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#470315 - 09/07/09 10:27 PM sizing a trailer for my boat
Melnic Offline
Admiral

Registered: 01/06/04
Posts: 838
Loc: Columbia, MD
I have a 2003 Four Winns 245 Sundowner. It currently has painted steel trailer with bunks. I have liked the trailer just fine but it's rusting out cause I moved it to salt water. It actually lasted longer than I expected. I have only been taking it 2 miles from my vacation home to the ramp and back to the driveway. This was the end of the 5th season with it but I've only averaged less than 10 outings per year. I want to get an aluminum or galvanized trailer so I can boat near my main home in the fall and spring. The current trailer will not likely last much longer. One fender already came apart. I've been putting grease on the bearings once a year and they are not getting hot (but not long drives with it).

I'm wondering how big of a trailer I'll need. Specs for my boat showed 28' LOA but I don't know how they came up with that. I took a tape measure and it's 26' from bow nose to back of swim platform. It's about 22' to the transom wall where the back of the trailer is. 24' to the back of the bottom of the hull where these PODS stick out. I guess I'd have to have a picture of it but I know the distance from the bow eye to the transom is about 20-21'.

Since the trailer is based on the transome, would I be looking at a trailer that is for a 24' boat? I'll try to dig up a pic of my boat on a trailer and post it.
_________________________
Ocean Pines, MD
2003 Four Winns 245 Sundowner Cuddy Cabin. Mag 350MPI BIII
2003 Suburban 1500 LT
N38d 24' W75d 09'

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#470334 - 09/08/09 05:37 AM Re: sizing a trailer for my boat [Re: Melnic]
GregB Offline
Admiral

Registered: 06/13/07
Posts: 955
Loc: Lakeland, FL
When I was recently shopping trailers, I had a trailer sized for me based on the dimension from the bow eye to the transom. For weight capacity, they added the weight of the boat (including the engine), gasoline, water, gear and a 5%-10% safety factor. In Maryland you're not required to have brakes on both axles, but I'd consider that option if I were you. Dave's Boat Trailer Sales in Glen Burnie, MD would be a great place to start your shopping.

FYI - I believe gasoline weighs about 6.5 lbs./gallon and water weighs about 8.5 lbs./gallon.
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#470344 - 09/08/09 08:23 AM Re: sizing a trailer for my boat [Re: GregB]
challenger3x2 Offline
Vice Admiral

Registered: 09/24/08
Posts: 205
Loc: Northwest , NJ.
I am still trying to nail down the trailer I will purchase to replace the one that came with my boat...

A suggestion to all would be have the boat and trailer you currently have weighed... Do not just go by what the manufacture of the boat specked it out as...

After having my boat weighed on the trailer I was amazed to find out how far off the actual numbers were,,, and in hind sight things made more sence as to the reason why I was having the troubles that I have...

My boat with only 10 gallons of fuel and 8 gallons of water ( it holds 75 of fuel and 10 water) was a full 800 pounds more then what the builder posted in brochure...

We are not salt water boaters and I am looking for a painted bunk trailer,, disc brakes and must be able to handle 5800-6000 pounds not including weight of trailer...

Good luck with your shopping....
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#470347 - 09/08/09 08:38 AM Re: sizing a trailer for my boat [Re: challenger3x2]
Faster Daddy Offline
Vice Admiral

Registered: 04/24/06
Posts: 190
Loc: Plano, TX
Since FW makes their own trailers, you may want to contact them. You could get a "custom" fitted trailer for your boat. I would suspect it may cost a little (or a lot) more though.
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Tom
2005 FW Horizon 230
2007 Toyota Tundra Crewmax

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#470349 - 09/08/09 08:56 AM Re: sizing a trailer for my boat [Re: Faster Daddy]
Melnic Offline
Admiral

Registered: 01/06/04
Posts: 838
Loc: Columbia, MD
thx for the suggestions so far. Here are some pics.
The boat on the Aluminum trailer is NOT my boat but the same model.



_________________________
Ocean Pines, MD
2003 Four Winns 245 Sundowner Cuddy Cabin. Mag 350MPI BIII
2003 Suburban 1500 LT
N38d 24' W75d 09'

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#470369 - 09/08/09 01:30 PM Re: sizing a trailer for my boat [Re: Melnic]
prober Offline
Admiral

Registered: 07/10/06
Posts: 2402
Loc: Eastern Washington
Most trailer manufacturers will have the dimensions for your hull allready in thier database. Should just be a matter of minor adjustments at the time of pickup.

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#470385 - 09/08/09 03:45 PM Re: sizing a trailer for my boat [Re: prober]
Melnic Offline
Admiral

Registered: 01/06/04
Posts: 838
Loc: Columbia, MD
Another topic is the roller vs. bunks.
My current trailer is bunks and custom fit to my boat. It has 4 bunks on it and they are pretty long. At my ramp, I'm pretty much a one man operation and I pull it onto the trailer myself with lines. Then I wench it up. It does not take that long but driving it on is NOT an option. I'm usually able to dunk it till the tops of the fenders are sunk. I'm wondering if I should stick with bunks or not. I HAVE to use lines to pull it on till I can wench it. So far, as long as I am straight with the ramp, the boat loads perfect every time. I'm also worried how low the boat sits on the trailer of my current trailer vs. an aftermarket. If it rides higher, then it will affect how well it floats on.
_________________________
Ocean Pines, MD
2003 Four Winns 245 Sundowner Cuddy Cabin. Mag 350MPI BIII
2003 Suburban 1500 LT
N38d 24' W75d 09'

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#470397 - 09/08/09 06:35 PM Re: sizing a trailer for my boat [Re: Melnic]
Frantically Relaxing Offline
Admiral

Registered: 02/07/03
Posts: 10995
As per the pics above--

The trailer on the showroom floor is almost just right, personally I think it should be about 8" longer (or the boat moved forward).

The aluminum trailer is almost a full 2' too short.

The issue is the location of the rear-most bunk supports. These are what holds up your boat. Don't be fooled into thinking the wood planks support anything, all they do is provide a smooth transition to the NEXT support. On the aluminum trailer, half the weight of the engine and ALL the weight of the outdrive is well beyond the rearmost trailer supports. While it will hold up the boat okay, IMO it's stressing the hull...

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#470400 - 09/08/09 07:03 PM Re: sizing a trailer for my boat [Re: Frantically Relaxing]
Melnic Offline
Admiral

Registered: 01/06/04
Posts: 838
Loc: Columbia, MD
FR, not sure I agree. The boat has these "PODS" that stick out past the transom and the engine. Looking at the aluminum trailer I'd say that the last bunk support is at the back of the engine. That last silver circle you see is the bilge pump outlet. The back of the engine is about a foot or so in front of that. I don't see that the rear bunk support is any different in the aluminum trailer than my painted steel trailer. It does look like the alumum trailer bunks do stick back further though. It does look however that the boat on the aluminum trailer needs to move up about 6 inches to get the transom to the back edge of the trailer (if that's how it should be).

Anyway, a local venture dealer gave me a quote on a trailer that I will go and look at this week. Another guy gave me a quote on a Lionking. These two were in the $2500 ballpark. The Loadrite Fivestar dealer had quoted me over $3500. I just need to go look at what they are quoting to compare apples to apples. I want front axle disk brakes for sure. I also want to look at the suspension on these trailers.
_________________________
Ocean Pines, MD
2003 Four Winns 245 Sundowner Cuddy Cabin. Mag 350MPI BIII
2003 Suburban 1500 LT
N38d 24' W75d 09'

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#470406 - 09/08/09 09:48 PM Re: sizing a trailer for my boat [Re: Melnic]
SALTY_DAWG Offline
Admiral

Registered: 07/25/09
Posts: 744
Loc: Lincolnshire, IL
Ideally you want at least one bunk on either side to be right under a stringer and extend to the transom with a bunk support under the transom. That's how 4Winns designs their trailers because it best protects the integrity of the hull. A trailer with a rear cross member cannot extend past the transom to the end of the pod because it will prevent you from lowering the out drive.
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#470430 - 09/09/09 08:44 AM Re: sizing a trailer for my boat [Re: SALTY_DAWG]
challenger3x2 Offline
Vice Admiral

Registered: 09/24/08
Posts: 205
Loc: Northwest , NJ.
Seem to me that you are not putting a lot of miles on the trailer,, you tow a short distance to ramp launch boat and retrieve end of day or weekend,, then back home to set in driveway till next outing...

When picking your next trailer keep in mind roller trailers do load and unload with less effort over carpeted bunk... I have found that roller trailers let the boat move around on the trailer while towing,,, mine rolled forward about 4 inches while braking... I had to have the winch mount plate welded to mast and mast welded to tongue of trailer and even then it still moved some so I had to strap trailer tongue to bow ring to hold it down and restricting the movement...

Cross members should be welded to side rail and there should be at least 3 or more...

Painted as you know will not hold up with saltwater,, Galvanized
or Aluminum are the choices... Depending on the tow vehicle and the actual weight of your boat are huge factors even with a trailer that mostly sees a couple of miles at a time... Aluminum trailers weigh hundreds of pounds less then Steel... Those few hundred pounds may be the difference overloading a SUV or even a 1/2 ton p/up...

In most states brakes on all axles is law... All brake fluid lines from actuator back should all be made of steel... Rubber flex lines are only used when line goes from frame to axle...

IMO A all welded trailer is the way to go... U bolts stretch,, lock nuts come loose...

Your 245 Four Wins and my 232 Rinker are close in size and weight and we have same drive line..

While shopping this weekend take a good look at the way the trailers are put together... When things are bolted together make sure all nuts have washers and all locking nuts are threaded completely into nylon...

I also found the ground wire for lights was only pinched around a coupler bolt,,, Wire ends and bolted to frame is the best way to ground a harness...

Then there are axles,, Torsion bar or leaf spring.. Wheel bearing lube,, Oil bath or grease... Front crank and tongue jacks...
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#470531 - 09/10/09 07:03 PM Re: sizing a trailer for my boat [Re: challenger3x2]
Melnic Offline
Admiral

Registered: 01/06/04
Posts: 838
Loc: Columbia, MD
My planned use over the next couple years is to have a 180 round trip back to my main house in the fall for Sept/Oct/Nov boating in the chesapeake, then back to the coast for winter. Then back to home for the spring, then back to the coast for the summer. I'm trying to find a local place to store it but my place on the coast is free. I guess I'm aprehensive about rollers only cause I've had it on bunks and it seemed to align and load pretty easy just by roping it in then winching. The bunk trailer I saw today at Dave's seemed as if the boat will be riding much higher than the custom trailer I have now.
_________________________
Ocean Pines, MD
2003 Four Winns 245 Sundowner Cuddy Cabin. Mag 350MPI BIII
2003 Suburban 1500 LT
N38d 24' W75d 09'

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