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How strong is the bow eye bolt?

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  • How strong is the bow eye bolt?

    I have a '96 21' Conquest I/O open bow boat. I am fairly new to boating and am wondering how much pull the front bow hook can handle? This is the U-bolt in the bow that the trailer strap hooks to. Seems when I load the boat there is a 50-50 chance that the bow will rest solidly on the bow roller. I'm sure some of it is technique or lack there of. I've had some luck with powering it up on the trailer. Seems like the trailer has to be just right for it to work. Too far in and the rear of the boat floats. Not enough and the boat doesn't have the power to push itself up. I have tried having someone winch the boat up and it seems to work until I pull up the ramp and the trailer flexes due to the poor condition of the ramp and then the bow no longer rests on the bow roller. Sorry for the long email on a simple question. Any thoughts on either.thanksChris


  • #2
    Re: How strong is the bow eye bolt?

    ChrisEach boat and trailer is a little different but for me I like the bow eye to come up right below the bow stop if you have a single bow stop. This way when the boat is cranked up tight your winch strap and bow eye prevent the bow from raising should you hit a bump or have to slame the brakes. You also want your boat to rest on it's supports with out the bow wench lifting it off in the bow or forceing it down. The way I adjust is to move the boat foward until the bunks just reach the stern. Then I adjust the bow stop to be just over the bow eye on the boat. Hook up your wench strap and tighten and your all set. Last thing is to make sure you still have proper tongue weight. If not then may have to move axel foward or back.If you have a double bow stop one high and one low then still adjust the same but with bow eye just under the High bow stop.
    Have some fun and enjoy the Great Outdoors.
    Love to fish out of Bodega Bay, California.

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    • #3
      Re: How strong is the bow eye bolt?

      On most well-built boats, the bow eye is tied to the front end of the keel structure with some serious backing plate. My boat weighs 4000 lbs and I don't have any qualms about snugging it up to the bow roller - takes a fair amount of force on the crank but it sure doesn't feel like anything is going to let loose.

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      • #4
        Re: How strong is the bow eye bolt?

        The bow eye is strong enough to pull the boat as far up the trailer as you need to.I have seen boats suspended by the bow eye and stern eyes.Charlie

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        • #5
          Re: How strong is the bow eye bolt?

          The slack you often end up with after winching on the ramp is due to the change in the angle of the boat to the trailer. In regards to re-winching when off the ramp, a lot will depend on the trailer and the "approach" angle of the eye to the winch. As C.Charlie points out, most bow eyes and hull structures are strong enough for a hard winching. This does put an enormous strain on the bow eye and trailer. I personally, would never put this much strain on the boat and trailer. A technique that does work well is to tension the winch strap to a reasonable degree, drive forward at 5 -10 mph, and then hit the brakes. The boat should snug right up to the roller. You can take the slack out of the strap or cable if any develops.

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          • #6
            Re: How strong is the bow eye bolt?

            To repeat what was said before “below the bow stop if you have a single bow stop. This way when the boat is cranked up tight your winch strap and bow eye prevent the bow from raising should you hit a bump or have to slam the brakes. You also want your boat to rest on it's supports with out the bow wench lifting it off in the bow or forcing it down". If you have it on top it could be really bad news if you have to make a hard stop.
            It's Not About Being Noticed, It's About Being Remembered. ResurrectionMarine.com
            19’ Of Rolling Thunder Chasing The Wind. SuperNova19.com
            24’ Of Rolling Thunder, Chasing The Wind, Catching It, Whoppin’ It’s A**, Then Saying, “Now B*tch, Go Make Me A Sandwich!” SuperNova24.com

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            • #7
              Re: How strong is the bow eye bolt?

              ChrisA lot of places frown on powering your boat on or off the trailer. The prop wash will dig holes in many ramps making it harder for the next guy.

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              • #8
                Re: How strong is the bow eye bolt?

                Thanks for all the replies. I will have to try loading with winching and see if that works better. I can see where the power on and off would tear up the ramps. The ramps I use are concrete, but somewhere they have to transition to river bottom. This summer the river has been so low, it wouldn't suprise me if the trailer wheels are off the concrete. I know if you don't hit the right spot in the ramp the right side trailer wheels will fall into a big hole. I have watched a lot of people load/unload. Seems like most power load. Suppose it goes by location. We have 5 ramps and only one is decent to use 19+ ft boats and thats the one with the hole and "something" about 10 ft out that you hit when loading/unloading. Town put a lot of money into a wrought iron 2 story observation deck, but nothing into the ramps. I guess this gives the spectators a comfortable place to watch all the boats use the only decent ramp. Well enough rambling. Thanks again.Chris

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                • #9
                  Re: How strong is the bow eye bolt?

                  Chris:Where ya boating at? I used to be down in Bloomington...Tallman

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                  • #10
                    Re: How strong is the bow eye bolt?

                    I mostly go to Pekin and the Illinois River just south of the wickets. The river downstream isn't too bad, but the ramps at Pekin leave a little to be desired! When the wickets are down we can go upstream to Peoria which is nice. I have been to Clinton once and it was nice, but a little longer drive. Where did you go?Chris

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                    • #11
                      Re: How strong is the bow eye bolt?

                      I always put in at havana.

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                      • #12
                        Re: How strong is the bow eye bolt?

                        I have put in at carl spindler in E Peoria.. Not a bad ramp there... But it is above the locks. Never been south of them on the river. I used to go to Clinton all the time but that gets boring. Good luck with your boating. Once you get North of peoria the river aint too bad

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