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Old 20 August 2011, 19:31   #11
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If you buy a boat trailer with a straight drawbar, rather than an A-frame style, you should be able to adjust the length of drawbar.

Most manufacturers weld the component parts of the trailer (drawbars, outriders, winch posts etc.) and then bolt and u-bolt them together, in final assembly. People often believe that this makes the trailer weaker, but if you know what the shear strength of a high tensile M10 / M12 bolt is, then you'd know not to worry!

Anyway, I digress! You should be able to adjust the length, to fit it in to the garage, by sliding the drawbar 'in' / 'under' the trailer. However, this can be time consuming if the trailer is braked.

In this picture you can see the drawbar, with the winch post mounted to it. You'll see two bolts, just in front of the bow snubber, joining the outriders to the drawbar. You can undo these and (providing the weight of the boat isn't now supported by the jockey wheel) slide the drawbar back under the boat.



Alternatively you can buy a drawbar hinge. You need to cut the drawbar and bolt the hinge in place, but once the work is done you just pull a pin and swing it round each time you need to put the trailer away. Again, it will be made more complicated if you have a braking system.

The hinges look like this:



And fitted:

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Old 20 August 2011, 20:03   #12
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Looks like trailer guy has it covered but since I had to go for a walk to take the photo, I will post anyway.
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Old 21 August 2011, 03:31   #13
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This is all absolutely fascinating, guys, I am loving this. (Possibly I should get out more.)

OK, so it is possible to have a retractable or hinged drawbar, though it's easier if it is unbraked. I had assumed we need a braked trailer. I have difficulty getting Himself to understand about braking distances and hills and the weight of the car as it is (and this is just moving from his little sports car to my fully loaded SUV). I can see him being overtaken by the trailer on a downhill bend, which we have a few of around here. Mind you, I imagine it's going to be difficult to find a small trailer with brakes - brakes will cost more and so generally people won't pay for them if they don't need them. The braking arrangement itself must add a bit of length, and they must be more maintenance. Maybe it's going to be simplest just not to let him drive!

Polwart - going back to your comment about RIBs not being the size that they are marketed as: is this just in terms of the name of the boat model, eg the Predator 490 is not necessarily 4.9m long? They all seem to have tec specs (somewhere) online and those all have an external length quoted, which I had hoped was always going to be the full length of the boat (minus outboard of course).
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Old 21 August 2011, 04:06   #14
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brakes will cost more and so generally people won't pay for them if they don't need them. The braking arrangement itself must add a bit of length, and they must be more maintenance. Maybe it's going to be simplest just not to let him drive!
brakes on a boat trailer are a total maintainence pita, if you can avoid them then you should! As you have an SUV I'd guess that unbraked you can tow a 750 kg trailer (the max in the UK). That will probably have a load capacity around 600 kg. Your engine could easily weigh 150 kg (for say a 90HP). You'll probably have 50+ kg of fuel on board. You'll also have 50kg of general assorted crap, anchor, ropes etc... So to stay unbraked and legal you'll need a boat weighing less 350kg. Beware manufacturers specs really do vary here - as some will weigh with no console etc fitted. So e.g. the Predator 490 you mentioned (at 260 kg) might be possible on an unbraked trailer. [I note it has an a-frame in the pics which means you also need to think about the height of garage door and weight of aframe if it is an option!] Somewhere around 5-5.5m is usually the cut off where you need to go braked.

Quote:
Polwart - going back to your comment about RIBs not being the size that they are marketed as: is this just in terms of the name of the boat model, eg the Predator 490 is not necessarily 4.9m long? They all seem to have tec specs (somewhere) online and those all have an external length quoted, which I had hoped was always going to be the full length of the boat (minus outboard of course).
No exactly what you say the "brand" name may not reflect the overall length. The spec should be right (although worth checking before placing an order). Normally the outboard in the fully down position won't add any length to the boat - but again worth checking this once you think you've found your perfect match.
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Old 21 August 2011, 06:00   #15
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Looks like trailer guy has it covered but since I had to go for a walk to take the photo, I will post anyway.
Apologies Kubcat! No 'thunder stealing' intended! I must have been typing and pasting whilst you posted up.

Besides, your picture of the folded drawbar is much better than mine, gleaned from t'interweb
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Old 21 August 2011, 06:08   #16
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This is all absolutely fascinating, guys, I am loving this. (Possibly I should get out more.) definitely

The braking arrangement itself must add a bit of length
If the trailer's an A-frame type, then it's negligible. If it's a straight drawbar (sometimes called pole couplings), then about two and a half feet.
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Old 21 August 2011, 17:53   #17
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Originally Posted by Trailer Guy

Apologies Kubcat! No 'thunder stealing' intended! I must have been typing and pasting whilst you posted up.

Besides, your picture of the folded drawbar is much better than mine, gleaned from t'interweb
Hahaha trailerguy, we are all on the same side, that of knowledge.
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Old 21 August 2011, 18:18   #18
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Polly and willk, thank you for the subtle reminders of my garage / hanger dilemma. Blimey!! now I can understand how tony t feels, being ribbed about his B.S. dry suit. Which is very nice B.T.W. mr t.
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Old 21 August 2011, 18:48   #19
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K,

still at least you didn't have to worry about how to get the engine to trim down to fit it in the garage when you got home today
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Old 21 August 2011, 19:13   #20
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K,

still at least you didn't have to worry about how to get the engine to trim down to fit it in the garage when you got home today
Thanks polly, on that thought, I will sleep a lot better tonight, IN THE RIB.
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