PDA

View Full Version : How shallow can trailer go for loading?


maristardd
08-08-2012, 12:54 PM
Two recent threads on boat loading had a LOT of feedback that trailer is too deep.

I have a ramp that this time of year where the wheels are going off concrete under water, which tilts the trailer up. (maristar 225, and 25' mastercraft tandem trailer). I have 6.5" hitch drop on 2012 chev tahoe, so if anything, i'm running front of trailer a little low to reduce rear scrapes. But even with that, when my tandem tailer is about top of fenders just in water, bow eye hits v-block squarely if you try to drive on, and nose of boat is well under poly rollers (that replaced boat buddy) with trailer deeper to clear v-block (with poly bed).

So I've been doing what others have said they've done before feedback, trailer deep, float in (and still have to push nose up to clear winch poly roller), hook up, pull up slowly and center boat as it settles.

My question based on all that feedback from the other threads is how shallow can I try to load and not risk messing something up on hull or prop? ... how much of trailer can be exposed and still be safe to boat to attempt load?

Ski-me
08-08-2012, 01:03 PM
I put the trailer in just so the fenders are barely covered with water and load the boat from there. Just a little winching is necessary at that point and has worked for me a long time.....

thatsmrmastercraft
08-08-2012, 01:05 PM
Having the trailer bow-down makes this problem worse.

Miss Rita
08-08-2012, 01:23 PM
My question ... is how shallow can I try to load and not risk messing something up on hull or prop?

You won't mess up the hull or prop, but it's going to be VERY difficult to winch your boat onto carpeted bunks unless they're pre-treated with some kind of lube.

millpondkid
08-08-2012, 01:24 PM
I have an 84 stars and stripes I removed the flat bar and installed a tower with a poly roller and moved the winch up behind the roller parallel with bow eye when boat is on trailer. (Same set up that all boat trailers have now) the one problem i have is the bow eye on the ss are mounted up closer to the nose then newer models. I need the top of my trailer fenders out of the water about 3 To 4 inches so the nose will clear the poly roller. If I have the fenders even with water or slightly under the nose will hit under the roller. I power load then winch about 2 inches. This weekend I had the trailer to shallow and boat wouldn't line up on bunks upon trying to load so I backed in another couple inches and it loaded great. Very touchy!!!!!!! Oh and my boat sits level when hooked up to truck.

maristardd
08-08-2012, 01:27 PM
If no one waiting next time for launch I'll try to take some photos. At the point the fenders are barely covered with water, the trailer has just driven off the concrete under water, and that angles the trailer front up since now my trailer is on steeper slope than my Tahoe. The big issue at this point is that my bow eye will hit the v-block, I guess because boat not on the bunks yet.

millpondkid
08-08-2012, 01:36 PM
There was a thread a while back about the v block getting in the way. One suggested to have a gap between the v block so the bow eye can pass thru without hitting.

thatsmrmastercraft
08-08-2012, 01:49 PM
Is it possible to load the boat while keeping the trailer wheels on the concrete?

billr
08-08-2012, 01:55 PM
I think you are too deep. I back mine in as far as I can to get the bunks wet, and then pull foward until the fenders are above the water. '96 MariStar 225

frankster66
08-08-2012, 01:57 PM
The bow eye will be lower than the trailer buddy if you boat isn’t sitting on the very back of the trailer bunks. So the front of the boat is on the front bunks and the back of the boat is still floating that’s why the bow eye is lower. So the trailer is on more of an angle that the floating boat. So I would pull the trailer out of the water more, trying to find that sweet spot.

My .02

Cmpdman
08-08-2012, 02:15 PM
I think you are too deep. I back mine in as far as I can to get the bunks wet, and then pull foward until the fenders are above the water. '96 MariStar 225

I do the same.

BrianM
08-08-2012, 02:25 PM
It is also going to depend on how steep the ramp is. I load on a steep ramp and you have to put the trailer in shallow for it to clear the bow stop. I have to have the top of the tire just peeking out of the water which makes the top of the fenders about 4" out.

Future MC Owner
08-08-2012, 02:28 PM
I have a 2007 PS 197 with the tandem axle trailer. I found that I only put about 1/2 the length of the fender in the water with the other 1/2 out. The bow eye clears the v-bunk and I can drive right on. It does seem counter intuitive, but try pulling the trailer out of the water more.

tph
08-08-2012, 02:32 PM
Having the trailer bow-down makes this problem worse.

If I understand the problem correctly the wheels have dropped off the ramp, which would make the bow end of the trailer high. If so, lowering the bow end may help. I've had great success with this adjustable hitch.

thatsmrmastercraft
08-08-2012, 02:35 PM
If I understand the problem correctly the wheels have dropped off the ramp, which would make the bow end of the trailer high. If so, lowering the bow end may help. I've had great success with this adjustable hitch.

That would be really slick with a cordless impact. All the launches I use are really nice and consistent so I have no need, but that adjustable draw bar is nice.

mzimme
08-08-2012, 02:42 PM
I have the best solution yet. Cut off the bow hook!

maristardd
08-08-2012, 02:43 PM
>Is it possible to load the boat while keeping the trailer wheels on the concrete?

That's what i'm going to try, that will have the trailer up with fender out of water, so that's why I asked about how shallow trailer/bunks could be before I have a problem.

>adjustable hitch

Nice idea, I'll look into that, thanks!

.... again, THANKS! on all the feedback, some of it has helped me also do better searches on older content as well, I'll report back on how it goes next recovery.

kgrove
08-08-2012, 03:51 PM
Fwiw - this apparently differs greatly between boat types. To get my X-15 to the point I had to worry about the bow dipping below the roller or boat buddy, I'd probably have to back truck in far enough to worry about needing a snorkel (I'm exaggerating, but it would be really deep). If I tried loading my boat by getting my bunks wet but then pulling forward to just get the bunks above water, I'd never be able to power the boat up and would likely need to invest in an electric winch to pull the boat across the bunks. If I dont have at least a couple inches of water over the front of my fenders, there is not a chance of easily loading the boat. Mine wouldn't float off the bunks until I had probably 8-10 inches of water above the fenders. I'm not saying you should be going deep too, I'm just saying each hull and trailer pairing is different and you have to play around with it. The description of proper operation for one persons situation may not apply to you if your equipment is different.

Grant777
08-08-2012, 04:03 PM
Sorry to hijack the thread. I power my boat on the last 6 inches or so with the water touching the top of the fenders (X-2 with single axle trailer). It requires a fair amount of power to get the boat buddy to latch and the contact is gentle. Is this considered bad form and am I exposing myself to potential boat damage? If I try to winch it it's near impossible and since the ramp is so shallow putting the trailer in deeper is not an option (saltwater and submerged hitches etc).

thatsmrmastercraft
08-08-2012, 04:09 PM
You might consider replacing the bunk carpet. The guy I musky fish with just replaced the bunk carpet on his trailer. I almost drove his boat into the back of his truck because the new carpeting was so slick.

Another thing to consider is a bottle of Liquid Rollers. It will make loading and unloading easier.

Grant777
08-08-2012, 04:12 PM
Done the liquid rollers trick. Made a big difference. It's a 2008 trailer. Do you think new bunk carpets will make that
much of a difference? Any recommendations on carpeting?

thatsmrmastercraft
08-08-2012, 04:42 PM
Done the liquid rollers trick. Made a big difference. It's a 2008 trailer. Do you think new bunk carpets will make that
much of a difference? Any recommendations on carpeting?

No recommendation on bunk carpet..........I haven't tackled that on my boat yet. I wouldn't think you need new carpet. How does it look?

tph
08-08-2012, 07:47 PM
That would be really slick with a cordless impact. l

Yes it is! I have one loaded with a 3/8' square drive in the back of my Suburban. Works Great!

-V-
08-08-2012, 08:25 PM
like the idea of an adjustable hitch but I am skeptical on the different ones out there.

AZX9
08-08-2012, 11:53 PM
It sounds to me like you have a steeper than normal ramp. Pull the trailer out further so that the boat will come into contact with more of the front of the bunks. The other thing to consider is where is everyone seated when you pull up to the trailer? How many people in the boat? Get everyone out of the bow and into the back seat area to get nose up instead of nose down. Bottom line is the trailer is too deep on a steep ramp if your going under the roller.

maristardd
08-09-2012, 12:17 AM
One person in boat when loading. Problem is lake level is low -- at point that concrete ramp ends right about where you'd want it normally, trailer wheels drop off onto lake bottom creating steeper angle on just the trailer. I'll try to stop right before wheels drop off next time, I just wasn't confident to do it before with fenders a bit above water.

millpondkid
08-09-2012, 12:26 AM
You should be fine with top of fenders above water. I'm thinking of installing the ultimate bunk boards. Just wondering if I powerload will the boat glide off before i can hook up winch strap?? Iv heard they are pretty slick.

ChandlerR
08-09-2012, 07:06 AM
We used to use a ramp that was very steep. There was no magic point where the boat fit perfect on the trailer. Our solution was to back the trailer down just far enough to get the bow started on the bunks, then my wife would back down slowly as I winched it up. I could also do it from the cockpit, but if the lake was rough it was better to winch it. I remember one time we did this where I was in the boat. We timed it perfectly. Probably took us about 30 seconds at most before we pulled the boat out. A fisherman was waiting to launch and his words were " awsome. Wished my wife could do that "

All ramps are different. You just have to learn to deal with each one individually.

Jason.H.
08-09-2012, 03:28 PM
I load mine (tristar 190) with the foot step in front of the fenders just out of the water. I know it seems shallow but it works. I use liquid roller spray as well.

maristardd
08-09-2012, 04:39 PM
ChandlerR - thanks. Out of curiosity, what part of the trailer bunk (front, middle, rear?) were you first touching with the bow on that steep ramp?

maristardd
09-14-2012, 12:03 AM
... just wanted to follow up / close this out. To everyone that said I was too deep, you were _correct_. Today I finally did the trailer really shallow at same location I was having problems. Top of front trailer tires were exposed about 1-2 inches. At this depth, I could clear the vbunk and the nose was above (not below) bow roller. Also my first solo take out to boot.

I do think changing to normal length bow eye definitely helped with the vbunk clearance issue. Also I just replaced bunk boards and carpet, so I was a bit more brave. The old bunks were in bad shape, I didn't wan't to stress them further.

Thanks again on the advice!

east tx skier
09-14-2012, 09:08 PM
I have loaded a MC on a trailer when the rear of the bunks were completely out of the water (about and inch or two). I don't recommend it, but I had already dropped the trailer off the back of the ramp (two foot drop off). Bunk carpet was recently waxed and bunks were wet, but it was scary. In short, the springs dropped enough to get me on with a bit more throttle than I would prefer. It was an emergency.

thatsmrmastercraft
09-15-2012, 11:01 AM
I have loaded a MC on a trailer when the rear of the bunks were completely out of the water (about and inch or two). I don't recommend it, but I had already dropped the trailer off the back of the ramp (two foot drop off). Bunk carpet was recently waxed and bunks were wet, but it was scary. In short, the springs dropped enough to get me on with a bit more throttle than I would prefer. It was an emergency.

Yikes :eek3: