View Full Version : Trailer Adjustments
01-01-2006, 04:46 PM
Have just purchased my first powerboat, a 5.25 mtr bowrider, which we are using as an all round type of boat, family and fishing.
It may be my technique, as I have only had the boat out 4 times, but I find the boat difficult to get onto the centre of the trailer when retrieving. It will often miss the rollers.
I'm thinking that it being a production boat,the manufacturer may use generic trailers. What I mean is they may use the same trailer for a number of different boats(my theory, I may be wrong) and that the boat may not sit quite right.Had a chat to another boat owner today who has a boat(different brand) from the same factory and he reckons he has the same problems.
I'm wondering if anyone knows of any simple modifications that I can look at to help the boat center itself better, or is it a case of more practice.
01-01-2006, 08:37 PM
Theres a product available called a "retriever-mate"
I've never used one personally, but anecdotal evidence
suggests that they help centre the boat on to the trailer
so that single handed retrievals become quite easy..
I've looked at the product fitted to a trailer and can see
that it would help with centre-ing the boat on,
the downside is that they are not cheap...
Worth a sus, tho..
01-01-2006, 09:46 PM
i always make my deckie get his feet wet & guide me on to the first roller, drive on from there, to the winch post, muzz, bettere than winding
02-01-2006, 06:47 PM
yeh i have two retrever mate one for alloy for the tinny and the sping ones for fiberglass and both are worth haveing for either drive on or winch on as it self centers the boat as it is going on
but to the problem at hand
first i would be sticking my head under the boat first to make sure all the rollers and skids are adjusted right (haveing more weight on the side rollers or skids for glass and more weight on the kell rollers for alloy)
make sure the first point of contact is right and from there it is pretty easy but if that fails then have alook at the retrivamates
02-01-2006, 07:28 PM
The retriever-mates are good but you may be able to sort it without spending extra money.
Dont submerse your trailer too deep. I see many people try to "float" their boat onto the trailer. I normally reverse down so the wheels are 3/4 covered in water (yes i have my bearings submerged).
Ideally i try to get the my keel touching the very last or second last roller and then winch it the rest of the way. If the trailer is set up properly it will normally self align the all the way up.
Check that the ramp is level. Look at the mudguards to see if both sides of the trailer are at about the same depth.
Make sure your load on the boat is balanced. No kids peering out the sides. My boat doesnt like the portable fuel and eskys all on the same side when winching up.
Finally check that the rollers/skids on the trailer look like they are adjusted properly. If you have planning stakes (grooves on the bottom) you want to make sure that the skids are not right underneath the grooves. The skid should be between the grooves or else it will obviously try to veer off to one side.
If you bought the boat from a dealer, ask them to pop down to the local ramp and watch you and see if they can pick up what you are doing wrong.
You dont say what type of boat and trailer roller/skid combination you have so its a little hard to comment further. Also we dont know if you are driving or winching on.
I have a 5m fibreglass half cabin and almost exclusively fish on my own. I can normally launch and retreive single handed without getting my feet wet..... you just need to get a routine and get used to your own rig.
In terms of modifications. You can get keel rollers that are shaped like a orga/drill bit. The grooves on each side rotate towards the middle when winching up. The theory is they pull the keel to the centre. I have never used them but the principle is good and it would be a cheap modification.
03-01-2006, 09:21 AM
I agree with Fishinrod. With respect, I've seen lots of first time boat owners give the trailer too much water when retrieving the boat. You need bugger all water movement to make it float off the rollers/guides/slides. Don't worry about it though mate, anything you do wrong has been done by someone else. ('cept me of course.)
03-01-2006, 12:07 PM
Thanks for the info, it's greatly appreciated.The comments on water depth are probably pretty valid thinking this would be eaiser. I have tried driving the boat on as once mastered this looks to be eaiser, I guess it's a confidence and practice thing.
The boat is a 5.25 Stacer Bowrider, which I am very happy with.I have been ocean racing yachts for 20 years, so I know the pointy end of a boat is the front, but with my yachts they have always been moored, no trailers.I'm really enjoying the learing curve, and am pleased to say that unlike some reports in the media the other boat owners I have encountered at ramps over the chrissy break don't mind you taking a bit of extra time when it's probably obvious I'm a kook :)
03-01-2006, 06:33 PM
I used to have problems nearly all the time to get might boat centered on my trailer. I tried adjusting the rollers, fitting grooved keel rollers etc, all to no avail. The problem is that you usually have a cross wind or current. I ended up fitting a retriever mate and the boat has gone on perfectly centered every time.
04-01-2006, 10:51 AM
I have a Stacer 525 Cuddy Cab and had the same problems when I first bought the boat. As previously mentioned reverse the trailer till the water is just lapping over the last roller and your problems should be fixed.
What size and make donk are you running on the back?
Where u at?
04-01-2006, 09:44 PM
Mariner 115 hp 4 stroke which gets the girl singing along nicely.
I'm on the Sunshine Coast, so plan to use the boat both offshore and in rivers. Just planning a trip to Awoonga...woohooooo.
05-01-2006, 11:14 AM
a cheaper option than the retriever-mate is a self centering roller at the end of the trailer. This is a roller with ridges like a corkscrew coming in from both sides. I have also seen some trailers with rollers that were just too small (4"?) and the boat came off with just a bit of chop. Make sure all your keel rollers are 8"? wide.
07-01-2006, 07:06 AM
I have noticed that the guides on each side of the trailer are not the same distance from the center of the trailer, so the boat will always sit about 10-12 cm more to one side of the trailer.I don't think it would be to hard to adjust, but I'm thinking warranty job as the boats only a month old.
Thanks for the tip on water depth, good call. I may have to look at an electric winch now..lol 8-) :o ;D
07-01-2006, 03:53 PM
10-12 cm out of wack? WOW #:o I think thats your problem.
Id say any more than 2-4 cms is unacceptable ...... better get them to sort it for you under warranty. When you get it back just make sure that the keel rollers are taking their share of weight.
On a pressed alloy boat (like your Stacer) the keel is normally the strongest part. I would assume that your trailer has skids/planks at the back and keel rollers on the front half. Basically when its all sorted make sure the keel rollers cannot be turned by hand . This would indicate they have a good load on them.
I cant say that ive ever needed an electric winch. As long as you have a 5:1 ratio winch (which 99% are in your size of boat) you should be Ok. You can get 3 speed manual winches that have 1:1, 5:1 and 10:1 ratios. It would be easier to wind on 10:1 but it would be very slow !
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