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New-old trailer?

PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 10:36 am
by Goose
Hey all,

I am thinking about redoing my trailer. My plan so far is to get the boat off at a marina for a few weeks and then have at it. take all of the parts off, sandblast it, acid wash it, prime repaint and put the parts back on replacing the old hardware with new bolts. My question is...

I have two bunks that run the length of the boat along the bottom edge of the boat. there are also keel rollers that run up the center and has given the boat a hook.

1. Do I need the keel rollers or would on at the bow where it starts the turn up and one at the back end of the trailer to help guide the boat up and on?

2. Could I replace the keel rollers with bunks on either side of the center line to help support the weight of the boat.

3. The bunks I have on now are about 9" short of the transom. However, they run to the end of the trailer. Can I extend new bunks out past the end of the trailer? Then do I need to have a roller extended out as far?

4. Any other ideas?


PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 12:06 pm
by a j r

I just today brought a Little Dude trailer to a sandblaster to have it blasted and painted!

Definately have the bunks longer than the boat so that they exend beyond the transom. It is VERY important that the transom is supported on the trailer.

The keel rollers down the center are fine. Bunks would work fine too. I would keep some support at the center - whether it's rollers or bunks.


PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 7:41 am
by johnpthompson
Andreas and others,

Our Tee Nee trailer has been reworked with new bunks to better support our '63 Super Lancer, but still uses the "gator" guides/supports near the bow and the original keel guides. The keel guides are alligned properly and thus do not "hook" the keel, but it is a royal pain to get all four keel rollers and the keel to line-up when loading--particularly at a busy launch ramp. In addition, they seem to be hard on the paint on the outer keel. Andreas, did I read you correctly that you think with a four bunk set-up ( two close to the keel and two wider at least to where the angle gets higher on the hull, perhaps coupled with one keel guide and the gator gudies/supports,) keel guides/supports might not be required?

It would be much easier to load the boat without having to line-up four keel guides (three of which are under water and under the hull) each time. Under the current set-up, most of the weight is suported by the rear long bunks. Toward the bow the keel guides/supports take all the weight and the "gator" guides/suuports really do not carry much weight, just prevent side rocking.

Thanks for your wise counsel. By the way, we are planning to come your way in August for the Bayport event and will likely bring the Super Lancer and this trailer--perhaps modified as you suggest for the 645 mile trip.

John Thompson
Table Rock Lake, Missouri

PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 5:10 pm
by Rodney Syverson
My Holsclaw trailer has been reworked with bunks in lieu of the outboard rollers. I left the keel rollers in place and adjusted those to give only minimal support to the keel. I have posted some photos in previous discusions on this thread. I have found when loading my boat out of the water I back in until only the forward tips of the bunks are exposed. I then winch my Sea Lancer forward until she seats on the bow support. It usually centers itself and generally only requires a minimal shove to center the keel in the rear roller, which is where it needs to be so that my transom straps fit without readjusting.

This generally works where the launch slope is gradual enough to accomodate. If I consistantly launched in steeper sloped launch sites I would probably purchase and install a set of guid-ons which I think is the only way I think you would be able to center the boat under deep launch conditions.

PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 5:40 pm
by johnpthompson

Thanks. Our Ozarks hills are pretty steep and so consequently are the launch ramps. Our boat spends most of the time on a lift a few feet above Table Rock Lake, but when we take it to other areas for boating events, we encounter all kinds of ramps. I will look at your other posting. Installing the upright guides would help guage where the stern needs to be and I like adjusting the bunks so the keel guides take less of the load.


PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 4:42 am
by a j r
I would think that bunks on either side of the keel would be OK lieu of rollers right under the keel.

I have vertical guides on my trailer which help allign the boat. Even with these it is almost always a big pain to get the boat on the trailer properly. I have to do something to correct this, since I trailer the rig and go boating three times a week or more.


PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 5:34 am
by johnpthompson

Thanks. I do not trailer it nearly as much as you, so I need all the help I can get for when I do retrieve it to the trailer. I think I will look at an additional set of bunks and a pair of upright guides at the rear of the trailer. That would also make knowing wherethe trailer is when the boat is not on it.

John Thompson

Trailer roller to bunks.

PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 9:38 am
by Ron P
A lot of great posts today! If anyone has pictures of a Balco brand trailer that has been changed to bunks. Please post them. :D Txdan do you have that kind under your cuddy model? It looks to be a easy to change over.
At the back the trailer it has sets of rollers that pivot. These end up under the transom once the boat is pulled up. Take most of the weight here.

I think I will remove these of course. Then just lay 6 feet of 4x4 over the metal supports that run up under the boat. The boards will extend out past the transom.

Post pictures please!

P.S. Just finished a coat of varnish on the Sea Mate! Looks Good.

PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2007 8:13 am
by thegammas
Well, it's not the same trailer brand as yours, but here is how I converted my rollers to bunks. My rollers were mounted on a long bar. I flipped the bar over and bolted 2X6 pressure treated boards to that. Remounted them farther back than original so that they would extend past the transom. The 2X6's extend about a foot farther forward than the original roller bunks did. While I had it apart I stripped and re-painted a bunch of stuff, replaced the rollers, relocated the lights on a custom bracket set up. Actually, planning to put the boat back on it today.

Here are some pics (not showing the rubber backed carpet tiles fixed to the surface of the planks)

Original config:


New config



PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2007 12:14 pm
by johnpthompson
Great looking trailer. I think it looks great. Thanks

John Thompson

PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2007 6:31 pm
by John Hart
I finally decided to set up an album at photobucket so I can post some pics now and then.... I have mentioned in previous posts that I removed the rollers on my Tee Nee trailer and replaced them with bunks...

The first pic shows the channels (after scraping and painting), with the old broken, cracked rollers that were distorting my hull...


I replaced the two rear rollers sets with treated wood and marine bunk carpet. I also lowered the keel rollers that were carrying way too much weight. The bow/knee was resting on a metal channel, so I made a minibunk for that too.


Since I want as much of the hull supported as possible, last month I added several more bunks... two down the center about 7" on either side of center, and two diagonally further toward the bow.....



This seems to give the whole rig more support and stability.. The four rear bunks go about three inches past the outer edge of the transom.

John Hart

PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2007 4:05 am
by thegammas
I really like the idea of a keel/stem cap bunk. What did you use as brackets and bolts to mount your bunks? I assume you have to have most or all of the trailer under to float her on?

Excellent Trailer.

PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2007 4:56 am
by a j r
Great trailer John. I like it. I just changed my lights to LED ones. I trailer so often and I get REAL paranoid about some knucklehead rear ending the trailer/boat. I think the LED lights are much more visable. I also added some driving lights on the rear of the guides, which are higher up than the tail lights.

Andreas - off to the lake once again!

PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2007 4:13 pm
by John Hart
Thanks Peter and Andreas for your comments.... Peter, the stem bunk is treated 2x6.. I think I just marked the area and ran it through a table saw to cut to rough depth, and scraped out the wafers... I might have used a router, but I do remember using a rasp, and sandpaper wrapped around a big dowel at then end... I was cautious back then, to not take off too much and have things be sloppy.

The bunks added this year are treated 2x4. The brackets are ShipShape 8" Bolster brackets... I cleaned out Gander Mt (which was the cheapest source) and then ordered a few more from Overton after I determined that they would work OK... I think they are about $7-8/bracket... I used three for each long bunk, and two each for the shorter front side bunks.

The brackets say they are for 1/2" square U bolts, but I ended up using 3/8" x 4+ 5/16... which were a little long for all but the rear channel. I thought about cutting them off, but just used a deep well to crank them down.... which, by the way, you can overdo and bend the channel which I did a number of times. The bolts are 2+1/2 on center. I looked all over for these types of bolts, and ended up getting them at Tractor Supply.. I believe they were $7.99 for 2 bolts, washers and nylon lined lock nuts.

I used 12" black trailer bunk carpeting from Dorsett Industries from a local boat shop, because that is what I used for the first bunks, and I knew that an non-exact match would bug me... the 12" was perfect for a 2x4, wrapping all the way around and over itself on the bottom side. I used PL Contact Cement from Menards. On the ends, I experimented with paper, and cut the ends like a box and wrapped the two end flaps in, one over the other. Working with the bunk face down, I wrapped the flap from the top over the end and back onto the back, and then finished with the main piece covering the whole mess and tidying things up. The next day, I ran in self drilling screws about 3/4" long with washer heads, about every 4-5" on the bottom/back side.

To attach the bunks to the trailer was a bit of a struggle. While the rear of the boat was supported by a floor jack and widthwise 2x6"'s, shimmed away from the hull with several 2x6 blocks, I slid in the new bunks near the keel. With the brackets in place on the channels, I realized that I could not fit any kind of a drill in to prepare for some SS hex head screws I had gotten to hold the boards to the bracket tops... So, I talked myself into thinking that there wouldn't be much upward force on the bunks anyway, and I got some SS self tapping hex head screws about 3/4" long... not very big .. just enough to be able to push and crank in with a small rachet... With two per bracket, I doubt that any more than that will be needed...

As far as launching is concerned, I run the trailer in until the boat begins to float... which is when all but the front is underwater.. the fenders are maybe an inch or two under.... a very little lift/shove off the front bunk and it is floating away.... same is true for retrieval... very little cranking of the winch is needed to seat things back again to the bow stop.

One more thing.. I adjusted the bunks by roughly arranging the rear two side bunks to be what I thought would put the boat level with the tow vehicle. Then, while lying underneath, pushed up until I was barely starting to lift the boat. Then I cranked down the bracket.... by the time I lowered the floor jack completely, I felt that the whole hull was fairly evening supported.

Hope this helps... I guess I got carried away on this post.


PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2007 5:40 pm
by johnpthompson

Thanks for the added detail. I can tell it is time to improve our trailer--and now we have a game plan.

John Thompson