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  • Bow tie downs

    I have been boating since I was a very young and dont ever remember seeing bow tie downs. There was a post here regarding them not long ago I looked on one of the last nice days a couple weeks ago the boat launch was full not a single boat tie down at the bow 30 plus boats. Must not be something that everyone knows about? maybe the memo never made it to the NW.

    Looking at images they appear to pull straight down in most cases but I think a foward and downward pull would be the best? Id like to install one on my larger boat which is going to spend a great deal of time on the road in the near future. My boats 26 feet and probably weighs about 8500 pounds ish loaded at times. Im thinking a chain with a turnbuckle.

    I think my real question here is about positioning should it pull straight down or down and forward one part of me is concerned a forward pull might encourage the boat to shift forward when braking hard etc.


  • #2
    my winch post has a loop to attach the safety chain to it.
    Cheesehead boating the Gulf Coast of FLA 27.51° N, 82.53° W

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    • #3
      I use a Boat Buckle retractable tie down in the bow, along with the winch strap and safety chain,..

      Similar to this on I-Boats,............
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      • #4
        I don't understand the concept. A properly loaded trailer has approx. 90% of the weight on the axle(s). Most of this is the boat. Your winch is sufficient to hold down the bow, and keep the boat on the trailer if you forget the transom tie downs.
        Last edited by harringtondav; October 13th, 2018, 05:01 PM.
        '96 Larson 174 SEI BR. 4.3LX 4 bbl Weber s/n 0F786604. Alpha One Gen II s/n 0F709315

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        • #5
          Originally posted by harringtondav View Post
          I don't understand the concept. A properly loaded trailer has approx. 90% of the weight on the axle(s). Most of this is the boat. Your winch is sufficient to hold down the bow, and keep the boat on the trailer if you forget the transom tie downs.
          Winch unlocks or the strap breaks and boat the passes you on the freeway. A winch is for retrieval, not securing the boat to the trailer.
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          • #6
            Originally posted by GA_Boater View Post

            Winch unlocks or the strap breaks and boat the passes you on the freeway. A winch is for retrieval, not securing the boat to the trailer.
            ...forgot to mention the safety chain, as Mr. Danforth did.
            '96 Larson 174 SEI BR. 4.3LX 4 bbl Weber s/n 0F786604. Alpha One Gen II s/n 0F709315

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            • #7
              I’ve had two close calls.

              i had a winch cable break while pulling the boat up a steep ramp. Safety chain didn’t hold. Quick action and lots of luck saved dropping the boat on the concrete ramp. Heavy chain and turn buckle where installed that weekend.

              Popped a transom tie down strap making a turn at a busy intersection. Strap was fairly new. The edge of the transom cut right thru it. Have used a 3” heavy duty cargo strap over the gunnels ever since.

              Anchor point for turn buckle is perpendicular to bow eye. Pulls bow down and snug to bow stop allowing me to slack off on the winch cable
              ....

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              • #8
                My winch post has a spot to insert a chain bow tie down and I have transom tie down straps that are ratchets. My winch strap is rated way over what my boat weighs, but I just feel more secure with the chain there as well.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by MTboatguy View Post
                  My winch strap is rated way over what my boat weighs,.
                  The momentum of a #4,000 boat at 40 mph is 235,120 lbft/s...are you sure about that?
                  Last edited by dingbat; October 14th, 2018, 07:41 AM.
                  ....

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by dingbat View Post

                    The momentum of a #4,000 boat at 40 mph is 235,120 lbft/s...are you sure about that?
                    I don't have a 4000lb pound boat!

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                    • #11
                      The times they are a changin'. What was recommended years ago has long been forgotten.

                      I don't know about memos to the NW, but the picture below shows an OEM bow tie down that came as std equipment with the trailer.

                      Falling off the trailer, safety chains, momentum.....pfft. Years ago I was involved in a rear end collision on the highway. The transom straps broke, and the trailer tongue snapped in half. The only thing that kept the boat out of the back seat of the car was the bow tie down...
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                      • #12
                        I have always used a dockline on bow cleat ,drop rope down under trailer tongue and back up to bow cleat.Have a buddy hang on the bow as u pull the rope as snug as u can and the tie it off.Bow tie down will help stop the bounce you sometimes get while trailering over certain roads which only stops when u slow the vehicle down a little.I also strap the stern down to the trailer with gunwale strap with flip buckle.The strap is the width of a seatbelt .Charlie

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by dingbat View Post

                          The momentum of a #4,000 boat at 40 mph is 235,120 lbft/s...are you sure about that?

                          In an accident, all bets are off. Even transom straps are of limited use then. They keep the boat on the trailer during normal bumps, but if the pulling vehicle suddenly stops, the shock load will either rip the straps or rip the eyelets out of the fiberglass.

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                          • #14
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                            In 1984, when I was a police officer in Salt Lake City, there was a truck towing a boat collision with a cement mixer. The boat ended up 100 yards from the trailer. No strap or chain would have matter with the physics involved.
                            I have a chain back up at the bow in addition to the winch strap, which I change every four years or so. I bet most of you have the same.

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