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Bow Eye for 17' Sportsman

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George Emmanuel
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Bow Eye for 17' Sportsman

Post by George Emmanuel » Thu May 03, 2012 8:26 pm

I'm restoring a 1955 Sportsman and want to install a bow eye to aid in winching the boat onto the trailer. Years ago I saw a '58 Sportsman with one. The question is, is the stem strong enough to handle the pull? I had a 15' Cavalier with one and had no problems. The previous owner did like many do and used the lifting eye. It was bent when I got the boat and I know it is only designed for a vertical pull.

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Brian Robinson
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Post by Brian Robinson » Thu May 03, 2012 8:39 pm

Don't do it.

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Post by SJHanson » Fri May 04, 2012 9:42 am

Brian offers good advice. SteveH

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Doug P
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Post by Doug P » Fri May 04, 2012 2:07 pm

Pull it on with a bridle made from straps.

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Post by Parishdc » Fri May 04, 2012 2:12 pm

Doug,
Any pictures? I could use the idea as well. Need something for trailer.
Thanks,
Dave
1954 CC Sportsman 17

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Doug P
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Post by Doug P » Fri May 04, 2012 2:54 pm

No pictures....but you can google boat towing bridle.
For a 17 foot wood boat, have a strap that completely goes around the boat and you are pulling the boat by the stern. You can use the bow chocks only to hold the bridle in position. If you are looking for a trailer I do have one that floats the boat on. I do not want to be commercial and post it here. :lol:

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Post by gbraker » Fri May 04, 2012 3:15 pm

I have a 1941 Deluxe Runabout. It has a bow eye. I thought it was part of the cutwater until I looked at it real close last year and realized it was a separate piece. It actually goes through the bow and also through a backing block and a nut is screwed on on the inside.

Its handy and it seems plenty strong. I use it to winch the boat onto the trailer, but I back off the tension before I drag it out of the water so it won't have too much pull.

Having said all this, I think it detracts from the appearance, and I'm pretty sure it isn't original.

Gary

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Doug P
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Post by Doug P » Fri May 04, 2012 3:38 pm

Gary, I do not believe I have seen a factory bow eye on the deluxe, a buddy has a 19' '42 and has a cradle trailer with NO winch, to me is much easier retrieving a boat. I have seen after market bow eyes, but I would only recommend using them for a safety tie down to the trailer....but not tight so that the trailer motion will not wear on the eye.

George Emmanuel
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Bow Eye

Post by George Emmanuel » Sat May 05, 2012 11:50 am

Thanks for all the input. I am well aware of using the bridle strap to bring the boat onto the trailer. I've seen a couple of 17's w the bow eye and in order to install it you must cut that rare bent chrome strip.

I'll forego the bow eye! Thanks for all the good input.

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Doug P
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Post by Doug P » Sat May 05, 2012 12:40 pm

I don't remember what years that a bronze strip replaced the cutwater on the sportsmans, or would that be sportsmen?
And didn't hull numbers go from CC 17 XXX to U 17 XXX? :?:

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Brian Robinson
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Post by Brian Robinson » Sat May 05, 2012 1:10 pm

Try to just float the boat on the trailer, don't pull it. You should only need to use the winch to 'hold' the boat in position as you go up the launch ramp. If your are cranking hard, something is wrong, like the trailer is not in far enough.

We don't even have winches on our own trailers, just a rigid bar from the bow stop to the lifting ring just the right length to hold the boat off the bow stop by a couple inches while underway.

On a related note, how come so many "East Coast" trailers I see, like Performance trailers have the boat up high on top of the fenders with narrower axles, versus the western rule of thumb which is set the boat down between the fenders as low as possible? The lower everything is, the easier to float on. John Kadimik, I'm looking in your direction. Image
This was a customers boat before it was restored (1996 photo), he had the trailer made. I HATED this trailer
-Brian
1923 Hackercraft 23' Dolphin #03
1938 Gar Wood 22' Streamliner #6256 Empress
1952 Chris~Craft 19' Racing Runabout #363 Thunderstruck
Robinson Restoration, LLC (760) 468-1009

George Emmanuel
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17' Sportsman trailer

Post by George Emmanuel » Sat May 05, 2012 8:48 pm

Brian, that is a good question! All I can think is sometimes the boats come on trailers where the owner has little experience in trailering. My 15' Cavalier was on a conventional trailer that was re-bunked for it, and whoever did it did a marvelous job. Easy to load and when loaded it was nestled well. My 17' Sportsman is on a trailer designed for modern inboard ski boats. The bunks were mounted permanently for a specific brand of boat.It gives good support but the bunks need to be re-positioned for best support. I also have a '48 Higgins 17' on a vintage custom built trailer. The boat is supported well but the trailer is not designed for easy launch and loading.

Trailers for vintage boats is a topic in itself. I've seen vintage boats on modern trailers that are doomed to failure. My best trailer combo is my '52 PennYan on its original Mastercraft trailer. That is the softest riding trailer I've ever seen and it gives the PennYan full keel support.

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Jim Godlewski
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Post by Jim Godlewski » Sun May 06, 2012 7:02 am

George,
I have seen quite a few eyelets in the stem of our vintage boats. Mine included had one. Whether it was original or not, I do not know. It’s gone now though since I did not like the look.

Brian,
I would like to see a photo of the ridged bar installed. I once had the boat too close to the carpet without knowing and you know what happens with that....
1956 17 Sportsman CC-17-2310
1930 Model 100 7152
https://1956chriscraftsportsman.shutterfly.com/

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Brian Robinson
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Post by Brian Robinson » Sun May 06, 2012 1:39 pm

Image
This is the setup for our 22' Gar Wood. I am not sure I recommend this for small Chris-Crafts with the 1" dia. lift rings. The bigger Gar Wood lift rings are really smart because they use a sleeve that supports the ring on the rod and in the deck. Basically the entire assembly requires a 2.5" hole in the king plank, which provides three times the surface area of the deck being pulled against - much stronger.

It only pulls on the deck coming out of the water, then the strut is strapped tightly back. once you are a mile down the road with a brake check or two the boat settles in and there is no tension on the bar, we use a piece of leather to insulate any vibration and protect the chrome. The one on this trailer is a piece of polished aluminum with an aluminum clevis Jim Thorpe made for us. That trailer is 20 years old with countless miles on it.

For smaller Chris-Crafts the trailers we design usually have a winch, and it is just set taught (not tight) with the strut strapped back. It allows a little more spring, as not to jerk the lifting ring around and risk cracking the king plank. It is really just there to appease the CHP.

Some guys like the boat held tight against the bow stop, I am really against this because it will cause chafing on the chrome, stainless, or worse, the varnish. The tension of the strap holding the strut back keeps the boat from creeping forward - this is critical. The other popular style of bow stop is with two large plywood pads to catch the rub rail, this is fine, but they will still chafe if the boat touches them (bouncing up and down).

That's how we do it, that does not necessarily mean it is the best way, but it has worked well for us.

Here is a trailer we are in the process of modifying now for the 33' Hacker. That bow stop will be redesigned.
Image
-Brian
1923 Hackercraft 23' Dolphin #03
1938 Gar Wood 22' Streamliner #6256 Empress
1952 Chris~Craft 19' Racing Runabout #363 Thunderstruck
Robinson Restoration, LLC (760) 468-1009

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Jim Godlewski
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Post by Jim Godlewski » Sun May 06, 2012 7:54 pm

Thank you for the photo's Brian.
1956 17 Sportsman CC-17-2310
1930 Model 100 7152
https://1956chriscraftsportsman.shutterfly.com/

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JohnKadimik
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Post by JohnKadimik » Mon May 07, 2012 1:32 pm

Hey Brian, Performance Custom Trailers is a custom trailer mfg. and build to your wants. Whoever had that hated trailer built, most likely had a narrow garage door. this style trailer will fit thru doors that low bunk trailers would not. The lower they are, the wider they are. If the bunks are higher then the fenders, in storage, the trailer will take up no more width then the boat itself. Your saving 2-3' per boat . I use both styles of trailers and they have their pro's and con's.One thing about that trailer you had is you won't drag your rudder leaving the Burger King on your way home from the show. As far as the ramps go, I don't have a problem with either style trailer, I think your "West Coast ramps" are to flat. PS, I took a 24' Gar Wood Overnighter with twin Crowns to Mt Dora a few years on a PCB trailer. The lake was down 4' and we put the boat in and out with no problem. Have a look www.pcbtrailers.com. John

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Brian Robinson
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Post by Brian Robinson » Mon May 07, 2012 7:39 pm

Thanks John. That is the best explanation I have heard. There are compromises to both types. Our low trailers do drag, a lot, but that is what a beefy prop cage is for.

I like the flatter ramps, personally. There is a definite increase in angle the further east one travels. Funny phenomenon, really. The lower trailers are better suited for low-angle ramps, and vice versa.

The wildest ramp I have experienced was the one at Hall's Boat Co. on Lake George, NY. That thing seemed like it was 45-degrees. They had to front-hitch to their new 4x4 diesel pickup to drop in and retrieve a 28' Gar Wood and 27' Riva Aquarama for us in 2007. Talk about torture on the bow cleat! Even in 4-low their truck struggled to pull these two 8,000lb trailers out of the water at that angle. I said to the guy there what hell it must be on their trucks... he said "we kill one new truck every two years doing this all summer."

ImageImage
Speaking of the West Coast - are you and Kim still coming out to Tahoe this year? Thanks
-Brian
1923 Hackercraft 23' Dolphin #03
1938 Gar Wood 22' Streamliner #6256 Empress
1952 Chris~Craft 19' Racing Runabout #363 Thunderstruck
Robinson Restoration, LLC (760) 468-1009

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WoodenRookie
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The hated "eye"

Post by WoodenRookie » Tue May 08, 2012 8:54 am

Getting back to the original question and let me state for the record that I removed one in my current restoration. I get the "Don't do it" and actually removed one, BUT for the last 50 years following the wood boating era, that has been found to be the best location to launch and retreive a boat from a trailer. I also totally get the Wood boat that reinforces his bow stem and puts one there cuz they are a heck of lot more practical, easy, not unattractive as every boat on the lake has one. Should you need a tow in, dern nice location to pull from and easy.

Just saying!!! Trailering your wood boat would be a heck of a lot easier with one!!!
59 18' Continental

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Doug P
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Should you need a tow in, dern nice location to pull from

Post by Doug P » Tue May 08, 2012 9:25 am

Re: On water towing.
Once a tow line is attached by the tower's boat to the towee's boat, the tower is responsible. If I was towing your boat I would demand a bridle.

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