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  • cataraft trailer question

    So I got a used 18' aire leopard and the trailer that came with ( flat deck ) it has a storage box on it the length of the trailer. The cat frame sits on the box and the tubes don't touch the trailer while in transit. Unloading to launch was not too bad but loading at Jim's with the current coming in at an angle it was not a pretty site. The cat frame has to be lifted onto the box then winched the rest, the whole while lifting at the back. Needless to say I got soaked, lol. I noticed others with the cat right on the flat of the trailer just riding on astro turf. Is there any reason to not want the tubes on the deck while driving? Just wondering why the previous owner did this. Does it increase the life of the boat? Seems like a good idea, poor execution... I'm thinking to cut down the box so the tubes are on the deck and keep it for storage of oars and seats and such...


  • #2
    I'd ditch the box if you don't need the storage. Loading on the flat deck is no problem. I'd avoid the avoid the astro turf too. It holds water and can cause the wood to rot. Mine has marine plywood. That looks like a Karavan snowmachine trailer? If so, it will float if you back it in too far. That's a problem at Jim's because the current will drift the back of your trailer downstream.

    Hope it helps!

    Mike
    Michael Strahan
    Site Owner
    Alaska Hunt Consultant
    1 (907) 229-4501

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    • #3
      That does sound like a pain to load up. I have helped lift and carry a big cat before and they are pretty heavy. Every one I have seen just carry them on the deck. I guess your set up might help dry the deck and bottom, but don't think that's a big deal. The one thing that really helps in loading those big cats is a roller pipe on the back of the trailer.

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      • #4
        I don't know about Jim's take out but when we would on or off load a boat in current it helps to angle the trailer down current so you are not fighting the current at right angles to the boat....

        George

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        • #5
          Originally posted by George Riddle View Post
          I don't know about Jim's take out but when we would on or off load a boat in current it helps to angle the trailer down current so you are not fighting the current at right angles to the boat....

          George
          I angled as much as the gravel bar would allow lol but it was still a circus. free entertainment at my expense ha ha
          yeah I think I'm just going to take the box and cut it down to below the cat frame or just remove it completely. It is nice to have some lockable storage back there. Could somebody please post a pic of the rollers? I have seen a lot of these trailer with some type of carpet on the deck...is one better than astro turf? Or just go plywood as Mike suggested? My plywood is not rotten but its in rough shape. I just don't want to damage the boat durring the drive to and fro. Some of these roads are pretty bad and the drive times are couple hours. Thanks for all help!!!

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Michael Strahan View Post
            I'd ditch the box if you don't need the storage. Loading on the flat deck is no problem. I'd avoid the avoid the astro turf too. It holds water and can cause the wood to rot. Mine has marine plywood. That looks like a Karavan snowmachine trailer? If so, it will float if you back it in too far. That's a problem at Jim's because the current will drift the back of your trailer downstream.

            Hope it helps!cou

            Mike
            I agree. Power drifter's roller pipe is also a good idea. I set my trailer up this way a few years ago and it has made a world of difference when loading the boat up. I no longer have to unload every thing from the boat for a quick shuttle.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by George Riddle View Post
              I don't know about Jim's take out but when we would on or off load a boat in current it helps to angle the trailer down current so you are not fighting the current at right angles to the boat....

              George
              The biggest issue with Jim's landing is new boaters that try to take out at the top end of the ramp. Everyone else has to go around them to hit the ramp, and the current rips along pretty good there. You can't really see if anyone is there until you are on it, too.

              As to the downstream trailer angle, yes, but I prefer parking it that way to the current carrying my trailer for me; no way to predict how far it will drift. These floating snowmachine trailers.... not so good.

              -Mike
              Michael Strahan
              Site Owner
              Alaska Hunt Consultant
              1 (907) 229-4501

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              • #8
                Been giving some thought to astro turf and water rot. What about ripping 1/2 plywood 12" and glueing the turf to it and screwing that to the deck of the trailer as runners? You can take them off in the fall and they don't take up much room to store. If you have a few 3/4" board of trex decking would be nice as runners, be careful not to untie till you have backed down the ramp as the boat/raft will slide off the trailer and float away (almost experiencal knowledge )

                George

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                • #9
                  I had astron on my boat trailer and saw no rot, the reason I removed it was to make the boat slip off the trailer. If the trailer is left outside and it is below freezing the water will freeze and that would stop the rotting, also painting or Thompson water seal would help to protect the wood. Just something to think about.

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                  • #10
                    Has anyone routed slots/openings into the plywood to avoid floatation on the snow machine trailers, or are they so light that the current would push them sideways regardless?
                    Got a few of it down

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                    • #11
                      i rebuilt my trailer last season, new decking and paint, eliminated the astroturf, as yes, it did tend to rot the wood. i put down strips of ice and water shield instead (bituthene), and built some rollers on the back edge, much better than scraping the tubes up the old plywood edge. also replacing the winch with a rope-a-long with a detachable handle, i find it safer than the winch, and offers better mechanical advantage. with that change i should be able to load my boat by myself if need be.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by dirtysteev View Post
                        i put down strips of ice and water shield instead (bituthene),
                        Is this stuff avail at Home Depot/Lowes? I'd like to check it out.

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                        • #13
                          Click image for larger version

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                          Here are some pics of a few of the modifications I made to my trailer a few years ago. So far everything I changed has worked out very nicely for me. I fabricated a cheap roller out of PVC and square steel tubing, extended the tongue (to keep the tips of my pontoons away from the truck when making tight turns), and mounted a winch to the tongue. Now when I want to take out and not unload anything from the boat, I just throw some water on the trailer (so the boat slides better) and winch it on up by myself. Works like a charm even with several hundred pounds in the boat.

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                          • #14
                            AK Troutbum

                            Did you get a piece of PVC that would slide over your square tubing and use that as a roller. I already extended my tongue and added a winch several years ago but did not think about a roller. I bet that would work a lot easier pulling the raft on instead of kinda dragging it on. Thanks for any advice/info.

                            450

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                            • #15
                              Yeah, so far so good.

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