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Thread: Two or Three Axles

  1. #1

    Default Two or Three Axles

    I am looking at a 27' Sea Sport Sea Master. The survey says the gross is "7". From what I've read, it weighs in around 6500 lbs.

    The trailer that comes with it looks beat up, and I want to get a new one. The broker will give me a deal on an #8300 capacity, extra long Tuff Trailer with electric brakes, dual axel, fresh water washdown. Being new to this business, is that cutting it a little close on the weight? Would a triple axel trailer be better? The broker says they put their 27 SS's on this trailer, and that it more than enough. I believe I have read on these forums of folks with 24' boats on triple axel trailers. Is three better than two, or over kill? Thanks for your input.

  2. #2
    Member NewMoon's Avatar
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    I'd think you might be able to go with two axles, but I'd guess 8,300 is too skinny unless you're going only short distances. Can you get an actual truck scale weight? How much additional stuff and fuel and water will you be hauling?

    My Bounty was built heavier than expected, and by the time we added all the equipment for cruising and fishing was about 11,500 including the trailer. It was a two axle 10,000 Pacific Trailer. We had to add a third axle, because after a couple of long tows it was clear that the wheel bearings were taking too much abuse. Now it does well.
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  3. #3
    Member spoiled one's Avatar
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    My neighbor has a 27 SS with the fly bridge. His sits on a King triple axle. I believe it is the KBT8600. It trailers great. It is better to buy bigger and not need it IMO. Weigh the boat at the beginning of the season and then at the end of the season. I bet you will be surprised. I was.
    Spending my kids' inheritance with them, one adventure at a time.

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    Depends on the trailer and axles. Tufftrailers are a whole nuther kettle of fish compared to a commodity trailer like King or EZ or whatever. I've yet to see a burly 6000 pound axle on the king trailers (8 lug 16" wheels, 235/85-16 tires), but that might be what the Tuff is packing. Compare the axle specs before writing off a double axle trailer.

  5. #5

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    Not familar with that brand of trailer but when I bought my boat I let the dealer talk me out of a triple axle trailer for my 26 Hewescraft PC and I knew better. In the lower 48 the double would be fine but the roads up here are a little rough and although the double works ok and no problems yet, I think the extra for the triple would have been worth the money and cushion factor. Like Vek said, if the manufactures put big solid axles on the trailers a double would be ok. If I had it to do over I would have a triple under the boat. Stick to your gut, do what you feel is best and don't let a salesman talk you out of or into something. He's not going to be there along side the road when it breaks or be without a boat half the summer while the trailer is getting fixed. The amount of towing you do should also be a factor in the decision.

  6. #6
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    ditto on the axel ratings...check them out first....how far you plan to tow?

  7. #7

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    I plan to tow it between Wasilla, Whittier, Seward, Homer. I have a call/message into the service department at Tuff Trailer to get their opinion, and the axle ratings. Are they known to be a good trailer? Thanks for the responses.

  8. #8

    Default 3-nothing less!

    I have a Magnum custom trailer that is made of giant C-channel, all welded everywhere, no bolted structures, no one has these around here that I have seen. No way would I have a double-axle under a 27 Sea Sport, even if the trailer was a Magnum! My Sea Sport, and all fiber-glass boats for that matter, gain weight through out the season, not including the crap you load it with just to go out. Alaska is known for the over-loaded-toy-hauler, don't go double or you'll pay for it on the highway when a wheel falls off (had that happen once...)

    Emptied the boat of some gear once; Items that fit into two small tubs weighed over 200lbs!
    I keep a scale in the garage for checking weight of stuff like gear, it is always a surprise what stuff weights all together.

  9. #9
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    Default Maxed out

    Just consider the load put on the axles and spindles if you have one tire go down while travelling. We had a tire go down on the right front axle. Noticed it in the mirror and looked for a turn out. By the time we got pulled over the right rear axle bearing was very warm to the touch. The entire load of the right side was on that one set of bearings. With three heavier axles the load even in a bad situation will be spread a bit better.
    I agree with Myer. Your boat does get heavier during the season. We leave more stuff in the boat every trip during the season. I probably have 100 lbs of fishing weights alone. Better to be over trailered than marginal.

  10. #10

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    If the axels are up to the weight i would rather have 2 mostly the differnace in axle rating is the bearings and hub, you can take a #5600 6 lug and convert it to a #7000 pound 8 lug with just bearing and hub the spindles and axle tube are the same as most brakes are too 12inch. I have a 2556 bayliner that i trailer all over the place and i have it on a 2 axles trailer no problmes with and loaded the boat and trailer grosses around 11k. The problem i have with 3 axles i have 2 trailers one is stock trailer and the other a flatdeck both goosenecks is that they wear tires and spring parts so fast as when ever you are turning you are draging one axle putting huge side loading on stuff those side loads will flex your trailer and your boat on it.

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    TUFF Trailers in my opinion are the best. If your towing as much as it sounds you better go triple.

  12. #12

    Default Weight

    GET enough axle capacity to haul your boat, plus fuel, gear and extras.
    Axles come in 3500, 5,400, 6000, 7000 lb capacities then go to dual wheel.
    Axles with 3500 lb capacities will have a 15" tire. 5400 lb capacity axles have 6 lug 16" wheels. 6000 and 7000 lb trailers will have 8 lug 16" wheels.
    An 8 lug 16" tire still has to be 10 ply to carry 7000 lbs per axle.
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    Default loader

    I haul a 10,000 loader on a double axle trailer all the time, but it has 7K lb axles. I'd be most concerned about the axle rating, as mentioned above. Having an "extra" axle is probably not a bad idea, though, just for kicks. I have heard that balancing the load w/ 3 axles is critical; just keep that in mind.

  14. #14
    Member jrogers's Avatar
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    Default Trailer Weight

    Don;t forget the weight of the trailer. Most of the ones I looked at had a gross weight specification, which means you had to include the weight of the trailer in your calculation. In the case of by boat I got a 15,000lb trailer, but I got aluminum. The trailer weighs 1600lbs vs. 2600 for the steel version, which means I could carry 1000lbs of extra stuff before I hit the gross weight.
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  15. #15

    Default Tuff Trailers has an AK rep...

    His name is Kevin Brown, Alaska Boat Trailers, phone is 907-349-0428 or 907-632-1759. We bought our tri-axle through him, great guy and great service.
    SeaULater

  16. #16
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    If I'm not mistaken, Tuff builds all of their trailers from a real deep and heavy channel section as opposed to rectangle tube. Where the tongue member joins the two frame members is heavily gusseted and welded. The channel structural members won't trap saltwater and are easy to rinse. There is much to like about them.

  17. #17
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    I became a fan of triples after owning one under my Sea Sport. The only disadvantage noticeable is the front tires will "scrub" when completing a somewhat tight turn. Replaced the front tires on my King trailer this past summer after 5 seasons of towing the boat back and forth to Seward and Homer, plus it was towed up from Bellingham.

    Maybe the main advantage to the triples is being able to tow to a safe area with one tire flat. When towing the boat up from Bellingham I did not notice one of the tires picked up a nail and was flat until we stopped to eat.

    If you have the option ask for Goodyear Marathon trailers.
    Tennessee

  18. #18
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    Dittos what Brav01 said. You can't just rely on the boat weight. You have to figure all your gear and fuel.

    Believe me when the Admiral loads her stuff on I would go with 4 axles......hope she isn't reading this.....

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  19. #19

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    Sasquatch: While your primary question seems to be the 2 vs 3 axle decision I think you may have missed one VERY IMPORTANT point. You Op states " Electric brakes" - I hope you really meant Electric Over Hydraulic Brakes. IMHO I would not own a saltwater boat trailer with ELECTRIC brakes.

    While I am sure you can get either a 2 or 3 axle trailer that will meet you needs I think a triple would be better IF it has enough CAPACITY. As stated before just having 3 axles DOES NOT ensure you have enough capacity - check the capacity of the axles as well as the NET carrying capacity of the trailer as listed by the manufacturer. I personally want a minimum of 10% (25% would be better) EXCESS capacity above the ACTUAL (not manufacturers listed) weight of the boat, engines, fluids, and all of the crap we all put in our boats. I have found very, very few boater have actually weighed their boats - they just guess or believe what the manufacturer or dealer tells them - which is a bad idea.

    I have a 34' aluminum boat on a Rolls Axle triple axle, aluminum trailer. The trailer has an 18,000# GWR, the entire rig - boat, trailer, engines, fluids and gear weigh 15,000# so I have 3,000# (about 17%) excess capacity. Each wheel has Kodiak S/S disc brakes actuated by a 2nd generation Active Technology Electric Over Hydraulic unit. It tows great.

    SB

  20. #20
    Member HuntKodiak's Avatar
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    Default Another benefit of a triple

    I have a triple axle King for my 26 foot Kingfisher. In addition to the advantages and disadvantages already mentioned, there is also another benefit in my opinion. I believe three axles also tends to smooth out the ride for the trailer and boat both. I live on a dirt road in Kodiak, and of course it grows potholes. When I can't avoid hitting a pothole, I can drive over it and two of the three tires take the load while the third tire transitions across the pothole (or bump). This has a nice smoothing effect to the ride, which surely reduces the jarring to everything on the boat.

    A disadvantage that I carefully pay attention to was described in another thread where a King trailer tongue broke. When using a boat ramp that has an abupt transition to the driving surface, three axles can cause more stress on the trailer while you are driving up that transition from the steep ramp to the next driving surface. The longer ground contact distance of the three axles means you have to drive the trailer farther up the ramp before the trailer transitions off the ramp and onto the driving surface. That means the tongue will have more downward force on it as you make that transition because the truck is trying to pull down on the tongue longer. I don't have that problem on the ramps here in Kodiak because they have a rather gently transition, but if you have specific ramps you'd use a lot that are steep, you may want to consider this too.

    I'm glad I have the triple with surge brakes.

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