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Thread: Be careful towing!

  1. #1
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Default Be careful towing!

    I don't know any of the details yet, but a friend lost control while towing his 26' hewescraft last night. Fortunately nobody was injured.

    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

  2. #2
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    OUCH!!!! That SUX. Glad no one was physically hurt but that sure is painful to look at.

  3. #3
    Moderator bkmail's Avatar
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    That REALLY SUX! Glad no one was hurt.
    Gotta say, thats a tough boat and GREAT motor mount though, considering it just took a rollover or two at 60 mph!
    Sorry to hear about your friends troubles.
    BK

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    Ooooh, serious pucker factor there. Happy to hear there are no bodily injuries, someones pride may be a bit wounded though.
    Good on your friend for keeping everyone unharmed.

  5. #5

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    Glad it went in the barditch instead of into oncoming traffic. Anytime I see a load coming toward me or in front of me, I tend to watch closely at how it is handling or strapped down. Drivers need to be Defensive of the other guy, as well as Prudent in their own actions.
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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    That's too bad to see something like this.
    Of course this would be a prime opportunity to redo that old bottom paint.
    "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

    "Fishing and Hunting are only an addiction if you're trying to quit"

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    Looks like a fun day. He got lucky the boat didn't roll into traffic. On my way to the Russian last Saturday there was a guy hauling a huge boat that was fish-tailing all over the road. A few times it went over the shoulder. I slowed way down and made some room for him. He was driving way to fast for that type of hauling. I was certain it was going to fly across the Seward Hwy.
    Hate America??....then get the Hell Out!!!

  8. #8

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    Yup, 3 weeks ago had my 24' come off just south of Anchor River. The day before I was pulling with a 2" hitch. Did not switch the 3way to the larger Ball before leaving Kenai, " lack of attention to detail" . Thank god I was going slow and had **** good safety chains. Ego was damaged. Boat was in water 45 minutes later.

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    Member Dupont Spinner's Avatar
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    OWWWWW!!!! Glad to hear everyone was ok....It does appear that the boat left the trailer. If indeed that is his rig in the background. It looks like the winch post is missing. Looks like both props got broke off the OBs.

    My advice no matter how big the load it needs to be secured to the trailer with appropriate tie downs not just the bow hook. This is not the 1st of the season and if it continues we are going to start seeing boaters stopped for safety checks on the highway. This has been quite the trend over the last 2 summers.

  10. #10
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    As far as I know, it was not a failure of tie downs, the trailer got squirly on a turn and he wasn't able to regain control. If anything, the boat departing the trailer probably saved him from totaling the tow vehicle which as you noted is in the back ground.

    The damage looks to be suprisingly minimal, no word on damage to the engines.

    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

  11. #11
    Member Akgramps's Avatar
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    Man, thats just a really bad day..............I hope his insurance takes care of it............
    “Nothing worth doing is easy”
    TR

  12. #12
    Member Dupont Spinner's Avatar
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    Paul were they returning? Possible half tank of fuel? Water in the road, hydroplane? Cell Phone or a joke among friends? Trying to understand how it "Got Away From Him". Not trying to place blame but the more background info the better we could all learn to prevent in the future.

    So I take it by loading it on the truck the trailer was damaged?

    This will be the 4th road wrecked boat I have seen this season. Paul I understand what you are saying about the boat leaving saved his truck but things staying attached is under more control then sliding/flipping down the road. If you don't think so then you should have seen the travel trailer that got away from the driver at South Birchwood on Thurs before Memorial Day. If this thing had come completely loose from the truck it would have saved the tow vehicle but as a witness to the incident it would have severely injuried or killed someone, as he did hold it long enough to get it away from other traffic and got it somewhat slowed down before entering the median.

    I looked again, I have a feeling I have met these guys, at least the boat owner.

  13. #13
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    I'm relaying this not to harp on anybody, but for all of us to be careful out there. Here's the latest:

    Dad was driving back to the cabin last night, and I was just settling in for a little road nap in the passenger seat- tired from a cold, rainy day of lousy fishing. At the top of a hill, climbing out of Seward, the trailer got a little squirrelly and quickly became pronounced fishtails.

    We were sideways into oncoming traffic for a couple hundred feet, taking up two of the three lanes, before enough of the boat & trailer got sucked into the ditch to pull us back to our side of the road. Once we slowed down a bit, the tires on the triple-axle trailer caught and everything rolled over. The tie downs on the back of the boat snapped, as well as the winch cable, letting the boat roll free. The boat made a 180-degree rotation and came to rest on the roof.

    The truck rocked and swayed pretty good, but stayed upright. The trailer came uncoupled and dragged behind the truck with the safety cables, completely upside down. That was something you don't see everyday.

    When I approached the overturned boat I heard the bilge pumps running, and with gas flowing freely from from the fill spout, I climbed into the wreckage and turned off the electrical switches. In hindsight, that was probably a really dumb thing to do.

    Anyway, we asked a passerby to call the State Troopers when they got back into cell phone range. the State Troopers & Fire truck arrived in about 45 minutes and took care of calling the tow truck and cleaning up the mess. The guys were great!

    Thankfully the other drivers were paying attention and my son still has a father and grandfather.
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

  14. #14
    Member akjeff's Avatar
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    Bummer! I'm glad everyone is ok. Thanks for posting, it just reminds us that anything can happen on the hwy.

  15. #15
    Member greythorn3's Avatar
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    tow vehicle looks like a ford excursion, would take allot to hydroplane one of them unless its got bald tires.
    Semper Fi!

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    Member Dupont Spinner's Avatar
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    Thanks Paul that does answer a bunch actually. I think I now know where it is, I know I have to slow up when I am hauling the monster from Seward in a couple of places on the hill.

    Last question surge brakes?

  17. #17
    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
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    Feel bad for your friends' loss, Paul H. Sure appreciate the details though.
    I suppose it's hard to know what happened exactly... but I wonder if there is a lesson, or lessons for the rest of us?
    Does fishtailing in this sort of situation happen due to any particular load distribution or equipment problem?
    Maybe nothing can prevent some accidents, but what measures can reduce our risks of this type of problem?
    "Chance favors the prepared" - as they say.
    Any thoughts? Thanks again for sharing this.
    Last edited by 6XLeech; 06-16-2011 at 23:33. Reason: Spelling

  18. #18
    Member JR2's Avatar
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    Glad to hear everyone is okay.

    There had to be a change in the weight distribution between the truck and boat. I am guessing that the tongue weight of the trailer was reduced somehow causing the trailer to start swaying... the only other thing I can think of is if the trailer actually came unhitched but the description of the incident does not sound like that happened until later.

    This is just the sort of thing that made me upgrade my trailer brakes to electric over hydraulic and add a weight distribution hitch. A little known fact about Excursions (I own one and tow with it) is that the tow rating on them (Diesel or V10) is 500 lb tongue weight and 5000 lb load OR 1200 lb tongue and 12000 lb load with a weight distribution hitch. I don't know the weight of that boat/trailer combo but I bet he was right at or just a bit over the limit.
    Last edited by JR2; 06-17-2011 at 06:24. Reason: I cannot spell
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  19. #19
    Member alaskabliss's Avatar
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    That makes you sick to look at. I am not going to speculate what happened or why, as none of us should but I think that this should raise everyones attention to what can happen after a long day on the water. Never drop your guard and great driving to keep the truck on the road. I wish the best of luck to the owner and thank god no one was hurt.

  20. #20

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    A couple years back I was following a truck & sail boat, every time he got over 50 it would start to fishtail so he would slow down. I'm pulling my boat so I just stayed back, My friend was pulling my 18' inflatable at the time and wife & girl friend where in 3rd car. Seemed like he know to stay at 49mph, but once he was coming up to 20 mile he didn't slow down, and that year the bridge was shallow pot holed bad. So about half way across at 45 it started to whip, came of the hitch on the other side, crossed the centerline, trailer went under guard rail, boat broke loose and flew up high and landed in the tree's. I stopped traffic down the road a bit, but it was the funniest thing I ever saw, wish I had a dash cam. Only by shear luck was no one killed. Wife could see me & thought it was our boat.
    So if your rig has even the slightest tendency to whip / fishtail, fix it, move boat 1 inch forward or backwards, I moved mine 1/2 forward trailers perfect, so your truck is to small for the job. Remember you add weight the trailer to the boat dynamics change too. People have been killed.

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