Results 1 to 16 of 16

Thread: Raft Trailer - covering and/or treating the plywood bed

  1. #1

    Default Raft Trailer - covering and/or treating the plywood bed

    Folks,

    Getting a new aluminum snow machine trailer for hauling my big raft. It comes with a plywood covered bed. My instinct is to treat the plywood with some sort of weather proofing, but not sure of what to use. I definitely do not want to coat the plywood with something that is going to mare up the bottom of the raft.

    Locally, I've heard suggestions to glue on outdoor carpet, treat the wood with linseed oil, or water proofing deck stain. Any suggestions on what I can use to treat/protect the plywood that won't mark up the brand new raft would be most appreciated.

    I know the outdoor carpet is one option that would work for the raft, but the idea of gluing it on a trailer that will probably be sold and used for snow machines in a couple years is not appealing - the reason I'm considering alternatives to just treating the plywood.

  2. #2

    Default

    I would avoid the indoor / outdoor carpet as it retains moisture. My old raft had mold stains on it.. When I pulled it off, the wood under it had rotted..

  3. #3

    Default

    marine grade paint is what i've used on flatbed trailers. once it dries, it won't mar up your raft bottom. But secure it well with tie downs so it doesn't slip around on the road trips.

    The outdoor carpet is not cool. If your raft is rubber it won't be a problem, but a plastic boat (urethane or PVC) is sensitive to plastic on plastic burns if it isn't secured tightly. Any friction can cause the bottom to abrade. I've seen plastic fabric get burned by dragging over plastic carpet at Shows.

    lb

  4. #4
    Member BlueMoose's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Rifle River MI
    Posts
    1,835

    Default

    2ND what Larry has stated! I will go one step further indoor /outdoor and for that fact any carpet is a bad idea for most boats in general. Standard marine grade plywood is GTG. I would however make sure you counter sink the screws just a little to make sure you have no snagging / tearing issues if your boat does move. Sometimes the move no matter how hard you try and secure as an example you leave Fairbanks its 70 and sunny you get to Summit lake it is raining and 50 in other words air molecules condense "Hey extra Room in your tubes"

  5. #5

    Default

    I really appreciate the good advice from some very knowledgeable folks. I'll have to double check what the wood deck is made of just be sure.

    LB - Do you have a suggestion for specific brand of Marine paint? Is an undercoat advisable? If the bed turns out to be treated plywood, I'm wondering how paint will stick to it? Sorry for the many questions - just want to do this right. Marine Paint would certainly make it a little easier to load the boat 18' raft. Also, its a urethane Sotar so thanks for the info on the plastic burn - I had never heard that.

    BM - Thanks for the reminder to counter sink all screws. I noticed right away that the back bed lip is screwed on with nasty look heads sticking out. I was contemplating adding a strip of the white UHMW the full length of the loading end about 12 inches wide that will cover all those screw. I've had real good luck with the super slick and durable UHMW and am thinking it might take the place of a roller on the back.

  6. #6
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 1999
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Posts
    5,765

    Default

    Great job on this thread, everyone! Totally agree on the wood treatment and skipping the carpet, for the reasons expressed. In my case it was not an issue, because I ended up with a galvanized E-Z Loader trailer that I modified with a plywood deck. Since I was building it myself, I used marine plywood and ended up not having to treat it with anything. I think I've been using the same trailer for fifteen years or so, and have not noticed any deterioration at all. If the OP is interested, you might consider even replacing your wood altogether, with marine plywood. Something to consider, anyway. I don't know what trailer you have, or what would be involved in swapping it out. Something to consider.

    The only thing I might add is to protect your boat from the metal edges on the side rails, if it's a Karavan trailer. It's on their snomachine trailers and it sticks up above the level of the deck on both sides. It has a lip on it that you use as a tiedown point. If you're not careful, you can lacerate your boat on this rim, especially if you're taking out on a ramp that has current (the stern of the boat swings around while you are pulling it onto the trailer, and you end up sliding it over the rail). The fix for that is a thick, square chunk of UHMW that you've molded as a slotted end cap on the aft end of the rails (one on each side of course). If you contour the plastic it will fit like a glove over the end of the rail. Use a stainless machine screw, washers and a nylock nut to secure it to the rail. Use all stainless hardware, drill a hole through the rail to receive it, and recess all hardware into the plastic, so you don't scrape your boat against it. Be sure to round all the corners on the UHMW bumpers so you don't damage your boat when you run up on it.

    Also be mindful that Karavan trailers float when you back them into the water. So be aware that the current will push the trailer to the side if you get in too deep.

    I don't remember if the lights on the Karavans are sealed or not, but if not, you might consider replacing them with sealed lights, so you don't short them out when they're submerged. And then finally, be aware that the tongue on some of the Karavans is a little short. If you're hauling a longer boat, you'll have to pull it toward the rear a bit (instead of being centered), otherwise you risk hitting the tailgate of your truck with the bow eye on the boat. It's worse with catarafts, because they stick out in the corners much farther than a round boat does.

    Have fun!

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

  7. #7

    Default

    Thanks Mike. Yes, I immediately noticed the raised edges on almost all of the aluminum snow machine trailers. Some sharper on the ends than others - but all would need some modification for hauling a raft for sure. I've got some ideas on how to remedy this, but the idea of the big chunk of UHMW fitted to the end corners is very appealing. If anyone has a picture of this fix, I'd be most appreciative seeing it.

    I'm looking at a 12' X 8.5" trailer to pull an 18 foot long, 8 foot wide Sotar raft. If centered, this give me a legal 3 foot over-hand front/back. The tongue on most these trailers is 48 to 51 inches long, add the distance of a normal trailer hitch and it will be close for turning. It may or may not require a short receiver hitch extension - but of course extending the tongue would be the best but I hate to modify a brand new trailer if not necessary. Getting a 3 foot winch attached to the short tongue is going to be an issue for sure.

    I haven't run into any snow machine trailers that have real "submersible" lights. Most tail-lights are easily removed and inexpensive to replace - and of course can be had in LED - but haven't found any advertised submersible version that will just pop in. I keep getting different opinion on how to handle the tail light issue, which type would be best, to seal them myself with silicon, and to just unplug them before going into the water and of course to just carry inexpensive spares if they do fail. Most the 2 place modern snow machine trailers use the same tail-light design. If anyone knows of a truly submersible LED version that will pop-in, I'd be most appreciative.

  8. #8
    New member
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Elkford BC
    Posts
    10

    Default

    Box liner spray

  9. #9
    Member alaskabliss's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Wasilla
    Posts
    1,419

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mtnmickey View Post
    Box liner spray
    Bed liner is very abrasive. I have had it wear holes in anything that moved a bit in the bed
    Ignorance is not Bliss, it's insanity

  10. #10

    Default Trailer Decking

    I was thinking about taking the plywood off my trailer that I currently use for cataraft, 4 wheeler and snow go and was going to re-deck it with treated 2x6s. Boards vs. plywood. Does anyone have any experience/preference on 2x6s vs treated marine plywood? Which is heavier? Costly?

    If I go with the 2x6 route, should the boards be spaced just a tiny bit to allow water drainage?

    I used outdoor carpet for about 2 months on a raft trailer once, I noticed not only did it trap moisture in the carpet but it also picked up gravel and held it on the mat. Gravel and sand would not blow off while driving and potentially rub on the tubes while in transport.
    Last edited by MTfisher; 05-14-2014 at 09:14. Reason: spelling

  11. #11
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 1999
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Posts
    5,765

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MTfisher View Post
    I was thinking about taking the plywood off my trailer that I currently use for cataraft, 4 wheeler and snow go and was going to re-deck it with treated 2x6s. Boards vs. plywood. Does anyone have any experience/preference on 2x6s vs treated marine plywood? Which is heavier? Costly?

    If I go with the 2x6 route, should the boards be spaced just a tiny bit to allow water drainage?

    I used outdoor carpet for about 2 months on a raft trailer once, I noticed not only did it trap moisture in the carpet but it also picked up gravel and held it on the mat. Gravel and sand would not blow off while driving and potentially rub on the tubes while in transport.
    I can't speak to the 2x6 idea as I've not used it. I would think it would be a lot heavier than marine ply. I've been using marine plywood on mine for a long time and it looks like it could go for many years still.

    Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

  12. #12
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    36

    Default

    Anyone considered using those laminate deck boards? No splinters, sealing, or weathering ever... Would they be sturdy enough though?

  13. #13

    Default

    I would be interested in hearing from anyone who has actually tried a trailer hitch receiver extension. I am very tempted to try a 12" or 18" Reese solid extender before modifying the trailer tongue to make it longer. Just looking for suggestions if it is even worth the $100 to try. It would only be for hauling the big raft to help with turning radius. I do not expect more than 400 pounds on the trailer.

    I've pretty much given up on the idea of installing a suitable 3 foot high winch on the tongue of a 12 foot trailer with 3 foot raft overhang. Seems like the winch would contact the bow of the 18 foot raft. I'm "considering" putting the winch on a trailer hitch extension - or just using a rope come-a-long attached to the back of the truck ladder rack (which I already have). On the other hand, "maybe" I could mount a winch stand angled towards the truck that would provide room. I've never seen a winch mounted with a forward lean - but in theory it might work. Suggestions?

  14. #14

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Yukon77 View Post
    I've pretty much given up on the idea of installing a suitable 3 foot high winch on the tongue of a 12 foot trailer with 3 foot raft overhang. Seems like the winch would contact the bow of the 18 foot raft. I'm "considering" putting the winch on a trailer hitch extension - or just using a rope come-a-long attached to the back of the truck ladder rack (which I already have). On the other hand, "maybe" I could mount a winch stand angled towards the truck that would provide room. I've never seen a winch mounted with a forward lean - but in theory it might work. Suggestions?
    I would be leery how forward the lean would be... If it is too close it will likely make contact with your tailgate on small off road hills and boat launches. What about a pivot winch? Most trailers have the jack that pivots to the horizontal stage while in transit, and when not it is vertical. What you could do is make your winch do the same of some sorts. When loading your raft on the trailer the winch is in the vertical position, you winch and get it up to the point it bumps it, then you can pull the boat out of the water and clear the launch. Then once cleared you can reposition the winch to the horizontal position and keep winching until desired. Just a thought.

  15. #15
    Member BlueMoose's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Rifle River MI
    Posts
    1,835

    Default

    Call me simple it's ok been called worse. I have rented to several people who have decked trailers i.e call haulers i.e. 2x8 - 2x6 board length and have no issues with renting to them never had damage come back from the trailer with the exception of wear marks which clean easy enough on most occasions. For what it is worth I use a standard two place trailer that holds snow machines and or wheelers for my personal use and place round boats 12-18ft on them and or cats 14-18 ft on them. I have a skirt on my truck and trailer when hauling anything over 16ft foot. Trailer is a tad over 7ft wide and 10ft long. Mind you I have been hauling inflatable for some time but that does not mean I have it right just means this is what I do and seems to work for me.

  16. #16

    Default

    Blue,

    Thanks - means a lot coming from you. I haven't found many 7 foot wide snow machine trailers. Seems most newer ones are 8.5 wide - or at least 8 feet.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •