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Old 09-20-2009, 07:46 PM
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Default DIY Guide-ons

After looking at prices I decided to do some trailer guide-ons myself. Used mostly scrap metal for the base, attached to the trailer with square U bolts (don't like to drill into trailers). The U bolt kits (both sides) cost me $30 at local trailer dealer, and 1 1/4 PVC was about $8 at Lowes. I pinned everything beyond the base so it can be disassembled.

I added one up front, attached to the winch mount, to indicate distance to the bow stop. This one really comes in handy. The boat is a 08 Regal 2860 Window Express.
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Old 09-20-2009, 08:02 PM
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The one for the bow is a great idea.
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Old 09-20-2009, 08:14 PM
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The one for the bow is a great idea.
Thx. All the guide-on kits I looked at didn't include a bow guide. This seemed like a no brainer to me, and is very useful when recovering my Regal.
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Old 09-20-2009, 08:16 PM
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You'll need a longer metal support inside the PVC pipe. The PVC pipe won't be strong enough to guide a boat that size unless you're already lined up perfectly, and it will break off at the top of the metal support. The metal tubing in mine comes up to my rubrail as I'm approaching the trailer, I've broken the top of the tubing off several times, and gouged the gel coat on the sharp, broken PVC at least once.
The indicator up front is a great idea, I need something like that.
Bill
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Old 09-20-2009, 08:30 PM
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Bill, I've actually conducted an unintended test of the guide-on support structure. One recovery went slightly sideways, the boat hit the port guide-on, bending the vertical piece outward from the horizontal piece at the joint. The PVC remained intact and protected the boat.

I was concerned if I used too long a vertical member there would be less flexibility and, if the pvc broke, the metal/pvc could scrape the gelcoat.
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Old 09-20-2009, 08:38 PM
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You'll ....... I've broken the top of the tubing off several times, and gouged the gel coat on the sharp, broken PVC at least once.
The indicator up front is a great idea, I need something like that.
Bill
Dam Bill..... I think you should add a set of these along with your PVC, and maybe approach your trailer a little slower!
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Old 09-21-2009, 05:11 PM
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70runner, hope your experience is better than mine.
This is one of the very few things I'd like to "fix" on my trailer now. Earlier this year I finally solved the problems I had with leaking hubs, so maybe I'll get to this soon. Rollers as above wouldn't help. It's a 31 Contender, and I'd have to mount rollers like that way forward. It would happen just before I'd hit the v-bunks, once I'm on them everything is smooth as butter. And I've never approached the trailer at more than just what's required to maintain steerage, but it doesn't take much speed to build up enough momentum to break a thin-walled PVC pipe when it's pinched between a rub rail and the top of a galvanized upright.
When I get around to it I plan to lengthen/raise the upright pipe by a foot or so. The truth is that four inches would be enough.
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Old 09-21-2009, 10:45 PM
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Bill, let me know how you come out on this. I've had a "boatload" of trailer work to do on mine. It was a new, 2 yr old trailer, that hadn't been cared for very well frankly....but thats a whole story by itself.
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Old 09-22-2009, 06:05 AM
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Personally I think you should remove these home made ones and get galvanized or aluminum. The rear guides metal inner structure should rise above the boat. These are typically aluminum and are flexible.

The cost to repair you paint/fiberglass is going to far out weigh the cost of the savings of these guys.

I think you made a valiant try, but its only going to take one windy day...you'll regret it.
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Old 09-22-2009, 06:34 AM
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I had a pair made from Owen & Sons for $35.00. They are Aluminum.
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Old 09-22-2009, 05:30 PM
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I agree with the previous posters. That is nice work, but I'm afraid that no matter how gentle your approach, with a heavy boat like yours, the pvc could break off and give you a jagged edge or worse yet exposed steel against your hull. My guide-ons are aluminum all the way to the top and I approach them very gently. Regardless of speed, too much crosswind can really flex them, but you want the flex to ease your boat onto the trailer.

The bow guide is a great idea! I'll have that arrangement before spring. Thanks for sharing.

You did some good engineering there. Pull all of it, have your bases galvanized and aluminum uprights fabricated with the aluminum in the guide-on going all the way to the top of the pvc. Thanks again for the bow guide idea.
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Old 09-23-2009, 09:43 PM
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On a boat that big don't get aluminum, you need glavanized steel. McClain trailers out of Houston will sell/ship a pair (for my 32 Donzi) for $75....you provide the PVC. So far so good, even in a strong cross wind/current.
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