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View Full Version : Reconfiguring "Drive On" Trailer to "Drag on"


86Skier
05-24-2013, 09:26 PM
I saw these pictures in an older post, but haven't yet been able to reach the author by PM. So I figured I'd open it up to a new thread and see if I can find any more information.

I ask, because I receive a lot of dirty looks at a few launches trying to drive my '86 skier up onto the trailer. I know they're clearly marked "No Powerloading", but unfortunately, there's simply no way around it. I don't care how you do it, or how far or little you back it in, there is no winching the boat onto my current trailer. The original manual even has directions how to drive it on and "throttle" up the bunks.

So I've been considering doing something similar to the conversion this guy did.... anyone do anything similar? Other options? Does it work well?

https://www.mastercraft.com/teamtalk/attachment.php?attachmentid=90628&stc=1&d=1362450712
https://www.mastercraft.com/teamtalk/attachment.php?attachmentid=90629&stc=1&d=1362450712

keith3613
05-24-2013, 10:06 PM
I have an 1984 that I bought new and have never had a problem. Push the boat by hand as far forward on the trailer as you can get. Lock the winch cable under tension and drive away. Then, after you're out of everyone's way, stop suddenly and the boat will slide up. Take the tension off of the cable and do it again until you get it lined up with the slot in the bar. That way, you don't have to modify your trailer. If you want to make it super easy, then do the following; spray liquid rollers on your carpet and wax the hull. The boat will practically slide on and off the trailer on dry land. I'm not kidding. If you do that, never un-winch the boat from the trailer until you are in the water to launch it. Otherwise, it will slide off of the trailer when you are backing it down the boat ramp. Likewise, don't pull the boat up the ramp unless the winch is locked under tension to the bow eye of the boat. I've been doing it for almost 30 years and it works perfectly.

Cloaked
05-24-2013, 10:22 PM
You guys work very hard and there is a smarter way (no insult intended) to use the trailers, single handed, load and lock down in two steps, less than 60 seconds. I promise. Been doing this for many years (more than 30) with this setup. Each to their own, but think about what your doing here... :D

No need to even do any winching at all... no pushing required... no sudden stops.....nothing except drive the boat on the trailer and latch the bar.... (a few more motions but that is the gist of it...). one person can do all of this from the boat (including latching the bar properly) and then drive away in the tow vehicle.

IMHO, that bar is the best safety feature you can have on the trailer inclusive of a transom tie-down system....

I have posted about this several times in the past. Just sharing a bit of info here from experience.

However, the setup above looks fairly typical as far as an option. Not saying it doesn't work, but for me, I'd keep my bar long before I'd use another setup. Much easier since there is no winching required and no one has to get in the water at anytime to load and secure the boat.

$0.02

.

uplander
05-24-2013, 10:58 PM
just curious but why can you not drive the boat up on the trailer

86Skier
05-25-2013, 09:43 AM
Cloaked - Please do share..... because I too can load my trailer in 60 seconds, maybe even 45. Been doing it since I was 10 years old. BUT... that involves simply driving up the trailer after someone else backed it in, leaving the throttle slightly above idle, climbing over the front, clamping it on, and signaling to drive ahead. Done deal, no issues.

BUT, this is technically power loading, and is heavily enforced around here. Our water cops are some of the biggest douches I've met anywhere. For instance, in my last go-fast boat, I was pulled over a total of 7 times in one summer for everything from speed to noise to "can't you do that somewhere else"... the speed (at the time) was legal, and no, I didn't want to go somewhere else... the noise was over (which was promptly repaired after the first time and verified by another officer.) I was still pulled over for noise twice more. I sold this boat.

Which brings me to my Mastercraft trailer. Anything over idle up to the dock and shut down is powerloading. I was told that point blank. And I cannot load my trailer (maybe Cloaked can) without driving it on.

keith3613
05-25-2013, 07:32 PM
When I answered his thread I was assuming he couldn't power load the boat or get it up forward enough to use the bar. I float mine up far enough to use the bar alone. Then, I leave the ramp and tighten the winch later.

Cloaked
05-25-2013, 09:25 PM
Cloaked - Please do share..... because I too can load my trailer in 60 seconds, maybe even 45. Been doing it since I was 10 years old. BUT... that involves simply driving up the trailer after someone else backed it in, leaving the throttle slightly above idle, climbing over the front, clamping it on, and signaling to drive ahead. Done deal, no issues.

Which brings me to my Mastercraft trailer. Anything over idle up to the dock and shut down is powerloading. I was told that point blank. And I cannot load my trailer (maybe Cloaked can) without driving it on.Weasel cops is all I can say. And you can say I said so too... :D

You do the same thing I do, precisely (as stated above). I usually try to overshoot the bar by a little bit, then as I reach down to latch the bar, I can wiggle the bow of the boat a tiny bit (still throttled slightly) and the boat/bar will slide right into place..........every time... :)

I would be surprised in TN if a cop said no power loading. I am not aware of any statue or law (in TN) that prohibits. It may be a dock or ramp's preference but I'd sure consider asking or researching where a law says to the contrary for loading.... but common sense says do not argue with the cops..... regardless...
.........but after a certain point, I'd have to know the law for sure and insist on loading my boat the way I prefer....unless in fact there is a law prohibiting.....and not some outspoken rule that someone else says without merit....

Floating the boat to the bar is the only other way, aside from the sudden-stop method, but to me the sudden stop is only to be used on a bad hair day.... :D

The second picture in your first post in indeed a suitable alternate for the circumstances. It looks to be adequate. I'm just hard pressed to think there's a law that prohibits loading a boat with engine power (not disputing your word). I can see a no-wake enforcement (at idle) but aside from that.....show me the rulebook...

I snagged the picture for future reference.... Thanks.... nice looking setup, if it has to be...
.

86Skier
05-26-2013, 08:15 AM
I would be surprised in TN if a cop said no power loading. I am not aware of any statue or law (in TN) that prohibits. It may be a dock or ramp's preference but I'd sure consider asking or researching where a law says to the contrary for loading.... but common sense says do not argue with the cops..... regardless...

.........but after a certain point, I'd have to know the law for sure and insist on loading my boat the way I prefer....unless in fact there is a law prohibiting.....and not some outspoken rule that someone else says without merit....

I pulled this from the Michigan DNR Public Launch directory:

No Power Loading
Boaters should winch their craft onto boat trailers instead of powering their boat onto the trailer. Boat ramps throughout the state are being badly damaged by boaters who power their boats onto the boat trailer. The strong currents created by the boat's propeller causes severe erosion and wash out at the end of the ramp. This condition, in turn, can also cause damage to boat trailers.The Department of Natural Resources is attempting to repair as many of the damaged ramps as possible,but the best solution to the problem lies with the boater who refrains from this practice.

If you google Michigan DNR, no power loading, you'll find thread after thread discussing the issue. I was told by the Sheriff's Dept last season that it's $175.00 for the first offense, which escalates to $500 and up to 90 days in Jail for the second offense if the launch is posted with "No Powerloading" signs... which they all are around here. I was also told that idle power is power... no "kind of power"... "shut it off and use the winch." No amount of explaining was going to convince this guy that it was IMPOSSIBLE with my trailer.

Skipper
05-26-2013, 12:41 PM
It is not worth going to jail. Just mount a winch to the trailer. Sounds like an over reaction to a problem not related to loading an MC with a little shot of throttle. I have seen bone heads running WOT trying to push their clumsy IOs and outboards onto the trailer when they could have simply backed in a little farther.

jdnsx
05-26-2013, 07:19 PM
This is off the MN DNR website.

The DNR recognizes that some boaters are accustomed to power loading. However, it is preferable that boaters do not race their engines while on the boat ramp. Slightly more than idle speed should be all that is necessary to load and/or unload the boat.


I can load my 2008 X2 all the way to the latch without using any more than idle power. See video.

Shilohsho
05-26-2013, 07:42 PM
. I float mine up far enough to use the bar alone. Then, I leave the ramp and tighten the winch later.

I just bought a S&S and first time trying to load I incurred the same problems.
I cannot float mine on further because it will hit the top of the jack post. So, just power load? Any recommended water level versus fender depth? Winching on is not the best answer because the angle of the winch line is pulling the boat down rather than parallel with the bunks.

86Skier
05-27-2013, 02:45 PM
I cannot float mine on further because it will hit the top of the jack post. So, just power load? Any recommended water level versus fender depth? Winching on is not the best answer because the angle of the winch line is pulling the boat down rather than parallel with the bunks.

Exact same problem. You are not going to winch my boat on the trailer... I don't care who you are. With the current set-up, it pulls the boat down into the front bump stop, not forward.

86Skier
05-27-2013, 02:48 PM
Slightly more than idle speed should be all that is necessary to load and/or unload the boat.


Perhaps you didn't read my earlier post? I was told point blank by the Sheriff's Dept that any power was unacceptable. "Pull in to the dock, shut it down, and winch it on like everyone else."


Which brings me back to my very first post... anyone do a mod like this? And if so, how did it work?

Cloaked
05-27-2013, 06:25 PM
Perhaps you didn't read my earlier post? I was told point blank by the Sheriff's Dept that any power was unacceptable. "Pull in to the dock, shut it down, and winch it on like everyone else."


Which brings me back to my very first post... anyone do a mod like this? And if so, how did it work?I have not used this configuration but I'd say the setup will work fine. The only thing I can see that may require finagling is the trailer depth (probably a little deeper) to get the boat fully forward and onto the bunks (as best as can be expected).

More on a note of personal preference, I'd secure the bow with an addition tie-down (Boat Buckle makes a single pack tie-down) for that very application. I'd also make sure that the transom is secured and not just riding on the bunks.

Back to your first post, yes, from the looks of the configuration, that will work. This is probably your best bet all things considered. I would also have the fabricator weld a piece of material across the Y-split just behind the new configuration (where the new configuration sits on the combined c-channels) to reduce any (possible) flex in the trailer frame near that point. This will reduce the risk of the frame flexing and shearing a weld from the channel. Welding perpendicular (cross-grain) to a material is not recommended but sometimes cannot be avoided. May be overkill but it's a reduction in risk...

.

88 PS190
05-28-2013, 01:49 AM
I had a weld shop (wheelock and sons west of traverse city) convert the 88 for the same reason.

Not a big job, if you want a swing away tongue get that done too.

One thing I would also add would be a keel roller, the carpeted V is a good stop, and I am sure is safer than a roller, but a roller really helps get the bow up onto that V.

MI dnr ramps are tough I often have to lift the bow up to get the eye over the bunk, a well placed roller would solve that.

86Skier
05-28-2013, 07:30 AM
I had a weld shop (wheelock and sons west of traverse city) convert the 88 for the same reason.

Mind sharing what you paid?

JimN
05-28-2013, 08:10 AM
Those who have a problem getting the boat far enough up the trailer- are you loading onto dry bunks?

Some boat launches were designed by imbicils who don't know anything about boats that weigh more than a Jon boat with a 5HP outboard. They're usually too short and at the wrong angle to load without driving the two vehicle into the water. What they should do is make it a few feet longer, more steep at the waterline and reduce the angle as it goes farther in, so the trailer is more level.

The first time I had to load a boat at Lauderdale Lake, it was before they rebuilt the ramp and as I backed in, I watched the guide posts completely disappear- the ramp had been washed away by all of the idiots in their bass boats with 150HP motors.

d2jp
05-28-2013, 09:54 AM
You guys work very hard and there is a smarter way (no insult intended) to use the trailers, single handed, load and lock down in two steps, less than 60 seconds. I promise. Been doing this for many years (more than 30) with this setup. Each to their own, but think about what your doing here... :D

No need to even do any winching at all... no pushing required... no sudden stops.....nothing except drive the boat on the trailer and latch the bar.... (a few more motions but that is the gist of it...). one person can do all of this from the boat (including latching the bar properly) and then drive away in the tow vehicle.

IMHO, that bar is the best safety feature you can have on the trailer inclusive of a transom tie-down system....

I have posted about this several times in the past. Just sharing a bit of info here from experience.

However, the setup above looks fairly typical as far as an option. Not saying it doesn't work, but for me, I'd keep my bar long before I'd use another setup. Much easier since there is no winching required and no one has to get in the water at anytime to load and secure the boat.

$0.02

.

How do you get to the bar when you are in the boat? Climb over the windshield onto the deck and reach down for it? Or get out of the boat?

I too like the safety of the bar. And, powerloading in my area is OK, but my concern is if I were to have an engine issue and not have any power - how could I load? I guess back the trailer as deep as possible, float/push/pull the boat on, attach winch line and then use the slam on the brake method......

tph
05-28-2013, 11:33 AM
I've found that lowering the hitch height during retrieval helps. It seems to compensate for ramps that aren't the greatest. I use this hitch assembly and a cordless drill with a 3/8" drive adapter. Works great!

88 PS190
05-28-2013, 02:38 PM
Mind sharing what you paid?

Not at all - but I'd have to find the itemized invoice, they blasted, ground, added flat plate top and bottom where part of the trailer was rusty/crappy. Welded that up, added the metal for the lift, then powder coated the entirety, including powder coating the rims.

I'm not sure where that invoice is currently but will look.

I would say it was surprisingly reasonable, a call to them should get you a reasonable idea, depending where you are in MI they would be my go to for these types of projects.

http://www.wheelockandsons.com/

Ideal would be to have the boat on the trailer and have them mock up, then launch the boat and have them weld it.

Sodar
05-28-2013, 02:43 PM
http://mastercraft.com/teamtalk/showpost.php?p=112627&postcount=17

BARE5
05-28-2013, 04:02 PM
Over at Whitewater lake last summer had the Sherriff tell me power loading was okay due to drop off, and of course low water level. Go as deep as you can, float on then when the boat is exiting water, I like to center between bunks, but trailer must be deep enough . I'm usually right over idle to get it up to the top of trailer.

mzimme
05-28-2013, 04:47 PM
I'd just continue with business as usual. If you get hassled, ask the cop for a hand to show you the correct way to loading (you know... since this is "one of your first few trips out as a boater"). Play the noob card, and watch him struggle and not be able to winch it up either. After he tries unsuccessfully to help you for the next 20-30 minutes (if he even agrees to helping), ask him what the best course of action is. Tell him the manual states that you should drive on to the bunks, and was designed to do so.

If that fails, check out Liquid Rollers. That will make the bunks very slick. A drop hitch will help too, and get the bunks completely wet before you try to winch it up. Also, if you have a second person with you and you have good control of your boat, maybe try coming in a little faster to the trailer and have you helper hold the bar up while you idle up faster than you normally would.

homer12
05-28-2013, 05:20 PM
Not to thread jack here, but along the same lines is unloading with these bars. When I unload, the boat has a lot of times shifted against the slot in the bar forward or backward and I can't release until I have it semi-floating in the water and power forward or back on the trailer for the slot in the bar to be unbound and free, then unhook the winch strap quickly so the bar drops.

If it is unbound before I unload, I take the bar off and keep the winch strap on until we are safely in the water with it.

Anyone else experience that the same way I do?

88 PS190
05-28-2013, 05:27 PM
As I see it - the bar is a good safety feature to prevent the boat from sliding forwards if you crashed into something, with the winch holding down it heels the boat from sliding backwards.

That said, a steel bow stop with a roller or V in front of the bow eye stops the boat from going forwards, as does the V of carpet that cradles the front of the boat.

Any modification to your trailer should include: Bow stop - winch strap or cable and a good safety chain. I like to use a ratchet strap from the bow eye down/back as well.

Then of course you need rear ratchet straps to get your 3 points.

You never want to make your trailer "less" safe - but having occasionally had to trailer the boat with the bow strap not engaged because I could not get the trailer deep enough on a MI DNR ramp and was not allowed to use engine - I would say almost anything is safer.

markismm
05-28-2013, 05:34 PM
I have an 84 S & S and have never had any problem getting the bar on or off except for the first time I took it out after I bought it. After that I called the guy I bought it from who told me I simply was not getting the trailer deeep enough. Since then, I back the trailer down until the top corners of the front carpeted V are just barely sticking out of the water. At that point I can hand pull the boat far enough forward to raise the bar into place and secure with the winch hook which I leave loose until I get out of the water. I thn just take a turn or two to cinch the winch down. Obviously there is some variation depending on the angle of the lauch and your willingness to walk in the water to hand guide your boat, but I have launched it on several different ramps with several different angles and have never had any issue loading the boat. As for the binding issue with the bar, I say the same thing, sink the trailer further and pull forward by hand and it will release. Again, this is exactly what the previous owner told me when I bought the boat and got frustrated after my first in and out. He was right. I do admit that my whole method works much better if I have one additional person with me, but that is not absolutely necessary.

One final thing, if you have a concern that the hull will hit the jack, then either lower the jack during the loading process, or get a swivel jack and swivel it forward wile loading.

homer12
05-28-2013, 11:07 PM
markismm, I have an 89 Tristar 190 and my issue with going to deep on the trailer seems that the bow eye will catch on the v-bunks. Do you ever have that issue? Maybe I need to go even deeper. I've only had the boat a season so maybe I need to experiment more.

Razzys Wagon
05-29-2013, 12:01 AM
markismm, I have an 89 Tristar 190 and my issue with going to deep on the trailer seems that the bow eye will catch on the v-bunks. Do you ever have that issue? Maybe I need to go even deeper. I've only had the boat a season so maybe I need to experiment more.

x2, the ramps i have to use were built for flat bottom john boats i think and the length of the ramp is just long enough to get the tops of the fenders in the water before it drops off to 8+ foot from power loading.....and that puts me with the bow eye catching, i have to pull out a smidge more and power on....then do the brake deal to get the bar on......i am going to get a drop hitch to help some, as stated above and a drill........

87 ps190.......

88 PS190
05-30-2013, 11:14 AM
markismm, I have an 89 Tristar 190 and my issue with going to deep on the trailer seems that the bow eye will catch on the v-bunks. Do you ever have that issue? Maybe I need to go even deeper. I've only had the boat a season so maybe I need to experiment more.

A roller cleverly positioned on the trailer behind the V bunk will start the hull up. Don't know if there is a good cross member on a tristar trailer. You may benefit from lowering the tongue, but check that on level ground.

TxsRiverRat
05-30-2013, 12:09 PM
i'm afraid this would be my response to any dirty looks received:

http://www.dictailgate.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/vt_middle_finger_kid_stands.jpg

88 PS190
05-30-2013, 07:41 PM
I'd just continue with business as usual. If you get hassled, ask the cop for a hand to show you the correct way to loading (you know... since this is "one of your first few trips out as a boater"). Play the noob card, and watch him struggle and not be able to winch it up either.


Negatory!

I've experienced the problems power loading creates to the extent that for the last 4 years I've had to drive 20 minutes around the lake to get to a launch that was suitable.

Power loading destroyed the launches to the point where the concrete ramps heaved, a big pile of rock built up behind to the point where if you had to back the boat off while pulling the trailer forward slowly, then you had to hand walk the boat around the rock pile.

Fix the trailer! DNR is correct to enforce this hard.

markismm
05-30-2013, 10:37 PM
markismm, I have an 89 Tristar 190 and my issue with going to deep on the trailer seems that the bow eye will catch on the v-bunks. Do you ever have that issue? Maybe I need to go even deeper. I've only had the boat a season so maybe I need to experiment more.

Yeah I believe you need to go deeper. not professing to be a tristar expert, but logic seems to tell me that if your bow eye is above the water line and the v=bunk is at or below the water line, i will not catch on the v=bunk. Just my thoughts. I know the sink-it method works for my boat on all of the ramps I have been on in Alabama and Georgia.

Capt. Jack
05-30-2013, 10:46 PM
I have an 05 X Star with the POS factory trailer and I would love for someone to explain to me how to get this boat on without power loading. Mind you a little common sense goes a long way, dunking the bunks prior to loading, and granted a lot had to do with the actual ramp grade but it is nearly impossible to get an X Star on without driving the boat up the bunks until, the boat buddy clicks. Any chuckle head enforcing a rule without asking a few questions or offering assistance should go back to bagging groceries.

88 PS190
05-30-2013, 10:58 PM
Yeah I believe you need to go deeper. not professing to be a tristar expert, but logic seems to tell me that if your bow eye is above the water line and the v=bunk is at or below the water line, i will not catch on the v=bunk. Just my thoughts. I know the sink-it method works for my boat on all of the ramps I have been on in Alabama and Georgia.



You'll NEVER get that V bunk below the bow eye on most ramps, almost every launch/recover I walk back the trailer an lift the eye over the V.

Capt. Jack - That's about momentum, you need to be confident getting on the trailer with speed, not driving on, letting the boat stop, then giving it gas.

homer12
05-31-2013, 09:38 AM
Here's a good pic that shows how high my v-bunk seems to be. Does this seem higher than the Prostar trailers?

With the way the geometry work, as the stern floats off the trailer and raises up it makes the bow eye want to catch more because the bow gets lower in front of the v-bunk. It seems I would have to back WAY in to get that v-bunk at or below water line.

tph
05-31-2013, 11:09 AM
Here's a good pic that shows how high my v-bunk seems to be. Does this seem higher than the Prostar trailers?

With the way the geometry work, as the stern floats off the trailer and raises up it makes the bow eye want to catch more because the bow gets lower in front of the v-bunk. It seems I would have to back WAY in to get that v-bunk at or below water line.

My trailer has 1 1/2 - 2" thick carpeted blocks that are separated by enough distance to allow the bow hook to pass between them. Perhaps you could increase the thickness of yours and move them a little further apart.

drschemel
05-31-2013, 01:20 PM
Here's a good pic that shows how high my v-bunk seems to be. Does this seem higher than the Prostar trailers?

With the way the geometry work, as the stern floats off the trailer and raises up it makes the bow eye want to catch more because the bow gets lower in front of the v-bunk. It seems I would have to back WAY in to get that v-bunk at or below water line.

My Tristar looks like that also, even though trailer is not a mastercraft.
What I do is winch until the bow eye is a little above the slot in the strap, then as I let the pressure off the winch, the boat usually slides back a little and I can get the strap to hold on the end of the eye. With the winch strap loose, the winch hook will slide out of the way just enough. Then take winch hook off bow eye and reattatch on the other side of the strap. It's a litte awkward and definiately makes loading take a little longer than if it were a drive on trailer but works.

homer12
05-31-2013, 02:41 PM
drschemel, your method makes sense. Does that mean you don't power load at all?

I may have to figure out a way to get a slot in the V like tph described. That sounds easiest for unloading.

drschemel
05-31-2013, 03:45 PM
drschemel, your method makes sense. Does that mean you don't power load at all?

I may have to figure out a way to get a slot in the V like tph described. That sounds easiest for unloading.

right. Just idle onto the trailer then winch. I don't ever seem to be able to back into the water far enough to drive the boat all the way to the front of the trailer. I seem to have both axles of my yucon in the water as it is.

xtnkshun
06-04-2013, 08:45 AM
I have to admit I struggle getting the bar on my 85 as well. The trouble with our ramp is that it's VERY steep and getting the boat to lock in without throttle appears to be impossible. Am I making it harder than it needs to be? Should the steep angle of the ramp make it easier to load?

markismm
06-04-2013, 10:18 AM
Here is a video I did this past weekend of me and my brother loading the 84 S & S. As you can see the trailer is very deep. You can hardly see the top corners of the V-bunk sticking up. It was a little difficult to drive with one hand while filming with the other. In either event, you can see that I did not need any power to get the bar hooked and my brother simply pulls the boat forward by hand until the bar goes over the front u bolt. Then he hooks the winch and leaves it loose to pull the boat out of the water. Once out of the water we tighten the winch strap. Again, not sure this will work for all models, but if you can get your v-bunk deep enough, your u bolt should never hang up on the bunk. Sorry for the poor video quality.

Hope the link works.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RELMsxdzM-w

xtnkshun
06-04-2013, 11:09 AM
That's great! THANKS! your ramp is much flatter than mine, but clearly I'm not putting the trailer deep into the water enough. My truck tires are hardly in the water whereas I can see your truck exhaust blowing water bubbles. I look forward to taking her and trying again.

thatsmrmastercraft
06-04-2013, 11:14 AM
Here is a video I did this past weekend of me and my brother loading the 84 S & S. As you can see the trailer is very deep. You can hardly see the top corners of the V-bunk sticking up. It was a little difficult to drive with one hand while filming with the other. In either event, you can see that I did not need any power to get the bar hooked and my brother simply pulls the boat forward by hand until the bar goes over the front u bolt. Then he hooks the winch and leaves it loose to pull the boat out of the water. Once out of the water we tighten the winch strap. Again, not sure this will work for all models, but if you can get your v-bunk deep enough, your u bolt should never hang up on the bunk. Sorry for the poor video quality.

Hope the link works.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RELMsxdzM-w

Nice work on the video. I'm sure that will help a lot of people.

markismm
06-04-2013, 11:45 AM
Nice work on the video. I'm sure that will help a lot of people.

The only additional advice I would give as well is to have someone near the back end of the boat and use the guide posts to help center the boat up on the trailer as it is being pulled out by the vehicle. Also, do not leave your winch strap "too loose", just a couple of turns loose. The first time you pull it out, stand near the front to watch the winch strap. See if it tightens up completely. Expect it to begin to tighten up some, but if it tightens up to the point to where you do not have to turn it at all, or actually have to loosen it some, then you have it too tight when pulling it out. Just practice with it and you will get the hang of it. Ideally, you want it to be so that you have to turn the winch about half to one full turn to tighten it to the point to where it is ready to be trailered down the road one you get the boat out of the water. I have actually painted a small line on my winch strap to know exactly how loose it needs to be when it ready to pull out. The reason this is important is because the back end of your boat is sitting much higher than the front and as the sunken trailer and boat come together as the boat is being pulled out, the front of the boat wil actually rise some and cause the winch strap to tighten some. Again, practice makes perfect, but eventually, I believe you will come to find that the bar style trailer is actually a fairly good design (at least that is now my opinion).

markismm
06-04-2013, 11:53 AM
That's great! THANKS! your ramp is much flatter than mine, but clearly I'm not putting the trailer deep into the water enough. My truck tires are hardly in the water whereas I can see your truck exhaust blowing water bubbles. I look forward to taking her and trying again.

Also, the steeper angle of your ramp should actually make the method I have described even easier. The steeper the ramp, the easier it is to sink the trailer deep enough. IF you have a shallw ramp, your vehicle has to back down even further to get the trailer deep enough. Tell the person who is driving the boat exactly what to be looking for (i.e. the tips of corners of the v-bunk just barely sticking out of the water) and they can wave the person backing the trailer to continue backing the trailer until just the right point. This makes it easy and takes out all of the guessing for the person backing the trailer because I imagine with almost all vehicles it is impossible to see the v-bunk's depth while backing down. During the video I took, I am waving my brother to continue backing down until the point where he stops so he does not have to get out to look at the trailer two or three times to see if it is deep enough.

Shilohsho
06-04-2013, 11:53 AM
Great video! Proves to me that I'm not pulling in far enough.

homer12
06-04-2013, 02:05 PM
Thanks for the vid! Looks like I'm not in far enough after seeing how far back your truck is. I've always subscribed to the fenders just under the surface by an inch.

thatsmrmastercraft
06-04-2013, 02:32 PM
Thanks for the vid! Looks like I'm not in far enough after seeing how far back your truck is. I've always subscribed to the fenders just under the surface by an inch.

Having your fenders just above or just below the waterline is for a drive-on application. This is a float on loading method.

86Skier
06-05-2013, 09:52 PM
Thank you for the video... I can definitely say I'm not deep enough in the majority of the launches I use. But... the real problem is, you're spoiled. Your dock is crazy long, you have a second person, and you're in a lake, not a river. One of the launches I recently was given the warning at was on a relatively fast flowing river, with a crazy short and shallow dock, and I was alone. I had to pull up, tie off, run and grab the truck, back in, then maneuver the boat into line with the trailer and supposedly winch it up. I couldn't push the boat past the dock end or it'd quickly pull downstream, and I wasn't "allowed" to just jump in and drive it on. So the trailer had to be shallow and driving on wasn't an option. I was all around screwed. And Mr. Po Po didn't care.

markismm
06-12-2013, 07:43 PM
Thank you for the video... I can definitely say I'm not deep enough in the majority of the launches I use. But... the real problem is, you're spoiled. Your dock is crazy long, you have a second person, and you're in a lake, not a river. One of the launches I recently was given the warning at was on a relatively fast flowing river, with a crazy short and shallow dock, and I was alone. I had to pull up, tie off, run and grab the truck, back in, then maneuver the boat into line with the trailer and supposedly winch it up. I couldn't push the boat past the dock end or it'd quickly pull downstream, and I wasn't "allowed" to just jump in and drive it on. So the trailer had to be shallow and driving on wasn't an option. I was all around screwed. And Mr. Po Po didn't care.

That is actually a part of a river system and can be fast flowing at times or windy at other times. In either event, I agree that it is much easier when you have someone else around to help regardless.

homer12
06-18-2013, 02:43 PM
Well, been out twice this year now and been dunking the trailer quite a bit deeper. Now the process for us is: back trailer in up to bottom of v-bunk, idle on to bunks, hook up and winch into position, pull out just enough for boat to be fully on bunks and see if safety bar will hook up with winch strap off, if so hook up and done, if not - dunk boat again and adjust to get safety bar to be just right (that part is a pain as I can't get it on with winch strap on and if I take it off in the water the boat slides back on the trailer too far)

CC2MC
06-18-2013, 04:01 PM
This is off the MN DNR website.

The DNR recognizes that some boaters are accustomed to power loading. However, it is preferable that boaters do not race their engines while on the boat ramp. Slightly more than idle speed should be all that is necessary to load and/or unload the boat.


I can load my 2008 X2 all the way to the latch without using any more than idle power. See video.

jd, what brand of a bow eye "hook" is that on your trailer? I have a boat buddy on mine that needs replacing, but I think I like the one you have better. Thanks.

jdnsx
06-19-2013, 12:11 AM
Well, it is called a Ramp-N-Clamp but it is not quite on the market yet.

I was tired of the Boat Buddy problems so I designed a new latch. I have met with MasterCraft now 4 times since November 2012 and they wanted a few revisions to meet their standard.

The testing is currently going on with all the new 2014 models and with some luck the Ramp-N-Clamp will be an option starting July 1, 2013.

I will be posting here when it is ready for sale and of course TT members will be getting first dibs and a TT discount.

Thanks for asking!

Jeff_in_NY
06-19-2013, 09:15 PM
Hi all - I'm a CC owner but have been lurking here for quite a while. This thread has me intrigued... what is the bar setup on MC trailers? Can you point me to some better pics and describe how it is supposed to work?
Thanks.

homer12
06-20-2013, 02:56 PM
Jeff, see post #35. That shows the safety bar on my Tristar. You load the boat far enough for that to slip over the eyelet and then it holds the boat from going forward and back.

chriscraftmatt1976
06-20-2013, 03:00 PM
just get a boat buddy. i idle up till it clicks and away i go...

cbryan70
06-20-2013, 03:03 PM
If I dropped my trailer in deep enough that my V was in the water my guide polls would be underwater!

markismm
06-20-2013, 06:36 PM
If I dropped my trailer in deep enough that my V was in the water my guide polls would be underwater!

That is why you should have the sliding guide pole pads that float up for jus that reason. They float up and so you have guide poles that lengthen as the trailer gets deeper.

Jeff_in_NY
06-20-2013, 10:51 PM
Jeff, see post #35. That shows the safety bar on my Tristar. You load the boat far enough for that to slip over the eyelet and then it holds the boat from going forward and back.
OK thanks Homer. Doesn't it rub or bang against the underside? Does it have padding on it? Is it to help you when loading? I don't see how it would stay in place until you put your hook in the eye, or how it would help that much.

roush611
06-21-2013, 01:17 AM
Anyone figure out how to successfully float on for this kind of trailer? Last time I was out the boat broke down and I had to float it on but it was a 10 minute process. Once on dry land I had to slam the brakes on so it would slide up onto the guides correctly. I don't mind powering it on and I have yet to get in trouble but I always get looks from people.

Yes I know I am missing a guide in this picture ha ha...

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y266/roush611/null_zps4d104df1.jpg (http://s7.photobucket.com/user/roush611/media/null_zps4d104df1.jpg.html)

thatsmrmastercraft
06-21-2013, 01:25 AM
Anyone figured out how to successfully float on for this kind of trailer?

Yes I know I am missing a guide in this picture ha ha...

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y266/roush611/null_zps4d104df1.jpg (http://s7.photobucket.com/user/roush611/media/null_zps4d104df1.jpg.html)

I have the same trailer with the optional winch stand. I can float on but it winches on easy enough I use the same position whether I winch or drive on. Old pics - kindly ignore the ugly whitewall tires the boat came with.

roush611
06-21-2013, 01:27 AM
I have the same trailer with the optional winch stand. I can float on but it winches on easy enough I use the same position whether I winch or drive on. Old pics - kindly ignore the ugly whitewall tires the boat came with.

Where did you get the winch?

thatsmrmastercraft
06-21-2013, 01:32 AM
Where did you get the winch?

It came with the boat. VM is still in business. Perhaps they can assist with a winch stand, They were most helpful in providing new stickers when I painted the trailer. They sent them out at N/C in just a couple days.

http://www.vmboattrailers.com/

Jeff_in_NY
06-21-2013, 12:42 PM
Anyone figure out how to successfully float on for this kind of trailer? Last time I was out the boat broke down and I had to float it on but it was a 10 minute process. Once on dry land I had to slam the brakes on so it would slide up onto the guides correctly. I don't mind powering it on and I have yet to get in trouble but I always get looks from people.

Yes I know I am missing a guide in this picture ha ha...

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y266/roush611/null_zps4d104df1.jpg (http://s7.photobucket.com/user/roush611/media/null_zps4d104df1.jpg.html)

And the Cheez-its are still on the dash from your thread about buying it :D

pbgbottle
08-16-2013, 01:34 AM
to get my tristar on i too back the trailer in way deep and float it on and hook up the bar .

then i need my wife to sit in the boat and center it on the trailer while i pull it out slowly so she can hold it centered. if i don't back it in deep enough my front eyelet will catch on the v block up front also when she slides off the trailer. i just prefer to float it on anyways .don't need to wack the prop.

roadster02
03-09-2014, 06:13 PM
Two things that should never be done with your tow vehicle when launching or retrieving a boat.
1. Allowing you exhaust pipe, or pipes to be put under water. If the engine would happen to quit for some reason the hot pipe reacting with the cool water would create a vacuum sucking water up the pipe and to your engines cylinders. If you then get in your vehicle and crank the engine you create a hydraulic lock which will bend the rods, as water will not compress.
2. You should never allow your rear axle into the water. The oil seals are made to keep oil into the axle, not water out. Putting that axle into the water will allow water into your differential fluid causing the lube to be diluted, and if left in long enough all the gears will rust into a lot of useless junk.

Keep your exhaust out of the water, and don't put your rear axle under the water.