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  1. #1
    Petty Officer 2nd Class rbryant1492_mfb's Avatar
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    Default How too attach a safety chain to a boat trailer

    My boat trailer does not have safety chains on it so I need to add them. My question is how do I attach them to the trailer? Do I drill a hole and run a screw.

    H e l p

  2. #2
    Cadet
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    Default Re: How too attach a safety chain to a boat trailer

    take out the forward most bolt on the coupler and replace it with a longer bolt. when you put the bolt through the chain put a washer on each side of the chain. make sure to use a grade 5 or higher nut and bolt.
    1998 Four Winns 245 sundowner, Volvo 5.7GSI/Duo prop

  3. #3
    Supreme Mariner Silvertip's Avatar
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    Default Re: How too attach a safety chain to a boat trailer

    If the coupler is welded on you will need to drill a hole. And use a bolt, washers, lockwasher and nut, not a screw (there is a difference).

  4. #4
    Supreme Mariner kenmyfam's Avatar
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    Default Re: How too attach a safety chain to a boat trailer

    As Silvertip !!!!
    Marada 2100 Executive Series, 5 Litre V8 with Mercruiser Alpha 1 outdrive. 2007 K-Z Spree 260 RBH, all = a whole lot of family fun !!!!

  5. #5
    Lieutenant Commander NSBCraig's Avatar
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    Default Re: How too attach a safety chain to a boat trailer

    yep as silvertip
    1982 Baja 16ss

  6. #6
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    Thumbs up Re: How too attach a safety chain to a boat trailer

    The guys are right about the mounting and grade, and I add that you use large enough chain and clips or shackels (not S hooks, they are a joke ). S hooks can bounce off or bend open in the case off the unthinkable happening, and I wouldn't trust my boat to them. Improper safty chains cost my brother his life when hit head on by a towed vehicle that got away from the owner. Thats something that would be hard to live with, losing a life over a few bucks. Whatever you do, think safety first ( SAFETY CHAINS )...
    Happy Towing...
    Last edited by nuttyxp; June 29th, 2008 at 05:13 PM. Reason: wrong word
    " It aint no fun, If the boat don't run... "

  7. #7
    Seaman Apprentice Eddie P's Avatar
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    Default Re: How too attach a safety chain to a boat trailer

    Would you guys mind posting a few pictures of what a good safety chain setup looks like, or point out a link with good information. I am a new boat owner and want to be sure what I was shown is the right way and not just a way to get a false sense of confidence in such an important thing.

  8. #8
    Petty Officer 1st Class
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    Default Re: How too attach a safety chain to a boat trailer

    I had a 20' Beachcraft on a Zieman trailer with 1/4" thick cable. The trailer broke lose one day and fortunately I was going very slow. That cable just snapped in two. I replaced that cable with 3/8" chain and have since sold the boat and trailer. On my current 21' Trophy I've attached a 7/16" chain.

  9. #9
    Seaman Apprentice
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    Default Re: How too attach a safety chain to a boat trailer

    On my trailer, just behind the coupler, there is a piece of L-steel welded on each side, (like the letter V attached to the bottom of the tongue) and the chain goes through it. Then, a grade 8 bolt secures the chain from sliding, keeping the chains at equal length.

    While you have your tools out, help prevent ever having to use the safety chains and make sure your coupler is adjusted properly since your working in that area.

    Overkill.... probably. Will that trailer ever get away from me? Not a chance.

    This coming from a guy that had a trailer come loose @ 65MPH once. Never again!

  10. #10
    Lieutenant Commander Tacklewasher's Avatar
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    Default Re: How too attach a safety chain to a boat trailer

    Just an aside.

    You need a chain on either side of the coupler, and cross them under the coupler. It the coupler ever does pop off, it will fall down and get caught in the chains. It won't drop as far as the road.

  11. #11
    Commander Nandy's Avatar
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    Default Re: How too attach a safety chain to a boat trailer

    Hmmm, I have always crossed my chains, however, If the trailer falls I can see how the coupler will hit the road.... Is there any formula to determine the length of the chain? I believe this question goes with the OP line of questioning. If not please let me know and I will start a separate post.

  12. #12
    Seaman Apprentice Firemedic09's Avatar
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    Default Re: How too attach a safety chain to a boat trailer

    if your handy, and a good welder, or know of a good welder, i think welding would be the way to go. lock nuts tend to wear out from the elements and have the possibility to become loose. so taking a 7/16 chain and welding it to each side or something to that affect might be a better way to go.

    i didnt see where post had been given with pics so maybe this will help...

    http://www.ultra150s.com/PWC_Trailer...upler-lock.jpg bolt, washer and lock nut

    http://www.bulletprooftrailers.com/i...afetychain.jpg chain welded to trailer.

    hope this helps

    Mark

  13. #13
    Commander Nandy's Avatar
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    Default Re: How too attach a safety chain to a boat trailer

    Most recomend against welding the links as it weakens it...

  14. #14
    Seaman Joe Dirt's Avatar
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    Default Re: How too attach a safety chain to a boat trailer

    I agree with Nandy about welding- I would bolt it.

    If the lock nuts rust- just replace them.

    I added a safety chain to mine, and drilled and used a pass through bolt with a chain holding spring locked hooks hanging from either side of my welded on coupler.
    1967 Sears 14' V-hull with full redneck bass boat conversion! Fitted with a repainted 1975 Johnson 15HP, and Evinrude bow mounted foot controlled trolling motor...

  15. #15
    Petty Officer 2nd Class
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    Default Re: How too attach a safety chain to a boat trailer

    I weld mine on, only because I enjoy welding stuff. As for welding making it weaker...I disagree. I've only had the coupler come off of the ball once and it was hard enough to snap one of my chains. It snapped in the middle of the chain. If welding made it weaker it would have snapped where it was welded to the trailer tongue. Only my observation and opinion.

    All that being said, drilling a hole and using the right nut/bolt hardware works excellent too! A no brainer if you can't weld or don't have access to a welder.

    Hunter

  16. #16
    Commander Nandy's Avatar
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    Default Re: How too attach a safety chain to a boat trailer

    Ksubigbuck, I love welding too. I was hopping santa would bring me a TIG machine but not so much luck. Hard to find a convincing point for a 1500 to 2000 dollars machine when you are just a hobbyist... But I can always wish...

    Anyway, welding does make it weaker, the thing is how weak. Is it going to be weak enough to be broke by your trailer? That is a good question, it will depend on what chain, strength, rod that you use and many more details. But those that study Metallurgical engineering agree it will make it weaker... In your case, not weak enough to break...

  17. #17
    Seaman Joe Dirt's Avatar
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    Default Re: How too attach a safety chain to a boat trailer

    X-factor that was maybe confused by me- WHO is welding? (Not necessarily a pointed finger, just a general question for any of the welded chains I see from time to time- who welded them?) You can get a weld laid down that looks good to the untrained eye, but drop a boat on it, and <ping> Houston has problems.
    1967 Sears 14' V-hull with full redneck bass boat conversion! Fitted with a repainted 1975 Johnson 15HP, and Evinrude bow mounted foot controlled trolling motor...

  18. #18
    Seaman Apprentice Eddie P's Avatar
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    Default Re: How too attach a safety chain to a boat trailer

    Thanks for the pics

  19. #19
    Petty Officer 2nd Class Captain Paul's Avatar
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    Default Re: How too attach a safety chain to a boat trailer

    Do not skimp on the chains. Ever since a trailer got away from my bro'-in-law, I go big on chain. He forgot to put the pin in the coupler on his EMPTY utility trailer, it popped off the ball, snapped what looked like substantial chains, and scooted away. Thank the Lord nobody was hurt.

  20. #20
    Cadet
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    Default Re: How too attach a safety chain to a boat trailer

    what ever size of chain you think you need go bigger. the tongue on the trailer of my 23' Sea Ray snapped like a dry stick and the chains saved my boat the trailer was a total loss the the boat came out ok..
    [/SIGPIC]Seajake: go bears

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