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- 06/04/2008 at 7:38 pm #3698AnonymousInactive
I currently use a combination trailer/trolley and have been searching the net for a single trailer to make life easier on the old back for launching/recovery and to avoid the inevitable bilge damage when trailing long distances. The flashy looking Brenderup, SBS and De Graaff look right for the job (except no mast support). Has anybody had any experience of these, or anything similar? What make/model/bunk or roller supported??? Has anybody modified their combi to make life easier and prevent damage to the bilges?
Help and suggestions on this topic much appreciated….06/04/2008 at 10:03 pm #6785Dave BarkerKeymaster
Just to clarify, Richard – why are you incurring bilge damage from trailing long distances?07/04/2008 at 10:02 am #6786AnonymousInactive
Dave….my W is a grp mk2 and sits on a purpose built ‘Hayling’ combi trailer in very good condition. She has undergone repairs to the bilges by a previous owner. The floor bearers have been refibreglassed and it seems that a good, strong repair had been acheived. The present weak locations are where the bilges touch on the trolley side supports. Here the hull has been damaged quite considerably, and until I recently fibreglassed these areas the wood within the bilges was exposed. I even fitted a pair of bilge rails to help spread any load incurred. I’m guessing that the entire weight has been supported on the bilges in the past. I replaced the central keel roller support to alleviate this some time ago. The weight now rightly rests on the central keel with about 3-4mm gap between bilge supports. However, after trailing 500 miles last year and a few bumpy roads, the damage is back (I drive cautiously to avoid damage to my W!!). As I’m writing, just been outside to double check the extent of the damage, and it seems the floor bearers are beginning to lift! Even with extensive repairs carried out, I feel that the bilges will always be a weak point, and the current trailer settup unsuitable because of this.07/04/2008 at 10:28 am #6787
Could you post some photos of your trailer and the boat?
Mato07/04/2008 at 12:32 pm #6789AnonymousInactive
Unfortunately I don’t have a digital camara or past pictures to show the initial damage before my repairs last year. Will see what I can do.
Basically the previous, initial repair was to both floor bearers only. These have been covered their entire length with new fibre glass. This new fibre glass is starting to come away from the hull due to weight pushing upwards from the bilges resting upon the trailer side supports. The bilges had never been repaired and the worn away GRP exposed the wood within (damaged sections 6 inches in length on both bilges). My initial concern was to strengthen the damaged bilges and prevent the floor bearers lifting again. Cracks have now appeared on my repairs and the floor bearers. This was obviously inevitable with a heavy boat resting on a small surface area, previously weakened and bouncing about on a road trailer. Before I take the drastic action of cutting away the floor bearers, replacing them and the likely rotten timber within the bilges, I just wondered if anybody else had dealt with this problem. My combi trailer is correct for the Wayfarer and typical to many that are used for large dinghies. It is supported at the front and middle keel areas with the bilges touching/slightly rocking on side supports. Maybe there’s a way to modify the side supports, away from the weakened areas on my boat!!
Hope I haven’t confused the hell out of anyone reading all this. All I know is, I’ve got a big repair job to do, but need to sort out the trailer issue first (the cause).07/04/2008 at 2:59 pm #6791
I asked about the photo of the trailer, because the photo on Hayling website doesn’t show clearly where the bilge rails sit. Compare this (first image is Hayling from their web site, next two images are my Admiral Trailer):
If I understand correctly it is important that the bilge rail doesnt touch anything on the troley/trailer, so that’s why Admiral has those ‘v’ sections in support bars.
Also, on the Admiral, support bar with white rubber protection tube has adjustable angle. If you look very closely into the first Admiral photo, you’ll see that the left (your left) support bar – slid lower than the right bar. I found this out immediately after my first trailing. It was supposed to be held in place by friction from the screw that you can see in the photo. Obviously this is not good enough, and if the bar slids down, the boat is not evenly supported any more and damage can happen. That is why my father and I adjusted the angle of both bars (after these photos were taken), took out the screws, drilled through the vertical tubes and placed longer screws making the thing unadjustable but more reliable.
Also we took away the rubber roller, and put a big piece of wood in place, so that the load would be spread alond bigger area of the keel.
I apologize if this was all obvious to you before.
Mato07/04/2008 at 7:19 pm #6796AnonymousInactive
Excellent, thank you. This looks like the problem solving solution. The first photo is exactly the same as my trolley. Hayling obviously haven’t changed their design for many years. The bilge rails rest on the upper most part of the blue ‘triangular’ cross-bars. If I were to drive over a pot hole it would be equivalent to hitting the underneath of the hull with a sledge hammer! The support bars on your Admiral cover a large surface area, reducing the chance of damage from a rough road. I didn’t realise that the bilge rails could be left unsupported, didn’t think the hull would be strong enough, but it obviously works for you. I can follow your photos and description and could fabricate something similar onto my trolley.
Thanks again, the info. and photos will be a great help.07/04/2008 at 8:40 pm #6797
I’m glad if this helped you a bit. If you’re going to modify it youself, don’t forget to check Uncle Al’s article as well:
Mato07/04/2008 at 10:09 pm #6798
Just two quick supplementary remarks:
1. A boat should always rest on its keel where it is strongest. That is any boat, including a Wayfarer. That means that the side supports should not press tight against the hull. The boat should be allowed to rock sideways ever so slightly. For the same reason webbing should not be tight. Tension on the webbing should just be enough to keep the boat on the trailer while driving.
2. A Wayfarer should never be supported by its bilge keels. It is common knowledge among Wayfarers that supporting the bilge keels will break the floor board supports and eventually the bilge keels itself (see Wayfarer book and numerous articles on the Wayfarer web sites).
I have driven many miles (ehhr, kilometers) with a combi-trailer without any damage but I do use a bottom cover for any distance on the road. I believe that debris flying from the tires is the biggest cause of damage. (I also use a top trailing cover for fuel efficiency. It saves up to 20% on fuel). With a combi-trailer there is an added problem of debris getting stuck between the support and the boat. Here too a bottom cover helps. This cause of damage is smaller with a road trailer where the boat sits on keel rollers and the area where debris can get stuck is much smaller.
The Danes believe in strong keel support. They move their boats from a trolley to a road trailer or don’t use a trolley at all. Their Brenderup road trailers sometimes have op to five (….) keel rollers. And some use a tandem arrangement for each, bringing the total to ten rollers (…). Have a peek on http://www.wayfarer.dk/ or http://www.wt.dk/ for details. Despite their crazy number of keel support rollers, they too say what I wrote above.07/04/2008 at 11:18 pm #6799Dave BarkerKeymaster
Thanks for the clarification, Richard.
I can’t help worrying about the long-term viability of the hull in its current state whatever sort of trolley or trailer you use. Perhaps an Admiral trolley is more “bilge-friendly” to a sound boat, but the bilge rails really should be able to survive a journey on any properly-adjusted combi without damaging anything.
It’s probably not what you want to hear, but in my view you would do better to use the money that a new/replacement trailer would cost to fix up your hull instead. Those bilge rails aren’t just there for road journeys after all…
I hope you find a good solution soon.08/04/2008 at 11:29 am #6802AnonymousInactive
Thanks to all for the above help.
I will continue with the mammoth repairs (not too phased!!), because the rest of the boat is in great condition. Regarding the trailer…..the sensible solution seems to be to try some modifications to suit my weakened hull.
Regards, Richard09/04/2008 at 12:37 pm #6805AnonymousInactive
When you do your repairs I strongly recommend you use epoxy, not polyester (or Vinylester) resin. If the base material is sound it should make a much stronger repair.
Also I am kinda intrigued that the damage from the trailer has worn through the lay-up to the wood core. Why not put some stainless steel strip on the bilge keels to protect them, it’s not just on the trailer that the keels can encounter something hard and rough…09/04/2008 at 7:58 pm #6806
it’s not just on the trailer that the keels can encounter something hard and rough…
True, but on the trailer the keels are point loaded. Because of that the forces on that single point are much much higher then when you hit bottom or beach the boat. Imagine what happens on those small touching areas when you drive through a pothole….
The weight of the boat on land is much higher. On water, Archimedes taught us that the boat’s weight is largely compensated by the water it floats on. This upward force is nicely distributed over the entire bottom surface. Hence the force (weight) on the bilges, when you hit bottom, is only a small fraction from what happens on a trailer, where Archimedes does not come to our aid.09/04/2008 at 8:15 pm #6807
Also, on the Admiral, support bar with white rubber protection tube has adjustable angle. If you look very closely into the first Admiral photo, you’ll see that the left (your left) support bar – slid lower than the right bar. I found this out immediately after my first trailing. It was supposed to be held in place by friction from the screw that you can see in the photo. Obviously this is not good enough,
No, no, no, it *IS* good enough.
The boat’s weight should be on the keel roller only. The supports are to be adjusted in such a way that the boat can rock about ever so slightly. If the screws can’t hold the supports in place chances are the supports are adjusted too high and there is too much weight on the supports.
If anyting, considder one or two extra (removable) main-keel supports for long voyages. Personally I dont believe it is necessary unless you carry your equipment and camping gear in the boat. (Forbidden in Germany and in general not a good idea. Better buy a larger car.) When the boat has nothing in it and your equipment is in the car’s booth, basically nothing can go wrong, unless the webbing straps are too tight. Allowing the boat to move about a little reduces the forces on it and thus prevents damage. Tighten the webbing straps just enough to prevent the boat from falling off but loose enough so she can move about a little.
And its an urban legend that better support is only needed for long hauls. The Chance of having an accident around the next corner is just as great as on a long trip. Therefore I always carefully pack my boat and cover its bottom (putting her pants on) for any road trip, no matter how short.09/04/2008 at 8:59 pm #6808
If the screws can’t hold the supports in place the supports are adjusted too high and there is too much weight on the supports.
Perhaps you are right, but my reasoning went like this:
The trailer doesn’t allways bump with both wheels evenly in the same moment. Sometimes only one wheel hits something and that exerts greater impact on one side of the boat. If this induces sliding of that support bar, the boat will not be evenly supported any more – it will be heeled to one side and allowed to rock too much. This will result in further bumps being transfered into the keel at an angle rather than straight.
That is why I tried to find this ‘ever so slightly rocking position’, and then fix it permanently.
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