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Author Topic:   MONTAUK 170: Trailer Brakes
montaukman posted 02-28-2005 01:12 PM ET (US)   Profile for montaukman   Send Email to montaukman  
Hi Everyone,

You all have been so helpful. Mice to have this kind of support prior to picking up my whaler. questio. I will be trailering my 2005 montauk with a Nissan Murano. Is has a trailering capacity of 3500 lbs so i am ok in that repect. My question is, do i need to have brakes on the trailer? I dont plan on long hauls regularly but myabe twice a year i'd drive from long island to the Berkshires in massachussets.

Just curious as to whether you all think a trailer with brakes is necessary. I am afraid to find out as itwill cut into my electronics fund but safety comes first.

Thanks everyone.

Alan C.

This winter is taking too damn long to end. I wanna get my montauk and lay into my first flounder.

brisboats posted 02-28-2005 01:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for brisboats  Send Email to brisboats     
Hello, Congratulations on your new Montauk 170. Most every state has a minimum weight requirement whereupon seperate trailer brakes are required. I believe New York set this weight at 3000 pounds. Massachusetts used to set their weight at a whopping 10,000 pounds. Typically the rocky mountain states have a lower weight rating Colorado, Utah and Idaho were all in the 1500-2000 range. This makes lots of sense if you have ever traveled through Summit County. In Maryland the limit is 3000 pounds although I have never seen this enforced. What makes more sense to me is the states that require brakes based on a percentage of the tow vehicle weight but this is not a common practice.

I just white knuckled home a 20' KMV (Swedish built) dual console behind my Jeep Grand Cherokee in a snowstorm, brakes not working on the trailer. If I had taken the Ford Dually instead this morning my ride would have been less stressful (oh well 20-20 blindsight). If you are going to be doing a lot of towing I would recommend getting the brakes.


newport jack posted 02-28-2005 02:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for newport jack    
A Montauk 170 weighs about 1440lbs. I believe, add motor max. weight 430lbs., trailer 400lbs., gas 250 lbs. and gear of maybe 80 lbs. and you are at about 2600lbs. You aren't towing with a large vehicle, if it were mine I would probably get the brakes, maybe Discs for less work down the road. What rating is the trailer that comes with it, and what does your dealer recommend. The thing about accidents is that they almost always happen around home, not on the long trips, so the whole theory of getting the brakes for the long trip is bogus.
You must be going crazy waiting for that new boat, I'm looking at a picture of my boat on the wall in my office while I'm watching it snowing outside. Sort of odd, I have pictures of my daughters, my boat and the biggest fish of my life (54" Black drum) but none of my wife...hmmmm

Like I said if it was mine I'd do the brakes, ..Sea Ya

DWE posted 02-28-2005 04:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for DWE    

Since you will not be towing too often, I do not suggest equipping your trailer with brakes; to do so would be an added, unnecessary expense and hassle, in my opinion. Your Nissan Murano already has some fantastic brakes that will stop your load quickly and safely under all conditions. Congratulations on your new Montauk!

1976 13-Sport
1988 17-Super Sport Limited

bsmotril posted 02-28-2005 04:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for bsmotril  Send Email to bsmotril     
Wether or not you have to have brakes is determined by the motor vehicle laws for your state. A lot of states require brakes on anything over 2000 lbs. The boat US website used to have a big table showing the laws for each state. If the law says you don't need them, then I would look at the areas where you intend to tow. If there is a lot of hills, or a lot of city stop and go driving, then I would get them anyway.
jimh posted 02-28-2005 11:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
[Moved ]
bigjohn1 posted 03-01-2005 07:17 AM ET (US)     Profile for bigjohn1  Send Email to bigjohn1     

For what its worth, I tow my '05 170 with a 2004 Toyota Tacoma Pre-runner (no towing pkg so 3,500lb towing limit) and it stops just fine with no trailer brakes. While I live on an island, much of my driving is at city speeds but when I take her into town for dealer maintenance, we get up in the 50-60mph range and it feels as safe as ever. I do make allowances for stopping however and don't wait till the last minute to apply the brakes - that could be hairy.
Big John

Whalerider posted 03-01-2005 08:13 AM ET (US)     Profile for Whalerider  Send Email to Whalerider     
I don’t think brakes are really required for the weight of boat you’re towing. Myself...I would go without.

I have a Nantucket with a factory trailer (Karavan) equipped with drum brakes. I can say this.... drum brakes and saltwater don’t mix. I have had lots of problems with mine, locking up, dragging, rust, etc. I flush them after every trip and have tried my best to maintain them properly. I plan to remove them next time they malfunction and go brakeless, my Whaler dealer agrees. I love my Nantucket, but Boston Whaler really cut too many corners with drums on a saltwater boat/trailer.

If you are in saltwater and want brakes, stainless disc brakes are the ONLY way to go.


Moe posted 03-01-2005 08:32 AM ET (US)     Profile for Moe  Send Email to Moe     
If you're going to be towing at lower speeds around town, it probably won't matter, but if you're going out on the Interstate, I'd want brakes. That's why Barney added disk brakes to his 170 Montauk trailer towed behind a Toyota Tacoma. Read about his upgrade here:

That's the way I'd go rather than the factory drum brake solution.

Moe (in Ohio where 2000 lb GVWR and above require brakes)

Barney posted 03-01-2005 08:44 AM ET (US)     Profile for Barney  Send Email to Barney     
Thanks Moe. They are worth every penny. I've driven on the interstate at 70+ and they stop everything great. Jim
Marlin posted 03-01-2005 08:58 AM ET (US)     Profile for Marlin  Send Email to Marlin     
I have a 160 Dauntless, essentially the same weight as a 170 Montauk, that I tow with a Volvo V70 wagon. The Volvo has a 3300 pound limit, modestly above the 2800 pounds I estimate for the boat, motor, trailer, gas, and gear. I upgraded the trailer at purchase time to a Shore Land'r with disk brakes.

Brakes are not a legal necessity for this boat (in VA), nor I suppose are they a practical necessity. However, I will say that on the rare occasions when I've towed the boat with the trailer brakes disabled, I've noticed a BIG difference in how the whole rig stops, both in stopping distance and directional control.

Perhaps I'd feel differently if I was towing with an Excursion or other highly-capable vehicle, but I really like my trailer brakes and would recommend them to people towing with smaller capacity vehicles.

Interesting side note- in VA a trailer over 3000 pounds must have brakes, but any trailer equipped with brakes must be inspected annually, even if the load doesn't require brakes. This lesson courtesy of a pair of Fairfax County motorcycle cops who said "hey, that's a really nice boat!"

mikeyairtime posted 03-01-2005 08:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for mikeyairtime    
After a few seasons of backing trailer brakes in the saltwater they won't work anymore anyhow.
Jimm posted 03-02-2005 07:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jimm    
After 2 year use of my factory EZ Loader brakes they are either going to get chucked or replaced with Kodiaks. The maintainence has been almost as time consuming as caring for teak (SHOTS FIRED!), and "yes" I rinse them religously.
AQUANUT posted 03-02-2005 09:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for AQUANUT  Send Email to AQUANUT     
I recently sold my 2004 Montauk170 to High Sierra,

during the year I owned her,
I often towed her more hours on the road than I spent on the water with her.

Here in oregon, I towed her from sea level to 6,000 plus feet above sea level...with a 2004 Jeep Liberty Renegade.
tow capacity was 3,500 lbs. (due to it being a maual trans verses an automatic..5000 lbs}

In ice and rain with 6% downgrade..did I ever have an unsafe condition.

you can have a hummer H2...and a trailer with brakes and lose it...if your speed exceeds what is deemed most states 75 with a trailer is deemed unsafe.

my two cents,

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