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Trailer Repairs - what to do with the boat?


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Got all the bits to rebuild the trailer. Main bit is a complete new axle. I expect all the bolts to be rusted solid so will need cutting off to remove the old axle. What do I do with the boat while I do it? Will it be OK to push it off on to the grass then pull it back up with the winch when it's done? The trailer has rollers if that helps? Don't want to damage the hull, it could do with a coat of paint so not worried about minor scratches but don't want to wreck it

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4 minutes ago, LostPiker said:

Got all the bits to rebuild the trailer. Main bit is a complete new axle. I expect all the bolts to be rusted solid so will need cutting off to remove the old axle. What do I do with the boat while I do it? Will it be OK to push it off on to the grass then pull it back up with the winch when it's done? The trailer has rollers if that helps? Don't want to damage the hull, it could do with a coat of paint so not worried about minor scratches but don't want to wreck it

Can you not Jack the trailer up and block it off whilst repairs are done ?

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Just now, Saintly Fish said:

Can you not Jack the trailer up and block it off whilst repairs are done ?

As a last resort I could but it would be 100 times easier to get the boat off and flip it over. 

I expect to need to cut all the bolts off and I have a big scar across my forearm from an accident with an angle grinder when I used to restore classic cars so I'm quite cautious with them now

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3 minutes ago, LostPiker said:

As a last resort I could but it would be 100 times easier to get the boat off and flip it over. 

I expect to need to cut all the bolts off and I have a big scar across my forearm from an accident with an angle grinder when I used to restore classic cars so I'm quite cautious with them now

Ok fair enough. I’m sure somebody with more trailer experience than me (that’s not hard) will be along soon to offer a method of boat removal. 

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When I had a trailered boat I removed it by putting a decent bit of timber under it at a right angle to the keel on two jacks behind the last rollers then just lifted it above the rollers and pulled the trailer out. 

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I've heard of the "roll it onto the grass" technique, but I've never done it personally. Getting it off sounds straightforward enough... it's getting it back on that concerns me. Seems like the hitch end of the trailer will end up pointing skywards unless you hitch it to a tow vehicle, which then means the boat has to climb up onto the rollers by itself, which is something it was probably never designed to do. Last thing you want is to crack the keel or pull out the towing eye.

When I replaced the axle on my first boat I just jacked the trailer up (including boat) then blocked it off and dropped the old axle. I didn't use a grinder to remove the old bolts - mine came off with some penetrating fluid and a breaker bar with extension (aka a 3 foot length of scaffold pole slid over the end of the breaker bar). If I were to do it again I would investigate this route first. Even if you find you need to grind off the bolts I'd still do it with the boat on the trailer. You should be able to access the bolt heads from above the axle, thus avoiding the need for grinding from underneath and risking sparks, swarf or spinning grinders falling on you.

One other suggestion - you can buy nut splitters quite cheaply. Could be a good (read: safer) alternative to grinding them off. https://www.toolstation.com/nut-splitter-set/p80007

 

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Lower the jockey wheel all the way down, so the stern of the boat is at it's highest

Put some beer barrels/railway sleepers under the stern (near the edge where it's strongest), then wind jockey wheel up as far as it goes and put some timbers/supports under the bow sides, so trailer can be slid out

You may also need a good trolley jack, depending on the trailer design

I did this with a 23ft Bayliner that weighed around 2 ton  

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4 minutes ago, Andy135 said:

I've heard of the "roll it onto the grass" technique, but I've never done it personally. Getting it off sounds straightforward enough... it's getting it back on that concerns me. Seems like the hitch end of the trailer will end up pointing skywards unless you hitch it to a tow vehicle, which then means the boat has to climb up onto the rollers by itself, which is something it was probably never designed to do. Last thing you want is to crack the keel or pull out the towing eye.

When I replaced the axle on my first boat I just jacked the trailer up (including boat) then blocked it off and dropped the old axle. I didn't use a grinder to remove the old bolts - mine came off with some penetrating fluid and a breaker bar with extension (aka a 3 foot length of scaffold pole slid over the end of the breaker bar). If I were to do it again I would investigate this route first. Even if you find you need to grind off the bolts I'd still do it with the boat on the trailer. You should be able to access the bolt heads from above the axle, thus avoiding the need for grinding from underneath and risking sparks, swarf or spinning grinders falling on you.

One other suggestion - you can buy nut splitters quite cheaply. Could be a good (read: safer) alternative to grinding them off. https://www.toolstation.com/nut-splitter-set/p80007

 

See I told you that I was correct 👆🏻

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53 minutes ago, jonnyswamp said:

Lower the jockey wheel all the way down, so the stern of the boat is at it's highest

Put some beer barrels/railway sleepers under the stern (near the edge where it's strongest), then wind jockey wheel up as far as it goes and put some timbers/supports under the bow sides, so trailer can be slid out

You may also need a good trolley jack, depending on the trailer design

I did this with a 23ft Bayliner that weighed around 2 ton  

I like this one. I think I'll give it a go. 

 

Thanks for all the ideas 

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Ive done it a couple of ways, first and easiest is simply heading somewhere where you can launch the boat and tie it on a jetty while you do the work in a car park.  You need to have all the tools and parts to get the job done, easy for one person.

Second method I have done with several of my boats and other people's is to slip the boat off onto grass but place old 4x4 tyres under it as I slide it off. Using tyres allows me to keep the boat in its upright position rather than have it fall to onside. It also protects the transducers and the hull from marking on anything on the ground. This way also greatly helps when you go to get the boat back on the trailer because it is already slightly up off the ground lay in the right position. Just to add I normally take the trailer off the vehicle to get the boat partly back on, this way I can allow the front of the trailer to raise off the ground lowering the back to get under the front of the boat slightly.

Depending on how good your trailer rollers of skids are, you may need help sliding the boat off if you are on level ground. Ive always been able to find something to tie the back of the boat to and simply drive my vehicle forward slowly pulling the boat off. Slowly is the way to go and don't try and drive straight off in one go, hop out of the vehicle and check you are happy with the tyre placement. 

Almost any tyre shop that fits tyres should be able to give you 4 tyres. Trying to do this without tyres can be done but it makes it far more difficult to get the boat back onto the trailer.

You will need to make sure your winch strap is in good condition and the bolts holding the winch. If the winch hasn't got low gear you can simply run the winch strap to the boat, round a pulley and back to the trailer. If the winch has steel cable you might want to consider changing to dynema rope or webbing a trailer webbing strap.

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11 minutes ago, Geoff said:

If using the tyre method,  I think it would be worth investing in a bottle of fairy liquid to ease the friction  when sliding the boat. Geoff.

 

Not sure I get where you want to use the fairy Geoff. I assume on the trailer rollers or skids, not the tyres.

The boat shouldn't slide on the tyres at all, more a case of slipping the trailer back under the boat as it winches. I put the boats back on with the trailer off the tow vehicle normally. The front of the trailer will rise up a certain amount as the back pulls down under the front of the boat. 

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So I had a go at this last night. Turns out I was worrying about nothing.

I jacked the trailer up and got it on 4 axle stands and took the wheels off. The axle is bolted to a piece of angle iron on each side that has the mud guards mounted on some steel straps welded to it. These are then attached to the trailer with 2 square u bolts on each side. Access was easy to the u bolts and could easily cut through them with an angle grinder and pull the axle out.

 

Waiting for some more u bolts and stainless bolts and I can get it back together. The new axle has everything ready to go.

I have rebuilt the overrun unit by buying one that was the same from a caravan and stripping it down and rebuilding mine with the bits so that is all ready. 

The galvanising where the angle iron attaches to the trailer is worn off and I need to clean the rust off and paint those bits, other than that the trailer will be all good to go. 

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Good work. Having done the same myself I did wonder if you'd find it easier than expected - there's literally nothing more than a few bolts holding the axle to the chassis in most cases.

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12 minutes ago, JDP said:

I notice you seem to run ordinary non marinised car wheels on trailers over there. That trailer above looks to have massive axles yet light weight poorly galvanised box sections. 

The trailer in my picture is a friends, it’s only a yard trailer. It receives the usual lack of care, used every six months then parked up to quietly rust away. 

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9 hours ago, JonC said:

The trailer in my picture is a friends, it’s only a yard trailer. It receives the usual lack of care, used every six months then parked up to quietly rust away. 

Mission accomplished 👍

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10 hours ago, JDP said:

I notice you seem to run ordinary non marinised car wheels on trailers over there. That trailer above looks to have massive axles yet light weight poorly galvanised box sections. 

Jon, I've never heard of marinised wheels,  whats the difference?

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3 hours ago, suzook12 said:

Jon, I've never heard of marinised wheels,  whats the difference?

I should say galvanised or aluminium marine grade wheels, marinised just seems to fit both. I have marine grade aluminium on my current trailer.

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Ahhh gotcha

Think most small trailer wheels are supplied galved these days..... I can't say I've looked at ally wheels, I usually go by payload specs, something that often gets overlooked, and all the ally wheels I've seen are aimed at cars..... But, can't say I've looked so couldbe wrong there

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