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View Full Version : Trailering help and info needed, just moved boat from marina to storage



graybmg
01-16-2010, 09:55 PM
I have a single axle Boat Mate trailer for my used 2,500 lb. Outback. The tires say 50 psi cold for max 1,760 lbs. My boat weighs more than that. Can I divide the boat weight by two? Do I need higher rated tires? The last thing I want is to not be able to get my boat to the lake, which is 3 miles away. I loved the convenience of the marina putting my boat in but I wanted better access to my it for tinkering, etc. Oh, and does 50 psi mean with the boat on the trailer? I figure the weight of the boat adds psi, right?

Did my first trailering home today. Felt real good to be in control of my boat. I love my boat! And I don't want anything bad to happen to it. So any advice on trailing is welcome. Do I need to lube anything? Okay to leave the lights plugged in when I back it into the water?

Newby here. Thanks.

yearround
01-16-2010, 10:28 PM
hey gray,
welcome to the life of trailering! you are correct on the tire capacity, figure total trailer loaded, including trailer, boat, gear, etc divided by number of tires, that is your tire rating. or 1750*2=3400lbs, looks good to go!

i never worry about unplugging trailer lights when load/unload.

on the trailer, check the brakes, are the hubs sealed? if not then you need to grease/pack etc. the bearings

maxpower220
01-16-2010, 10:36 PM
Your tires are fine for your trailer and boat weight, no need to change them. Tire pressure is a MAX of 50 psi, you can run less probably around 40-42. Pressure in the tire is the same regardless of the weight (with or without the boat on the trailer). The boat does not add pressure to the tires. Pressure should be measured when the tire is cold, before towing not after towing.

Yes, you can and should leave the lights hooked up. The reverse light on your tow vehicle sends a signal to block the trailer brakes while backing.

graybmg
01-16-2010, 10:49 PM
Thanks guys, great info! Exactly what I was looking for. Was worried about my vehicle towing out of the lake (steep hill) but no prob in 4wd. I backed the trailer in to water within one inch of the top of the wheel well. Thinking I may need to go a little further into the water. Had to give some power to get the boat close to the winch. Would rather float off the trailer than horsepower it off.

Ian Brantford
01-16-2010, 11:35 PM
While the trailer lights are supposed to be sealed so that you can leave them hooked up while launching and loading, I like to assume that there will be a day when that stops being true... say, when you are exhausted and really have to drive home after dark. If the lights short out and you do not have a spare fuse, you have no running lights at all.

I unhook the lights before the trailer goes in the water. If I have to back it up very far in a spot where the surge brakes might activate, I just engage the manual brake lockout. If you don't want to do that, please make sure that you have a spare fuse for your running lights.

DOCDRS
01-16-2010, 11:47 PM
I agree with Ian, disconnect the lights, the sooner the better as hot lights don't like cold water and water can short things. As far as tire inflation I run at 46 - 50 lbs cold pressure...tires heat up when they are under inflated and can blow...well documented....and i have happened. The nice thing tho is these trailers do run well on the highways. as far as lubing, not sure if ya have the new lube free bearings or the old style, i always use at least bearing buddies as they keep the grease under pressure and always make sure there fully grease after unloading the boat in water, thats when water is more apt to enter the inner bearings. Ya i like living in a perfect world :)

jester
01-17-2010, 12:26 AM
Thanks guys, great info! Exactly what I was looking for. Was worried about my vehicle towing out of the lake (steep hill) but no prob in 4wd. I backed the trailer in to water within one inch of the top of the wheel well. Thinking I may need to go a little further into the water. Had to give some power to get the boat close to the winch. Would rather float off the trailer than horsepower it off.

A little power off the trailer is alright. It breaks the dry seal the boat makes with the trailer. I never float off. Once you break the dry seal the prop will clear the trailer and you will not have to worry about it hitting the trailer. When you are loading the boat onto the trailer and you decide to float the boat onto the trailer you might end up on one side of the trailer or another and not right in the center.

zabooda
01-17-2010, 02:59 AM
You need to weigh the boat and trailer as the combined weight is at least 3,500 pounds. I use those same tires and that is what came with the boat. The only margin for the weight is the safety factor built into the tires. The single axle trailer requires quality tires and checking them for weathering. I assume the tires have been changed on your 2001 trailer otherwise you will be seeing weather checking and tread seperation with a nine year old tire. Keep the pressure at 50 psi as you are at the maximum weight limit. I have never disconnected the trailer lights while at the launch.

Razzman
01-17-2010, 10:42 AM
Just for the record i've never unplugged the lights on any of my trailers and never had any bulbs blow. And for those with disc brakes if you unplug the harness you loose the back-up solenoid and without the brake lockout key or a nickel inserted you might not be able to back up. Keep that in mind.

Razzman
01-17-2010, 11:06 AM
And for those worried about their lights, there's a seller on ebay that sells LED replacements for around $44 a pair. I bought and installed them on my last trailer for increased visibility and they are real nice.

Razzman
01-17-2010, 11:12 AM
Or maybe these (http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Red-LED-Oval-Trailer-Truck-Stop-Turn-Brake-Tail-Lights_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQhashZitem45f057d0f5QQitem Z300385030389QQptZMotorsQ5fCarQ5fTruckQ5fPartsQ5fA ccessories) for $27! Clear lenses that have red leds when activated.

Ian Brantford
01-17-2010, 11:55 AM
if you unplug the harness you loose the back-up solenoid and without the brake lockout key or a nickel inserted you might not be able to back up. Keep that in mind.

I just use the brake lockout device that came with the trailer. It's zip-tied to the trailer tongue, so it's always right there when I need it.

I also have a fashionable piece of electrical tape wrapped around the trailer tongue, partly overlapping the lockout opening, so that the device won't fall out as I am moving around the marina lot.

DOCDRS
01-17-2010, 03:40 PM
It is fashionable if the tape colour matches the trailer colour.

jester
01-18-2010, 11:09 PM
I always keep my lights connected. Never had an issue with electrical shorting. The trailers are built with being submerged in mind.

I get my boat in the water by backing down the ramp at a decent speed and when the tires are submerged, I hit the brakes and the boat slides off the trailer. Driver starts engine, gets out of the way and goes for a warm up run while the truck/trailer is being parked

Ed, The only issue with this way is if the boat does not start for some reason or another. I cannot tell you how many times I have helped a boat out at the boat ramp that did not start or they forgot the plug and they are watching the trailer drive away.

cab13367
01-18-2010, 11:21 PM
Ed, The only issue with this way is if the boat does not start for some reason or another. I cannot tell you how many times I have helped a boat out at the boat ramp that did not start or they forgot the plug and they are watching the trailer drive away.

I agree with Jester. My boat would not start after I re-arranged the gauges because I had reconnected the kill switch wires incorrectly. I sat at the boat ramp for a good ten minutes (on the trailer) until I figured it out. Luckily, it was a slow day at the ramp.

I am also leary of backing the trailer down the steep ramp without the winch strap attached. What if a little kid comes out of nowhere and runs behind the boat and the driver slams on the brakes ...

I always stop the driver as soon as the boat fenders are just underwater. At that point, I undo the winch strap (while inside the boat) and start her up. I then put it in reverse and signal the driver (usually my wife) to back in slowly. As soon as I feel the boat release from the trailer I signal her to stop backing up.

you da man
01-18-2010, 11:36 PM
Okay, what does the trailer lockout key thingy look like? I was told by my dealer to unplug and the manual said this as well.

viking
01-18-2010, 11:50 PM
I never unhook the lights. Boat trailers are made to be submerged!

As far as launching - It's usually me, my wife, and the kids. My wife WON'T back the trailer in or launch the boat and my kids are too young. So I always back the trailer to the water, jump in the boat with the kids, and then direct my wife to back it the rest of the way. I usually get it in right over the fender wells and that's when the back of the boat starts to float.

Now if the lake is very shallow I have to go in deeper and usually use some Hp to get it off/on the trailer.

But in a normal launch - I start the boat and let it idle. I then walk up to the bow of the boat, bend over the front and release the strap from the boat and get some slack in the line. I get it all ready for when I load the boat at the end of the day. I go back to the driver's seat and reverse her right off the trailer and out of the way. We float away from the docks and let her warm up as we are waiting for mom to park and return. When we see her coming we troll on up the the dock and she jumps in!

Nobody has to get wet!!

cab13367
01-19-2010, 02:49 AM
viking,

My routine is similar to yours. I back the boat down most of the way, get in the boat, then my wife backs it in the last 5 feet or so. I back off the trailer and she parks the rig (but only if there is plenty of empty parking spaces). Otherwise, my wife will back the boat off the trailer and I will go park the rig.

Whatever it takes :)

polar21
01-19-2010, 09:36 AM
If you are launching on a steep ramp, LEAVE THE WINCH OR SAFETY CHAIN hooked up until the rear of the boat gets in the water.

-Long story short, I was backing down our 19' Sea Pro on a very steep ramp and it managed to fall back off the trailer onto the concrete. End result was not pretty and the only way we could get the boat back onto the trailer was to use the winch and have 3 grown men pull the front of the boat back down (bow of the boat was pointing straight up and the rear of the boat was on concrete)