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Securing boat to trailer

Old 05-16-2010, 10:09 AM
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Default Securing boat to trailer

Do you tie down your boat on the trailer? Or just use the winch and safety chain on the eye? 22' CC, 4000#'s.
Old 05-16-2010, 10:52 AM
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I use a strap that I hook from the bow eye to the trailer frame and I have 2 more straps that hook from the stern eyes to the trailer frame. I would never just trust the winch cable or strap and the safety chain.
Old 05-16-2010, 11:36 AM
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I use the winch & safety strap @ bow and 4 - 2000lb straps from trailer to stern eyes @ the stern. In Ct I believe you have to secure the stern by law.
Old 05-16-2010, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by eddy2419 View Post
Do you tie down your boat on the trailer? Or just use the winch and safety chain on the eye? 22' CC, 4000#'s.
Horrible idea. A bit of Googling will bring up pictures of why this isn't a good practice. I think there's a couple of those pictures on this site as well.

A 2" nylon strap is good for 2,000 pounds, so two stern straps and one on the bow like gf describes should give you more than enough hold down capacity.

I use belly bands or side lines every 8' since a friend of mine got side-swiped by a drunk while towing a 6,000 lb. aluminum boat, ripping the undercarriage out from underneath the trailer. Lots of sparks while they dragged the wheel-less trailer to a controlled stop. He's the paranoid type who uses commercial grade tie-down equipment so the boat stayed put on the trailer and everyone lived to go home for a change of underwear.
Old 05-16-2010, 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by gf View Post
I use a strap that I hook from the bow eye to the trailer frame and I have 2 more straps that hook from the stern eyes to the trailer frame. I would never just trust the winch cable or strap and the safety chain.


Same here. I have 5 attachment points as well.
Old 05-16-2010, 05:40 PM
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I've seen number of 12,000-15,000 lbs boats sitting on the highway where the straps broke or weren't in use. My last boat as 13,000 with fuel (2,500 more for the trailer) and I wouldn't tow it anywhere without rear straps

(I've got to find the pic of a 4 engine 50ft catamaran race boat sitting on the pavement!!.....and it simply came off without the truck even being in an accident)
Old 05-16-2010, 06:03 PM
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Same here, winch and chain, strap to tongue and two transom straps.
Old 05-16-2010, 06:04 PM
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If I am towing locally > 5-10 miles then just regular winch strap and safety chain on the bow. If I am towing long distance or over my comfort zone then I put a 2'' ratchet strap from the bow eye to the trailer tongue and a strap about 3 - 4 ft forward of the stern going over the boat to the trailer frame.
Old 05-16-2010, 06:09 PM
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Can someone explain why when I put the boat on the trailer with a transom straps, bow strap, safety chain and the winch and when i get home boat is 3 inches from bow roller???
Old 05-16-2010, 07:08 PM
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Originally Posted by srx View Post
Can someone explain why when I put the boat on the trailer with a transom straps, bow strap, safety chain and the winch and when i get home boat is 3 inches from bow roller???
If it's tight against the roller when you drive away from the launch area then your winch cable is too loose on the spool and is tightening up as you drive.
Old 05-16-2010, 07:28 PM
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when i trailered i used 2 stern ratchet straps , winch cable & safety chain on bow eye and a ratchet strap from one bow cleat under trailer frame thru the other bow cleat and ratcheted tight in case the bow eye gave way
Old 05-16-2010, 08:02 PM
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2 straps on the transom....from the eye down to an eye mounted on each side of the bunks on the trailer. Bow gets a chain plus the winch cable.
Old 05-16-2010, 08:05 PM
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Originally Posted by epanzella View Post
If it's tight against the roller when you drive away from the launch area then your winch cable is too loose on the spool and is tightening up as you drive.

That's exactly what i thought it was because its a new winch strap.
how do you "tighten it" to be sure its safe?
Old 05-16-2010, 08:16 PM
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I tow boats around regularly for my club and here is how I was taught how to do it by a professional boat hauler.

1) Secure towstrap and safety chain
2) run a 10,000lb strap over bow and through bow cleats securing each end to trailer crossmember. Ratchet tight. This will prevent boat from climbing over winch post in a panic stop
3) run a second 10,000lb strap under motor, through transom eyes and then around both sides of the stern. Secure to crossmember and ratchet tight. This will hold boat down on trailer and prevent it from moving around...especially important for roller trailers.
Old 05-16-2010, 08:19 PM
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I winch the boat tight, use the safety chain, and then use a 2" ratchet strap from the bow eye to a main support straight down. This allows for a tight contact point at the bow eye. I do not use stern straps. I don't have anything against them and I have used them on all of my previous boats but the transom bracket makes it tough to say the least. I am not 100% sure of a 26FS Regulator on the trailer weight but it is fairly significant. If the accident is bad enough to throw the boat, I have bigger problems than the boat. The bunk trailer also has a lot of friction with the hull and with the 2 straps and chain at the bow, I am not worried about it sliding off of the trailer but then again it doesn't get on the trailer often (3-4 times a year).
Old 05-16-2010, 10:29 PM
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Originally Posted by fishinmaniac View Post
If I am towing locally > 5-10 miles then just regular winch strap and safety chain on the bow. If I am towing long distance or over my comfort zone then I put a 2'' ratchet strap from the bow eye to the trailer tongue and a strap about 3 - 4 ft forward of the stern going over the boat to the trailer frame.
I watched a guy drop a 27 Contender onto the road at Wrightsville Beach because he did not attach the transom straps. He hit the curb while turning onto the main road, and the boat "bounced" off the back. His explanation to the cops was "I was only going a couple of miles from the ramp to my house".......... Perhaps guide poles on the trailer would have helped this one, but bottom line, it does not matter the distance you travel if you make a mistake.....
Old 05-17-2010, 12:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Trydent View Post
I tow boats around regularly for my club and here is how I was taught how to do it by a professional boat hauler.

1) Secure towstrap and safety chain
2) run a 10,000lb strap over bow and through bow cleats securing each end to trailer crossmember. Ratchet tight. This will prevent boat from climbing over winch post in a panic stop
3) run a second 10,000lb strap under motor, through transom eyes and then around both sides of the stern. Secure to crossmember and ratchet tight. This will hold boat down on trailer and prevent it from moving around...especially important for roller trailers.
Safety Nazi approves!
Old 05-17-2010, 07:51 AM
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Originally Posted by srx View Post
That's exactly what i thought it was because its a new winch strap.
how do you "tighten it" to be sure its safe?
The problem comes from the part of the cable that is still on the drum when the hook is let out all the way to the boat, as this never sees a load and stays fluffy. Bumps on the road cause the outer cable to "dig in" to the fluffy part and cause slack. I cut my cable so that when the cable is let out all the way to the boat, there is just enough cable left on the drum to insure it doesn't slip. Before that, I used to pull my winch cable out all the way but towards the front of the trailer, then hook it on my lawn tractor (for resistance) and winch it back in under load to lay it on the drum tight. To keep it tight, hook the winch cable on something and tension it when the boat is off the trailer.
Old 05-17-2010, 10:32 AM
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I use the winch and two stern straps. I never liked the stern traps that connect anywhere forward of the transom, I like them to pull straight down, my current trailer does not. So on my NJ-FL runs I also add an old fashioned over the boat strap as well.

Originally Posted by fishinmaniac View Post
If I am towing locally > 5-10 miles then just regular winch strap and safety chain on the bow. If I am towing long distance or over my comfort zone then I put a 2'' ratchet strap from the bow eye to the trailer tongue and a strap about 3 - 4 ft forward of the stern going over the boat to the trailer frame.
I happened to be a couple cars behind a kid that I know worked all summer to buy a little used Key West. He was towing it home from the sales lot, less than 2 miles. Cut a corner with a short curb just a little too sharp and it literally threw the boat off the trailer onto the pavement. No stern tie down..
Old 05-17-2010, 10:56 AM
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Light boats (whaler, jon boats, duck skiff): winch cable, safety chain, 5000lb ratchet strap over gunwales, at stern, and hooked to trailer frame.
Other: winch strap, safety chain, 2x 5000lb ratchet straps from bow eye to trailer I-beams, 2x 5000lb ratchet straps from stern eyes to aluminum bunk supports, additional hd bow stop installed on trailer frame.

I wouldn't drive across the yard without all of it.

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