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Trailer Guides

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SteveH
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Trailer Guides

Post by SteveH » Wed Oct 05, 2016 2:59 pm

Hi Folks,

Hoping people can give me some advice on trailer guides. I have a 1958 22 ft Sea Skiff. I use a bridle system to keep my boat tight to the stop when I drive it on the trailer at the ramp. That said, my ramp is a tad steep, so the back end is more or less free to wander a bit. When I retrieve on my own (unavoidable on occasion), I find it tricky to know if the back is centered. What do people use? Do the tall PVC tubes provide any centering, or are they largely visual aids? Do some do better than others, if only a gentle nudge - really all I need. Thoughts and product suggestions welcomed.

Thanks, Steve
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17 ft. Devlin Oarling

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mbigpops
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Re: Trailer Guides

Post by mbigpops » Wed Oct 05, 2016 3:11 pm

Hi Steve,

I have PVC guides on my trailer and they are really only a visual aid except for windy conditions where they keep the boat near position on the trailer. My guides do not go too close to the boat - within about four inches on each side which is not enough to center the boat on a deep ramp.

I had the same problem at our local show about a month ago and it took several attempts to get the aft of the boat in place with the deep ramp.

My advice would be two things - either get PVC guides that go relatively close to the rub rail or secure at the bow and while slowly pulling out have someone adjust the aft into position using the guides as a visual reference.

Mark
1953 CC Rocket Runabout "Rocket Man"

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drrot
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Re: Trailer Guides

Post by drrot » Wed Oct 05, 2016 3:22 pm

I have PVC plumbing pipe over metal pipe for protection. Does the trick. The metal pipe ends about a foot over the boat. If you put end caps on the PVC drill some small holes towards the top.
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Jim Staib
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1947 Penn Yan 12' Cartopper WXH474611
1950 Chris-Craft 22' Sportsman U-22-1532
1957 Chris-Craft 26' Sea Skiff SK-26-515
1968 Century 17' Resorter FG-68-174

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Bilge Rat
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Re: Trailer Guides

Post by Bilge Rat » Wed Oct 05, 2016 4:16 pm

I use the square aluminum side guides (I forget who makes them) and slip 2 inch PVC pipe over them. I have these fairly tight to the rub rail on the hull sides for my 25 foot Lyman and the boat self-centers every time. The aluminum guides stop about 8 inches below the rub rails when the boat is on the trailer but I put a cut open tennis ball on top of them to keep them from striking the hull when driving. I modified these guides with some aluminum angle because they were "fluttering" when on the expressway.

The PVC pipes extend up about 8 feet from the trailer frame top so matter how deep the ramp, the boat never gets trapped over them. After the boat is back on the trailer, I remove the pipes and store them on the trailer frame. I have pulled the Lyman out of the water alone with this rig too. Just to be safe, I put the PVC pipes on when backing down the ramp as well, just in case I have to pull it back out so the boat doesn't crab sideways.
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SteveH
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Re: Trailer Guides

Post by SteveH » Wed Oct 05, 2016 7:37 pm

Helpful, thanks gentlemen.
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1959 22' Sea Skiff (2263)
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Doug P
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Re: Trailer Guides

Post by Doug P » Wed Oct 05, 2016 10:44 pm

I use a single "guide on" for visual, but in a windage situation, this is easier
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bflaherty
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Re: Trailer Guides

Post by bflaherty » Thu Oct 06, 2016 1:34 pm

Both my father and I use 1" PVC pipes that slip over a 1" diameter steel post welded to the back step on the trailer. This metal post is only about 4" tall so once the PVC pipe is removed the centering system is nearly unnoticeable (we do some trailered displays around the PNW and I lost a PVC guide off on older trailer while driving down the highway so we made them easily removable).

On my father's racing runabout his guides are about 3/4" away from the aft spray rails, while my 17' Cavalier ski boat has the guides touching the aluminum run rail all the time (this was done because of the nearly flat {2 deg} bottom on the ski boat that will not self center at all) As the PVC pipes are only 1" they flex quite a bit in high winds but they also flex enough to not damage the boat when I don't get lined up 100% perfect on approach.

Here is a picture of the steel post on the trailer. I know I have a picture somewhere of the PVC pipe in place but I can't find it.
trailer.jpg
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1969 Chris-Craft Cavalier 17 Ski Boat "TUPPERWARE"

"You'll never discover great lands, with your feet planted in the sand"

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drrot
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Re: Trailer Guides

Post by drrot » Thu Oct 06, 2016 7:20 pm

I noticed my setup is different than most. Something hit me, I usually launch in a river that pulls the boat down stream. Not an issue in a lake. Keep that in mind.
Jim Staib
www.finewoodboats.com


1947 Penn Yan 12' Cartopper WXH474611
1950 Chris-Craft 22' Sportsman U-22-1532
1957 Chris-Craft 26' Sea Skiff SK-26-515
1968 Century 17' Resorter FG-68-174

SteveH
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Re: Trailer Guides

Post by SteveH » Fri Oct 07, 2016 7:24 am

Great setups - thanks again all. Gives me a plan forward.
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1959 22' Sea Skiff (2263)
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17 ft. Devlin Oarling

charlesquimby
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Re: Trailer Guides

Post by charlesquimby » Fri Oct 07, 2016 4:28 pm

I have a 26 APBA. My aft guides are set in s/s pipe, which is angled, so the PVCs are wider at their tops The top of the pipe is set such that it is below the chine with the boat on the trailer. In this position the PVC clears the chine approx. 3/16" on each side. I use vertical PVC forward at the widest part of the deck. Both sets are about 4' long. When I back onto the ramp and float off, the PVC keeps the boat corraled, so to speak. My process for pulling out is simple: Position the trailer, and winch the boat forward with a piece of line through the bow cleat's eye until the bow is within one or two inches of the VEE on the winch post. The forward set of PVC centers the boat. I pull out slowly, letting the stern PVCs guide the boat to the center of the trailer. Has worked every time. Once I am out, I remove the aft set of guides, cinch around the strut with a ratchet strap fastened to both trailer rails, then at the stern I insert two stubby PVC's just to keep the stern from shifting on the road. I have done this with one line man, but I am confident that in a pinch, with cam water, I could do it alone... CQ

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Jim Godlewski
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Re: Trailer Guides

Post by Jim Godlewski » Sat Oct 08, 2016 6:47 am

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SteveH
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Re: Trailer Guides

Post by SteveH » Mon Oct 24, 2016 9:52 am

20161023_154214_resized.jpg
Hello all,

Ended up going with a cheap kit from SeaSense. $80 Cdn to my door. Figured they would at least work as a visual aid. To my surprise, the kit is quite robust. The PVC tubes (60 inch for my kit) are thick and quite rigid and the mount is solid. The winds were quite swirly on the River yesterday and retrieval was a piece of cake - the uprights did more than enough to hold her centered and in place. A great purchase for my needs.

Steve
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1959 22' Sea Skiff (2263)
16 ft. Oughtred Penny Fee
17 ft. Devlin Oarling

Tom Gruenauer
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Re: Trailer Guides

Post by Tom Gruenauer » Mon Oct 24, 2016 11:06 am

Take a look at the Black ring (electrical Tape) on my PVC guide poles. If you launch and retrieve at the same ramp you can mark how far you need to back the trailer in the water. Works great.
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Doug P
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Re: Trailer Guides

Post by Doug P » Mon Oct 24, 2016 1:46 pm

Tom Gruenauer wrote:Take a look at the Black ring (electrical Tape) on my PVC guide poles. If you launch and retrieve at the same ramp you can mark how far you need to back the trailer in the water. Works great.
good idea :D

bflaherty
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Re: Trailer Guides

Post by bflaherty » Wed Oct 26, 2016 11:34 am

Tom Gruenauer wrote:Take a look at the Black ring (electrical Tape) on my PVC guide poles. If you launch and retrieve at the same ramp you can mark how far you need to back the trailer in the water. Works great.
That's brilliantly simple!
Brian Flaherty
1969 Chris-Craft Cavalier 17 Ski Boat "TUPPERWARE"

"You'll never discover great lands, with your feet planted in the sand"

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Chad Durren
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Re: Trailer Guides

Post by Chad Durren » Wed Oct 26, 2016 3:48 pm

Clever idea. I'm always launching at unfamiliar ramps. Launching and retrieval is often hurried so I wrapped my guide posts in pipe insulation for extra protection. The rubber caps on the guide posts are glow-in-the-dark so I can see them in the dark.
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