Boat Trailer Modification

Discussion in 'Boat Yard Basics' started by Frank_Sebastian, Dec 10, 2011.

  1. Frank_Sebastian

    Frank_Sebastian Well-Known Member

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    Hi Everyone,

    I want to modify a boat trailer so it will tilt to aid launching and I won't need to dunk the trailer. I would like to hear some thoughts on this.

    Best regards,
    Frank_S
     
  2. firecat1981

    firecat1981 BBA Counselor

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    Unless the frame is specifically made to do this from the factory it will be a challenge. I bought mine new for around $900 and the tilt works great for launching, but is useless for retrieving so you still have to dunk the trailer to retrieve your boat.
    So the plus is your hot hubs from driving will never hit the cold water which is the biggest issue with water intrusion. But when retrieving your hubs are nice and cool so they shouldn't be effected.
    So while I still love the feature, you could do a similar launch by installing pivoting brackets for just your bunks, or the rear section of your bunks depending on how you set it up. Just my $0.02.
     

  3. Brett

    Brett > PRO STAFF <

    FC, you have trouble getting the trailer to tilt on retrieval, because your boat don't weigh enough!
    A heavier hull would push the back of the trailer down when pulling it back on.

                                                                 ;)


    If you can operate an arc welder, making a break-frame isn't difficult.
    All three of my Whalers were on break-frames, worked great.
    The critical components are the pivot flanges, pivot bolt, alignment flanges, latch and tilt limiter.

    Limiter is the chain, tongue alignment is maintained by the channel steel

    [​IMG]

    pivot flanges and pivot bolt that fasten the end of the tongue

    [​IMG]

    the tilt latch that keeps it from tilting when towing

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Frank_Sebastian

    Frank_Sebastian Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for posting that Brett. I do have a welder and I think I can see how to do it from the photos you posted.

    Best regards,
    Frank_S
     
  5. Brett

    Brett > PRO STAFF <

    Shouldn't be any problem for you, Frank. Build sequence is straightforward.
    Channel steel, to fit the width of the tongue, welded to the underside of the existing trailer frame
    from the underside front of the a-frame to the underside center of the first crossframe.
    Drill the pivot holes to fit a 5/8 inch heavy bolt which will be the tilt pivot.
    Pivot holes in the channel steel should be a 1/4 inch lower than the holes in the tongue to allow swing clearance.
    Make a test "hinge" of cardboard to see the clearances/hole placement needed to allow proper swing room.
    Tack the ends of the chain to the front outside ends of the channel steel.
    Slide the tongue into place through the chain loop into the channel and bolt into place.
    Fasten the latch with ubolts to the top of the tongue so it snags the top end of the channel.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. firecat1981

    firecat1981 BBA Counselor

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    Brett I agree that my boat doesn't have nearly enough weight to tilt it on the retrieve, but it tilts with no problem on the launch which is curious to me. My issue with doing it at home with an arc welder is you don't get it hot dipped galvanized like you would from the factory, and the cold galv spray isn't nearly as good from what I've seen on my stuff so far. I guess you could have it taken somewhere and dipped for a little money afterwards.

    Honestly though, knowing what I know now after using one for a while, I'd go another route. I bought mine for the size I needed, the tilt feature was just a bonus. With our boats being so light I'd rather have a torsion axle and tilting/hinged bunks like alot of jon boats use. It would do a similar job and function reguardless of weight.
    All that being said, even if you don't dunk your trailer you should rinse it down, and your rear wheel wells and bumper, salt spray can be harsh :(.
     
  7. Frank_Sebastian

    Frank_Sebastian Well-Known Member

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    I think the welds will be far enough forward that a good coating can protect them. I have used break frame trailers for a long time so I am used to them. I thought the float on would be great, but now want to go back. I have 4 boats in the 15' to 16' range and want to use one trailer to pull them all. I use each at different times of the year. I will have different bunks and change them accordingly.

    Thanks again and best regards,
    Frank_S
     
  8. DuckNut

    DuckNut Brandon, FL

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    Frank- I may have one for a 16 footer that I don't use the tilt and would be happy to trade you if interested. Let me know and I will double check.
     
  9. Frank_Sebastian

    Frank_Sebastian Well-Known Member

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    Yes I would be interested. Thanks for the reply.

    Best regards,
    Frank_S
     
  10. DuckNut

    DuckNut Brandon, FL

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    Frank I will check today and come back to you.
     
  11. floridanative1028

    floridanative1028 I Love microskiff.com!

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    You can weld galvanized steel and paint the welds. Just make sure you have a good respirator because that stuff is nasty. Are you using MIG or stick?
     
  12. DuckNut

    DuckNut Brandon, FL

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    Frank- I did not get to it but I will soon.
     
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