I have yet to see keel support in dry storage, just two planks that run from bow to stern. Sometimes the planks are angled a bit to accept a V hull, but by no means are they a custom fit. What does Boston Whaler think of this type of set up, and has anyone experienced any damage from dry storage? John
homey posted 10-14-2005 05:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for homey  Send Email to homey     
Never had a problem with my 25 Outrage sitting 10 years on a Long roller trailer with a sh*& load of rollers........

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