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Old 10-25-2010, 08:05 PM
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Default Hard to launch from roller trailer.

I recently bought a 19' Maycraft on a Load-Rite 2880 roller trailer. Both times I have launched the boat I have needed to drive it off the trailer however when I load it back on I have no trouble whatsoever. The ramp I used isn't the steepest ramp I have ever been on but its not the flattest either. This is my first roller trailer so I have to ask, am I doing something wrong?

Some more detail:
Boat has bottom paint.
I do not see any marks where the boat might be scrapping the trailer.
The previous owner said they just replaced all the rollers (a total of 16 on 4 arms)
The first starboard/bow roller looks compressed but all the others look fine.
The rollers pretty much line up with the strakes int he front.
The boat loads just an inch or so towards starboard side.
I can lift the bow off of the keel rollers when I try to push it off.

I need to check the rollers individually next time I have the boat off the trailer but supposedly they are all new.

Thanks!

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Old 10-26-2010, 04:57 AM
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Generally what I do is one of two things.

1) I have extra people with me......I am ready to launch the boat, I'm on the ramp, I'll provide one of the people I'm with a line attached mid-ship or bow, or both, then I'll disconnect the winch strap, jump in the truck and back into the water. Then when I feel I'm in deep enough I'll jam on the brakes to send the boat rolling backwards. If it doesn't roll off I'll do it again, just this time I'll try it a bit faster.....the boat should roll right off.

2) If I'm by myself I'll do basically the same thing, just I'll leave the winch strap attached, but I'll give it some free play so the boat will pop off the trailer but still remain attached. Then I'll grab the bow line and my poll, disconnect the winch strap and walk the boat over to the dock and tie it off, then drive out the truck/ trailer.
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Old 10-26-2010, 05:01 AM
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Before you launch next time hit the roller bushings with some WD40, mine flies off after a hit of WD40.
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Old 10-26-2010, 05:43 AM
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Here's your problem if I'm not mistaken... Trailers with rollers don't behave like ones that are designed to be submerged. If you put your trailer too far into the water the boat is at such a shallow angle that it doesn't want to off-load. Here's the tough part, figuring just when your trailer is actually far enough down the ramp so that when you off-load the rig doesn't bottom out as it drops off of the trailer. Here's a picture of my trailer the way it's actually sitting for launching and retrieving...
[img][img]

You won't be able to do this with your trailer but a foot or so farther down the ramp (I'd set up where the rear wheels on a tandem rig are only halfway submerged... as a starting point). A word of warning here... Roller trailers are designed to be off-loaded by winch braking (perfect with a power winch brake, takes some getting used to with a hand winch...). Once started the boat will come off of the trailer like it was greased and you won't be able to hold it by hand so you must use that winch to lower it. If it doesn't want to budge at first there's another trick to use. On level ground, loosen your winch and pull out a foot or two of cable then re-tighten the winch. Back down the trailer then tap your brakes to loosen the boat - it will then move back down the trailer that extra foot or two until the cable stops it. At that point you're in business for launching without fighting the rig...

One last word of caution.... Unlike a submerging or "drive on" trailer, you must have a roller trailer secured as you back down the ramp (even if you're using the winch with a little slack the way I just described...). The only thing keeping a boat on a roller trailer once you remove the tie down strap is that winch cable. You only back it down with the winch once you're actually in position. If you un-clip the winch cable and then back down into position there's every chance for the boat to just slide off the trailer (and I've actually seen that once or twice in the last 35 years...).

Good luck, post up how it works out. By the way, I'm towing an average of 20,000 miles a year with the trailer in the picture and on the water between 100 and 200 days a year with it. My first roller trailer (an EZ Loader) had about 350,000 miles on it when it died in spectacular fashion... my current EZ Loader has over 100,000 miles on it today. Over the years I've learned more about trailering and launching than I ever wanted to know....
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Old 10-26-2010, 05:53 AM
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I agree with halfmoon. My last boat had a roller trailer and you had to be careful when unloading so that it didn’t take off before you where ready. Check to see if the rollers are binding up under the weight of the boat.
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Old 10-26-2010, 10:55 AM
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I launch/retrieve my 24', 4500 ish pound, tub from a dual axle Load Rite 5 Starr without any issues. Ramp is kind of steep. Forward fender top is almost submergered. I winch it off and back on each time.

Only things I can think of is A) a roller(s) that is binding on its shaft or B) perhaps one of more of the roller arm support beams are not at a 90* angle to the hull center line - basically forming a V.
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Old 10-26-2010, 10:56 AM
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I forgot to mention that I was fully dunked (over the wheels). The trailer is right on the edge of being too small for ths boat.

WD on the rollers for sure next time I puller her off but I want to check them first before doing that. The original owner said he just replaced them all but you never know..

Tap the breaks when I am close (with the winch cable still on just slackened)

Thanks all the responses. Lemaymiami, Impressive numbers
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Old 10-26-2010, 09:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crabbit View Post
I The trailer is right on the edge of being too small for ths boat.
Why do you say that? The center of your last rollers should be around the one inch mark from the upward edge of the transom, two inches at the most. By having the roller in this position the boat's load is transferred up through the transom and not carried by the hull. If your boat is sitting on less of the roller than one inch try moving your winch tower up the needed distance. But keep in mind when doing so, you do change the weight ratio of your tongue weight.
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Old 10-27-2010, 06:01 AM
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I have a 1900 also. I find if I back in to far, the back of the boat floats up and depending on how steep the ramp is, almost pins the bow down. I now back in until the rear of the boat just touches the water, give it a shove and it's off.
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Old 10-27-2010, 09:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Garett View Post
Why do you say that? The center of your last rollers should be around the one inch mark from the upward edge of the transom, two inches at the most. By having the roller in this position the boat's load is transferred up through the transom and not carried by the hull. If your boat is sitting on less of the roller than one inch try moving your winch tower up the needed distance. But keep in mind when doing so, you do change the weight ratio of your tongue weight.
The back roller is around 11" from the transom and the winch tower is too far foward as it is. I measured the tongue weight and it is pretty good (a little less than 400#). The boat/motor with a full gas tank and gear is 2700#, the trailer is rated for 2800#. I had to replace the leaf springs so I put a slightly heavier pair on.
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Old 10-27-2010, 09:46 AM
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Hard to tell from the pic but it looks like the rollers are compressing a bit. Per your numbers's you only have 100 lbs capacity to spare so your're probably overloaded unless you weighed the boat with full gear and gas. (I'm assuming the 2800# cap is net not gross). If it's gross you're substantially overloaded. Backing in too far will level the boat and prevent gravity from rolling it off. I have a 24 MC on a roller trailer and I just reverse my electric winch to launch.
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Old 10-27-2010, 06:05 PM
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Sounds like the trailer is wrong for the boat or is not setup properly. When I launch my 20 ft. Triton Seaflight I have to put the motor in gear to keep the boat from rolling off the trailer as it moves so easily. My rear rollers are about 1-2" in from the transom end.
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