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  1. #1
    Petty Officer 2nd Class pkrainert's Avatar
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    Default Tri hull trailer

    How would I go about finding a better trailer for my tri hull? I despise the trailer that I currently have. How would I know what type of trailer I need? Its very hard to launch and retrieve with the trailer I currently have. If I cant find a new one how do I determine what height to set the rollers at?

  2. #2
    Admiral CATransplant's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tri hull trailer

    Quote Originally Posted by pkrainert View Post
    How would I go about finding a better trailer for my tri hull? I despise the trailer that I currently have. How would I know what type of trailer I need? Its very hard to launch and retrieve with the trailer I currently have. If I cant find a new one how do I determine what height to set the rollers at?
    How about some photos of your current setup? It's really hard to discuss the problem without seeing it.

    I had a trihull, and it was on a pretty standard roller and bunk trailer. It worked very nicely. What I do, and this is just my perspective, is adjust the bunks to just level it on the trailer, and rely on the rollers for most of the weight-bearing. Of course, that means plenty of keel rollers to spread out the load.

    I do the same on my current semi-V aluminum boat. It sits on the rollers, with the bunks basically just contacting to keep it level from side to side. It loads and unloads easily, and I'm using 4 keel rollers on a lightweight 12' aluminum boat.

    So, describe what it is you don't like about your current setup. Illustrate with photos, if possible. Describe how your trailer is set-up. How many rollers? How long are the bunks? How much of the weight is on the rollers and on the bunks?

    Trihulls are really no harder to set up on a trailer than any other type of boat.

    Sure...go ahead and laugh at my old aluminum boat. It's paid for!

  3. #3
    Admiral CATransplant's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tri hull trailer

    OK, I found a photo of your setup:



    I'm assuming that you have bunks contacting the space between the outer hulls. That's pretty typical for trailering this type of boat.

    I see one keel roller at the front. I assume there is one at the rear of the trailer, as well. Are there any other rollers? You may have too much of your boat's weight on the bunks, and that can make loading and unloading difficult. More center keel rollers can help.

    Now, what is it about this setup that you don't like. Are you having trouble launching? Or is the problem on the retrieve?

    I see no reason why your trailer can't be setup to make your job easy.

    Sure...go ahead and laugh at my old aluminum boat. It's paid for!

  4. #4
    Honorary Moderator Emeritus tashasdaddy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tri hull trailer

    my first impression is the trailer is too small for the boat, needs longer tongue to get the boat in the water, longer bunks to support the stern. additional keel roller/s. using the tilt mechanism may help of shallow ramps.
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  5. #5
    Admiral CATransplant's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tri hull trailer

    He has the same problem I did on my trihull. The boat sits pretty high on the trailer, and there's not much that you can do to lower it. What worked for me was to have four rollers for the keel and most of the boat's weight on the rollers, with the bunks more for stability than weight-bearing. It didn't cause any deflection at all on the keel. I'd have put six rollers in if I had enough cross-members.

    As long as I could get the stern in the water a bit, I could fairly easily shove the boat off the trailer. Retrieval meant positioning the rear roller even with the water, then winching the thing back on the trailer with the grooved rollers easing things along. The bunks didn't really come into play until the boat was almost loaded, and then they made full contact once the bow was in the bow stop. The keels on those trihulls are the strongest element on the boat, and handle the weight just fine on four rollers. The bunks can just stabilize the boat horizontally, but do need to be in full contact over their entire length.

    His is about a foot longer than mine was, but mine sat on the trailer about the same as his. I never had any trouble launching or retrieving, and never used the tilt feature. I did avoid really shallow ramps, though.

    Sure...go ahead and laugh at my old aluminum boat. It's paid for!

  6. #6
    Admiral CATransplant's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tri hull trailer

    One other thing. If you're worried about too much weight on the keel (I wouldn't worry), you can use roller bunks to allow the bunks to carry more of the weight. That'd make the boat super easy to launch and retrieve. Just don't release the winch until the boat's in the water, ready to launch, or it'll end up on the ramp.

    Sure...go ahead and laugh at my old aluminum boat. It's paid for!

  7. #7
    Honorary Moderator Emeritus tashasdaddy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tri hull trailer

    "it'll end up on the ramp." i know from experience, friend helping me launch disconnected mine, i saw the boat move before it was bad.
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  8. #8
    Lieutenant woosterken's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tri hull trailer

    PK,
    check your PM box put some info there for you

    woosterken

  9. #9
    Admiral CATransplant's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tri hull trailer

    Quote Originally Posted by tashasdaddy View Post
    "it'll end up on the ramp." i know from experience, friend helping me launch disconnected mine, i saw the boat move before it was bad.

    It happened to my father, too, once. It was a steeper ramp that the one he usually launched from, and he was used to backing down and hitting the brakes to slide the boat off into the water. Well, his 23' boat started moving down as he was backing. So, he punched the accelerator a bit and got the trailer in the water just as the boat slid off. No damage. Since then, he's been a bit more careful.

    Sure...go ahead and laugh at my old aluminum boat. It's paid for!

  10. #10
    Commander redfury's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tri hull trailer

    It looks like the front keel rollers are more for centering the boat up front. They form a "V" to hold the keel from deflecting side to side as the boat comes up on the trailer. I'm willing to bet that the rest of the rollers are pretty old also. I've seen those trailers, and was never impressed with them much.

    I'd say that if he's dealing with bunks that are hard to get the boat moving, then he might want to invest in the plastic slides that you screw into the bunks to help it get a little more slippery on a dry launch/retrieve.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Tri hull trailer

    Quote Originally Posted by tashasdaddy View Post
    "it'll end up on the ramp." i know from experience, friend helping me launch disconnected mine, i saw the boat move before it was bad.
    would you just have to get the trailer farther in the water then? and once its off the trailer and floating then disconnect the winch?

    the only boat ive ever seen/ launched wasnt a tri-hull or a roller.
    mine is a tri hull and rollers.
    CrankyBaits Custom Painted Lures

    1981 Sylvan Sportster 16' 1985 Evinrude 70 hp

  12. #12
    Admiral CATransplant's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tri hull trailer

    Quote Originally Posted by rtpassini View Post
    would you just have to get the trailer farther in the water then? and once its off the trailer and floating then disconnect the winch?

    the only boat ive ever seen/ launched wasnt a tri-hull or a roller.
    mine is a tri hull and rollers.
    Some folks have the habit of unhooking the winch cable at the top of the ramp before backing down. This works OK with some boats and trailers, especially those with bunks only. You back down and when the boat floats, you stop and the momentum lets the boat back off the trailer by itself. Guys launching solo often tie the bow rope to the truck, then untie it and walk the boat to the courtesy dock.

    Roller trailers don't work so well when you do this. They tend to roll off the trailer before you get to the water. It's a bad idea.

    Combination roller and bunk trailers are in the middle of things. You really have to know your combination, and a steeper than usual ramp can throw things off and put your boat on the concrete.

    Sure...go ahead and laugh at my old aluminum boat. It's paid for!

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Tri hull trailer

    thank for the advice!
    CrankyBaits Custom Painted Lures

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  14. #14
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    Default Re: Tri hull trailer

    I've launched a few larger boats on full roller trailer which were a real job to get unhooked once on the ramp. The boat's weight would remain against the winch and there was no way to get far enough back into the water to let the boat float free with that type trailer I used to disconnect the winch and wrap the lead rope well around the bow stop so I could easily release it once in the water. While I never had to launch that one alone, I would toss the lead rope to a buddy on the dock to pull the boat over to the dock while I parked the truck and trailer. I'd then just run and hop in the boat, warm it up and be on my way.

    I've had a few roller trailers on which the boat still didn't move very freely, but after switching to new Yates rollers, it's slides right off.

    I've had several trihull boats, all were on bunk or roller bunk trailers. Keeping them low is pretty important when it comes to launching.
    There are several type trihull designs too, some are no more than a deep V hull with two outer hull formations and others are true tri or 'W' hulls ending in a true three hull shape, while others are more just flat bottom hulls with a tri hull bow area. On the true 'W' hull boats, its usually easiest to set up the bunks to set in between the two outer hulls and the main V hull. Roller bunks work well on the flat bottom and mild V bottom hulls, and many can be put right on a standard full roller trailer.
    My Starcraft Capri and Duo Gypsy both worked well on standard trailers.
    The good thing is that most of those hulls were rock solid and fairly light. My Starcraft was only about 800lbs plus the motor. The floating boat was only about 1500 lbs with fuel, a 120hp Evinrude V4, seats, fishing tackle, coolers, and my home built casting deck. The trailer was a 12' tire TeeNee that came with another boat. I never felt it was under sprung or overweight at all. I later put that boat on a Load Right 19-2500 trailer which worked fine, a bit heavy but it made it nicer to travel farther.

  15. #15
    Petty Officer 2nd Class pkrainert's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tri hull trailer

    Hello,

    It has mini bunks on it just to keep it from swaying. I have to back this thing so far into the water to launch it since it sits so freakin high. I can try to lower the bunks and see if it helps. also I will try to raise the rollers a bit. I have had three other boats and they were very easy to launch. The trailers also sat lower and were longer. The boat seems to big for the trailer to me.

  16. #16
    Admiral CATransplant's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tri hull trailer

    I think you're going to find that it'll be difficult to find a trailer that will be much lower for that boat. The problem is that it's so wide and that it's a trihull. Mine sat much like that on its trailer, too.

    A longer tongue would help, by letting you back deeper into the water. Steeper ramps will also work better than shallow ramps.

    On a V-hull boat, you can create a trailer that is lower in the center than at the sides, so the boat can sit lower. If you look at your trihull, you see the problem. There's no way to lower the boat very much without contacting the trailer frame. A wider trailer would work if it had a dropped center section, but you may have a hard time finding a trailer like that.

    It just sorta comes with the territory when it comes to trihulls.

    Sure...go ahead and laugh at my old aluminum boat. It's paid for!

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Tri hull trailer

    Going by the pic above, I'd say his best bet will be a wide axle full roller trailer, it will get the boat lower and he won't have to deal with having to back in so far until the boat floats.

    My Duo trihull sat so low on the trailer that I had to be careful of the drive hitting on driveways. I had no choice but to transport it with the drive fully tilted, and even then it was a concern That trailer was just wider than the boat, the boat sat about 3" away from the fenders on each side, just inside of them.
    It was a roller bunk trailer with 7 keel rollers and it worked good, my Starcraft Capri sat high on a light tandem bunk trailer, it was a bit of a chore to load and unload. I later put it on a Load Rite 19-2500 full roller trailer and it worked fantastic. the boat sat completely inside of the fenders, the rollers let it roll right off when lauching and I didn't have to get wet when loading.

  18. #18
    Commander redfury's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tri hull trailer

    http://lh3.ggpht.com/_pf6aWNx1mbk/Sb...8_openbow4.JPG

    This is ultimately what I'd like to have for a trailer, or at least how I'd like my boat to sit on one...got to be easy to launch in lesser accesses.

  19. #19
    Lieutenant woosterken's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tri hull trailer

    WOW, but how wide would that thing be?
    I know bass boats are set like that

    woosterken

  20. #20
    Commander redfury's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tri hull trailer

    I dunno, what's the beam width on a tri hull like that? The trailer reminds me of what you'd find an inboard ski boat on.

  21. #21
    Lieutenant woosterken's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tri hull trailer

    Red,
    my '74 MFG has a maxium beam of 86"

    woosterken

  22. #22
    Chief Petty Officer
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    Default Re: Tri hull trailer

    my '75 Crestliner is 72"
    CrankyBaits Custom Painted Lures

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  23. #23
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    Default Re: Tri hull trailer

    I've had trihulls as narrow as 60" and as wide as 94" but most seem to be in the 70 to 80" range from back then. Most fit between the fenders of the larger width roller trailers, but not all. Back then it seemed that most boats sat high and above the fenders, making trihulls sit much higher. An old bass boat trailer or any wide axle trailer might be the best ticket.

  24. #24
    Petty Officer 2nd Class pkrainert's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tri hull trailer

    I noticed that the boat is only resting on the roller closest to the transom. Should it be resting on all of them?

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Tri hull trailer

    You want the boat as evenly supported and as low as possible on a particular trailer if you have rollers that aren't touching the hull, adjust them to contact the hull. Their not doing any good if their standing out in mid air.

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