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BrianSnat

Home made trailer repairs/upgrades

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For those of you who trailer boats, how do you get the boat off to do trailer repairs and upgrades? No way I can do it in my backyard. I'd need at least 4 strong men to lift the boat off.

I thought about bringing it to a ramp somewhere where I can unload the boat then work on it, but I'm not sure what the various parks systems would think about me bringing all of my tools to work on the trailer in the parking lot.

I need to replace the bow roller and the brackets holding the bunks are starting to rust. While replacing those brackets I'd like to switch to roller bunks, but how to go about it?

 

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I haven't changed the boards on mine yet but when I do it will be at the lake in the parking lot. I can get everything ready have all the tools and hot batteries for the cordless waiting. Having a friend to help should speed things up as well. 

 

I also have seen a video or two of others doing the same. 

 

10 minutes ago, briansnat said:

I'd like to switch to roller bunks, but how to

 

As for changing to roller bunks i have no clue maybe someone else can help. 

 

 

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On most boats I just hook the boat to a tree or something and pull the trailer out from under it and use the winch to pull it back on.  Sometimes that last couple of feet can be a little hard to winch on so I just get going and slam on brakes a couple of times and let inertia do the rest.  Understand, sometimes it does not take much inertia, so start slow and easy or you could ruin your day doing it.  Also, make sure you have a good front eye, some are mounted so crappy they would pull through the hull if you put much pressure on them.

Now, if you boat weighs a couple thousand pounds like my 20' Javelin, sliding one off it's not something you would want to do unless 100% necessary, it's a bear to load back on.  It's usually easier to just jack it up and do any repairs.  I've replaced bunks and rollers many times without taking one off the trailer. 

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Changing the bunks is a lot easier task and use synthetic wood in lieu of real wood. Taking the boat to the lake and launching it during week day with permission and not taking up ramp or getting the way of folks works OK. 

Taking a heavy bass boat off the trailer at home isn't easy. First you need to remove the outboard engine and that requires some skill, I use eye bolt screwed into the flywheel thread and a strong strap attached to a strong garage beam. Lower the trailer tongue all the way down to rise the engine up, tighten the strap and raise the trail tongue to lower the boat transum or rent a lift. 

Pulling the trailer out from under the boat and dropping the boat onto rolled carpet or rubber tires is the easy part, putting the boat back on is not an easy task!

Rebiulding a bunk trailer into a roller trailer will take a lot of skill, making and welding on new brackets at the proper locations and height isn't going to be easy. If you boat is glass rollers can create uneven plane surfaces, not good!

Tom

 

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7 hours ago, Way2slow said:

On most boats I just hook the boat to a tree or something and pull the trailer out from under it and use the winch to pull it back on.  Sometimes that last couple of feet can be a little hard to winch on so I just get going and slam on brakes a couple of times and let inertia do the rest.  Understand, sometimes it does not take much inertia, so start slow and easy or you could ruin your day doing it.  Also, make sure you have a good front eye, some are mounted so crappy they would pull through the hull if you put much pressure on them.

Now, if you boat weighs a couple thousand pounds like my 20' Javelin, sliding one off it's not something you would want to do unless 100% necessary, it's a bear to load back on.  It's usually easier to just jack it up and do any repairs.  I've replaced bunks and rollers many times without taking one off the trailer. 

 

That's what I do ;)

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Here is a way. Not sure if it is the right way or even will work for your boat. 

 

 

 

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Rebiulding a bunk trailer into a roller trailer will take a lot of skill, making and welding on new brackets at the proper locations and height isn't going to be easy.

 

They don't make stock brackets for roller bunks?  The bunk mounts on my trailer are all bolted in.I would hope I could find a bracket that I can simply bolt to the trailer frame. I don't have a huge boat. It is only 15 ft but it is old, thick gauge aluminum and the 3/4 inch marine plywood floor adds a lot of weight. 

I had a newer aluminum boat of the same size that I could  take off the trailer by myself. This boat is pretty heavy for its size.  

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11 hours ago, Way2slow said:

It's usually easier to just jack it up and do any repairs.  I've replaced bunks and rollers many times without taking one off the trailer. 

 

Same here, I just used a board with an old couch cushion to pad it and spread the load a little.

 

Have also met a buddy at the ramp and unloaded/beached the boat while we did some repairs.  As long as you do the work in the parking area or otherwise don't impede the ramp, you should be fine. 

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I did a major overhaul and mods to the trailer under my Polar Kraft stick steer aluminum bass boat. I first jacked the dolly wheel all the way down. I set to hd car jack stands and boards under the transom.  I then jacked the trailer jack all the up causing the back of the boat to rest on the wood boards ( 2x6s ) and off the trailer in the read.  I then cribbed up the boat just before the hull swings up in the front. Using more jack stands, boards and a floor jack I raised the boat up in the front and walked the trailer out  while it was angled down in the rear. To put it back on jusat reverse the procedure. It work fine and never gave me a moments trouble. 

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I have replaced winch, and keel rollers in parking lot with boat tied up in water.  I dont feel assured to jack up a 16 foot aluminum with 40hp engine.  I am getting ready to do the carpeted bunks and can do that in the parking lot too.  Just need to have all tools ready and then some for the unexpected.  I go thru routine of remove and replace in my garage/driveway to simulate in my head what must be done first.  Hope that helps.

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To anyone who wants to do it as shown in the video, a bit of advice.  All the boat yards and haulers in this area will put either a chain and binder or a cable come along around the two forward stands to ensure that the forward stands cannot spread.  

 

 

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When I had to replace the bunks on my trailer with the permanent bunk boards, I took it to the lake.  It was just easier and my thinking was that if I got done early I'd already be at the lake and I could go fishing.  Good plan - didn't work out that way.  Very shortly after I finished the job an early summer storm rolled in and it rained the rest of the day and into the next.  All my tools got wet and took a while to dry them out once I got home.

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Take it to the lake, launch and park the boat out the way then pull up out the way and do the work, that would be my first choice.

 

If you have the right gear and a good solid tree in the yard you can put a nylon 3inch lifting strap under the boat at the bow and stern and hook that to a 3ton chain fall and lift it up off the trailer, pull the trailer out do the work then push the trailer back and lower the

boat back on the trailer.

 

 

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On April 12, 2017 at 3:27 PM, briansnat said:

 

They don't make stock brackets for roller bunks?  The bunk mounts on my trailer are all bolted in.I would hope I could find a bracket that I can simply bolt to the trailer frame. I don't have a huge boat. It is only 15 ft but it is old, thick gauge aluminum and the 3/4 inch marine plywood floor adds a lot of weight. 

I had a newer aluminum boat of the same size that I could  take off the trailer by myself. This boat is pretty heavy for its size.  

The floor comes out, the engine cones off and with a 15' aliminum boat you can drop on a piece of carpet, old tires or flat rock free lawn easily.

Determine who made the trailer, contact them and ask if rollers are available. Most older aluminum bait trailers have a combination of center line rollers and 2 short transum carpeted bunks.

Tom

PS, Shoreline makes boat trailers and may have what you need.

 

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