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Old 02 January 2010, 16:11   #1
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advice on adjusting the tow bar needed

Hi I would like some advice on whether it is a good idea or not to adjust the tow bar on my boat trailer. My rib is 4.9 and my driveway is 5.5 , rib and trailer is 5.9 so tow bar will stick out the gate. I was wondering if I could cut the tow bar to make the boat and trailer fit in the driveway, and then when I am going to launch have an extension for the tow bar, but worried that this may be a weak point. Have anyone done this or have an opinion ,or any other ideas much appreciated
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Old 02 January 2010, 16:53   #2
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Would probably be advisable to try and sell your current trailer and opt for a trailer that you can adjust the drawbar (which runs under the keel of the boat to the axle). If this isn't an option, then there's nothing stopping you cutting the drawbar. It's just boxed steel that's been galvanised. You'll probably have to move the trailer ID plate so you're still road legal. Prime and paint the exposed steel and use new bolts when re-fixing the hitch.

When launching and trailering always use a steel 'break-away wire' that attaches to the trailer, not the extension bar.
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Old 03 January 2010, 13:55   #3
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Not as easy as it sounds. You have to have the right balance of the boat on the trailer so if you move the hitch back you will either have to move the trailer axle forward or the boat backwards to give you the correct nose weight or towing will be a nightmare.
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Old 04 January 2010, 04:28   #4
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Davis,

I had much the same peoblem with mine, except mine involved a garage door! Before I start the next bit - how do you posityion the engine when youy store it? If Up, there's a good 9" to be saved just by dropping it. If dropped, are you on the bottom hole (manual engine maybe more likely to suffer from this as PT usually has the pin in the lowest hole anyway)- you;d be amazed how much space you can savve by doing that. also swing he engine hard to port or starboard.

If that doesn't work, - pretty much what Bam Bam asid - rebuild the trailer. I had to do that with mine - was made a lot easier by having a friend with a tractor / back actor & a set of slings , which meant I cluild lift of & on, because the only other option is launch & recover 28 times.......

One way to approach it -

1) work out how much length you need to loose.
2) will the winch post move that distance forward?
3) if yes, launch, move winch post, also move rear swing beam forward by the same amount. (that distance isn't going to change)
4) Move the axle forward about 2/3 the distance you moved the post. Unffortunately this is only a guess, and from here on, you just have to recover & launch it, shifting the axle slightly each time until it's balanced again.

When everything is in the right place, replace all the nylock nuts with new ones.


PS if it's a swing beam roller you may find you don't need the drawbar extension. Having said that, I've no idea where you launch.......
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Old 04 January 2010, 16:01   #5
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Thanks for the replies, the main reason I want to adjust the trailer is for storing
in the driveway. I tried moving the winch forward as far as I could and then winching the boat forward and by doing this I gained nearly enough , as the boat is a good 18 inches projecting over the back of the trailer , but the problem was the swinging beam at the back dropped when I winched forward.
If I try fixing some more rollers in front of the swinging beam it may help. It may be too much hassle to be moving the winch and boat forward and back again when I want to tow, so thats why I was looking at cutting the drawbar and fitting a removable extension that fits inside the box section all the way back to the axle when towing. what do you think?
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Old 04 January 2010, 16:58   #6
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You can get "swing tongue" trailers specifically for this problem
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Old 05 January 2010, 06:29   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davis View Post
but the problem was the swinging beam at the back dropped when I winched forward.
If I'm reading this right, you moved the winch, but not the swing beam? If you think it will fit like that, the other option is to roll the boat off (gently, and check the ground for stones etc first) onto a bit of grass, then you can un -bolt the swing beam & move it forward. (I had to shift mine by about 4" to stop the rear rollers popping out the back of the boat.)


What kind of trailer do you have? Some winch posts can be rebuild cunningly to "loose" a couple more inches here & there.......
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