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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 3:20 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2010 7:53 am
Posts: 299
Location: Palm City, Florida
Jeff,

Sorry, my mistake:
Quote:
You should know that moving your Frame forward will increase your Tongue Weight
I meant to say ....will decrease your Tongue Weight.

You can try this however I don't recommend doing it beyond the 10%. I'd rather you try my first suggestion; re-positioning just the rear Crossbar forward to the inside of your Frame.

As for extending the length of the Tongue I have no first hand experience with this so I really can't comment. My basic instinct though tells me that it's probably not a good idea either; too many forces working back there.

I would contact Trailex or your Dealer and see what they recommend.

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Sun E Sailor
Ezra Appel
Palm City, Florida
2014 Tandem Island


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 10:55 pm 
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Location: Puget Sound, Washington USA
"Yes, it's the SUT 350 AIT for the TI. One of the reasons I even brought this up is that I have about 6 feet of boat hanging off the back of the trailer. That's alot of boat hanging out there. I was thinking that the roller, if it was a few feet long, would provide additional support. "


Jeff,

I've also have a SUT 350 AIT with a Tandem Island. And I'm having trouble lifting and loading the TI at a boat ramp. But I don't understand your boat hanging 6 feet off the trailer. Mine hangs over 39" not counting the rudder. The bow is 9" from the ball. Am I too far forward on the tongue?

In any case, I'd love to know how you solve the problem. I'm ready to try Sun E Sailor's idea of moving the crossbar forward of the frame. but it is hard to imagine that will create enough room to mount a roller.

Puget


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 4:18 pm 
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Location: Sassafras River, Maryland
Hi, Puget. I've been adjusting the boat on the trailer and all the components each time I've been out. Once the cradles were in position following the original instructions, I put the boat on the trailer and found the best position for it. Thus five plus feet of plastic, plus the rudder for close to 6 feet.

This left the bow pretty far back but everything was balanced nicely. I just couldn't put up with that much boat back there and so much empty tongue. I also had trouble lifting the boat onto the cradle, then sliding it forward.

I moved everything forward on the trailer. I mean everything! I took the advice to move the cradles to the other side of the frame and also moved the frame to better balance the boat and keep a certain amount of tongue weight. This freed up some box beam (tongue) to mount a roller aft.

I went to the local big box store (both Lowes and Home Depot are side by side here so I don't recall which one I was in for this) and bought a piece of aluminum bar 1/4 inch thick, one inch wide, and four feet long. I cut it in half, drilled some holes and used it to mount the roller at the rear of the trailer. I bought one of the big rollers pictured here, bent the aluminum into a weak "S" shape to accomodate a wider roller but still attach to the frame.

Here's my measurements to date. I think I'm done adjusting but reserve the right to keep tweaking!

From the rear of the coupler (where it joins the box beam) to the bow stop is 16 inches. I have a roller the bow rests on and it's really a roller, not locked down so tight that you can't turn it. I also used some aluminum bar to mount a heavy rubber bow stop above the roller and handles. This keeps the boat from sliding forward in an emergency or accident. From the box beam splice to the front cradle bracket is 4.5 inches. From the box beam splice to the leading edge of the frame (that the spring and axle is mounted on) is 35.5 inches.

The rear of the frame to the rear of the box beam is 18 inches. From the end of the box beam I've mounted that roller and it sticks out about 16 inches or so. Yes it wobbles a bit. And it touches the hull but there's no weight on it during normal trailering. I now have less than 4 feet of everything (including rudder) sticking out past the roller. That should comply with local laws.

To load the boat I back the trailer into the water so the rear roller gets closer to the water than the cradles did and I don't have to lift the hull as far, but yes it's heavy. I could back it in so the roller is submerged but that's still pretty far in. I have a long bow line tied permanently to the forward cross brace and through the shackle that's part of the Kayaking Bob's splash shield. I take the loose end of the bow line and wrap it around the bow roller (not the rear roller) and lead it back, which acts like a pulley. I keep tension on that and lift the bow onto the rear roller. The tension on the bow line keeps the boat from rolling back into the water. I grab the cross brace with one hand and pull both hands toward each other which pulls the boat up onto the trailer by using the cross brace and the bow line as you might use a winch. It slides up very nicely using this technique.

I'll have to take pictures one of these days and figure out how to post them.

Jeff


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 1:04 pm 
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Location: Puget Sound, Washington USA
Jeff,

Thanks for that excellent detailed description of what you did. I'm going to duplicate at least some of it. I see now that after you put the boat on the cradles, the boat did not fit well on the rear cradle. I discovered the same thing. Matt said somewhere on the forum that it fits like a glove if the cradles are 67 inches apart. That's true if you leave 6 feet of the TI hanging off the back. My solution was to slide the boat forward and settle for a poor fit.

So now I'll reposition the cradles forward -- giving a better fit and making room for a rear roller. While staring at the bolts I need to take out, I noticed that the TI could probably be lowered 6 inches or so by putting the tongue under the frame rather than over it. I think it would be a simple matter of flipping the brackets upside down that hold the frame to the tongue. I think that the ama's would still clear the fenders. However, doing this would probably mean re-stringing the wires and rewiring the lights.

I also wonder about lowering the TI by an inch or so by drilling new holes in the mounting braces for the cross pieces holding the cradles. Why not just put the cross pieces down on the tongue?

I did try your technique of using the forward roller as a pulley. It did help to keep the bow from falling back into the water -- which happened 4 or 5 times before I tried it. Would have made a great slapstick comedy routine. Glad I had the launch to myself. In any case, I learned that I just no longer have enough muscle to pull 200 lbs of boat up an incline. I even tried a truckers hitch to give me mechanical advantage. But no dice. It was a 45 minute wrestling match in a pouring rain to get enough of the boat on the trailer to drive up the ramp to a level spot. Hopefully a rear roller will help.

I'm still having trouble picturing how you used the two 2' X 1" AL straps to mount the rear roller. But first I'll move the cradles forward, and then worry about that.

Thanks again.

Puget


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2012 8:08 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 16, 2011 6:22 pm
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Location: Sassafras River, Maryland
Hi, Puget.
Picture a mast crutch with one of those aluminum bars coming off each side of the trailer box frame. I used a wider roller so had to bend the bars out to fit it, but you can't leave them going out at an angle because it'll lock up the roller, so I bent the last couple of inches back in. Thus the "S" bend. I drilled a hole near the forward end to fit the "T" nuts supplied by trailex, another hole to fit a very long bolt from the local big box store at the other end for the roller assembly. I have the bars bolted to the frame with another bolt under the bar to support it up at an angle and secured to the frame with fender washer. If you bolt the forward section to the frame and have another bolt under the bar you can adjust the angle of the bars, and thus the height of the roller by sliding the aftermost bolt back and forth. It took some trial and error to get it right and even. If you send me your email address I can send you some pictures. I don't have time these days to figure out how to load them to this site.

Let me know how you make out by placing the frame over the tongue. That'll drop the whole TI closer to the water and make it easier to load/unload. Good idea.

As far as loading it goes, I like the trucker's hitch but it doesn't slide all that well. Too much friction. How about a much longer bow line and a small pulley on a snap shackle tied to the cross brace. Take the bow line tied to the cross brace up around the roller on the trailer which leads the line back toward the boat. Thread it through the pulley you just tied onto the cross brace which routes the line back toward your vehicle. Now you've got a whole lot of mechanical advantage to load the boat. If you want to really go crazy here, more pulleys will increase your mechanical advantage, but you need a whole lot more bow line.

I was successful by having one hand on the cross brace and one on the line coming off the roller and pulling both hands toward my chest.

Jeff
JeffRuss at BayBroadband dot net


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 12:48 am 
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Location: Puget Sound, Washington USA
Quote:
I drilled a hole near the forward end to fit the "T" nuts supplied by trailex, another hole to fit a very long bolt from the local big box store at the other end for the roller assembly. I have the bars bolted to the frame with another bolt under the bar to support it up at an angle and secured to the frame with fender washer. If you bolt the forward section to the frame and have another bolt under the bar you can adjust the angle of the bars, and thus the height of the roller by sliding the aftermost bolt back and forth. It took some trial and error to get it right and even.



Jeffruss,

OK, I think I've got it. But I'd still love to see a pic. I'll send an address.

I did most of the work today to lower the tongue below the frame box. That lowered the tongue the 4 inches due to the tongue plus part of an inch because the brackets hold the tongue a bit below the frame box. I'm really glad I did it -- looks a LOT lower. But there are a few consequences I still have to deal with:

1) The rear cradle crosspiece will not fit inside the frame box any more. No problem. I wanted to move the frame box forward on the tongue anyway -- as you suggested. However, that cross piece is now perfectly centered across the tail lights and perfectly hiding them. Further, the bracket that holds them cannot be used on the rear crosspiece (under the cradles) because it's mounting holes are twisted to fit parallel to the tongue. I suppose that they could be mounted on both sides of the tongue, but I'm not sure that would be very visible, useful, or legal. I'll try to figure out someway to mount the lights on something sticking out from the end of the crosspiece -- though I hate to loose a strap holder option.

2) The tongue is no longer parallel to the ground when hitched. Ken Montgomery at TrailX said that is important. So I will simply buy a new receiver bar for the hitch that is straight rather than curved. Easy solution.

3) The amas now rest lightly on the fenders pressing them down slightly. The fenders are quite flexible and that does not appear to be a problem. The ama weight is still on the cradle. I plan to ignore the "problem." If I wanted to fix it, I'd try to get 4 more of those sticky backed grey foam pieces for the cradles. Adding that to the foam already there would lift the ama more than enough without affecting the main hull at all.

4. I assume that my view of my boat will be diminished when I back down the ramp. Seems like I've seen flags on fiberglass sticks. Don't know where.

5. On the plus side (I think), the trailer axle is now further forward, meaning that I can make tighter turns and get quicker response while backing. Am I right? This is somewhat new to me. Right now, the closest boat launch requires one to pull right up to a sign that says something like, "please respect private property, and do not pull further into this driveway." Putting it in reverse at that point leaves me with barely enough room to make the turn to the ramp. And that is with no one parked there.


Yes, it sounds like an extra pulley in addition to a boat roller pulley is a good idea.

I like your idea of making the tongue longer by making the roller stick out from the end of the tongue. Gets it closer to the water. Would love to float the bow over the roller. But you put the roller higher than the tongue. Wouldn't you get it closer to the water by putting it lower? Wouldn't the roller and the end of the cradle serve as 2 point to slide on? Would it scrape the end of the tongue?

Thanks again for the ideas!

Puget


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 3:18 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 16, 2011 6:22 pm
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Location: Sassafras River, Maryland
Hi, Puget.
The roller idea is flexible and can do whatever you want it to do. I wanted mine to support the hull a bit more, but you could certainly lower it parallel to the box frame, which would put it closer to the water. The nice thing about these boats and trailers is that you can customize them to do what YOU want!

Regarding the lights. I'm not sure I completely followed that but it sounds like the rear cradle blocks the view of the lights? Can you move the cradle forward a few inches so it's on the forward side of the lights? My cradle support is now inside the frame. Another option is to get some aluminum stock (the same bars for the roller?) and drop the lights down from the cradle cross piece.

For trailer visibility, I bolted a 1/2 inch piece of PVC pipe (with a cap on the bottom) to the cross member outside the amas. The pvc pipe is held with some sort of pipe strap. I can't recall off the top of my head how long the pvc is, but 5-8 inches should do it. I got some of those fiberglass snow sticks sold for a couple of dollars in the big box stores and most hardware stores and dropped it into the pvc pipe. Visiblity problem solved. And they have reflective tape on the top to add to visibility for other drivers. Right now I only use them for backing the trailer. The rest of the time they live in the truck. It only takes a few seconds to realize I can't see the trailer, grab the sticks, and drop them in the pvc pipes. If I was going to leave them mounted all the time I'd consider filling the pvc pipe with something so the sticks didn't jump out while on the road.

I liked that pvc/snow stick idea so much that I'm adding it to some of my other boat trailers, too. And experimenting with ways to temporarily mount it to a hitch ball and coupler to aid me in backing up to the larger trailers.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 6:54 pm 
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Location: Forster, NSW, Australia
Paget,
for best control of your trailer while reversing, you want as long a distance between towball and trailer axle as possible. This is a time when quick response is a negative, and it will reduce the amount of steering input you need to keep the trailer backing in a straight line

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


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PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 8:40 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2012 10:37 pm
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Location: Puget Sound, Washington USA
Tony & Jeff,

Thanks for ideas on trailer reconstruction for visibility and backing ease. I need all the help I can get.

Quote:
Regarding the lights. I'm not sure I completely followed that but it sounds like the rear cradle blocks the view of the lights? Can you move the cradle forward a few inches so it's on the forward side of the lights? My cradle support is now inside the frame. Another option is to get some aluminum stock (the same bars for the roller?) and drop the lights down from the cradle cross piece.


Once the tongue is under the box frame, the cradle/cross bar can no longer be inside the box frame. So I moved it back outside the frame where it used to be. But in the lower position the cross bar blocks the view of the lights from behind the trailer. Thus the remounted lights.

I have some pictures -- Now for my first time posting pics. This may be harder than rebuilding the trailer.

https://picasaweb.google.com/1172785916 ... bedwebsite


Last edited by Jbernier on Wed May 02, 2012 9:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
fixed link


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PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 9:19 pm 
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Location: Puget Sound, Washington USA
OK, I'll try again

First pic is TI on SUT 350 AIT trailer assembled according to instructions.

Next pics are modifications.

I moved the tongue under the frame box. This lowers the boat by the 4 inches of the tongue, plus the amount the cross bars were held above the tongue by the brackets, plus just a tad that the tongue is now held below the box frame by the reversed brackets.

That move meant that the cross bar and cradle would no longer fit inside the frame where I had previously moved it. When move back, it blocked the tail lights from view. Thus I bought sealed lights from West Marine, reversed them in the rubber gasket that came with them, put the old TrailX tail light bracket into the back side of the new light (fits perfectly except that I had to drill an oval hole for the wires), held it together with 3 zip ties, then mounted the old bracket on a T-bolt under the cross bar. Had to move the light out a couple of inches because it stuck up too high. Used an aluminum plate about 2" X 6" made from an Al ruler.

License plate uses the original bracket with a new hole for a T-bolt.

Now, one more time for the pics. I'll figure this out yet!

[Later -- I give up]


Last edited by Puget on Tue May 01, 2012 11:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 11:32 pm 
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Location: Puget Sound, Washington USA
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image


Last edited by Jbernier on Wed May 02, 2012 8:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
Fixed image links


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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 3:19 pm 
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Location: Puget Sound, Washington USA
Jbernier,

Thanks for the link fix. After 3 failed tries I think I figured out how to post a pic next time -- with help from kayakingbob. But I'm glad you just got the pics up.

Puget


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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 3:33 pm 
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Location: Palm City, Florida
Puget,

Thanks for showing us what you've done and good job downloading. The pictures help a lot. I admire your ingenuity but am concerned with what you've done.

I would check with Trailex about making these changes and show them the pictures. IMO, I would have two more pairs of brackets (front and back) for added support from the box frame to the tongue of the trailer.
I grew up in the school of "If it's too strong, you'll never know it."

In the pictures the length of your box frame looks short. Was this changed for some reason or is this the way it's supposed to be?

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Sun E Sailor
Ezra Appel
Palm City, Florida
2014 Tandem Island


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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 6:04 pm 
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Location: Maui, Hawaii
She looks beautiful in that first pic. The placement on the trailer does look a little too far forward though. Remember, you want a strong part of the hull over each part contacting the trailer. Strong areas include Mirage drive wells, scupper holes, mast cup area, drain holes, etc. (through hull and reinforced areas). I solved my trailer problem, by making a larger padded flat deck to contact more of the hull, to spread the load.

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http://KayakingBob.com - - - - - Hobie Island Sailing since 2006 - - - - - 2011 & 2012 Hobie AIs and a 2012 TI


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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 6:24 pm 
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Location: Sassafras River, Maryland
Hi, Puget.
Nice mods to the trailer and good pix. I see now what you meant about the lights and only have one concern with them and that is that the license plate is normally under the light on the driver's side because there's a white light that shines on the plate at night. Unless you have a light on that plate, you might not be legal and it's worth checking out.

I also agree with Sun E Sailor about the box frame. It looks like the rear cross member is too far forward. Mine isn't quite flush, but only about an inch and a half forward.

I like the support(s) for the roller, too. I thought about putting a bolt on top of the box frame but used two tee bolts with fender washers instead. Are you happy with the roller? Does it do what you wanted it to do, namely help get the boat out of the water? With all those holes in the support bracket you could certainly drop the roller to level if you wanted.

I'd love to see one more picture with the boat on the trailer in the new configuration, if you're up to the challenge! :)

Jeff


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