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Old 02-16-2009, 05:05 AM
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Default Trailer set-up & adjustment questions

I need to do a couple of thinks to my trailer. First, I need to move the boatforward 9" to get the rear rollers back to the transom. Second, I need to spread the rollers out to get the outside-most set of rollers on the outside of the strakes. The rollers roll across the lifting strakes right now, which causes the boat to tend to load crooked and it also crushed a strake. Anyway, this might involve moving the cross-members up too since spreading the rollers will lower the hull on the trailer. Lastly, I need to move the axles up to lighten the load on the tongue. Right now, with about 40 gallons of fuel (it holds 65), I have 535# on the hitch... obviously moving the boat up 9" is going to make that heavier, and another 25 gallons of fuel will make it heavier too.

I'm assuming that I'll need to move the axles forward about 18" (that's where I'm going to start anyway). The boat is movingforward 9", so moving the axles 9" will make up for that, then I'm assuming moving them forward another 9" will lighten the load on the tongue. My total boat & trailer weight is about 5,000#. I'm looking to get the tongue weight down to between 300 and 350#.

So, moving the boatforward is no problem... and spreading the rollers out is no big deal either. There is a bracket that holds the cross-member to the trailer frame, &it hangs down below the frame a little. By moving the rollers out, the boat is goint to drop almost 2", which will put it about 2" above the fenders (assuming fenders stay in the current position). So, I may have to move the x-member up.

Now, here's where my real problem is... when i go to move the axles forward, I am limited as to where to put them because the x-member bracket gets in the way. I can only move the axles up 13" before it hits the bracket, then the next spot I could put the axle makes it 26" ahead of where the axles are right now. It looks like I can flip the bracket over (bolt it to the frame upside-down),which should allow me toput the axle pretty much anywhere under the x-member bracket. Flipping the bracket over, and using the lowest set of holes (which are the highest set of holes now,will put my x-member about 3" higher than it is right now.

So, I guess my main questions are, can I flip that x-member bracket over? Structurally, is that a problem? If the holes dont work out for setting the boat at the right height, I could always have a set of brackets costom made. Anyone see a problem with moving the rollers out so the rollers are outside the strake? Anyone have any other recommendations, or see any other problems I might run into? I'm pulling the boat off the trailer to do all this, but the actual process of taking it off, and putting it back on the trailer is a royal pain in the a$$... so I'm hoping ot minimize that process.

Here's some photos...

















As usual, any and all advice is appreciated.
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Old 02-17-2009, 05:18 PM
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Default Re: Trailer set-up & adjustment questions

You can move the rollers farther apart and you can move the axles. And you can move the winch stand to get the boat where it belongs. I've done all that. I adjusted my rollers by going to a ramp on a slow day, launching the boat, adjusting the rollers, and reloading the boat until I got it right. I wouldn't try moving crossmembers.

Why do you think to need to move the axles 18" forward? Move them the same distance you move the boat, then weigh the rig and the tongue weight. It should be 5% - 7% of the total. You can move the axles again if you need to.

At some point you're going to have to decide if you have the incorrect trailer for the boat.
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Old 02-18-2009, 11:35 AM
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Default Re: Trailer set-up & adjustment questions

Just a couple of thoughts: You're contemplating a number of changes, I highly suggest you do one thing at a time. For example, move the rollers out first, then work at that till you get the boat loading and sitting the way you like. THEN move the boat forward. You can move the boat forward and adjust the axle position in the yard.
Spreading the rollers out won't drop the boat all that much because the x members also go up at an angle. If the angle was the same as the boat, the boat wouldn't drop at all, but it looks like you have a 20ish degree V on the boat and a more common 12ish degree 'v' on the trailer x-members. One thing to watch out for, as you move the rollers apart, the sharper "V" of the bow will run lower between them as the boat rolls on and off the trailer - it *may* go deep enough to hit a x-member. You may want/need to install x-member 'pads' which are made to prevent damage from incidental contact during loading/unloading.

http://shop.easternmarine.com/index....categoryID=201

Ken
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Old 02-18-2009, 11:55 AM
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Default Re: Trailer set-up & adjustment questions

Quote:
kchace - 2/18/2009 11:35 AM One thing to watch out for, as you move the rollers apart, the sharper "V" of the bow will run lower between them as the boat rolls on and off the trailer - it *may* go deep enough to hit a x-member.
Thanks for the advice Ken.

I triedto figure out if the keel would hit last night in the dark, with a flashlight, a beer, tape measure, straight edge, a piece of paper and 10 of the coldest fingers ever. Lets just say I'm real good at math... but notthat good. Decided to just go inside and have another beer.

I think I'm going to start out by moving myrear x-member back about a foot... right to the end of the trailer.With a minor adjustment of the winch post, I should be able to get my rollers where they want to be at thestern. I'll re-weight after that and decidehow to move my axles. I was thinking of moving the boat forward both to get the rollers right at the stern and to have the stern closer to the back of the trailer tomake mytie-downsmore vertical. I've decided thatthe tie-down issue takes a back seat tohow the boat sits on the trailer. My only concern now is,with my motor tilted up,I think I'm goingto have more than 48" from the tail-lights to the tip of the engine. I believe that is the most you can have without a flag. Is that enforced with boats?Am I overthinking it?
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Old 02-18-2009, 12:46 PM
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Default Re: Trailer set-up & adjustment questions

Your trailer was designed to be structurally sound with the crossmembers where they are. If you move them, you're "re-engineering" the trailer it may fail or bend. You didn't like my suggestions (and they are things I did to my trailer to fit it to the boat), but it's your trailer so do what you want.

You are making things far more complicated than they need to be.

BTW: If you move the rear crossmenber and rollers without moving the front, you've now left the center of the boat unsupported.
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Old 02-18-2009, 07:37 PM
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Default RE: Trailer set-up & adjustment questions

As most of the weight of the boat is in the stern, moving the boat forward 9" will not have a corresponding weight shift onto your tongue. You may very well find that moving the axles 12" forward from where they are now will accomplish your desired weight transfer off of your tongue.
As far as roller positioning, I don't see much of a problem leaving them where they are. To get your boat to load properly, when your have the boat off of the trailer, run a string line down the centre of the trailer and then make sure that the corresponding rollers (in pairs) are the same distance off of the centre line. I'm sure that in doing this you'll be amazed at how "centred" the boat is the next time that you load it back on to your trailer.
As mentioned by others, stay away from making drastic structural changes to your rig.
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Old 02-19-2009, 05:50 AM
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Default RE: Trailer set-up & adjustment questions

Quote:
bhawes - 2/18/2009 10:37 PM

As most of the weight of the boat is in the stern, moving the boat forward 9" will not have a corresponding weight shift onto your tongue. You may very well find that moving the axles 12" forward from where they are now will accomplish your desired weight transfer off of your tongue.
As far as roller positioning, I don't see much of a problem leaving them where they are. To get your boat to load properly, when your have the boat off of the trailer, run a string line down the centre of the trailer and then make sure that the corresponding rollers (in pairs) are the same distance off of the centre line. I'm sure that in doing this you'll be amazed at how "centred" the boat is the next time that you load it back on to your trailer.
As mentioned by others, stay away from making drastic structural changes to your rig.
I believe you are correct about moving the axles. A trailer where the axles need to be moved 18" is simply the wrong trailer for the boat.

Easier than a string line is to measure in from the frame rails. You do want the rollers positioned so the straked don't hit them when loading or rest on them once loaded. Moving them in or out will have very little effect on the boat's height. Another important point is to have them square to the cross member. Bolted roller brackets can get out of square. Just put a square on them when tightening the bolts. A marking pen or :sharpie" is a good aide for setting up the trailer.

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