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 Post subject: trailex trailer axle
PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2014 10:28 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 20, 2014 8:52 pm
Posts: 16
Location: Yorba Linda, CA
Ive read a few posts of people worried about dunking trailers in saltwater due to rusting issues. I have a new trailex for my TI and ive used it twice and avoided backing it into the water but loading it back on off the water was difficult since I had to lift it up onto the trailer.

Is it ok to back these trailers into saltwater since it is aluminum and wont rust?


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 Post subject: Re: trailex trailer axle
PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 6:34 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2007 6:14 pm
Posts: 1910
Location: South Florida
Here is a picture of my Trailex trailer underside as I was assembling it.

Image

The axel & the springs are ordinary steel and will rust. These parts bear the most weight and must be strong; hence, ordinary steel. They have been painted with some rust resistant paint, but its effect will be minor. The bolts are also ordinary steel and coated with zinc--they will resist rusting. The slab springs are particularly susceptible to rusting because saltwater gets between the spring sections and cannot be washed out by any simple means--dunking the trailer in a freshwater pool might do it, but that is inconvenient.

The aluminum frame will not rust; therefore, it is your choice if you dip your Trailex trailer in saltwater: plan to put up with the inevitable rust of your axel, springs, and, to a lesser extent the zinc coated bolts--these can all be replaced after a few years relatively easily.

Some people don't expect these things to last forever and are comfortable dipping them in saltwater. Maintenance will be relatively minor for 5 yrs. The springs will likely go first. Personally, I don't like to spend my time on a lot of maintenance--I did that for years when I had a powerboat on a galvanized trailer. Therefore, prevention is my motto, and I don't dip my Trailex trailer in salt water. Of course, it also makes a difference whether you have an AI (easy to load) or a TI. I have a pair of AIs.

Oh yes, the lights will probably go in 1-2 yrs; maybe they will last 3 yrs, but don't expect much. Many people, after the lights fail, build a "light bar," which is never submerged in saltwater.

You can see the description of my Trailex trailer construction at http://www.hobiecat.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=70&t=7276&start=435

Keith

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I sail: Biscayne Bay, Everglades to Cape Romano, Ft Desoto, Cedar Key

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex ... It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." A. Einstein


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 Post subject: Re: trailex trailer axle
PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 6:45 am 
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Joined: Sat Nov 05, 2011 1:58 am
Posts: 1557
Location: Forster, NSW, Australia
If your wheels are going into the water (fresh or salt), you would be wise to fit "bearing buddies" (or whatever they are called where you are). These devices carry more marine grease which is supposed to get sucked in to the wheel bearing when it is cooled by going into water. Without the buddies, water can be sucked into the bearing. Ideally, after a trip long enough to warm the wheel bearings, you should give the grease nipple on the buddies a squirt from a grease gun.

My first set of wheel bearings needed replacement after the first couple of hundred dunkings (but most launches were after just a 2 mile drive, so there was not much heat generated). I fitted bearing buddies then.

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Tony Stott
2012 Tandem Island "SIC EM"
www.scenefromabove.com.au


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 Post subject: Re: trailex trailer axle
PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 7:29 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 19, 2005 6:29 pm
Posts: 2094
Location: High Point, NC
Be careful to get real Bearing Buddies - these are spring loaded to keep the inside of the hub under a little pressure. I see a lot of dust caps with grease fittings sticking out of them and many people just assume these are Bearing Buddies. They're not.

Wipe down your axle housing and spring surfaces with Boeshield T9 every few trips and you can stave off rust for a pretty good while.


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 Post subject: Re: trailex trailer axle
PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 8:58 am 
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Joined: Fri Apr 18, 2014 7:29 am
Posts: 5
I also struggled with retrieving my TI early on, especially when sailing solo. I'll preface my comments by saying that I sail in only fresh water, but my vote is to go ahead and dunk the axle. Remember, there are a heck of a lot of power boats out there with galvanized trailers and they have to be dunked in order to float the boat off when launching and the trailers seem to survive OK.

I would rather take the risk of having to replace the axle/spring sometime in the future than giving myself a hernia trying to "clean & jerk" a 190 lb. boat onto the trailer. I now dunk the trailer until the rear cradle is just underwater. I wish I would have started doing this sooner -- would have saved me some sore muscles.

Here are a couple of other things that I found retrieval easier;
1) I use three cradles
2) I use a good roller assembly behind the rear cradle that does a nice job guiding the TI straight onto the trailer.
3) I moved my axle frame to the top of the Trailex tongue. This effectively lowers the boat 5" relative to the ground, meaning it gets into the water sooner
4) I use a winch which I power with an 18V drill. I also replaced the strap that came with it with a much longer length of 550# parachute cord, which seems to track better in the winch reel.

Gary


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 Post subject: Re: trailex trailer axle
PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 4:27 am 
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Joined: Tue May 20, 2014 8:52 pm
Posts: 16
Location: Yorba Linda, CA
tonystott wrote:
If your wheels are going into the water (fresh or salt), you would be wise to fit "bearing buddies" (or whatever they are called where you are). These devices carry more marine grease which is supposed to get sucked in to the wheel bearing when it is cooled by going into water. Without the buddies, water can be sucked into the bearing. Ideally, after a trip long enough to warm the wheel bearings, you should give the grease nipple on the buddies a squirt from a grease gun.

My first set of wheel bearings needed replacement after the first couple of hundred dunkings (but most launches were after just a 2 mile drive, so there was not much heat generated). I fitted bearing buddies then.



This shouldn't be a problem as you can slide the TI off the trailer easily without dunking the wheels. The problem is getting the TI back onto the trailer, which requires dunking. But by that time your trailer should have been sitting for at least a few hours while your out sailing and the bearings should be at ambient temperature and shouldn't suck water in


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 Post subject: Re: trailex trailer axle
PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 6:16 am 
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Joined: Sun Apr 20, 2008 6:18 am
Posts: 1394
Location: Sarasota,Key West FL
Most of the TI owners I've seen have a roller at the back of their trailer, and a cheap harbor freight winch on their trailer. Actually I don't think I have ever seen any of them dunk their trailers.
When I designed my trailer I purposely designed it to be as low profile as possible as possible with the center section flexible. I simply step on the back of the trailer lift the boat up onto the roller (about 3-4 inches). From there if I'm totally exhausted ( I usually am) I'll hook up the winch and crank the boat onto the trailer. I don't have the Hobie cradles on my trailer, instead I have two 1" or 1 1/4" PVC pipes
Mounted on about 11 inch centers mounted to the trailer. I feel the PVC pipes secure the hull much more evenly when stored long term in the garage and it's much easier to pull the boat onto the trailer in my opinion.
If I'm at a busy boat launch I will typically I pull up to the launch, back my car to the waters edge, slide the boat onto the trailer with the AMA's out and the sail still up. I then strap the hull down and drive to a clear area to finish up tearing the boat down (ie... Remove and fold the tramps, fold the AMA's in, drop the sails and lay them on the boat). Typically all the sail rigging, seats, life jackets, and leashed mirage drives are left laying in the hull. Then when I get home I hose everything off with the hose then pull the whole works into my garage with fans blowing on it until it's all dry (you have to do that in Florida because of the humidity. IMO this is as easy as it gets, I have a fancy anchor system and motors on my boat, but only put them on once, they have lived on the boat ever since, along with the seats, mirage drives, and pfd's. I usually remove the front hatch cover and throw it on the boat, and make sure all bungy straps are released. If we ever want to go just kayaking I just whip the AMA's off, unclamp the motors, and untie the anchor, leave them in the garage or at our campsite (takes all of two minutes), then were off on our kayak adventure.
I'm pretty happy with our current setup, we used to car top for the longest time ant it would take at least an hour to load, then another hour to unload when we got home to unload the kayak and put it in the garage, now it takes all of 5 minutes. I even have an old shop vac that I keep next to the boat in the garage, I just turn it on to suck the water out of the mast and the typical cup or two of water that always seems to get into the hull (I have no idea where that comes from (lol)), but it's always in there even on calm days. That old shop vac is 20 yrs old and I just drain it about once a month into the drive.
About once a year I tear the boat down flip it over and do minor repairs to the hull with my Hobie welder and a razor knife so the hull looks nice again. It takes an afternoon, so I usually save that for a crappy weekend where I can't go out because of weather, otherwise I'm out there every single weekend having the time of my life.....
My trailer has never been in the water and I don't have bearing buddy's, but next time I pack the bearings I will probably add them, I usually remove the wheels and pach the bearings about twice a year (which is 4 times more often than we pack the bearings on our camper), I honestly have no clue how often your really supposed to re-pack the bearings. But I assume it needs to be way more often if you dunk the trailer in salt water.
Bob


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