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View Full Version : Boat Buddy on Trailer


agarabaghi
04-25-2011, 08:02 AM
I have a standard single axle trailer from mastercraft (2006). Instead of having the boat buddy it just has an orange roller. From looking at my old trailer it looks like the boat buddy will mount to that bracket where the roller is now. Anything i need to be aware of?

Jeff d
04-25-2011, 09:08 AM
I had a boat buddy and intentionally swapped it to an "orange roller". In put a short length of safety chain that I clip to the bow eye too.

IHMO (As well as many others) the Boat Buddy is a piece of junk. It's a great concept but poorly executed with weak construction. You have to be super careful with them if you want it to last.

If you leave the bow eye tugging on the Buddy's pin while trailering it wears a groove in the pin over time. This causes it not to engage smoothly. Then at some point in the future the pin fails to make it into the hole on the opposing side of the bracket, the boat attempts to slide back and it bends the pin all out of whack. At that point it's pretty much trash unless you have a welder and time on your hands to fix it.

To avoid this you have to make sure your winch strap is tight and keeps the bow eye off of the pin while the boat bounces around on the trailer.

If I had something like a 17' closed bow then I might consider the "Heavy Duty" boat buddy but for an open bow it's not really worth the small level of convenience offered since you can walk up and reach over the front. For larger boats it just doesn't seem to be made strong enough.

gatorguy
04-25-2011, 09:28 AM
I just noticed that my pin is bent a little bit. It still works for now, and I haven't had a problem with the boat sliding back at all. That being said, I also always walk up and crank down the strap just to be sure. Mine is a ps205

agarabaghi
04-25-2011, 10:00 AM
Ive had the original boat buddy on my trailer since 94. I use it with a winch setup. So the eye is not on the pin during towing. The roller i have now marks up my hull and ive had great luck with the previous boat buddy...

So back to my original question does it mount on the arm just like the roller?

east tx skier
04-25-2011, 10:28 AM
It mounts in the arm just like the roller.

I agree with Jeff d's statement.

pmkkdx
04-25-2011, 11:28 AM
a few weeks back when we took our '04 X2 out, I noticed the pin was out of the mating hole that should secure it, and the pin was slightly bent backwards. it was bent enough I had a very difficult time getting it to the open position to release the boat ... took a few wacks with a 22 oz hammer to bend it back to somewhat straight to where it would go back into the mating hole. (yes, I use the winch strap too)

so if I am reading the replacement option correct, the alternate for the boat buddy is to replace it with a roller (orange) and then put a safety chain with snap to secure to the trailer along with the winch strap? I really miss the hinged bar from my '83 trailer that flipped up for the bow eye to go thru, then snap the winch strap snap to the bow eye... I always felt it to be very secure to the trailer.

agarabaghi
04-25-2011, 11:29 AM
im confused, so you guys are using the boat buddy with out a strap / winch?

Jeff d
04-25-2011, 12:03 PM
Yes, you should be able to swap a boat buddy back in without issues.

I always used both the winch and the buddy when I had it.

pmkkdx, here's how I eliminated mine:
http://www.mastercraft.com/teamtalk/attachment.php?attachmentid=60497&stc=1&d=1281296625

The roller you'll need is a 3". It's a lot wider than 3" but they are sized based on the center portion width.

east tx skier
04-25-2011, 12:06 PM
I always used the winch and fail safe chains/straps, too, with the bow roller.

pmkkdx
04-25-2011, 12:21 PM
THANKS!!! Looks like a workable solution over the bent pin / binding of the spring loaded mechanism ... but I think I will use some form of a snapable hook similar to that on the winch strap to insure it doesn't bounce off during transit.

Jeff d
04-25-2011, 12:53 PM
but I think I will use some form of a snapable hook similar to that on the winch strap to insure it doesn't bounce off during transit.
That one has a "snap" on it but it's just hard to see in the picture. It's a little spring steel wire. I actually just bought a regular trailer safety chain at Harbor Freight and cut it to length.

Like this:
http://www.trailerdepotofsarasota.com/images/trailler-accessories/3-feet-safety-chain.JPG

pmkkdx
04-25-2011, 01:35 PM
ah ha! missed that in the previous picture. thanks!

MattsCraft
04-25-2011, 03:47 PM
I trailer every outing. Going on season 4, no issues as long as you follow simple rules!


Place Pin in set or lock out position prior to backing down the ramp (keeps stress off of pin when the boat floats etc.)
Make sure the pin is in the Set Position Prior to retrieval (In the lock position will guarantee a bent pin/busted buddy
Ease the boat onto the buddy during power load, I let the boat settle on the bunks at least 3' away from the boat buddy. If you have rollers or jam it up onto the buddy this will damage both, boat & buddy
Be sure to winch up as far as possible, relieves any stress on the pin
Pretty simple to me, I quite simply love this device. We load/unload in seconds. Always freaks people out if the are next to me and hear the pin go Ka-chunk, they think I crashed my boat, pop on the winch strap, a couple cranks and the driver pulls off, no wet feet or anybody getting out of the boat or truck. My son has been my truck backer since he was 16, backs that boat up like a pro!!!

We were loading after the fireworks one year, Ohio river, super busy ramp, at night, drop off my son to get the truck etc. There were 2 ramp workers on the dock helping people out, guide them in etc. after about 30 minutes waiting in line for our turn and after watching all the yahoo's jack knifing the trailers and boats sideways etc. My son is perfectly negotiating two trailers, slides right in all while I have the timing perfectly to glide the boat on as soon as he is deep enough in the water, blam, boat buddy set, winch on and we were out of there in seconds. Boat workers look over and Say, "Now that's how it's done" I smile, son pulls out, Priceless!!!:D

GT500 MC
04-25-2011, 04:12 PM
We were loading after the fireworks one year, Ohio river, super busy ramp, at night, drop off my son to get the truck etc. There were 2 ramp workers on the dock helping people out, guide them in etc. after about 30 minutes waiting in line for our turn and after watching all the yahoo's jack knifing the trailers and boats sideways etc. My son is perfectly negotiating two trailers, slides right in all while I have the timing perfectly to glide the boat on as soon as he is deep enough in the water, blam, boat buddy set, winch on and we were out of there in seconds. Boat workers look over and Say, "Now that's how it's done" I smile, son pulls out, Priceless!!!:

Nice!! I can picture that clusterf*** on the ramp after a firework show--everyone half-drunk, dark out, and you guys are in and out in less than 1 minute. That's definitely commercial-worthy....

Double D
04-25-2011, 04:19 PM
I am, and always will be, a lover of the vertical pads option. Even changed mine out from a crappy rubber pad to a pad design pulled from my brothers Eagle trailer that supported his 99 CC.

Not sure it works for all the newer bigger v-drives, and definately not the dreaded Pickle Fork design :rolleyes:, but it should work for any DD standard nose ski boat.

I also know why people don't like these because they can get their cover between the pads and the boat once its on. Newer trailers fixed that by allowing the vertical pads to be removed (third picture)

Also, on our ramp we dont need to hook up once we hit the pads. The boat doesn't slide. Steeper ramps I will use the wench.

Old and new pictures shown below. Thats my 2 cents, so keep the change. :D

kskonn
04-25-2011, 04:22 PM
I replaced my boat buddy, it was on the trailer when I bought my X 30 but it was more of a pain that it was worth. I went with the roller option.

east tx skier
04-25-2011, 04:38 PM
I am, and always will be, a lover of the vertical pads option. Even changed mine out from a crappy rubber pad to a pad design pulled from my brothers Eagle trailer that supported his 99 CC.

Not sure it works for all the newer bigger v-drives, and definately not the dreaded Pickle Fork design :rolleyes:, but it should work for any DD standard nose ski boat.

I also know why people don't like these because they can get their cover between the pads and the boat once its on. Newer trailers fixed that by allowing the vertical pads to be removed (third picture)

Also, on our ramp we dont need to hook up once we hit the pads. The boat doesn't slide. Steeper ramps I will use the wench.

Old and new pictures shown below. Thats my 2 cents, so keep the change. :D

Agreed. I really like the vertical stops.

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/_1gl9obJSimU/RrXyv8BYbhI/AAAAAAAAAlI/bh07YBn-cPM/s720/SN%20Port%20Nose.JPG

Sodar
04-25-2011, 04:46 PM
Is that a trailer for a 40' offshore boat or a 19' skiboat?

east tx skier
04-25-2011, 05:07 PM
Is that a trailer for a 40' offshore boat or a 19' skiboat?

That's a Dorsey. Built like absolute tanks. Too bad they don't make them anymore.

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/_1gl9obJSimU/TaJ5p8jkiMI/AAAAAAAAD1k/AQcnx7XRRCs/s1024/IMAG0051.jpg

Sodar
04-25-2011, 05:13 PM
Hold the phone.... your boat saw an unpaved road? What is this world coming to.

east tx skier
04-25-2011, 05:22 PM
Just the driveway at the lake house. It's a bit rustic out there (putting it lightly).

pmkkdx
04-28-2011, 11:13 AM
Yes, you should be able to swap a boat buddy back in without issues.

I always used both the winch and the buddy when I had it.

pmkkdx, here's how I eliminated mine:
http://www.mastercraft.com/teamtalk/attachment.php?attachmentid=60497&stc=1&d=1281296625

The roller you'll need is a 3". It's a lot wider than 3" but they are sized based on the center portion width.

similar to this?

http://www.overtons.com/modperl/product/details.cgi?i=26467&pdesc=Poly_Bow_Roller_4&aID=603G2&merchID=4006

OR this?

http://www.overtons.com/modperl/product/details.cgi?i=34908&pdesc=Stoltz_Ultimate_4_Bow_Stop_Roller&aID=603G2&merchID=4006

trying to figure out how you mounted the roller in place of the boat buddy if example 1 above was used :confused: ... I don't guess you have another picture from more of a front on angle of your roller set up???

was thinking of running over to Boat Town (Austin MC Dealer) on a lunch break to pick parts up to do the swap out this weekend...

Eagle
04-28-2011, 04:10 PM
I got rid of my boat buddy, too, and replaced with a roller. It wasn't worth it.

Jeff d
04-28-2011, 05:17 PM
http://www.overtons.com/modperl/product/details.cgi?i=34908&pdesc=Stoltz_Ultimate_4_Bow_Stop_Roller&aID=603G2&merchID=4006


This one. The 3" center section will fit perfectly where the boat buddy is currently. The outer sections will go on the outside.

Jeff d
04-28-2011, 05:19 PM
Not my boat but here's approximately what it looks like from the front:
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_Gm7efbhgCYU/TF7yB5m6_4I/AAAAAAAAAG8/lsOZ-tfjERo/s640/2010-08-08%2010.57.56.jpg

My roller has slightly larger "ears" than that one.

pmkkdx
04-28-2011, 05:20 PM
awesome! will be swinging by Boat Town in South Austin tomorrow to pick one up ...

:o guess I better call em first before I make the drive in to south Austin from north of Austin on a day off though!!!

pmkkdx
04-28-2011, 05:31 PM
glad I called ... they (Boat Town) only have the 4" in stock but recommended Magnum Trailer (local manufacturer) and they should have them in stock ... much closer for me anyway.

again, Thanks! (and yes, I will post pictures when I get it installed knowing how all you like pictures so well :cool: )

Jeff d
04-28-2011, 05:49 PM
I've found that the rollers on my MasterCraft trailer are odd sizes. Not necessarily non-standard just not the most common sizes that your average, non specialty place stocks (Academy, Bass Pro, etc).

When I bought mine I could have gotten an identical 4" roller for like 1/2 of the price that I paid for a 3" at We$t Marine. Same thing on my keel rollers they're 10" but most places just have 8" and 12" and I'd have to pay way too much at West Marine so I've just delayed it until I find a better deal.

pmkkdx
04-28-2011, 06:03 PM
thanks again! I will check exact measurements prior to going to Magnum.

I am pretty sure Boat Town orders all their MC without MC trailers and has Magnum build all their trailers to suit the specific boat. I guess so if there are any issues with the trailer, they have a local place for repairs/adjustments. They do good work!