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Author Topic:   Do you really need to sink your trailer?
whalerron posted 12-23-2000 12:48 AM ET (US)   Profile for whalerron   Send Email to whalerron  
I have been trailering my 17 foot whaler for 20 years and I have never ever put my trailer hubs in the water. I put the trailer into the water just so the rims touch the water and I stop there. Launching and loading has never been a problem and I don't own a tilt trailer. The winch is a 5:1 ratio. My point is that the trailer will last alot longer if it isn't sunk each time it visits a ramp. After a long run down the highway, trailer wheel bearings and hubs are hot and sinking those assemblies into the water causes a quick cooldown which creates a strong vacuum in the hubs. Then, you put that vacuum under water and you are asking for trouble with your wheel bearings. I have used many different ramps. Some have been very steep and others have been almost level or so it seemed. Using this method, I have never bumped a ramp with the stern of my boat. The one caveat is that I use the winch to control how fast the boat goes off the trailer. If I were to let it freewheel, I am sure the boat would have kissed concrete more than one. For larger boats, this is probably not a practical approach but it works well for the 17 footers.
whalertim posted 12-23-2000 10:34 AM ET (US)     Profile for whalertim  Send Email to whalertim     
Question, Does your trailer have rollers or bunks?
Tim / NC
compounder posted 12-23-2000 11:34 AM ET (US)     Profile for compounder  Send Email to compounder     
I agree that your trailer may last longer if it is never submerged, especially in salt water, but at what cost? The convenience of floating the boat on and off the trailer many, many times over the lifespan of the trailer would certainly outweigh the cost of periodically replacing the trailer for most users. In my particular case, I launch my Montauk up to five times a week (the ramp is 200 yds from my home) during about 9 months of each year. My original galvanized EZ-Loader trailer (1981) lasted until 1999 with only the one-time replacement of springs,hubs, and tires. Original cost of trailer was $450. Maintenance costs approx. $300. Sold the trailer in 1999 for $250. $750 minus $250 equals $500 for 18 years of use. $500 divided by approximately 6000 launches and retrievals equals 8 cents per launch or retrieval. Seems so inexpensive to me that I'm going to launch and retrieve the easiest, most effortless way possible.
Also, I think that the "hot hub" myth is just that. Sounds good in theory, but I have NEVER found signs of water intrusion in my bearings. This includes 600 mile interstate trips followed by almost immediate submersing in cold lake water.
whalerron posted 12-24-2000 12:39 AM ET (US)     Profile for whalerron  Send Email to whalerron     
It would be blasphemy for me to put a 17 Whaler on anything but a bunk trailer. But, although it has bunks, the weight of the boat is supported by 6 Stolz keel rollers and they make the launch and retrieval very easy. Also, 90 percent of my launching is into salt water. Compounder makes some good points in his argument. Theoretically, grease seals are of good design and they should almost never allow water to pass into the hubs. I guess it is only a problem where the seals have gone bad and that should not be a problem if you regularly repack your bearings and replace the seals.

Compounder, I am curious. What kind of trailer did you replace the EZ Loader with and why? I had to replace my Holsclaw trailer because it had rusted very badly in some frame members. It was a 1967 model and it was not galvanized. Just the salt water dripping onto the trailer from the boat was enough to do that trailer in over the years. When I went to replace it, I had a hard time finding a trailer compatible with the Whaler hull.

- ron

whalernut posted 12-24-2000 09:07 AM ET (US)     Profile for whalernut  Send Email to whalernut     
Ron, what`s up! In 1999 I checked the Shorelander trailer site and they made a trailer specific to a `17 Whaler, bunks and keel rollers. But in 2000 I looked and it wasn`t available. So I emailed them and they claimed they still made it? If you try their website you could email them or call them and ask them the same question, they may still have one or they may still make one with just bunks. I am not shure of their web address, but you could punch up a search engine as I do for Trailers. Good luck and Regards-Jack Graner. P.S. My 73` `16 Currituck is still sitting on it`s original Fulton Bunk/Keel Roller trailer and is in above average condition, Fulton doesn`t make trailers anymore but make great winches still! My boat and trailer has been always been used in fresh water, this does help alot in trailer life.
dfmcintyre posted 12-24-2000 10:52 AM ET (US)     Profile for dfmcintyre  Send Email to dfmcintyre     
Like you noted, a 1200lb Montauk will work, but with a 20+ hull you'll winch your arms off.

I'd look for a galvanized trailer, before ever looking for a painted one again. The paint will crack, allow salt water into the area and begin the rust.

Even with a 90 - 100 mile summer tow, my bearings are quite warm to the touch, but I could probably keep my hand on the hub.

compounder posted 12-25-2000 04:27 PM ET (US)     Profile for compounder  Send Email to compounder     
Whalerron I replaced my old trailer with a Magic Tilt galvanized model with bunks and keel rollers. The old trailer was still servicable, but I never liked the height at which the boat rode. The new Magic Tilt has the keel rollers mounted on v-shaped cross members which allow the boat to ride much lower, which makes it that much easier to float off and on the trailer. I saw the Magic Tilt on the local Boston Whaler dealer's lot with Montauks sitting on them. I was so impressed with the looks and fit of the boat to the trailer I had them order me one with an 18" longer tongue to facilitate launching at my local ramp. The ramp is rather shallow, but the longer tongue and lower ride height of the boat make launching and retrieving a real pleasure. I don't have the model number handy, but if you are interested I will be glad to find it for you. Fairly inexpensive trailer at $900, but seems to be well made and designed, and included bearing buddies,jack, and carpeted bunk-type guide-ons.
whalernut posted 12-25-2000 05:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalernut  Send Email to whalernut     
Compounder, how many keel rollers does it have and how are they positioned? Sounds like a rare find in trailers these days. I may be interested in one of these some day. Regards-Jack Graner.
whalerron posted 12-29-2000 12:02 AM ET (US)     Profile for whalerron  Send Email to whalerron     
It is interesting that the trailer configuration I was most interested in sounds like it is made by Magic Tilt. But, until now, I have never heard of them. I looked for a Shorelander dealer but I couldn't find one. I did talk with one generic trailer dealer in Glen Burnie, MD but he wanted to sell me a galvanized trailer with 12 inch wheels on it and the trailer didn't look to be very well made. I was definitely more interested in a trailer with at least 13 inch wheels. But, to the guy's credit, he did clue me in to the necessity of using a bunk trailer with the 17 foot whalers. I eventually did find a trailer at Baltimore Chris Craft and it is made by Calkins. Relative to my old Holsclaw trailer, the Calkins has the boat riding about 6 inches lower which is a definite plus. Baltimore Chris Craft is a Boston Whaler dealer and it turns out that the trailer I bought from them is customized to fit the 17 whaler hull. I really would liked to have seen a Magic Tilt trailer though. I like the idea of having the boat slung as low as possible.

My friend originally had his 1972 Whaler on a painted Cox trailer. One Sunday evening after a day of fishing in Chincoteague, Virginia, he was loading the boat onto the trailer when the rear crossmember broke loose from the trailer frame. He had to leave the boat in the water and the trailer in a welding shop for a week until he could drive back to Virginia the following weekend. That Cox trailer was a nice unit but it was painted and simply didn't hold up to the salt water that it met.

bigz posted 12-29-2000 07:27 AM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    
Ron, interesting on a painted Cox -- how old was the trailer since the oldest Cox catalog I have is a '76 and they only offered a painted finish in two Bass boat trailers all the others maybe 25 models or so were heavy hot dipped galvanized welded channel steel.

Cox started making boat trailers in 1951, early trailers very well could have been painted! This family business started out in 1889 making utility and farm trailers which painting was I guess pretty much the best you could do back then! So it would follow that their boat trailers in the early years would probably be painted.

Cox offered and I have had two, one sitting in the yard right now (which will be a major over kill for the 13 Sport but the price was right,it is rated for up to an 18' and 2500lbs -- chuckle), with the "deep cradle" cross members with keel rollers set up for deep V boats and it tilts, offered in about 10 model weight levels. This is not necessary for the 13-17 Whalers or even the early model Outrage and Revenges which rode very well on bunks with standard height cross member keel rollers --

Hey everyone to there own liking, I say, either style will work just fine!

Before this post gets to far along might suggest starting it again either in General or the Repair, Modification topic area, since trailers aren't a Performance issue at least in the way each main area is defined.


matt posted 01-01-2001 01:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for matt  Send Email to matt     
I have a 15' whaler, and after every other launch I put liquid soap on the carpet bunks to help loading and launching.some of my freinds use spray silicone.obviously this is done after you launch the boat and tie up to the dock.all of you may know of this.I did'nt until recently and it made a big difference driving on as well as launching
dfmcintyre posted 01-01-2001 04:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for dfmcintyre  Send Email to dfmcintyre     
Matt -

Your right on point about treating the bunks. I ended up spraying mine with silicone, and was suprised with the difference. I was told to spray it on when the bunks are dry. So they were sprayed just prior to retrieval after an all day excursion.

Noticed a difference when winching my 21' out. What REALLY caught my attention was when backing down the ramp the next time I used it. Normally I disconnect the wiring harness; take the winch hook off; make two lines ready on the cleats and plug the drain hole, prior to getting near the ramp.

Welllllllll, this time I thought about the bunk treatment, and just loosened the winch line about 8 - 12 inches, but left it connected.

Glad I did.....

We went down a normal angled ramp, and I felt the boat go "chunk" when it slid down the bunks, taking up the winch line slack.

I've played with the amount of trailer length in the water and found that it's reduced by about 4 - 5 feet of bunk needed to be in the water.


triblet posted 01-01-2001 07:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
I had the same experience with silcone on
the bunks: "CHUNK". I like to put it on
when the carpet is completely dry, and
give the silicone time to dry. That can be
a bit difficult in foggy Monterey. I
need to do it about twice a year -- I launch
about 70 times a year.

Chuck Tribolet

whalerron posted 01-01-2001 11:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalerron  Send Email to whalerron     
BigZ - the Cox trailer was a 1972 or 71. By the way, I was told that Cox is no longer in business. Of course I was told this by an EZ-Loader dealer and he had also told me that Holsclaw is no longer in business.

- ron

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