Boat Towing Offroad

Submitted: Thursday, Apr 10, 2003 at 12:03
ThreadID: 4329 Views:2229 Replies:6 FollowUps:3
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Hi yaul.

Chasing any feedback with regard to towing a tinnie off road. Two months and counting and we're paying a visit to the Gulf. Normanton & Wollogarang around to Roper Bar via the Northern Track. 4B is fine, boat trailer has just been custom built for the purpose and the boat is a light 4m tinnie. However, being a console setup the motor is pretty much permanantly fixed to the transom (throttle, steering linkages and electricals). At 30 hp it weighs around 60kg. Assuming all that is possible is done ie. boat and motor lashed down extensively, no speed records broken, full but light suspension etc. my real fear is the simple fact of the weight on the aluminium transom over 1100kms of dirt / corrogated road. I know there's plenty of boats taken into that part of the world but how many with motors retained on the transom is the question.
Anyone had any insights to a similar propersition?
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Reply By: Tony - Thursday, Apr 10, 2003 at 13:00

Thursday, Apr 10, 2003 at 13:00
Yep seen cracked transom's getting welded up in Weipa. They have to be braced well and truly and add a support for the outboard leg.

The other problem is tearing of the gunwhale from straps with no padding under them.

So if your trailer is ok and the boat up it don't decide to throw all the extra gear into it, even take out the fuel caddy/tank if it's not built in.
AnswerID: 17296

Reply By: bruce.h - Thursday, Apr 10, 2003 at 14:46

Thursday, Apr 10, 2003 at 14:46
Gday mike
towed my tinnie regularly over bush tracks to our shack at jurien bay same size as yours i found the most damage was done not to the out side of the boat becauce i tied it down with ratchet straps & a turn buckle at the front of the boat to the winch mount all the trouble i had came from the things i carried in the boat such as anchors ect, rubbing continually in the one spot. i tied the motorback to the tralier with the leg down as this helped with the movement it had less leverage than when it was up, the down side is you have to be more carefull going up & down hills
Regards Bruce
AnswerID: 17306

Follow Up By: miker - Thursday, Apr 10, 2003 at 15:03

Thursday, Apr 10, 2003 at 15:03
Thanks for the feedback. Bruce, I hear what your saying about keeping the leg down. The trailer has 15" rims so it may be a chance. I also have two rachets and a turn buckle at the bow. Do you / did you cover the tinnie ie. a tarp or similar? Given the dust issue in that part of the world I'm thinking the best way around it, especially for throttle box, engine etc. Also to stop prying eyes for some of the "goodies", radio, sounder etc.

Cheers

Mike.
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FollowupID: 10818

Follow Up By: miker - Thursday, Apr 10, 2003 at 15:05

Thursday, Apr 10, 2003 at 15:05
Thanks for the feedback. Bruce, I hear what your saying about keeping the leg down. The trailer has 15" rims so it may be a chance. I also have two rachets and a turn buckle at the bow. Do you / did you cover the tinnie ie. a tarp or similar? Given the dust issue in that part of the world I'm thinking the best way around it, especially for throttle box, engine etc. Also to stop prying eyes for some of the "goodies", radio, sounder etc.

Cheers

Mike.
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FollowupID: 10819

Reply By: bruce.h - Thursday, Apr 10, 2003 at 17:15

Thursday, Apr 10, 2003 at 17:15
Mike
covering the boat was not realy an isue due to the fact we were only traviling 400kms with about 20kms off road on lime stone &sand dune country, so were not looking at the same distance as your traveling & i always kept sounders & radios out of the boat so they didnt get bashed about in your case you are going to be on the roadalot longer so it may be worth looking at a cover ,althou dust will get in any way the reason i never covered mine was i found it a pain in the ass to keep the cover on & was for ever stoping to retie the cover, so it might be worth looking at a custom fitted heavey duty vynle cover with press studs on the boat
AnswerID: 17313

Reply By: Member - Alex B - Thursday, Apr 10, 2003 at 17:50

Thursday, Apr 10, 2003 at 17:50
Hi Miker, We did the Gulf track a couple of years a go towing a 5m tinny with a 50 HP 4 Stroke. on a purpose built off road trailer -a lot of boat and weight. We had no problems with the transom …but meet some people that did (driving too fast, too hard!) .
Make sure you have a good motor stay going down to the trailer and make a chock out of a block of wood - lift the motor and then let it com to rest on the wood chock –not on it’s pins and then adjust the stay to share the weight. This keeps the motor up and you have less chances of tearing the leg off. This worked very well for us over 20,000km and a heap of tracks.

Definitely get a cover for it and your motor –It’s a small investment for a expensive piece of equipment – The dust will drive you crazy in the boat and can/will damage your motor! Also if is a painted tinny make up a big mud flap for the back of your vehicle to protect the boat from being peppered with stones.

The Gulf is fantastic and a fisherman’s dream! You’ll have a ball and if Warwick is still managing Wollogorang get him to give you the history of the place (over a beer)
Have a great trip
Alex
AnswerID: 17319

Follow Up By: miker - Friday, Apr 11, 2003 at 08:22

Friday, Apr 11, 2003 at 08:22
Thanks again for the info. Now if I can just get the knack of this bloody cast net............

Miker
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FollowupID: 10880

Reply By: Hardy - Thursday, Apr 10, 2003 at 19:34

Thursday, Apr 10, 2003 at 19:34
Miker, I have some simple but good advise. I run 4wd tyres on my trailor, same as the car. Many advantages here. You don't need to carry extra spares jsut for the boat. Importanly the tyres act as a type of suspension. I run my trailor tyres at about 20psi so they really take up the bumps. Heaps better than small tyres run at 40 psi.
Cheers Hardy
AnswerID: 17326

Reply By: Member - Melissa - Friday, Apr 11, 2003 at 14:29

Friday, Apr 11, 2003 at 14:29
Hi Miker,

Many of the comments so far agree with my own experience. We towed a 12 ft tinny with 15hsp motor from Darwin to Perth with many off-road side trips along the way. Wouldn't do it again!

Despite extensively modifying the trailer before we left including new solid axle, bearings, hubs, 14" rims, light truck tyres, springs and raised mud guards we had problems. Mud guards broke off before we got to Katherine. A local engineering mob wielded them back on and reinforced them but by the time we got to Perth, they were both off again and in the tinny.

Tinny was tied down and lashed at the winch at the front but still got some movement which snapped the hook at the front and caused the tinny to rub against the bow support.

We covered the tinny with tarps tied well down and any loose bits fasted flat with gaffer tape so there was no flapping. Unfortunately, the tarp rubbed badly against the tinny leaving permanent rub marks.

The outboard was strapped in the down position but even the minor amount of vibration caused a fastening clip to come off which meant that until we diagnosed and replaced this later on we couldn't keep the outboard in the raised position.

With hindsight, we think a lot of our problems stemmed from the springs being too stiff for the lightweight trailer and tinny, even though it was loaded up with gear. But whatever the cause, it was too much trouble and we wouldn't do it again.

:o) MelissaPetrol 4.5L GU Patrol &
Camprite TL8 offroad camper
AnswerID: 17378

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