PATH: Home > Contents > Refitting & Repair > DIY >
^ ^ +
^ Literature and Manuals
^ Forum Posts
^ Tech Tips
^ Tech Notes
^ Related AEABoats Webpages
^ Related Articles
^ Related Books
^ Related Magazines
^ Related Videos
^ Related Websites
^ Main Topic Page Links
^ Discover how you can become a member and gain access to additional pages and programs!
^ Before you leave, Visit our FEATURED ARTICLES Home Page
NOTES: Page under development.
How To Set Up A Boat Trailer Correctly
One of the biggest things that can make a difference to how you enjoy your day out on your boat can be how your boat trailer is set-up.
Why is this you ask? As simple as it sounds, when your boat trailer is set-up correctly it will tow better, your trailer will sit behind your car better, it won’t swerve all over the road and naturally it will be a lot easier to launch and retrieve your boat on and off your trailer.
Whats involved in setting up your boat trailer correctly and how to do it:
How to set up your Boat Trailer covers things like boat roller and trailer skid set-up and positioning, when to use rollers and when to use skids. Learn how to position the boat on the trailer correctly and you will soon be spending more time in your boat than struggling with your boat trailer.
First things first. Let’s start with the smaller trailers and work our way up to the medium to larger sized boat trailers.
Most 12 to14ft (3.7-4.3m) boat trailers come with fixed or welded on suspension, you won’t be able to move or adjust the position of the suspension. However, boats that fit on these smaller types of trailers are generally at the smaller and lighter end of the trailer market so don’t have a lot of draw bar weight so adjustment is generally not needed.
Once you get a boat trailer larger than 4.5m in size you may need to be able to adjust the suspension forward or backward which will allow you to attain the correct draw bar weight to make sure the trailer tows correctly. We will get to this topic shortly.
If you have too little draw bar weight the trailer won’t sit behind you when you are towing, instead it will tend to swerve or sway from side to side all over the road. It is possible to get into a situation where your trailer appears to sit behind you correctly, however when you go to overtake someone and pull back in front of them you’ll find the trailer wants to sway.
It’s not so bad if the trailer sways from the outset because you’ll notice the trailer swaying behind you and it will allow you to adjust your driving accordingly. The alternative situation is a more dangerous one because you may not notice the problem until it’s too late. If you aren’t experienced driving with a boat trailer and don’t know how to handle the problem of swaying it’s easy to roll the whole car and trailer over. Possibly the worst thing you can do is put your foot down on the brake. A better idea is to speed up slightly to get your trailer back into a following situation and then slowly let the whole trailer slow down to a manageable speed.
How Can You Solve This Issue?
The easiest way you can fix the swaying issue is by adjusting the suspension position further back on the trailer chassis. This will allow for an increase in the draw bar weight and will make the trailer follow the tow of the vehicle. Trial and error is the easiest way to determine how far you need to move it. In most cases it won’t be much, just make sure you place a marker where you started so you know how far you have moved the suspension.
Ultimately, you will want the draw bar weight to be substantial enough to get the trailer to follow your car at all times. If your trailer is too light the wheels will follow the road surface rather then your car and let the trailer will go where it wants. conversely if it is too heavy and then you’re in danger of overloading your trailer tongue on the car, it can make the front end of your vehicle too light. This can affect the steering of the car and cause damage to the suspension of the towing vehicle.
As a rule of thumb the standard was once that 10% of the weight of the trailer and boat was what you needed as draw bar weight. While this isn’t a bad measure for some boat sizes, it doesn’t work when the units are too heavy or too light. Imagine the following situation. A boat that weighs 200kg – that would mean there is 20kg of draw bar weight, which in reality would tow pretty badly. Now take something that weighs 5000kg; you would have 500kg of down force on your trailer tongue. Not a lot of people have tow bars that are rated for this weight.
Most tow bars have a maximum down force rating of 350kg. I haven’t seen too many trailers available with that sort of draw bar weight. The bottom line is that you should be able to tow your trailer/boat or caravan down the road at a minimum of 90km/h without the trailer swaying –and it should not sway when you overtake someone, as long as you stay under the legal speed limit.
How to LAUNCH AND RETRIEVE your boat:
We will no discuss a couple of ways which will help make launching and retrieving your boat as easy as possible.
Small Boat Trailers
Small keel roller trailers are often used for aluminium or fiberglass hulls and are reasonably quick and easy to set up if you have the right tools. When you set up your boat on your trailer it will need to be adjusted with a ‘nose up’ or ‘keel up’ angle, i.e. the boat’s keel needs to be set higher at the front than at the rear. This will allow the hull to roll off your trailer quickly and easily.
To do this, first set your trailer on a level ground. secondly, check that the front keel-supporting roller is higher than the back keel roller by approximately 25mm. Depending on what sort of trailer you have, for small sized trailers it is recommended that the cotton reel boat roller series supports this option perfectly. Sometimes you will need to make the front end a bit higher but usually 25mm will be sufficient. Just remember that its always easier to work without the boat being on the trailer.
Next you need to get the boat sitting on its keel on the trailer. Move the boat forward until the rear end of the boat is overhanging the last keel roller by approximately 50mm. As a safety precaution make sure you adjust your trailers winch post to ensure your boat is secured to the trailer.
The last adjustment you will need to do is to move the side support bunks in or out until they clear the strakes or pressings in of hull. Make sure you push them up until they touch the hull of the boat. You don’t need to have a large amount of weight on the side bunks as they are only really only there to keep the boat from rocking from side to side. Keel-type hulls and the associated rollers take approximately 60% of the weight, while the plastic bunks take approximately 40%.
Larger Boat Trailers
When dealing with larger sized boats, the same set-up still applies for keel-type trailers. It’s much the same for multi-roller trailers without keel rollers, except that you’ll be making the appropriate adjustments with the roller packs on the outside of the trailer. The series of rollers and arms set up on the outer edge of a multi-roller trailer system are normally between 1100mm and 1200mm apart, and you just apply the same instructions as you would for a smaller sized boat.
The back roller pack becomes your lowest point. You can then set the front roller pack higher than the back set by at least a minimum of 25mm; although up to 50mm can be accepted for larger boats. With these two packs set you can now adjust all the other packs lower and out of the way.
Once you get the boat on the trailer and set it up for length; make sure there is approximately 50mm of the hull overhanging the last roller. As a note; Self Centering Keel Rollers can help guide your boat into the center and offer greater support to your trailer setup. Once you have adjusted the winch post, you can get down under the lowered roller packs with a trolley jack and use a jack to push the stems up until the roller packs are touching the hull of the boat.
Once the rollers are touching the hull you’ll want to give the jack about half an extra stroke to get the roller packs to take up the main weight of the hull. Unlike keel-type trailers, multi-roller trailers will distribute the weight of the boat evenly over all of the rollers.
Once you have completed one pack, repeat the same process on the rest of the packs on the other side of the trailer until all packs are adjusted accordingly and are sitting evenly over the hull of your boat. After you’ve made all the adjustments you may need to make a few minor tweaks here and there, but roughly 90% of the major work should be done.
The only other adjustment you may need to make is to adjust the individual arms in and out to clear the strakes of the hull. When you first get the boat on the trailer and you are pushing the roller packs up for the first time, you should be able to see if the rollers clear the strakes. If they don’t you will have to undo the U-bolts that hold the arms and slide the arms in or out to get the rollers to clear the strakes of the hull. We will cover this topic in an upcoming article on How to adjust boat trailer rollers.
As a caution you should consider when you’re adjusting things on your trailer is the brakes, you will need to make sure you don’t pull them or break any fittings when you make any adjustments. If you move the undercarriage of a wobble roller trailer there is a good chance it will be fitted with hydraulic brakes. You can tear the brake lines if you’re not looking to see how much adjustment you have in the lines. In most cases you can move your undercarriage approximately 200-300mm and the brake lines will allow it, anything over that you might have to check to see if it is capable of being moved any further without undoing some of the retaining clips that hold the brakes pipe in place. Any damage to the breaking system is a potential risk not only for you but also for other drivers on the road.
In conclusion, a properly set-up trailer will allow you to easily tow your boat to and from the ramps and allow you to launch and retrieve your boat without getting stressed, frustrated or even injured. It will make the roads a much safer place for yourself and the other road users. So make sure you take the time to set your boat trailer up correctly for your boat and you will be sure to spend many enjoyable years on your boat rather than struggling with your trailer. Just remember your boat will be different to your neighbours boat so keep in mind that your setup will most likely be unique to anyone you no.
More from https://roxom.com.au/tutorials/boat-trailer/how-to-set-up-boat-trailer
More Tutorials from https://roxom.com.au/category/tutorials/boat-trailer
More from https://roxom.com au
AEABoats Webpage for Roxom Trailer Parts (AU)
AEABoats Webpage for Boat Trailer Spares Online USA (US branch of Roxom Trailer Parts AU)
Literature and Manuals
Tech Tip ## from FoleyEngines.com
Related AEABoats Webpages
*Book is currently part of our members’ Lending Library. To view the entire book, click on the book’s Title above to go to the book’s AEABoats webpage and then Click the “Library” link.
If you would like to donate a book to our Lending Library, please email Donations@AnchorsAweighAcademy.org to arrange.
Page still under development.
If you would like us to add a book, magazine, video, website, etc. to this page,
just mention it in the Comment Box below.
Main Topic Page Links
BOAT REFITTING & REPAIR
^ Refitters & Repairers: Countries by Regions (Shipyards, Boatyards, Riggers, Repair Shops, etc)
^ ^ Refitters & Repairers: United States
^ Boat Repair Schools (Hull, Systems, On-Board Equipment, Propulsion Machinery, etc)
^ Do-It-Yourself Refitting & Repair (Installation, Maintenance, Troubleshooting, Repair, etc)
^ ^ DIY: Fundamentals
^ ^ ^ DIY: Tools, Usage, Safety, etc
^ ^ ^ DIY: Rot, Corrosion, Fatigue, etc
^ ^ ^ DIY: Troubleshooting, Failure Analysis, etc
^ ^ DIY: Vessel Structure
^ ^ ^ DIY: Hull & Deck
^ ^ ^ DIY: Steering & Thrusters (Mechanical, Hydraulic, etc)
^ ^ ^ DIY: Stabilizers & Trim Plates
^ ^ ^ DIY: Dewatering Devices
^ ^ ^ DIY: Galvanic Corrosion Protection
^ ^ ^ DIY: Hull Penetrations & Openings (Thru-Hulls, Scuttles, Skylights, Hatches, etc)
^ ^ ^ DIY: Deck Hardware & Equipment
^ ^ ^ ^ DIY: Ground Tackle (Anchors, Rode, Windlass, etc)
^ ^ ^ ^ DIY: Commercial Fishing Gear
^ ^ ^ DIY: Rigging
^ ^ ^ ^ DIY: Sails
^ ^ DIY: Propulsion Machinery (Control Systems, etc)
^ ^ ^ DIY: Engines (Fuels, Troubleshooting, Repair, Rebuilding vs Repowering, etc)
^ ^ ^ ^ DIY: Engine Mechanical
^ ^ ^ ^ DIY: Engine Lubrication
^ ^ ^ ^ DIY: Engine Fuel
^ ^ ^ ^ DIY: Engine Electrical
^ ^ ^ ^ DIY: Engine Cooling
^ ^ ^ ^ DIY: Engine Exhaust
^ ^ ^ ^ DIY: Engine Mounting
^ ^ ^ DIY: Engine-to-Marine Gear Interfaces (Adapter Plates, Damper Plates, Jackshafts, etc)
^ ^ ^ DIY: Marine Gears (Inboards, Inboard-Outboards, Outboards, Sail Drives, Pods, etc)
^ ^ ^ DIY: Shafting (Shafts, Couplings, CVC Joints, Thrust Bearings, Seals, Cutlass, Struts, etc)
^ ^ ^ DIY: Propellers (Screws, Water Jets, Paddle wheels, etc)
^ ^ DIY: Electrical Systems
^ ^ ^ DIY: Direct Current
^ ^ ^ DIY: Alternating Current
^ ^ ^ DIY: DC to AC Inverters
^ ^ ^ DIY: Auxiliary Generators
^ ^ DIY: Domestic Systems
^ ^ ^ DIY: Cabin Heating & Cooling
^ ^ ^ DIY: Galley Appliances
^ ^ ^ ^ DIY: LPG systems
^ ^ ^ DIY: Water Systems
^ ^ ^ DIY: Trash Disposal
^ ^ ^ DIY: Furnishings (Cabinetry, Coverings, Entertainment, Weather, etc)
^ ^ DIY: Nav & Comm Systems (Charts, Compass, GPS, Radar, Lights, Flares, EPIRB, VHF, etc)
^ ^ DIY: Safety Equipment (PFDs, Firefighting, Alarms, etc)
^ ^ DIY: Personal Equipment (Diving, Fishing, Sailing, Racing, Watersports, etc)
^ ^ DIY: Tenders
^ ^ DIY: Boat Trailers
If there is anything on this webpage that needs fixing, please let us know via email
Visit our FEATURED ARTICLES Home Page
to see examples of our website's comprehensive contents!
Thanks to our amazing contributors for the steady flow of articles, and to our dedicated all-volunteer staff who sort, polish and format them, everyday we get a little bit closer to our goal of
Everything About Boats. If you would like to submit an article,
see Submitting Articles.
— TOP 20 MOST POPULAR ARTICLES —
Ford Industrial Power Products Diesel Engines
How to Identify Ford Diesel Engines
Lehman Mfg. Co.
Detroit Diesel 8.2
Universal Atomic 4
Chrysler & Force Outboards
Eska Outboard Motors
ZF Friedrichshafen AG
American Marine Ltd (Grand Banks)
Types of Marine Surveys
Marine Surveyors: Countries by Regions
Boat Builders By MIC
American Boat and Yacht Counsel (ABYC)
USCG NVIC 07-95 Guidance on Inspection, Repair and Maintenance of Wooden Hulls
What our nonprofit Anchors Aweigh Academy and its
EverythingAboutBoats.org website have accomplished so far.
- Published over 300 website main topic webpages, many with full articles on the topic. See our Website Contents in the Right Sidebar for the listing of the main topic pages.
- Published over 9,000 marine vendor webpages, all with their contact information, most with a description of their products and services, many with product documentation, specifications and independent reviews. (Includes: Boat designers, boat building tools, material and equipment manufacturers and suppliers, boat builders and dealers, yacht brokers, marine surveyors, boat insurers, boat transporters, skippers and crews, boatyards and marinas, yacht clubs, boat rentals and yacht charters, boating, seamanship and maritime schools, marine law attorneys and expert witnesses, boat refitters and repairers, book authors and publishers, and video producers)
- Acquired over 120,000 pages of product documentation including Catalogs, Brochures, SpecSheets, Pictures, Serial Number Guides, Installation Manuals, OpManuals, Parts Schematics, Parts Bulletins, Shop Manuals, Wiring Diagrams, Service Bulletins, and Recalls. And have made all viewable to academy members through the EAB website.
- Acquired over 1,200 books and magazine back issues in our academy library and so far have made over 700 viewable to academy members through the EAB website.
- Published over 500 DIY How-To articles about boat design, construction, inspection, operation, maintenance, troubleshooting and repair. We are working hard to do more.
We are currently formatting and polishing the Anchors Aweigh Academy online and hands-on courses. The Marine Surveying course has proven to be excellent for both the beginner and the seasoned surveyor, and especially helpful to the Do-It-Yourselfer.
Current Academy Members must SIGN IN to gain FULL access to this
website including expanded pages and valuable Academy programs
like our Academy Lending Library and our Ask-An-Expert Program!
If your membership has expired, CLICK HERE to Renew.
IF YOU ARE NOT YET AN ACADEMY MEMBER,
CLICK HERE to discover how you can become a Member and gain FULL access to
thousands of expanded pages and articles, and dozens of excellent programs
WITH JUST A SMALL DONATION!
Thank you for your support. You make this website possible.
Comments for Public Viewing
Submit any comments for public viewing via email
Please remember to put this webpage's title in the subject line of your email.
All comments are moderated before they appear on this page. See Comment Rules.
FROM Donald: "This is an awesome website. I found the information that I needed right away from one of the over 20,000 free articles that you provide as a public service. I'm surprised that so much if this site is free. But I still signed up so I could access the thousands of expanded pages, interesting articles, and dozens of valuable programs! The member's library of books, magazines and videos that I can view online is really terrific! I understand that you and your staff are all unpaid volunteers. Please keep up the good work. And I commend you for your plans to add another 10,000 free informative articles over the next year. I'm thrilled to support you in this endeavor with my small membership donation. Thanks again for all your hard work."
FROM Huey: "I agree with my Uncle, I too have found the articles to be very enlightening. They say that it will take about 100,000 articles to cover the full scope that they have envisioned for the website. They have over 20,000 articles so far and that's doing pretty well, but it could take several years to get the rest. I also noticed that many of the Main Topic Pages and some of the article pages are still in the rough draft stage. I guess that they will fill in as they can get volunteers to work on them. But what I can't figure out is why anyone would spend the time writing informative in depth articles just to give away free to this website for publication? What's in it for them?"
FROM Dewey: "Well Huey, to me It looks like most of the articles on this website are written by very informed people, like boating instructors, boat designers, boat builders, riggers, electricians, fitters, marine repair technicians and marine surveyors. Writing such articles helps establish them as knowledgeable professionals. After all, this website was originally created by a school for marine technicians and marine surveyors. The website is growing in content every day. They even had to move to a bigger, more powerful server because the website's traffic has been growing exponentially."
FROM Louie: "I agree with everyone above. This site is quickly becoming the ultimate reference resource about every aspect of boats and ships for everyone from the beginning recreational boater to the seasoned professional mariner. I use the topic pages on the right sidebar to browse around the website. It's like a Junior Woodchucks' Guidebook for Boaters. Their Members' Library of over 300 popular and obscure books and over 200 magazine back issues that can be viewed online is fabulous. The Academy's magazine is especially informative. On top of that, there is the "Ask-An-Expert program for members where you can get an expert's answer to any of your boat questions. And a whole years membership is only $25. What a deal! I really love being part of this "Everything About Boats" community and help provide thousands of helpful articles free to the public. I think that I'll sit down right now and write an article about my experiences boating with my uncle."
FROM Scrooge: "You rave about this website like it was the best thing since sliced bread. Well, I think it stinks. Sure, it has a lot of good information for boaters, and they're adding more every day, but it will probably never be finished. Furthermore, I don't even own a boat. And I wouldn't have a boat even if someone gave me one. Boats are a waste of money and time and energy and money! They're just a hole in the water you pour money into. If you gave me a boat, I'd sell it quicker then you could say Baggywrinkle. Then I'd lock up the cash with all my other money so I could keep my eye on it and count it every day. Bah humbug."
FROM Daisy: "I'm just so glad that Donald got the boat so we and the boys could enjoy boating — together. And of course all of the girls, April, May, and June, love to be on the water too, especially when that is where the boys are. Oh poor Scrooge, boating is more fun then you could possibly imagine."
FROM Scrooge: "After seeing how much fun you all have on the water together, I regret that I didn't have that much fun when I was young. I've had a change of heart, and I'm giving each of you a Lifetime Academy Membership."
FROM Editor: "For those of you that have stayed with us this far, many thanks. You inspire us to keep working on this labor of love. We know that we have a lot more to do. Ultimately, we hope that we can help you enjoy the wonder filled world of boating as much as we do. We are all waiting to see what you have to say about this webpage article. Submit any comments via email To⇒Comments@EverthingAboutBoats.org. Be sure to include this page's title in the subject line. Also, your corrections, updates, additions and suggestions are welcomed. Please submit them via email To⇒Editor@EverthingAboutBoats.org. Let's work together on this."