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Raycaster

Got to lower boat trailer (smaller tires)?

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My pontoon boats sits way too high for nice 12 degree paved launches so I need to lower it. My  tandem trailer is DIY so I can lower the bunks 2" and move the bunks back 1' safely. Its a tandem trailer that is REALLY overkill for my tiny 16' barebones pontoon with 30hp so weight is a non-subject.

The last adjustment could be going down from the 13" tires I currently use. Again weight isnt a problem but does anyone see a problem going smaller?

The combination of these 3 adjustments should avoid me be featured weekly on youtube "boat launch fails"

I built a 6' extention bar that does work but I just use it for launches and its a huge headache with 5 guys waiting for the ramp.

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Smaller tires will have to rotate a lot faster putting more wear and tear on the bearings.  That may not be an issue if you don't tow it long distances.

If you have overslung axles, then switching to underslung could drop the trailer up to five inches.

The axle style can make a difference too.  My old 2" square axle that didn't require perches, placed the centre line of the axle 1" above the springs.  My new 2.5" diametre axle with perches places the centre line of the axle about 2" above the springs.  So my new axle has dropped the boat about 1".    

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Going with smaller tires is only going to give 1/2 of the difference in height reduction of the tire.  I'm pretty sure you have lots of clearance to put the axles on top of the springs.

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The top of the spring leaf is just under 4" to support bar.

The u bolt extends 3" from bottom leaf.

The axle will need more clearance than 3/4" right?

Edited by Raycaster

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You can exchange the axles with drop axles.

Doesn't look like an axle flip will work due to available space.

 

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1 hour ago, Raycaster said:

The top of the spring leaf is just under 4" to support bar.

The u bolt extends 3" from bottom leaf.

The axle will need more clearance than 3/4" right?

Ah yes, optical dillusion for me, Drifters right about the drop axles.

 

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I think you just need to change your launch system.

Undo front and back straps get a capable boat driver and back in until it floats.

Load is a little trickery. Back trailer into water until axle cover is almost covered.

Have capable boat driver load boat until it touch front. Now leave boat motor in gear and running.

The vehicle driver just pulls forward small amount the boat will pop up just a little now shut off boat motor and pull boat out.

Will not work for roller trailer.

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7 minutes ago, Sinker said:

Can't you just back in further? I don't get it.....

S. 

Depends on the ramp. Don't want to drop the trailer wheels off the end of the ramp as it can get ugly quick at some ramps.

 

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Just now, DRIFTER_016 said:

Depends on the ramp. Don't want to drop the trailer wheels off the end of the ramp as it can get ugly quick at some ramps.

 

Use a better ramp? I'm not understanding. 

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1 minute ago, Sinker said:

Use a better ramp? I'm not understanding. 

Concrete ramps can have the ends wash out and when this happens if the trailer wheels drop off the end you aren't getting it out without help. The ramp on the Credit River in Pt. Credit is bad for this. I have seen other ramps with the same problem. The ramp on my lake had the issue when the water was low a few years ago. People with larger boats had to back in further and were dropping their trailer tires off the end of the ramp into a foot of silt. No way to get the trailer out without help of a tow truck.

 

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Just now, DRIFTER_016 said:

Concrete ramps can have the ends wash out and when this happens if the trailer wheels drop off the end you aren't getting it out without help. The ramp on the Credit River in Pt. Credit is bad for this. I have seen other ramps with the same problem. The ramp on my lake had the issue when the water was low a few years ago. People with larger boats had to back in further and were dropping their trailer tires off the end of the ramp into a foot of silt. No way to get the trailer out without help of a tow truck.

 

I understand that, and I have experience it. The ole RAM just yanked my boat out though...lol....

Just have to choose your launches I guess. 

S. 

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1 minute ago, Sinker said:

Just have to choose your launches I guess. 

If you have that option.

Only one ramp on my lake. ;)

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Yeah I ran the trailer wheels off the ramp and couldn’t move. So I gunned the ram pickup and got out 

 

   a mile up the road I blew a tire  turns out I bent the axle bad so the tires were just skidding down the road Smokey. The rest of the way home one tire on the gravel and one on the road 

the last 200 yards on the rims .... Brian straightened the axle out real fine for me  I dont use that ramp anymore 

 

 

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100% on boat ramp choice for sure.

4 ramps on Balsam and Rosedale is the only problem.

When I step out of the vehicle into water I should look for a different ramp!

I get the posts here saying just drive in deeper but with front wheel drive and add the tongue weight on the rear (less grip in front) its tow truck time for sure on a wet ramp.

Next year I will drop the bunks 3-4"s and move boat back 1'. When the tires need replacing I will look into going smaller if its worth it. Exchanging the axles may be vetoed by my wallet. 

 

Thanks for all suggestions,

 

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Put the axle over the springs, as suggested above.  But also install a taller shackle, either on only one end or both ends of the spring pack. This will provide more space between the trailer frame and the springs.  The shackles will be however long you feel you need to keep the springs operating well.

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On 10/6/2019 at 12:52 PM, Raycaster said:

4 ramps on Balsam and Rosedale is the only problem.

Do you ever use the Provincial Park one? It looks nice, but very uneven. A real pain when loading the boat back on the trailer.

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