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Loading/unloading in shallow water

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  • Loading/unloading in shallow water

    This is my first year with a 20' Suntracker Party Barge on a Tandem Wolverine trailer with carpeted beds. My ramp is so shallow that it wouldn't completely float the boat off the beds when unloading. I had to hitch a come-a-long to the back of the trailer and front of the boat to ratchet it off the trailer. I had backed it in up to the axles on my tractor, and couldn't get it any deeper. It's getting close to the time to take it out for the winter (Michigan UP) and I'm wondering if it makes sense to put anything over the carpets (visqueen, for example) that would make it slide on & off easier. I will only be trailering it locally to get it shrink wrapped. My lake is very shallow, with no public loading sites, so finding a steeper ramp isn't an easy option. Thanks for any advice.

  • #2
    spray bunks with soapy water (boatsoap or other safe for waterways)?

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    • #3
      I had a sailboat that required about 5' of depth to float off the trailer. The previous owner had equipped the trailer with an 8' tongue extension that could be mounted at the boat ramp. That extra 8' allowed the boat to reach deeper water without putting the truck in too deep. If there is any slope at all where you launch, perhaps something like that might help.

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      • #4
        Some are using that white PVC (plastic) trim for bunk material. It's used around garage doors and other places, available at Home Depot/Lowes/similar.

        You say you are with tractor, is dredging your boat launch an option?

        Last, anything you can do to lower the boat to the ground will be in your best interest. Smaller wheels/tires, adjusting/re-positioning support brackets, etc. will all help.

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        • #5
          You might want to sell your bunk style trailer and buy a sissor type trailer. Those work great for launching in shallow water. In fact you can set your toon on the ground with just a little blocking them and drive out from under it.

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          • #6
            Thanks for the excellent suggestions. While looking in Lowes for some pvc type material, I had the thought that a slip 'n slide might be exactly what I wanted. I ordered a double slip 'n slide for $15, cut it in strips and stapled it to the carpet beds. When I took the boat out yesterday, in even shallower water than I put it in, I was able to drive it about halfway up the trailer beds, then winch it the rest of the way. The slip 'n slide worked beautifully, and didn't even tear. Thanks again for the ideas.

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            • #7
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              Slip n slides are just vynal, I can't see this thing lasting any amount of time?

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