View Full Version : Trailer Guide Poles-Rusty & Loose
03-16-2009, 03:07 AM
I have recently been looking at my guide pole on my trailer. They seem rather loose. They are cracked around where the pole goes through the step. I looked on the underside and saw where the poles mount to the frame rail was cracked also. Metal Fatique?
I thought it was from poor driving skills of the previous owner since I just recenty bought it. I'm now thinking it is design flaw. The crackes and the way the metal is sprung it seems like the pole were pull together insted of pushed apart.
I'm thinking this comes from the vibrations of trailering. The trailer is an 03 boatmate. I will try to post some pics. My brother's 04 is similar, just not as bad as mine is.
Does anyone else have this? What did you do for a fix? reweld, add more support/brackets, nothing.
03-19-2009, 07:56 PM
Here are a few pictures of what I am talking about.
The blue trailer is from my brother's boat, an 04 Mobius LS. The trailer was dated 3/04. The boat itself has 185 hrs.
The red trailer is mine. It has my 03 Outback. The trailer is dated 7/03. The boat itself has 85 hrs.
I listed the hours of the boats to give you an idea these are low use item (unfortunately). Both boats are fresh water only.
The red trailer also has some cracking that is not very visible in the pictures. The pictures also show some weld since i have started to fix it.
03-19-2009, 07:59 PM
I plan on having a friend sand blasting the paint of in these small areas using a portable sand blaster. Then reweld the affected areas. I will also try to add an additional support bracket to spread the load across more of the surface area.
Vibration is a killer, but also different material thickness, poor welding practices and poor design. Looking at the pictures, and they are small, but I would suggest all of the above! I would add some gussets in the repair work.
Or, and I don't know what the trailer looks like from these photos, if the poles are all metal and are over 4 or 5 feet long, I would cut them off to +2 ft or so and then slide PVC over those to reach the height you want. Having metal that height under vibration without the proper support is asking for trouble. Again I am just guessing here as I can't see what the design really is from the pictures.
Hummmm? wonder why it worked on my Mastercraft trailer for over 20 years? Must have been that steel infused PVC I bought! Possibly it was because it was 2" PVC it might have had some strength vs. the 1/2" PVC. Or maybe I made sure that I cut off the top portion of the metal tubbing that really was never used for guiding the boat on the trailer. Or maybe it was that the wife could put the boat on the trailer without crashing into the poles, which never had any padding on them. Ok maybe she did bump them (but not often) and they would just bend back and act like a damper, you know slow the boat down but not damage anything. Hummmm. I guess you are right it would be better to have one of those welds start to fail and fall off the trailer unto a car behind you going 60 miles an hour, you know because these guys don't have new trailers. Our it could break off when you crash into it while loading the boat, that would be better i believe. Hummmmm...........
03-20-2009, 10:34 AM
Zegm, did you paint the sides on that mc?
You are bringing up some very painfull memories here. Yes it was a Green Stars and Stripes. The clear coat was gone off the green areas. The metal flake in the area of the green paint was HUGE!!! It would cut you if you slid you hand across it. But because the boat sat in the water all summer it would get a dirty stain across the hull where it was white (below the stripe) and it was almost impossible to get off. So I (me) decided to just paint the sides one color and to paint over the old stripes on the bow and engine cover. The white paint was still in great shape after all those years. Now here is where it gets painfull, the wife was not happy with that choice. She wanted it to be original, so you can say that I got it painted the way I wanted but in reality I did not win that battle! I lost Big Time!!!! But in the end it turned out ok because we got a boat lift. You see neither one of us wanted our new Moomba baby to get dirty! :D
PS if you look closely in the picture you can see how dirty the hull is where I didn't clean it before I sold it.
Actually putting this boat on the trailer was a little harder than the Moomba as it just had 2 flat rails with the bunks on it. This would allow the bow to pretty much go where it wanted unless you left a good bit of the trailer out of the water. And yes we did bounce off those poles a good bit. OK I would because it wasn't my normal job to put this boat on the trailer, Ginny takes that responsibility in the inboards and I do it with the offshore boat. By the way this trailer has the u-bolt attachment style poles that have to be checked regularly as they vibrate loose too.
03-21-2009, 06:14 PM
Banging into the poles and the vibration from trailering is what causes the welds to break. As Z said, there isn't much metal on the step and it lacks rigidity from the bumping. I have poles like the MC trailer had except I had a PVC pipe and cap on it and every year I found water in those pipes and I figured out I was going in too deep and the PVC pipe would float up and someone would push down on the PVC and force water into the pipe. It may have been a couple of years before I realized I had water sitting them and it still didn't affect the integrity so far. Now I get the shop vac out when I see water in them.
03-21-2009, 09:01 PM
Yep, new trailers have a lock pin and three bolts to pinch the post in place. This my be better from a ease of maintanence point of view, but if yo pull your trailer unloaded like I have to do 4 times a year the bouncing causes the same effect your having except the pin will keep them from flying out. I've had a couple of the set screws go missing already.
I didn't think they were steel all the way up, but maybe tha's because I've always had the covers on mine and never removed them to see what's hiding underneath. I would thing though that if you did cut them low you would reduce some of the unsprung weight hiding at the top. I bellieve wether or not you snap them off is a matter of driver skill.
As Z pointed out Ginny does the loading, same situation at my house, Renee does the driving and seems to have little to know problem gettin our boat on the trailer without raming anything too hard, or I should say at least not anymore :)
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