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Thread: Critique my trailer setup

  1. #1
    Member jrogers's Avatar
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    Default Critique my trailer setup

    I have been meaning to go my Trailer Craft or somewhere, but I am sure I can get better expertise here. I am looking for feedback on my trailering setup so that I don't end up as one of those guys with my boat on the ramp or in the bed of my pickup!

    I have two main areas of concern:

    1. The safety chain is attached at the only place where I can see that it could go, which is to a welded chain link at the base of the pedestal. My concern is that the boat could move back a ways before it would stop it. Does this seem correct? Any suggestions on a better way?

    2. The second item is the tie down straps. I had these custom made, and it seems to me that they should stop it, but some have said that they should attach to the trailer at the back so that they are at a 45 degree angle, not up and down.

    The red is an antiwear shield on the strap, and it has a C end on it to attach to the aluminum trailer I beam. I also insert cardboard under where the strap is on the sharp corner at the bottom of the boat. Keep in mond that this is a 12,000+ lb boat.


    I am open to other suggestions as well.













    Thanks in advance,
    2009 Seawolf 31'
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  2. #2
    Member sayak's Avatar
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    Default Nice setup

    I'd definitely move your safety chain higher, even if you have to loop it around your upright. The chain should have very little play once the winch has the bow snugged up against the roller.

    The straps look hefty, but your best security is at the stern which could bounce the most if the snugged down bow acts as a pivot point. 12K is a heavy boat to bounce on a trailer, but some of the bumps on the Seward Highway are horrendous at 50-60 mph.

  3. #3

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    Jim, you asked for a critique so I will give you my ideas, but I am certainly not a trailer expert by any means.

    The position of your safety chain is a great place for a vertical tie down for the bow of your boat so that it does not bounce upward with the bumps in the road. I believe that the safety chain should be connected to the winch stand bracket to give you some pull forward should your winch strap break or become unlocked. The only thing holding your boat forward now is the winch strap and the gears. You could also use a vee block at the bow ( at a 45 degree) which would stop the boat from hitting the winch roller when loading and provide some vertical support while trailering and bouncing.

    The rear straps are good, but they provide you no support if you stop suddenly in an emergency (to prevent the boat from sliding up over the bow roller and they do not support in the other direction to prevent the boat from sliding aft. They could be fitted with a hook and fasten into a loop welded to your trailer frame fore or aft. I like the loop over the cleats.

    Just my thoughts and you will probably get better ideas.

    What type of brakes do you have?

  4. #4

    Default Boat restraint

    Quote Originally Posted by jrogers View Post
    I have been meaning to go my Trailer Craft or somewhere, but I am sure I can get better expertise here. I am looking for feedback on my trailering setup so that I don't end up as one of those guys with my boat on the ramp or in the bed of my pickup!

    I have two main areas of concern:

    1. The safety chain is attached at the only place where I can see that it could go, which is to a welded chain link at the base of the pedestal. My concern is that the boat could move back a ways before it would stop it. Does this seem correct? Any suggestions on a better way?

    2. The second item is the tie down straps. I had these custom made, and it seems to me that they should stop it, but some have said that they should attach to the trailer at the back so that they are at a 45 degree angle, not up and down.

    The red is an antiwear shield on the strap, and it has a C end on it to attach to the aluminum trailer I beam. I also insert cardboard under where the strap is on the sharp corner at the bottom of the boat. Keep in mond that this is a 12,000+ lb boat.


    I am open to other suggestions as well.













    Thanks in advance,

    The owner of a welding shop told me about a customer who wanted his trailer's winch stand strengthened. The customer had experienced a bad accident while towing his very large boat. While cruising down a highway, a small car on the shoulder abruptly pulled on to the road right in front of him. He applied maximum braking effort and avoided hitting the car, but his boat surged forward, broke the winch stand, and departed his trailer. The boat was a total loss. Fortunately, nobody was killed.

    The Air Force has a lot of institutional knowledge about restraining loads in its cargo aircraft. There are four kinds of restraint that must be applied: forward, aft, vertical, and lateral. The forward restraint must be able to withstand at least 3 Gs or three times the weight of the load. Aft restraint requires 1.5 Gs, vertical requires 2 Gs, and lateral requires 1.5 Gs.

    Restraint (chains or straps) must be applied in symmetrical pairs. Installing restraint 30 degrees from the floor, and 30 degrees from the aircraft longitudinal axis (known as the 30 x 30 plan) will provide 75% of the device's capacity in forward or aft restraint. The 45 x 45 plan increases vertical restraint, but aft and forward effective restraint are reduced to 50% of the device's capacity.

    In general, restraining devices properly installed for forward and aft restraint will automatically provide sufficient lateral and vertical restraint.

    Using Air Force criteria, a 12,000 boat requires 36,000 lbs. of forward restraint. Using the 45 x 45 plan, four devices each rated at least 18,000 lbs. would be sufficient.

    Of course emergency braking is not going to produce more than 1 G of deceleration, but if you have a collision, Katie bar the door! In that case, a fellow would be hoping to have lots of forward restraint.

    Another way to improve forward restraint on a boat trailer would be to strengthen the winch stand. You might do this by installing some 1/4" angle iron braces from the trailer's tongue near the coupler to a point about half way up the winch stand.

  5. #5
    Member Gerberman's Avatar
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    Default shackles

    To get more space to attach straps to the bow of the boat you can use shackles in the bow pad. I attach a strap forward and aft to the shackle and to the frame of the trailer. I do not rely on the winch, bow bracket. I put two straps on the stern, two on the bow, two at the front of the cabin. all 12k straps, my boat weighs 17k, never go above 55 mph, leave lots of room between me and the car in front of me, minimum 4 seconds spacing. All straps connect to cleats on the gunnel so they will assist forward and rearward movement. Can not have to many straps. Gerberman

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    Default Turnbuckle

    I wanted to make sure my boat would not have any problems if the winch strap broke too. The welded link for your saftey chain looks a little light for a boat that size. I put a piece of chain around the beam that the winch stand is bolted to then went to a turnbuckle to the boat. I can tighten it up so if the winch strap were to break there would be no slack for the boat to build up momentum. This so far has worked well for me so far. As for the side straps I have done the same in the past as the set up you have but I have side guides now and do not use the straps any more.

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    Default

    Without doing any heavy analysis, my gut says that in any meaningful frontal collision (i.e. with oncoming semi-truck or a bridge abutment), any typical winch stand on a boat trailer will fold forward like a soggy tortilla. If you heavily reinforce the stand, then the now-strong stand will buckle the tongue member on which its mounted. Either way, the trailer's gonna fold. The boat may or may not stay behind you, depending on the configuration of your rear tie-downs and the ability of the winch stand/tongue to bend and not break. Encouraging, eh?

    In your case, I agree with the other sentiments of changing the angle of your front chain, so that in the event of winch cable breakage, the boat can only slide backward a few inches or less. It's not a bad thing to have a tensed chain in the location you have, as that will help with bounce on rough road. You might have to sort out a different attachment point for the vertical chain farther back toward the intersection of the tongue and crossmember. Ideally, you can arrrange that vertical tiedown so that it becomes tense right as you suck the front cable attachment tight against the bow roller. That would keep things tight up front, for sure. Out back, just keep the boat tied down to the trailer hard. Looks like you got that taken care of.

  8. #8
    Member fullbush's Avatar
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    Default

    Looks mighty skookum to me. If your winch cable snaps the ratchet strap you have should hold her.

  9. #9
    Member jrogers's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TooLoose View Post
    What type of brakes do you have?
    I have triple axle surge disk brakes. I wanted electric over hydraulic, and planned on switching to this when I got the boat and trailer up here, but I have not done that since the surge works well. It stops quick, the only problem I see is the annoying thump if you start out quickly after a stop (when the surge piston unloads).
    2009 Seawolf 31'
    www.seawolfmarine.com
    Fully Loaded

  10. #10

    Thumbs down Electric brakes -BAD

    Go to CHAMPION TRAILERS website and read about electric brakes on a boat trailer.
    Thanks to 'Skydiver' who told me about the website, it will enlighten you about the electric brakes on a boat trailer.

  11. #11
    Member jrogers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Myers View Post
    it will enlighten you about the electric brakes on a boat trailer.
    I think you misunderstood me. I was referring to electric over hydraulic, which is hydraulic disk brakes, but just using a electric controller. They are much more controllable than straight surge brakes. I know what you mean about straigh electric brakes, I have them on my snow machine trailer, and I would not consider them for a big load or anywhere around salt water.
    2009 Seawolf 31'
    www.seawolfmarine.com
    Fully Loaded

  12. #12
    Member jrogers's Avatar
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    OK, I put some of the advice to use, and improved the front tiedown so it stops both horizontal and vertical movement:

    2009 Seawolf 31'
    www.seawolfmarine.com
    Fully Loaded

  13. #13

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    That looks a lot better. Can you possibly tighten up the vertical chain a bit to keep the bow from bouncing on rough roads? That set up will help a lot I believe. Excellent work.

  14. #14
    Member HKYDDY's Avatar
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    Default Personally

    I tend to err on the side of caution when hauling heavy loads. I used to drive a low-boy hauling over sized tracked drilling equipment aroung AK. This being said, now that you have improved your safety chain on the bow, I would recommend double lashing each side. By this I mean criss crossing a strap from the stern to the bow side of the trailer and from the bow to the stern side of the trailer. If you pull down and in both directions, that vessel isn't going anywhere. It may sound like overkill and probably is, but I have peace of ming knowing that whatever I am hauling, my load is secure and isn't going to be moving at all. I guess my OCD is kicking in.

  15. #15
    Member Larsenvega's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TooLoose View Post
    That looks a lot better. Can you possibly tighten up the vertical chain a bit to keep the bow from bouncing on rough roads? That set up will help a lot I believe. Excellent work.
    That would be one rough road to bounce the bow of a 12K lb boat off the trailer! I'm thinking that the way he has the winch connected under the bow roller should suffice for that.

  16. #16
    Member patrickL's Avatar
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    I don't know that bounding the bow off the trailer is really that big of a problem. The bigger problem I've heard is the bow bouncing and causing trailer fatigue and then failure. The guy who appraised my boat is a rep for King Trailer which my boat sits on. The trailer has a much higher weight rating than my boat so its well matched. He recommended adding a tightener to hold the bow down vertically to the trailer so it wouldn't bounce when going down the road. First time I hauled it I noticed this very thing. That bouncing causes undo fatigue on the trailer and will eventually result in a trailer failue. A 12K pound bouncing is alot of stress. I believe there was a thread on a trailer failure due to just this on a 2825 Kingfisher just last year.

  17. #17
    Member patrickL's Avatar
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    Here's the link to the thread showing just the kind of failure that can happen if a boat's bow bounces around enough.

    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...t=king+failure

    I'm not saying anything about the particular failure in this thread but that it is indicative of what can happen if the bow isn't secured to the trailer.

  18. #18
    Member Dupont Spinner's Avatar
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    Crank a little tension into the vertical chain with a binder from 6 Robbers or a turnbuckle.

    Glad to see the change in the chains. I would bet on the chain breaking loose at the weld if the safety chain was called into action. I had a cable break pulling out at Seward one day and watched my safety chain RIP OUT of the upright on a smaller craft then I am running now. So now I keep the cable, safety chain and a strap on till touching the water.

  19. #19
    Member HuntKodiak's Avatar
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    Great thread. All the comments have convinced me that I need to look at my setup again even though I don't drive the boat around much in Kodiak. I had previously read the other thread mentioned that covered bow bounce, and I'm convince this deserves my attention now that I finished plumbing my main gas tank to my new kicker and got my NEMA 2k network done yesterday.

    Need to be careful though. When I came in last night at 7:30, my wife said (with a smile on her face) that I was spending more time with the other Miss Ellie than I was with her. Time to take her for another boatride on a route of her choice.

    JRogers, I like your final setup, and making the move to snug up the vertical chain is a small and easy improvement.

  20. #20
    Member Dupont Spinner's Avatar
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    Hey I got looking at the side straps are they putting pressure on the fenders. If so I would consider a change there if possible. If not possible keep a close watch on your welds and strap fraying.

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