Boat trailer preparation for trip around OZ

Submitted: Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 01:32
ThreadID: 105169 Views:4557 Replies:4 FollowUps:5
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I have started to plan a trip around Australia next year and want to take my 4.6m Brooker with me. The only problem is I'm not too sure if the trailer will last the distance. I'm heading north from Sydney and will be touring a little inland and then hitting harder country up north in Qld. Any pointers with tyres, suspension, spares, types of boats, engine size or any other info would be great.
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Reply By: Member - Tony (ACT) - Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 06:17

Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 06:17
The boat trailers I saw up around the Gulf this year were running 16'' wheels and tyres. Guards were well secured ( those that wern't fell off) and good stone protection.

Springs were the next major hassel, make sure they are a heavy duty spring pack with shackles not slipper.

Trailers need to be bullet proof for tracks up around the Gulf. If carrying the motor attached it has to be well braced on a strong transom, don't over load the boat with gear when travelling. On a 4.6 boat 50hp gets you out to mouth of rivers a lot quicker but be prepared to carry plenty of fuel. Fishing the Towns river a tank and a half would be used a day.

Hope this helps a bit.
AnswerID: 521631

Reply By: Peter_n_Margaret - Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 07:38

Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 07:38
What suspension would you choose for your tug, or anything else?
Think likewise for the boat trailer.
Long travel suspension plus shock absorbers for a start, off road hitch so rolling the boat does not destroy the tug.
Wheels and tyres identical to the tug.
Mount the motor well, OFF the boat.
Strap the boat down in several places.
Spare prop (plus the nut and washers) and tools to change it on the water.
High quality, large capacity fuel filter and separate spare fuel tank.
Wooden plugs for holes in the hull.

Plastic boat (this is a MAC) we took from Brisbane to the Kimberley.

OKA196 Motorhome
AnswerID: 521638

Follow Up By: Peter_n_Margaret - Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 07:40

Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 07:40
FollowupID: 802359

Follow Up By: Peter_n_Margaret - Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 07:41

Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 07:41
Pics "rejected" :-(
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Reply By: tdv - Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 08:49

Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 08:49
Hi Clinton

I tow a work boat around the Gulf and Cape for a living and have done so for over 12 years. You don't mention whether you are planning to go serious off-road or just on dirt and corrugations?

My trailer has a very solid frame (main frame 100mmx40mm) with extra supports (teflon covered timber slides, not rollers) for the boat. Try to support the hull over long runs where possible as small pressure points lead to cracks.

For suspension I have leaf springs on shackles and shock absorbers. The springs should not be stiff and any hard jolt gets transferred through the boat. Mine were set up by a spring specialist. I would also suggest getting an axle rated at least one size stronger than you need. I have bent one when hitting dust holes (unexpectedly) which only shows up later when one tyre wears unevenly. It is cheap to replace and worth doing. I have a solid square axle.

As for wheels and hubs I have always used hubs that take the larger Ford bearings and 14 inch Holden rims with LT rated commercial tyres. While larger wheels can be better over bumps they also are heavy, make the spare difficult to carry, put more stress on bearings unless the hubs are also uprated and make it difficult to launch as the boat is so high off the water.

I have a standard strap across the back and a turn-buckle at the front to keep the nose locked in place so the weight is not on the winch. If you can keep the total weight below 750kg you can also avoid brakes which are a real pain in dust, mud and corrugations.

Hope this helps a bit.
AnswerID: 521642

Reply By: The Bantam - Tuesday, Nov 19, 2013 at 11:32

Tuesday, Nov 19, 2013 at 11:32
pay attention to everything...note that most boat trailers are barely adequate for the short trip from home to the ramp on good sealed roads.

pay particular attebtion to how the boat is supported and restrained.

The winch rope and a strap over the top never was adequate and certainly is not under current load restraint guidelines...even for the short trip to the local ramp.

Do not rely on the winch post alone to secure the boat ( unless it is very solid), you should have a heavy chain ( not the safety chain) securing the bow of the boat and preventing it from rideing forward and up....There are any numper of pictures on the net with boats sitting in the roof of the tow vehicle after a winch post failure.......I run a chain both forward and back to the bow.

look carfully at the bunks and rollers.....make sure they support the boat across its strong parts and not between the ribs.
more rollers, bigger bunks and all supporting evenly.
you can double the support on your keel on most trailers by taking the roller out of the supports and fitting a seesaw and two rollers in its place

As for the tiedown.....some methods of tie down are ripping the hull appart by the gunwals......its is surprisnly easy to pull a boat appart by pulling down on the gunwals...that are not very strong this way.

A friend of my nephew had his boat relocated by the removal company as part of the army relocation package......he expceted it to be transported on a car carrier...the removal company just hitched it up behind the removals van and proceeded to drive down the inland route thru Charters and and Belyando crossing.

By the time it got to brisbane the whole rig was comprehensively F$#@!d and both where written off....the rollers where bashed into the keel, small bunks had punched holes in the hull and numerous other damage.
And this was on suposedly sealed highway.

long distance inland touring needs a much stronger and better considered trailer than you see most boats on.

AnswerID: 521711

Follow Up By: mountainman - Wednesday, Nov 20, 2013 at 21:38

Wednesday, Nov 20, 2013 at 21:38
ive been looking at the trailers myself..
in the market for another boat myself..
replace the old one..

stay clear of aluminium trailers..
if your going to hit any dirt roads.. that have corrigatiions..

by far the best trailers ive seen are the REDCO... brand..

id be changing the ubolt setup on the mudguards to a bolt on bolt off arrangement in situation of damage.

14inch or 15inch LIGHT TRUCK tyres will be good enough..

chassis of a minimum 75 by 50 by 3mm wall..

get the upgraded axle... 50mm wont snap and handle the rough stuff..

carry a spare hub.. built into the spare holder bracket..
the trailer should have full "skirts" under the rear of the hull..
like the redco trailers

very minimum rollers !!

make sure the wiring is insulated..

the only issue I had looking at the redco trailers is they run the wiring though the chassis.. going through a hole..
soo eventually if you were on rough roads, the hole in the RHS would cut through the wiring and earth out..

quick fix would be to use rubber fuel hose where the wiring is coming out of the RHS..
and silicon it in soo that the rubber sits in the hole nice and snug..

I chatted to the dealer, he mentioned one warranty job on the wiring trailer wise..

redco been making them for 13 years.

built pretty good..
being a boily id make some minor improvements..
laminating where its been cut and bent..
some towing lugs to the back..

but ill be making mine from scratch

redco offer a heavy duty upgrade on their range..

generally warranty goes out the window on any dirt road..
as with all trailer manufarturers... its the same..

redco have a brilliant website to look up.
all parts listed..
and I mean ALL PARTS LISTED..!!

id have no worries recommending their gear...

but I just want to make mine, as in the trade and well haven't made one yet..
another tick on the list..
FollowupID: 802622

Follow Up By: mountainman - Wednesday, Nov 20, 2013 at 21:43

Wednesday, Nov 20, 2013 at 21:43
rollers are that...
and that alone.

to roll.

not to give any support.
the narrow contact on the hull will destroy it..
as mentioned above with the written off boat..
nylon strips, as long as you can fit them
FollowupID: 802624

Follow Up By: The Bantam - Wednesday, Nov 20, 2013 at 22:37

Wednesday, Nov 20, 2013 at 22:37
There are all sort of arguments about how a boat should be supported.

Plenty of people will tell you that all the weight of the baot should be supported on the keel rollers and the boat should barely touch the bunks.

I believe that regardless of what your boat is supported by....the support should be widely spread and all the supports should do their share.

The traler I baught for my 16 footer came with only 3 keel now has 5 keel rollers and 2 wobble rollers...and all play their part.

It also had fairly short plastic bunks ( the skids).
These plastic bunks flex plenty and do not spread the load widely or evenly.
I made up, and shaped timber bunks with teflon skids that are much longer and support over the transom and 3 of the hull ribs.

When the boat is fully on it is supported evenly on all the launch...once it has moved back 4 inches it is running on the rollers.

The best trick I can offer for adjusting boat trailers is.

Scissor jacks......over the years I have collected half a dozen of em.
with those I can set the boat and trailer up on a flat bit of ground and dial in all the supports.

FollowupID: 802635

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