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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all
As a relative novice to owning a boat, i was today introduced to the nighmares of towing after buying my new boat (its second hand)
The first nightmare was the failure of a wheel bearing which resulted in me changing the wheel bearings on both wheels. (i was'nt risking the one that was supposed good)
I then had the displeasure in running into my first snake and i was genuinly doing only 45 miles per hour.
I feel that the problem was due to the fact i have both engines on the back (70hp evinrude and 6hp honda auxillary) the honda i believe is the main problem leaving the boat setup heavier on one side. The other problem (i the novice have now discovered) is that the boat is not fully loaded onto the trailor only using 3 of the four rollers and the front of the boat is'nt being held in the front brackets. I have tried to winch it up further but its not playing ball. I am taking it into a local water park and dropping it in the water to enable me to winch it up properly.
My main question is, by moving the weight of the one engine and having fixed the boat onto the trailor properly. Should this correct the instability in towing the boat, and should i be considering using some form of stabilizer.
all advice welcome
yours shaken and a little stirred
frostman
 

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the snaking is more likely to be caused by the nose weight (or lack of) than the engines being a bit lopsided. I've one boat with a yam 40 and mariner 6 aux and the other is a mariner 50 with a marine 4 aux, the lopsided nature of the extra engine doesn't seem to be an issue. I always leave a full fuel tan stowed at the opposite side to counter it anyway


when the trailer is unhitched, how heavy is it if you try lift the tow hitch?? edeally it should liftable, but not so haevy as to be in hernia territory. can't remeber without looking it up what the optimum weight is supposed to be (sure someone will know) but around 80lb rings a bell - ie thats heavy it feels when you lift the tow hitch

if its easy to lift, or is in the air already you need more nose weight.

I bought a boat and towed it back from portsmouth last year -took 11 and a half hours, max speed to avoid snaking about 40mph tops


adjusted the axle/winch post so there was more weight at the front and tows perfect at 60
 

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25kg or 5-10% of the rig weight as nose weight will do. You might find you need to move the axle back to get it right.

When you take it to the waterpark take WD40 with you if it's got keel rollers-you'll probably have to free some off.
 

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most towing vehicles have a tow hitch weight of 50kgs or 75kgs so the nose weight of the item being towed should be 50kgs or 75kgs (depending on your car} at ball hitch hight this should stop the snaking but there is no Substitute for a stabiliser cheaper than buying another boat and car.also thi is from rac site hope it helps
Loading your trailer
Many problems associated with towing a trailer are caused by incorrect loading. Try to put all heavy items over the axle and make sure they are secured to prevent movement when cornering or braking. If possible, put heavier items in the car and larger lighter items in the trailer. Consult your trailer and car handbooks to establish the correct "nose weight" for your trailer. Most cars state 50kgs to 75kgs. To check your nose weight place a flat piece of wood on your bathroom scales (to spread the load and prevent damage to the scales). Lower the jockey wheel of the trailer onto the centre of the wood and adjust the angle of the trailer so that it is level. To be more accurate, put a length of wood between the coupling head and the flat piece of wood on your scales ensuring the trailer is level. Check the weight shown on the scales and compare with your car / trailer requirements. If incorrect adjust the trailer load to compensate. Finally, check the load is secure and can't move. It is always good policy to recheck your load after a few miles to confirm everything is secured properly

http://www.rac.co.uk/web/knowhow/go...s;jsessionid=B02CCA1C227B185A8F277C8CFA2F00C8
 
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Harpo is spot on

Your car handbook will explain the "maximum" weight at the tow hitch.

75Kg is very typical and whilst Harpo's description is a perfect way to get it bang on, it is a little extreme. 75Kg is in fact a very heavy weight to lift single handed, but it should be manageable by most average sized men.
Some smaller cars may dictate 50Kg. If that is the case then that is much more manageable. Still heavy, but the same as an old bag of cement.

If you can lift the nose easily then it may well be too light at the tow hitch.
That said, smaller boats (Orkney Longliner etc etc) are simply too light to get a fairly heavy weight up there.

Once you have a good idea if it is too light or too heavy you will need to adjust it.
This can be done by placing items in and around the boat to help, but this is not just a pain, but could result in problems if weight shifts whilst in transit.
Jack the boat up, carefully spreading the load and supporting her properly.
Adjust the axle a little (move backwards for more weight up front and forwards for less). It's easy, they just unbolt and then slide with a little help from a mallet.

Before you tighten the axle bolts completely. Lower the boat carefully and correctly positioned on the trailer. Check the weight again.
Keep doing this until you are perfectly happy.
It isn't difficult, but can result in grazed knuckles and needs you to be careful as you have a tonne of boat propped up above you! Put a morning aside to do it and ask a friend to help.

Tom
 

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All the above regards nose weight and loading are correct, if it was me to aid increasing the nose weight take the 6hp honda off the back when towing as these are quite heavy. Getting it on the trailer further will help but bear in mind too far this may make launching harder.

What sort of boat is it?? How olds the trailer as some do not have beam axles and therefore moving the axle may not be possible if there are say two individual suspension/hub units, check the alignment as well, its amazing how many people I see towing boats sideways!??!! .

Good luck!
 
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Good point about taking the aux outboard off.
Can't remember who advises it (maybe the caravan club), but they advise putting as much gear as possible in the towing vehicle to maximise the weight of that and minimise the weight of the trailer / towed vehicle.
 

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I think the caravan club recomend the weight of trailer (caravan) to be no more than 85% of the towing vehicle weight, so if you are towing with a small car I would imagine you are close to this. Most towhitches have the maximum permissible nose weight on a sticker somewhere.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hello all
thank you all for your responces, my cars towing weight is 1350kg's and the boat loads at 750kg's.
However looking like a weirdo on my boat all day, as it is on
the drive and not the water.
I have found some more answers additional to the tail wagging the dog symtoms i had when i towed it back.
I firstly took of the auxillary whilst in the process of giving the boat a good clean, then my neighbour who had a boat for 20 years, said to me have you checked the hull to see if there is any water in it.
The hull itself has 1 drain point and 7 access points to each segment. All of you will be reading and know already what im going to say. There was water in the hull, mainly fresh water as i reluctantly tried it and i estimeated i pumped out a total of 120 litres out of all the sections in total. After doing this i and some friends managed to get the boat moved up the trailer the 12 inches it was short. The result were immediatly noticable with a boat and trailer no longer sitting in the air and at leats 50lb on the towbar link. After putting the auxillary and the two anchors into the cabin the towbar weight was at 85lb, i know it sounds daft but the whole boat setup look right to the eye now with no need to put peices of wood at the back end to stop it tilting up.
I am annoyed that the person who sold me this boat, did not ensure the setup was correct, however as he had the boat delivered new and only towed it 50 yards to the sea, i suppose he would not know much about setting a boat up on the trailor and i suppose i would not have learnt so much about setup from yourselves , the experience of having to change wheel bearings, going through numerous snakes and then finding water which i believe would undoubtably would have assisted tremendously with the trailer snaking.
I realised when it snaked that adrenaline is brown coloured.
frostman
 
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