Problem winching boat to trailer

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normo
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Problem winching boat to trailer

Post by normo » Tue Nov 23, 2004 10:32 am

First outing with the 26X was a 4 day trip to the Keys with the Miami Macs. Very nice. The only problem was dangerous trailer sway. I'm hoping that the sway is associated with the bow not being fully forward on the trailer.

The bow was approximately 4 inches behind the full forward position on the trailer but otherwise tied down so it wouldn't move further. More on this below. The boat had 18 gal fuel initially placed in the cockpit locations. The other heavy objects, and there were more than needed, were placed at or forward of the axle.

At 50 mph the trailer went nuts. We stopped, loosened tiedowns and tried the panic stops a few times to no avail. As a last resort we transferred the fuel and other heavy objects to the v-birth. This helped a lot and increased the max safe speed to 60-65 mph but even at these speeds I wasn't comfortable.

The first time I pulled the boat the bow could be winched tight against the trailer bow chock while on the ramp but when the boat was pulled out of the water the bow moved rearward 4 inches or so. It was not possible to winch the bow back to the bow chock as the winch strap applied a force to the bow eye which was downward as well as forward. The downward component made it impossible to move the boat forward. The bow sat probably 4 inches behind the bow chock when we trailered. Lots of other line was attached to keep it from moving up or aft. Need a way to get the boat fully forward on the trailer.

My approach would be to somehow change the winch strap angle so it is not pulling downward on the bow eye. Hopefully this would allow the boat to be winched to the bow chock. Then I would secure an additional restraining line to keep the bow lashed to the trailer chock. I learned long ago not to trust those winch straps.

Anyone else have a solution to this?

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Jesse Days Pacific Star 2
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Post by Jesse Days Pacific Star 2 » Tue Nov 23, 2004 10:49 am

You'll need to do the MAC wiggle or Mac quick stop(bump) to get the bow secured in the bumper stop. What's happening is you don't have enough tongue weight when it's not snugged up. This causes your trailer to sway.

Jesse

waternwaves
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Post by waternwaves » Tue Nov 23, 2004 10:55 am

Towing difficulties?

Could I ask the following questions,.,,,


What kind of hitch?
What kind of tow vehicle.?
Estimate of towed weight?

Was it impossible to put the trailer in deeper on retrieval? (Short ramp length, low water, towing vehicle already immersed too deep etc....

Snubbing up the bow eye tight to the winch prior to removal from the water usually brings the boat much closer than 4" from the bow chock.....at least on the X boats I have seen..

just wondering

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Chip Hindes
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Post by Chip Hindes » Tue Nov 23, 2004 12:26 pm

WW wrote:What kind of hitch?
What kind of tow vehicle.?
Estimate of towed weight?

Was it impossible to put the trailer in deeper on retrieval? (Short ramp length, low water, towing vehicle already immersed too deep etc....
IMO none of these things matters in relation to the problem. The symptom described is caused by too little tongue weight, and moving equipment forward was too little too late to fully compensate for the fact the boat was not far enough forward on the trailer. The Mac with a big motor and full tanks, on the stock single axle trailer, is already too light in the tongue by nearly half, and not having the boat all the way forward even a small amount can be seriously detrimental to on the road handling. BTDT.

Before I added the second axle and relocated the axle rearward for at least 10% tongue weight, I found the only way to get adequate tongue weight was to load all heavy items forward, including the fuel tanks. Or leave the tanks empty until just before launch. Even things as seemingly simple as mounting the spare tire as far forward on the tongue as you can get it, and leaving the anchor(s) in the locker or hanging off the bow pulpit can have a surprisingly high beneficial effect. None will be enough to compensate for the boat not being against the stop.

Regarding the Mac bump, through perhaps 60-70 launches and recoveries on ramps of every possible length and steepness, it simply doesn't matter how steep the ramp, how deep or how shallow you have the trailer, how tightly you can winch the bow to the stop, nor whether you have the ballast in or out: when you pull it out the boat will settle onto the bunks and it will be two to as much as eight inches short of the stop.

It is at that point, when you pull the boat up the ramp, and the boat and trailer bunks are still wet, when you do the Mac bump. The only thing you wait for is the ballast to empty completely. If you wait until they've had a chance to dry out, the boat will not move no matter what you do. BTDT as well.

I usually do the bump about 20 feet from the top of the ramp, as long as nobody is behind me. I've actually grown to enjoy the ineveitable startled exclamations of onlookers when I do it.

The only other (slim) possiblity is that your tow vehicle is too wimpy to stop the trailer short and therby complete a successful bump. I can only say I have done it with both Explorer mid SUV and Expedition max SUV without problem. If you conclude this might be a problem for your setup, you can try a product called Liquid Rollers or a squirt of dishwashing detergent on each of the bunks before you back into the water, in order to reduce the friction coefficient and make the bump easier on the entire system. I have found both of these to work, but they're not necessary and they last only one application, so I don't bother.

I once did the bump so forcefully I bent the stop bracket about two inches out of line. After straightening it out, now I do it nice and easy, and it sometimes takes two or three tries, checking each time, to get it all the way forward.

Moe
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Post by Moe » Tue Nov 23, 2004 12:41 pm

Check your tire pressures also, and make sure they're at maximum.

--
Moe

Mark Prouty
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Post by Mark Prouty » Tue Nov 23, 2004 12:52 pm

normo wrote:We stopped, loosened tiedowns and tried the panic stops a few times to no avail.
.
Liquid Rollers.
AKA - Mark's Miracle Cure.
Image
Also available at West Marine.

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craiglaforce
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Post by craiglaforce » Tue Nov 23, 2004 1:08 pm

I have never been able to be able to do the bump. I think the ablative bottom paint I use simply has too high a coefficient of friction. (Please pardon the techno-Moe speak). But when about halfway up the ramp, I apply with winch pressure and then wwalk back and try to rock the boat a tad. Then re-tighten the winch and repeat a couple of times. Seems to get the bow within about 2 to 3 inches and then I give up at that point. My tongue weight is probably on the light side since the bow is not up all the way and I leave the fuel tanks in the lockers. But I never weighed my tongue, (keep getting spit on the scale). The large E-150 van (white of course) tows it very well.
I agree the winch is pretty useless with the low pull angle and the rather flabby winch support post.
I tie the stern to the trailer with a couple of dock lines wrapped around stern cleats and the trailer trail, and of course another dock line tying the bow-eye to the ladder with the tail ends led up to the bow cleats just in case the bow eye were to fail.

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Newell
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mAC bUMP

Post by Newell » Tue Nov 23, 2004 2:18 pm

Change the angle of the winch. Take it off the bottom of the support and put above and drill a hole for the rope or strap through the support. It will now pull up and you can stop the problem of having to do the bump. I never do and have been trailering for 8 years

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argonaut
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Post by argonaut » Tue Nov 23, 2004 3:02 pm

Duane Dunne in another thread (26x Winch Capacity) posted a picture showing a trailer mod he made, rollers mounted just behind the most forward bunk.
Looks like it would improve winching, possibly negating having to slam on your brakes to "seat" the boat forward on the trailer.
I think loading depends on the ramp angle, and that's probably because of the height of the winch.
More height would probably help, but I think placing the winching force higher would require welding skills.

I don't think it'd hurt to reinforce the bow eye either, though my trailer usually bends to let me know I'm exceeding winching capacity. Must be a safety feature. :)

Bill at BOATS 4 SAIL
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Post by Bill at BOATS 4 SAIL » Tue Nov 23, 2004 3:11 pm

After all (or most) of the ballast has drained, close the valve on the transom. Back up enough to float your boat. Tighten the boat up to the stop with the winch. Pull the boat up the ramp.

waternwaves
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loading

Post by waternwaves » Tue Nov 23, 2004 3:23 pm

Normo, my questions are still out there..


Chip,
Yes, not putting the weight of the boat far enough forward will contribute to the light tongue weight poor handling problem. I just wanted to get all of the conditinal info before I threw in my two cents worth.. and I have to disagree with you on one other item. Improper positioning of the trailer makes the boat harder to load and correctly place on the trailer for the safest ride.

I light of the other threads on trailering, I wanted to collect more tow info on the average mac user.

For the record, I dont have to do the mac bump as long as I get the trailer in deep enough. it comes snug in the chock. (and yes, my boat is also aft heavy with 36gal of fuel, full head, shower, dinghy in the stern, and 5 hp outboard hanging on the rail. etc...) And I have seen other macs that loaded true., and just as many that do not, however many of those people that do not load true, seem to be much drier in loading than I am. Perhaps it is my standing in the water that helps.... or perhaps freshwater makes the boat ride just enough deeper to sit straighter on the trailer (unlikely but I suppose possible), and since 90% of mine is in salt... it doesent seem to affect me.

the one time I investigated this (after reading how many used this technique in here) to see if I even could do the mac bump , I set the boat back 1" on the trailer , however 6 coats of bottom paint seem to preclude sliding. Furthermore, the winch post does not seem to be designed for a steady diet of variable impacts. Seems more than appropriate for a boat tied snug, and riding in contact with the bow chock., I doubt that any have been broken off, but I would guess mainting a vertical orientation is unlikely after 30 or so hits......lol.... Perhaps some of these posts are no longer in the proper position....seems inappropriate for a boat that could slide 2 or more inches. and the fact that it is easily bent back reminds me why I also tie down the stern and run a midship belt to help keep her from bouncing up and sliding forward.

Now... maybe If I paint my hull with the faster Blue teflon paint I could run faster and do the mac bump, drat..... I would have to put the blue paint on the black bottom paint..... I guess the black painted boats are slowest of all. (Like I wondered why the white bottom boats were faster than the black, blue and red bottommed boats......yeah right)......maybe Bill at Boats4Sale cpould sell me the fastest mac color... Im thinking burgandy here....... at least it would seem fastest since no one else would want their boat around such a color....no matter where I went, I would then be in the lead, and none would dare follow....

Und Den I vud sail over ze vorld...........

normo
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Post by normo » Tue Nov 23, 2004 3:52 pm

waternwaves:

The tow vehicle is a GMC Safari

The hitch is a Reese V5 with max towing weight of 6000#

Estimated weight is 2250# boat + 750# trailer + 220# Tohatsu 50hp + 120# fuel + 50# water + 60# personal carry on for two + 30# food + 15# tools + 25# anchor/chain/rode = 3520# towed weight
================

thanks everyone for sharing your experience

To get the boat fully forward on the trailer I plan to try changing the angle of the winch strap and squirt dishwashing detergent on the bunks for starters. At some point I hope to remove the bottom paint which will reduce the friction and make the winch more effective. For balance I will mount the spare on the front of the trailer and put weight far forward.

Any experience on repositioning the axle for a 220# outboard?

I did the panic stop routine many many times in the 1970s on my Venture 224. Didn't like it then or now and hope I can avoid it. On some of the ramps I use you might get shot if you pulled the boat out a few feet and then stopped to rewinched it. Moving the fuel forward is a real bummer but I will continue to do it if necessary.

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Dimitri-2000X-Tampa
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Post by Dimitri-2000X-Tampa » Tue Nov 23, 2004 4:43 pm

I have bottom paint and can do the Mac Bump. It takes 2 or 3 times usually and I winch it tight in between bumps. I always get the bow snug in the snub to keep good tongue weight.

waternwaves
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mac bump

Post by waternwaves » Tue Nov 23, 2004 5:41 pm

Seems like rubbing anything on that bottom paint or hitting trailer takes the paint off...

Especially if one had an ablative last coating,

ultimately, I suspect the mac bump probably wears on the paint and hull more than I would like., so I'll just be thankful that I dont have to.

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Duane Dunn, Allegro
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Post by Duane Dunn, Allegro » Tue Nov 23, 2004 6:23 pm

The roller does help load the boat but has no impact at all on having to do the bump. We have always bumped for years with no problem. I've yet to find a ramp that doesn't require a bump after loading. Perhaps a real shallow one wouldn't. I think the steeper the ramp the more the boat settles back away from the block.

Lately I've been suprised by not having to bump once we're up the ramp. The time before last I tried the wiggle. Put some tension on the winch, rocked the boat near the bow and it slid forward. Did this twice and it was back in the bow block. The last time I went to the winch and cranked and to my surprise it just pulled right up into the block.

Perhaps my carpet is getting well worn or the liquid rollers is building up although I haven't applied any recently.

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