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Trailering a New Boat

Old 03-09-2019, 05:47 AM
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Default Trailering a New Boat

Just bought a new boat a 2018 MAKO 15 CC Skiff. Had it in the water for the first time yesterday, This is my 3rd boat...Okay, everything went great, easy launch, no leaks, controllability superb, rock solid and stable in choppy waters, etc...Passed the sea test...

Putting in on the trailer was quite another issue. I put the trailer in as far as I thought would be necessary (the same as I did when I launched it) to drive the boat on. I was by myself with my wife, who has never been around a privately owned boat in her life...

So I got the boat on the trailer perfectly in the center, then go to the front of the boat to winch it in, only to find the bow way 'below' the trailer roller, huh, is what I thought. How could this be...? 6-8 inches below the winch roller and handle. Looked like the boat was sitting snugly on the padded rails of the trailer. I really don't know if the trailer was too far in or too far out of the water. But anyway, I back it in deeper so I could move the bow where it need to be then winched it in...Seemed to me this trailer was way too deep because the boat was floating too much. Maybe I should have pulled it out some to expose the padded trailer guides. I looked at some you tube videos on other guys who owned MAKO's and it seemed their trailers were almost out of the water, hmmmmm...! They were driving them on and banging the rubber wheel on the winch pretty hard...

Any suggestions....It was a real pain in the butt!

Thanks,

Rodney
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Old 03-09-2019, 05:54 AM
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As a general starting point you should back the trailer into the water roughly to the top of the wheel fender as a starting point. Then drive the boat on or off. You may have to winch it up the last few inches.

Of course this varies somewhat based on boat type and trailer. A couple of launchings and you should have it figured out.
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Old 03-09-2019, 06:04 AM
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I've never seen the bow of any boat go below the winch roller. What I'm wondering is if the stern was still floating too much which made the bow drop lower. I looked at the position of the guides when I launched. There was about a foot showing above the water line. Think I will not put the trailer in so deep next time...When i was winching it in the first time, I expected to see the bow rise up higher...It didn't happen...That's what got me going. Plus the fact you got other people out there waiting to come in, jeez...

Rodney
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Old 03-09-2019, 06:04 AM
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I'll try that next time, thanks!

Originally Posted by KBH View Post
As a general starting point you should back the trailer into the water roughly to the top of the wheel fender as a starting point. Then drive the boat on or off. You may have to winch it up the last few inches.

Of course this varies somewhat based on boat type and trailer. A couple of launchings and you should have it figured out.
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Old 03-09-2019, 06:05 AM
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KBH is spot on.
Sounds like the trailer was too deep. Pull the trailer out more and the bow of the boat will rise.
Congrats on the new boat!
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Old 03-09-2019, 06:10 AM
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Yeah, I think you guys are right too..If the trailer was exposed more the boat being rested on the trailer should have corrected that problem...Still floating would cause bow to be low...

Thanks,

Rodney
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Old 03-09-2019, 06:46 AM
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Originally Posted by KBH View Post
As a general starting point you should back the trailer into the water roughly to the top of the wheel fender as a starting point. Then drive the boat on or off. You may have to winch it up the last few inches.

Of course this varies somewhat based on boat type and trailer. A couple of launchings and you should have it figured out.
This I usually end up about 6” below to of fender.
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Old 03-09-2019, 07:05 AM
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The steepness of the ramp and having the trailer backed in a bit too deep will make the boat (floating level) bow go under the roller.The cure is to either use some upright bow stops like a pontoon trailer may have or to simply not back the trailer in so deep and use the winch to pull it on the trailer.It's a learning curve,but it's a lot easier unloading than reloading the boat if the trailer is in too deep.
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Old 03-09-2019, 07:20 AM
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Hitch ball that is too high or low can also contribute to launching and retrieving problems. Easiest way to determine correct hitch ball height is to disconnect trailer from tow vehicle then use a tongue jack or similar to make front and rear of trailer frame the same height off ground. When the trailer frame is “level” use a tape measure to find hitch ball height off the ground at the trailer coupling. Once you know height of hitch ball acquire a ball receiver with the correct drop or rise for your vehicle and trailer. A level trailer also runs easier with less wear and tear on hitch, vehicle, boat, tie downs, etc.

Last edited by LeakinLena; 03-09-2019 at 07:31 AM.
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Old 03-09-2019, 07:57 AM
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Also, feel free to adjust the bow roller height. For years I had mine set to where the bow eye was right above the roller. Last year I raised the bow roller to where it now sits right above the bow eye while the boat is fully loaded on the trailer. I like it better where the strap isn't riding on the top of the roller while cranking the boat up the last few inches. The winch strap now sits under the bow roller, if that makes any sense. But it's all personal preference and what works better for you
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Old 03-09-2019, 09:20 AM
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I'll check that too....Never noticed that it was adjustable...

Thanks,

Rodney

Originally Posted by KBH View Post
Also, feel free to adjust the bow roller height. For years I had mine set to where the bow eye was right above the roller. Last year I raised the bow roller to where it now sits right above the bow eye while the boat is fully loaded on the trailer. I like it better where the strap isn't riding on the top of the roller while cranking the boat up the last few inches. The winch strap now sits under the bow roller, if that makes any sense. But it's all personal preference and what works better for you
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Old 03-09-2019, 09:23 AM
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You're in too deep! The stern is floating so the boat is level but the trailer is angled with the ramp. Try putting in just a bit more than the tip, not the whole thing.
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Old 03-09-2019, 09:24 AM
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To make matters worse the darn kill button clip broke right when i was lining up the boat to the trailer. Engine died...I had to hold it in by hand while trying to do the throttle and steer with one hand...Jeez...! Plus the State Park Rangers pulled in right when this was going on...What a mess...A very frustrating end to an otherwise perfect outing...

Rodney


Originally Posted by LeakinLena View Post
Hitch ball that is too high or low can also contribute to launching and retrieving problems. Easiest way to determine correct hitch ball height is to disconnect trailer from tow vehicle then use a tongue jack or similar to make front and rear of trailer frame the same height off ground. When the trailer frame is “level” use a tape measure to find hitch ball height off the ground at the trailer coupling. Once you know height of hitch ball acquire a ball receiver with the correct drop or rise for your vehicle and trailer. A level trailer also runs easier with less wear and tear on hitch, vehicle, boat, tie downs, etc.


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Old 03-09-2019, 09:25 AM
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Appreciate all your input on this..Gives me some ideas now...

Thanks!

Rodney
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Old 03-09-2019, 09:42 AM
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Looks like my roller is a fixed one...


Originally Posted by KBH View Post
Also, feel free to adjust the bow roller height. For years I had mine set to where the bow eye was right above the roller. Last year I raised the bow roller to where it now sits right above the bow eye while the boat is fully loaded on the trailer. I like it better where the strap isn't riding on the top of the roller while cranking the boat up the last few inches. The winch strap now sits under the bow roller, if that makes any sense. But it's all personal preference and what works better for you


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Old 03-09-2019, 09:44 AM
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Just leveled and checked the trailer against my Wrangler hitch height...Difference is only 1-inch. Pretty good there...

Rodney
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Old 03-09-2019, 09:47 AM
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Also I installed the boat guides before the first time out...Probably what saved me yesterday...! Picture is worth a 1,000 words...

Rodney

Originally Posted by Heatseeker View Post
Just leveled and checked the trailer against my Wrangler hitch height...Difference is only 1-inch. Pretty good there...

Rodney


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Old 03-09-2019, 09:47 AM
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I agree that you were probably do deep. When launching I a,musically more deep than when retrieving. YMMV.
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Old 03-09-2019, 09:51 AM
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Wow, that's a lot of boat there too...What am I complaining for, hehehe....Looks nice! Florida waters are really nice right now too...!! 61 degrees and pretty clear.


Rodney


Originally Posted by ndb8fxe View Post
I agree that you were probably do deep. When launching I a,musically more deep than when retrieving. YMMV.
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Old 03-09-2019, 10:02 AM
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Agree with the above...too deep! Try to ignore the pressure at the ramp too...doesn't make it any easier!
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