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SnowBass23

Problem Centering Boat on Trailer

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Hi all.

I am having problems getting my boat (a Tracker 175) centered just right on the trailer.  I have figured out what seems to be the optimum depth to have the trailer submerged to (with about 1/3 of the bunks submerged).  I then motor up onto the trailer as far as possible (without gunning the engine) then hop out on the tongue and winch it up.

The problem is when I get it winched up the back end is often an inch or two one way or the other.  The issue with this is that the ridges on the bottom of the boat (I can't remember what they are called) are matched up to the trailer in such a way, that 1 inch either direction and the boat is resting on the ridges, on top of the bunk.  This also knocks the transom saver out of alignment.  If I have the trailer deeper then the boat wants to drift too much and the problem is even worse.  Keeping less ofthe bunks in the water might make it a bit better (will have to experiment next time out).

As it is, after I winch the boat up, I have my wife back the trailer up just far enough for the weight to come off the back end.  Then I push it over so it lines up, or I hold it in place as she slowly pulls forward.

This works, but I'm sure you all know a better way!  Also, when winter water temps get cold me getting wet up to the waist is not a good idea.  I've been looking into getting side boards (the kinds that are supposed to guide the boat on straight) but don't want to shell out more money if I don't have to.  Any thoughts?  Thanks!

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The side guides are your best bet. I am very happy with mine. well worth the $$.

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I have not winched a boat onto a trailer for the last 35+ years; install side boards and drive that sucker up.

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I have not winched a boat onto a trailer for the last 35+ years; install side boards and drive that sucker up.

x2   Unless you are prohibited from power loading drive that thing on the trailer. The guide on posts are also a great help if you can't see the trailer in the water

Harshman

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How many bunks do you have , 2 or 4 ?

Don't take this the wrong way I'm just trying to help , but it sounds like you might not have enough trailer in the water. You said 1/3

of your bunks are in the water , I would try 2/3 then, as the other guys stated, drive that beast on there with the motor.

Good Luck

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sounds like the trailer is to deep.

also if you can power load it like said  do it. one hint. Don't know how big of a guy you are, but when I use my father in law's PTX 175 ( I am around 300lbs)I have to sit in the middle seat when putting it on the trailer this keeps it straight on the trailer

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Thanks for all the replies!  I have tried to power it on, but even when I really push the throttle forward I don't feel like I'm really making nay kind of headway to get it loaded, whether that means it is too shallow or too deep I don't know.

The first time I loaded it it was definately too deep, as it would start to float one way or the other with the current, and would not be straight (even after it was winched tight against the rubber post) when pulled out of the water.  

I am 245 lbs. myself, so the note about the middle seat is interesting.  It does seem that ever time I initially trailer it (before I get wet to straighten it) that the rear of the boat is sitting to the left.  I'm gonna play with it some more and try it both deeper and shallower and see the difference it makes.  

I went to BPS today in Destin and due to frustration over a different issue I forgot all about the dang side boards!  (I bought the boat in Prattville, and those folks have been a big help, before and after the purchase.  The Destin store has never been a great experience for me :;) )

For those with the side boards, when you install them are they sturdy enough to guide the boat where you need it?  My concern is that if the boards don't fit snug against the boat then their only use will be showing me where the trailer is when submerged, but as soon as I pull into place, if the water is too high, then boat will still shift to the side before I pull the trailer forward.

Thanks again.

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The trailers that come with Trackers are the worse things I have ever seen.  I have been around several different models and none of them load worth a hoot.

You will have to install some side guides in order to get the thing to load properly.  

Then learn how deep to back the trailer and drive the boat on it.

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I make my own out of steel plate at least ¼ thick, weld them to the trailer, & adjusted to where the board is ¼-3/8 of an inch from the side of the boat. The board is at least 5' in length and carpeted. Do not ideal on to the trailer and the give it gas; do it in one smooth non-stop motion.

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Here is my boat trailer with the side guides. I have them adjusted so there is about 1/2" between them and the boat. I have the bunks on the trailer adjusted so they are between the ribs on the bottom of the boat. I back the trailer into the water so the front of the bunk is level with the water. I then just idle in until the keel touches the front roller. Then I just throttle up until the boat touches the winch stand. I then hook up the winch strap to the bow eye and pull out. The angle of the boat sides and the side guides put the boat in the center of the trailer every time. That  works very well for my boat trailer combo. I also have those glide sticks on my bunks that help greatly with loading and unloading.

boat1.jpg

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You have the trailer too deep. I just got rid of a PT 170 and had the same problem the first couple of times. I judged my trailer depth by looking at the step in front of the trailer wheels. I only needed about an inch over the step and it would go on strait every time. It is a little confusing seeing how little of the bunk is actually in the water because it only leaved about 2 ft of bunk in the water. I dont have to do it with the new boat but that was the only way I could get my tracker to load strait.

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Thanks for all the replies.  Today I tried it with just about 1/4 of the bunks in the water.  I also sat in the middle seat, which whether it affected the actual loading or not, it is clearly obvious how much the boat leans to one side when I am in the driver's seat.  

Anyway, I pulled up straight on the trailer and centered (mostly).  I didn't power load it all the way to the winch stand but it went much better than before.  Thanks again for all the info.

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I have a Tracker PT175 as well and have experienced the same problem as you on certering on the bunks, especially when loading in current on a river.  I've been wanting to install some kind of side guides on the trailer to help center the boat on loading, but just haven't had the time/money/motivation to get it done yet.  When I don't get it on there straight, I just go ahead and pull it out of the water and see where the hull strakes on the bottom are sitting.  Usually I can get in on straight enough that the strakes are sitting on the bunks (sometimes they're just off on the other side) and by pushing on the aft quarter and rocking the boat I can get it to slide over on the bunk and the strakes to drop down in between ther bunks (where they're supposed to be for proper alignement).  I'm not a big guy by any stretch of the imagination (5'9", 170lb) and I can get it to slide over just by myself.  So that's what I do in the interim until I can get some side guides installed.  Hope that helps.

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