Still have your factory trailer? Take a good look at it!

A forum for discussing issues relating to trailers and towing MacGregor sailboats.

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BOAT
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Re: Still have your factory trailer? Take a good look at it!

Post by BOAT » Mon Jul 11, 2016 9:49 am

Obelix wrote:Our 2008 aluminum trailer is just working fine.
We and probably many others on this forum, who have logged thousands of miles, don't understand comments like "broken after 2 launches". :? :)
We only used our trailer, launching only in saltwater, for the first 4 years as delivered from the factory and added in 2012 a second axle for our move from Patterson, Ca to Port Richey, FL (2900 miles). :)
I did replace the coupler-actuator unit in 2012 when I added the second axle and removed loose rust, cleaned and repainted the steel parts. Now in 2016 another rust removal action is forthcoming. :(

Obelix
Hey Obelix,

I totally get your point and I agree. A 2008 trailer that is maintained should be fine. I think a lot of the trailers that these guys are talking about are boats they bought used - so the trailers are older and who knows how they were stored. Still, I also totally agree with the site admin that these trailers are not built to take many years of saltwater. We all know that NO steel is going to take the saltwater for a very long time. The trailer gets you into and out of the water - but if you really need a stout set up where you can also use your boat as a camper and dunk 4 times a month the factory trailer is going to be pushed to it's limits.. I have been sailing trailer boats for over 40 years and I can tell you that every boat we had for more than 15 years had two trailers. I think some of you might be overestimating the ability of the average boat trailer, (in my opinion). We tried fully galvanized ones, steel painted, even ones with stainless hardware - it always seemed like my dad spent more time on the trailer maintenance than the boat! And the trailers STILL destroyed themselves! (Of course, we traveled thousands of miles into Mexico and all over the USA). Still, it was not the road that killed our trailers, it was the salt.

The trailer is not the main event - it's the boat that runs the show - if you just need to dunk the boat then buy cheap - then replace often. I just wish we had a source - I remember the guy at MacGregor that built the trailers - his name was Clay and he ran the trailer shop at the factory in Costa Mesa. I think he lived in San Clemente just north of me but he moved to Florida with the Sharps.. He was a REALLY NICE guy and VERY SMART and bent over backwards to help me many times. Man, how I miss Clay - I wish he were still here and we could all buy our trailers from him.

So, without Clay the question is:

Where can we get trailers? Are the parts still available? (I doubt it - because Clay built most of the parts by hand and I don't even know where Clay lives now!?! :cry: :cry: :cry: )

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Re: Still have your factory trailer? Take a good look at it!

Post by Tomfoolery » Mon Jul 11, 2016 9:52 am

tek wrote:I actually asked my Mac dealer about that when I bought my 26M new, it has the aluminum trailer.
They weren't allowed to make the tongue aluminum due to an outdated law still on the books in the United States requiring all trailer tongues to be steel.
I suspect that was to avoid things like people building 100% wooden trailers at the time.
I asked the shop that upgraded my trailer later and got the same response.. only steel allowed.. so we're all stuck dealing with a material that rusts.
It might be in recognition that non-ferrous metals have no fatigue limit. In other words, there is no stress level below which there will never be metal fatigue regardless of the number of cycles, as there is with ferrous metals like steel. A pole tongue that's fatigued to the point of failure can and will break off or partially rip and bend with no warning. Not that a tongue can't be designed for a great many load cycles, but these aren't aircraft, and there aren't logbooks for trailers. :D

Just a guess.

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Re: Still have your factory trailer? Take a good look at it!

Post by BOAT » Mon Jul 11, 2016 10:04 am

Tomfoolery wrote:
tek wrote:I actually asked my Mac dealer about that when I bought my 26M new, it has the aluminum trailer.
They weren't allowed to make the tongue aluminum due to an outdated law still on the books in the United States requiring all trailer tongues to be steel.
I suspect that was to avoid things like people building 100% wooden trailers at the time.
I asked the shop that upgraded my trailer later and got the same response.. only steel allowed.. so we're all stuck dealing with a material that rusts.
It might be in recognition that non-ferrous metals have no fatigue limit. In other words, there is no stress level below which there will never be metal fatigue regardless of the number of cycles, as there is with ferrous metals like steel. A pole tongue that's fatigued to the point of failure can and will break off or partially rip and bend with no warning. Not that a tongue can't be designed for a great many load cycles, but these aren't aircraft, and there aren't logbooks for trailers. :D

Just a guess.
You can use aluminum for the tongue if you want in many states in US - they already have it in Australia and parts of Canada - it will just bend sooner if it gets stressed too much - aluminum is softer. The only ones that can't use aluminum are us guys in California - The problem for the factory was CALIFORNIA.
Clay told me that it's the LAW: You are not allowed to have an aluminum tongue on any trailer in California. You can't even put it on the road and the DMV will not register it. They had no choice.
If the trailers had alum tongues he would have never been able to ship them.

I don't care about having an aluminum tongue because the axle and wheels and bearings and u bolts are going to degrade an fail anyways - in fact those items get more salt than the tongue! So I am going to end up spending 1000 dollars replacing everything on the frame every ten years??? hull no - just replace the whole trailer for 600 and skip all that labor.

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Re: Still have your factory trailer? Take a good look at it!

Post by Paul S » Mon Jul 11, 2016 10:10 am

BOAT wrote:
Obelix wrote:Our 2008 aluminum trailer is just working fine.
We and probably many others on this forum, who have logged thousands of miles, don't understand comments like "broken after 2 launches". :? :)
We only used our trailer, launching only in saltwater, for the first 4 years as delivered from the factory and added in 2012 a second axle for our move from Patterson, Ca to Port Richey, FL (2900 miles). :)
I did replace the coupler-actuator unit in 2012 when I added the second axle and removed loose rust, cleaned and repainted the steel parts. Now in 2016 another rust removal action is forthcoming. :(

Obelix
Hey Obelix,

I totally get your point and I agree. A 2008 trailer that is maintained should be fine. I think a lot of the trailers that these guys are talking about are boats they bought used - so the trailers are older and who knows how they were stored. Still, I also totally agree with the site admin that these trailers are not built to take many years of saltwater. We all know that NO steel is going to take the saltwater for a very long time. The trailer gets you into and out of the water - but if you really need a stout set up where you can also use your boat as a camper and dunk 4 times a month the factory trailer is going to be pushed to it's limits.. I have been sailing trailer boats for over 40 years and I can tell you that every boat we had for more than 15 years had two trailers. I think some of you might be overestimating the ability of the average boat trailer, (in my opinion). We tried fully galvanized ones, steel painted, even ones with stainless hardware - it always seemed like my dad spent more time on the trailer maintenance than the boat! And the trailers STILL destroyed themselves! (Of course, we traveled thousands of miles into Mexico and all over the USA). Still, it was not the road that killed our trailers, it was the salt.

The trailer is not the main event - it's the boat that runs the show - if you just need to dunk the boat then buy cheap - then replace often. I just wish we had a source - I remember the guy at MacGregor that built the trailers - his name was Clay and he ran the trailer shop at the factory in Costa Mesa. I think he lived in San Clemente just north of me but he moved to Florida with the Sharps.. He was a REALLY NICE guy and VERY SMART and bent over backwards to help me many times. Man, how I miss Clay - I wish he were still here and we could all buy our trailers from him.

So, without Clay the question is:

Where can we get trailers? Are the parts still available? (I doubt it - because Clay built most of the parts by hand and I don't even know where Clay lives now!?! :cry: :cry: :cry: )

Pretty much all the parts are available, as they are either stock steel you can get anywhere, or off the shelf parts from a trailer retailer. There really isnt anything you cant get or fabricate (or have fabricated). With enough time and effort you can probably have a local welder copy a Mac trailer. Nothing really esoteric about it.

The trailer is one of the most expensive parts of the boat, maybe second to the engine.

Most trailers I have seen are very under-maintained. However, with some time and money, can be restored to new or better. The stock design was very good, and great to launch the boat in skinny water.

other than the tongue on our M trailer, the rest of it aged quite well. The C-channel steel frame is easy to maintain as water cant collect in it. easily painted. The axle and other parts are off the shelf and can be replaced if it fails. The only thing different about the 2 is the aluminum frame rails. The rest of it is steel. In retrospect, is a good thing because it is easy/cheap to fix when they fail. A lot less expensive than a new galvanized trailer!

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Re: Still have your factory trailer? Take a good look at it!

Post by BOAT » Mon Jul 11, 2016 10:27 am

Sounds to me like we need a trailer clinic here on the site.

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Re: Still have your factory trailer? Take a good look at it!

Post by Harrison » Wed Jul 13, 2016 11:04 am

Where are they selling the trailer for $600?

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Re: Still have your factory trailer? Take a good look at it!

Post by Catigale » Fri Jul 15, 2016 9:15 am

A new trailer is about $4000 delivered.

I think poster was referring to just replacing steel bits for $600 - which is probably a bit low.

I refurbed my steel trailer last year for about $1000 including new brake master cylinder.

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Re: Still have your factory trailer? Take a good look at it!

Post by Wanderer63 » Sun Jul 24, 2016 5:48 am

When I joined this community a few weeks back I was still on the hunt for a boat. After looking at a few in the market and armed with research such as reading this thread my wife and I decided on a 26 M for sale in our state on a factory MacGregor aluminium trailer. While a little more expensive than the steel trailer Macs, we could see less maintenance in the years ahead with the aluminium trailer and I will bear in mind to keep a watchful eye on the tongue and other components. The boat and trailer has been kept in a garage and was washed down with freshwater after use so the steel parts currently have no visible signs of corrosion despite the boat only ever being used, and consequently launched, into salt water. Our use will be exclusively salt water although the boat will now be stored at our yacht club in the boat park. Propose to continue the after use spray off with fresh water and keep a watchful eye on water pooling anywhere on the steel parts after rain or cleaning. Informative discussion, thanks.

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Re: Still have your factory trailer? Take a good look at it!

Post by Paul S » Sun Jul 24, 2016 8:05 am

Wanderer63 wrote:When I joined this community a few weeks back I was still on the hunt for a boat. After looking at a few in the market and armed with research such as reading this thread my wife and I decided on a 26 M for sale in our state on a factory MacGregor aluminium trailer. While a little more expensive than the steel trailer Macs, we could see less maintenance in the years ahead with the aluminium trailer and I will bear in mind to keep a watchful eye on the tongue and other components. The boat and trailer has been kept in a garage and was washed down with freshwater after use so the steel parts currently have no visible signs of corrosion despite the boat only ever being used, and consequently launched, into salt water. Our use will be exclusively salt water although the boat will now be stored at our yacht club in the boat park. Propose to continue the after use spray off with fresh water and keep a watchful eye on water pooling anywhere on the steel parts after rain or cleaning. Informative discussion, thanks.
You really won't have less maintenance. The Steel frame that the aluminum replaced, was never a problem.

It was always the parts added to the frame (tongue, bunk mounts, springs, axle, etc) that had issues... as you know are STILL steel on the aluminum trailer. You MUST still look after the trailer's parts. You still need to look after the actuator, which often gets rusted into the tongue housing and fails to work. got to look after the steel brake piping as well. Keep an eye on the brake rotors , calipers and pads for proper operation. All normal stuff on all trailers.

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Re: Still have your factory trailer? Take a good look at it!

Post by mike0404 » Thu Aug 25, 2016 3:06 pm

Hi
1 - i had no issues with stainless and aluminum but i vasoline all stainless nuts, bolts and washers each year. I vasolined also between all my galvanized rollers plates and the aluminum frame, no trace of electro... yet. Been 20 years.
2 - on car ball frame, inside the tube, i vasoline each year and still holding, same at trailer tongues. The trailer is used for many purposes pulling out catamarans, sailboats , motor boats.
3 - i am shopping for a Mac 26 x or M . I plan to modify the trailer so it will fit on top of the F-150 as construction racking and other uses. This will be fun. Hence no need for second parking ... at marinas ... if you have seen this idea before, pictures please...
Mike

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Re: Still have your factory trailer? Take a good look at it!

Post by Ponaldpe » Thu Aug 25, 2016 4:52 pm

mike0404 wrote:Hi
1 - i had no issues with stainless and aluminum but i vasoline all stainless nuts, bolts and washers each year. I vasolined also between all my galvanized rollers plates and the aluminum frame, no trace of electro... yet. Been 20 years.
2 - on car ball frame, inside the tube, i vasoline each year and still holding, same at trailer tongues. The trailer is used for many purposes pulling out catamarans, sailboats , motor boats.
3 - i am shopping for a Mac 26 x or M . I plan to modify the trailer so it will fit on top of the F-150 as construction racking and other uses. This will be fun. Hence no need for second parking ... at marinas ... if you have seen this idea before, pictures please...
Mike
Image


Image

I would like to have one like this;

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Re: Still have your factory trailer? Take a good look at it!

Post by sailboatmike » Thu Aug 25, 2016 5:56 pm

Umm a couple of obvious issues here, a Mac 26 is about 8 feet longer than a car, even if your car is 6 meters (20 feet) long the boat is still 6 feet longer and then add a couple of extra feet for the motor, plus its on a trailer with draw bar, so add about another 4 feet.

All up my 26X on its trailer with motor up is 11 meters (36 feet) from tow ball to the end of the motor, which is just about double the length of my Jeep Cherokee

Now as a secondary thought, my X when its on its trailer, the top of the cabin is around 9 feet up, plus the mast in the down position on top of that, so is you lift it up from road level its going to sit mighty high. Hope you dont have any low bridges to go under.

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Re: Still have your factory trailer? Take a good look at it!

Post by Ponaldpe » Thu Aug 25, 2016 7:34 pm

sailboatmike wrote:Umm a couple of obvious issues here, a Mac 26 is about 8 feet longer than a car, even if your car is 6 meters (20 feet) long the boat is still 6 feet longer and then add a couple of extra feet for the motor, plus its on a trailer with draw bar, so add about another 4 feet.

All up my 26X on its trailer with motor up is 11 meters (36 feet) from tow ball to the end of the motor, which is just about double the length of my Jeep Cherokee

Now as a secondary thought, my X when its on its trailer, the top of the cabin is around 9 feet up, plus the mast in the down position on top of that, so is you lift it up from road level its going to sit mighty high. Hope you dont have any low bridges to go under.
I have a 14 foot jet boat, that is what I was thinking of putting on the truck and towing the Mac, or camper.

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Re: Still have your factory trailer? Take a good look at it!

Post by Wind Chime » Sun Oct 30, 2016 12:01 pm

I was at the boat yesterday doing brake maintenance, and was thinking about putting expanding foam inside the steel trailer tounge.

We rebuilt our 2000 steel factory trailer a few years ago and replaced the steel tonge tube. The tonge gets submerged in salt water during most launchings and even though I insert the hose inside the tube to rinse, its bare steel inside so just a matter is time.

Do ya think expanding foam will help keep the salt water out of the tube and away for the bare steel, or will the foam just get saturated with salt water and make the eventual erosion worse?

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Re: Still have your factory trailer? Take a good look at it!

Post by March » Sun Oct 30, 2016 12:21 pm

I don't think it's going to work. The foam will cure as "porous material" which will actually keep salt water trapped within, once it finds its way inside the metal tube. Water always finds a way, sooner or later. It's just a matter of time.
A better option would be to let the the steal part breathe and find a way to pour oil inside. That will slow the process some, but once metal is beginning to rust, it'll keep rusting until it falls apart

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