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Thread: Boat trailer for cataraft

  1. #1
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    Default Boat trailer for cataraft

    Hello, I have a 18' cat and need advise with the trailer. I have one I can buy from a co-worker and I have it setup in the garage for size.

    Here is my biggest issue, its a sled trailer, aluminum with side guards, and is 8'X10'. I'm worried its going to float (a issue posted in thread awhile back) I guess the easiest way to answer this is to put it in the water, anyone know of a place here in Anchorage to back it in?

    As for the rest, I do need to extend the tongue, wiring and add 2 feet of deck, and cut off the side guards, get rid of the sharp stuff, all pretty straight forward.

    I was also looking for experience from others who have a similar setup and how its worked for you, pros and cons of the aluminum setup.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Member tjm's Avatar
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    I use the same size trailer with the same size cat...not the best trailer for that length boat but it works....I have never backed my trailer into the water though...I always just get close to the water and slide the cat off...I doubt the trailer would float on its own but if the cat was still tied down I bet it would float the trailer if the water was deep enough...
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  3. #3
    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
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    Default Triton XT-10-101

    Following the lead of a couple of friends, I'm using a 10ft Triton snowmachine trailer, which Dan Shilling (440-0770) modified for me. He added a nice tongue extension and upright with winch. He added a plug-in wiring extension. He did an excellent job and everything he said, approx $300. The modifications can be unbolted/unplugged if you ever sold the trailer to someone who didn't want them.

    For me, an aluminum trailer was desirable for corrosion resistance - it's conceivable I'll use the raft in salt water.

    Before moving to Alaska, I had experience with strong currents and unwanted trailer movement... but here, with a tilt-bed, I'm hoping I don't need to back the wheels very deep into any current.

    Good luck.

  4. #4
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by youngtrout View Post
    Hello, I have a 18' cat and need advise with the trailer. I have one I can buy from a co-worker and I have it setup in the garage for size.

    Here is my biggest issue, its a sled trailer, aluminum with side guards, and is 8'X10'. I'm worried its going to float (a issue posted in thread awhile back) I guess the easiest way to answer this is to put it in the water, anyone know of a place here in Anchorage to back it in?

    As for the rest, I do need to extend the tongue, wiring and add 2 feet of deck, and cut off the side guards, get rid of the sharp stuff, all pretty straight forward.

    I was also looking for experience from others who have a similar setup and how its worked for you, pros and cons of the aluminum setup.

    Thanks
    Trout,

    If your trailer is a Karavan model, it will almost certainly float. Naturally it will float with the raft strapped on it (why would you ever be in that situation...). I'm talking about it floating while empty; while you are trying to extract your boat. A few years ago all we were using were Karavans and it was a constant problem, especially on moving water. You might be able to overcome this by bolting some weights to the underside of the back edge of the trailer, using round-head carriage bolts.

    You can get by without cutting the side rails down if you bolt a thick, rounded chunk of plastic to the corners of each rail. This will prevent you from gouging your tubes when you load the boat. This allows you to keep the rail for securing tiedowns for your raft and for snowmachines later.

    Hope it helps!

    -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

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    I use my 8x10 Sledbed trailer to haul both my rafts in the summer, 14' SB and a 12.5' cat.. it has a track pads and ski guides I leave on all year (for my RMK's) so everything slides easily.. have always backed into the water to the wheels, never had any troubles re:floating.. aluminum is MUCH nicer because it is so light and easy to move around by hand, even with my rafts on it...
    I don't really worry about backing into water, have never had to back in so far as to float my trailer (why would one have to back in so far anyways..?) I lube/adjust my wheel bearings every year.. I have 13 yrs on my trailer... oh, I never use the tilt to offload.. just back into the water a bit and slide them off... then again, my rafts don't weigh anything close to an 18' cat with all the frame it needs.. let alone floor... you can always tie your cat down with more to the rear to give you a bit more clearance in the front for your hitch, I'd imagine there's around 4' hanging off both ends of a 10' trailer with an 18' cat...
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aksotar View Post
    I use my 8x10 Sledbed trailer to haul both my rafts in the summer, 14' SB and a 12.5' cat.. it has a track pads and ski guides I leave on all year (for my RMK's) so everything slides easily.. have always backed into the water to the wheels, never had any troubles re:floating.. aluminum is MUCH nicer because it is so light and easy to move around by hand, even with my rafts on it...
    I don't really worry about backing into water, have never had to back in so far as to float my trailer (why would one have to back in so far anyways..?) I lube/adjust my wheel bearings every year.. I have 13 yrs on my trailer... oh, I never use the tilt to offload.. just back into the water a bit and slide them off... then again, my rafts don't weigh anything close to an 18' cat with all the frame it needs.. let alone floor... you can always tie your cat down with more to the rear to give you a bit more clearance in the front for your hitch, I'd imagine there's around 4' hanging off both ends of a 10' trailer with an 18' cat...
    AKsotar is right on... the aluminum trailer is much lighter and more versatile (unless you are goin' commercial and stakin' boats up more than three high w/ 4byin' to get 'er done),,, easier to tow and way nicer to hand cart around if/when needed.

    No reason to strip off and de-value the trailer of it's factory features or rails. One poster mentioned Dan Shilling... before home modification... take 'er over to Dan for a walk-around. In the end-game a much better solution by a pro that's familiar w/ exactly what you are going to be doing.

    As for floating trailers... That is just not really part of the picture if you know your boat, trailer, & take a look at launching conditions.

  7. #7
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Richardson View Post
    ...As for floating trailers... That is just not really part of the picture if you know your boat, trailer, & take a look at launching conditions.
    Agree to disagree... conditions at each ramp differ greatly. Some are steep and deep, some are flat and shallow, some require long tongue reach, others don't. There are many situations where I've had to back my trailer in past the wheel hubs, leaving the back end of it submerged. In moving water with a floating trailer, this means that your trailer is carried downstream.

    Granted, if you're running lightly-rigged whitewater boats you can just carry them up out of the river and toss 'em on the trailer. But with a fully-rigged cat with seating options, floor system, transom and outboard, it's a different deal. Especially if you're flying solo, as I sometimes am.

    I ended up with an E-Z loader v-hull trailer which I modified by taking the two bunks off, installing new support brackets and attaching a marine ply deck, supported by 2x6 pressure treated lumber. I opted out of indoor-outdoor carpet over the decking, thinking it would just look ratty after a while and would trap moisture. It's served very well for about 10 years so far. The deck is 9'6" long by 8' wide. It has a long tongue and I don't think I've ever had to get my truck wheels wet at a launch. My Super Leopard and my Leopard both overhang the decking by about 3 1/2' or so, but it's not a problem because this is well past where the curve of the tubes starts. The trailer is very light and you hardly know it's there. I've also hauled boats stacked three high on this trailer with no problems.

    The one down-side to this trailer is that the tongue is a bit too long. I should probably cut it back about 3' or so.

    Nice thing about the E-Z loader is that it's galvanized and comes pre-wired with submersible lights. I've never had a wiring problem or a short. YET.

    Use good straps for this! I recommend those heavy-duty 2" trucker's ratchet straps. A friend and I had one of the cheaper 1" ratchet straps break on us one time and our cataraft was skidding upside down on Minnesota Blvd. on its oarstands in rush-hour traffic. Not a good thing!

    -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

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