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Old 20 August 2011, 16:36   #1
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Can I ask a DUMB question about trailers?

OK, obviously I am more than capable of asking a DUMB question about trailers. The real poser is - do I deserve an answer?

We are looking at buying our first RIB (well, OK, DH has sanctioned the RIB and I am doing the looking because if I left it to him we'd just buy the first one he saw - though tbh I can't guarantee my method is much more scientific...) and one of the things seriously limiting choice is that the whole thing (ie on the trailer with the outboard in situ) has to fit in the garage. The garage is about 6m long and though I've talked to a couple of dealers about this "total length" ie if you flogged me the whole setup inc wheels, would it fit in the damn garage - they've been charmingly vague about it. I get the impression that "can I fit it in the damn garage" is an unreasonable question.

Presumably all trailers are not created equal, ie they come in different lengths. Am I being dumb in thinking it's just a question of finding the shortest one that the boat fits on comfortably & safely, and so it's more a matter of whether the trailer fits in the garage than the boat? Or is there some functional complicatedness that I'm missing which means you need a trailer precisely 1.27432 times the length of the boat ... unless you are going over 60 on the northbound carriageway of a motorway on a rainy night - in which case you add the length of the left arm of your youngest child, multiply by the julian date of the vernal equinox and then subtract the number you first thought of?
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Old 20 August 2011, 16:46   #2
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OK, obviously I am more than capable of asking a DUMB question about trailers. The real poser is - do I deserve an answer?

We are looking at buying our first RIB (well, OK, DH has sanctioned the RIB and I am doing the looking because if I left it to him we'd just buy the first one he saw - though tbh I can't guarantee my method is much more scientific...) and one of the things seriously limiting choice is that the whole thing (ie on the trailer with the outboard in situ) has to fit in the garage. The garage is about 6m long and though I've talked to a couple of dealers about this "total length" ie if you flogged me the whole setup inc wheels, would it fit in the damn garage - they've been charmingly vague about it. I get the impression that "can I fit it in the damn garage" is an unreasonable question.
Seems a perfectly reasonable question to me. If 9d280 doesn't appear here soon then PM him - he has a spreadsheet listing most of the common brands and what will/will not fit in a standard garage!
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Presumably all trailers are not created equal, ie they come in different lengths. Am I being dumb in thinking it's just a question of finding the shortest one that the boat fits on comfortably & safely, and so it's more a matter of whether the trailer fits in the garage than the boat? Or is there some functional complicatedness that I'm missing which means you need a trailer precisely 1.27432 times the length of the boat ... unless you are going over 60 on the northbound carriageway of a motorway on a rainy night - in which case you add the length of the left arm of your youngest child, multiply by the julian date of the vernal equinox and then subtract the number you first thought of?
Firstly remember its not just length - but width of the trailer (which may be wider than the boat, eh Kerny!).

Here is why I think you have a problem:

(1) there isn't even a standard on how people market ribs - so a 5.4m boat might be 5.4 from bow to the back of the tubes or bow to transom etc.
(2) normally the bow "post" on the trailer is further back than the tube.
(3) normally the tubes at the back overhang the trailer. often (not ideally) the transom does too.
(4) trailers are predominantly sold on weight rather than load length
(5) usually there is scope for moving the winch post, rollers etc forward to move the whole boat forward from the factory standard position.

Personally I think letting the size of your garage force you into a particular package is crazy. Find the right boat then work out what options exist for trailers and then if it wont fit decide if it would be better stored elsewhere.
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Old 20 August 2011, 16:54   #3
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Personally I think letting the size of your garage force you into a particular package is crazy. Find the right boat then work out what options exist for trailers and then if it wont fit decide if it would be better stored elsewhere.
I've showed this to Mrs willk, P. She's not convinced

Redhed - Asking a bloke to assure you that you will be able to back his RIB into your garage is, as you say, not going nowhere

Approach it from the legal angle - ask how how long/wide the trailered boat package is. Say "If it doesn't fit into X by Y by Z, I'm going to not pay and maybe sue you".

Look at Kerny - happy but sleeping in his RIB for security reasons
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Old 20 August 2011, 17:00   #4
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I've showed this to Mrs willk, P. She's not convinced
Mrs willk's judgement is clearly not sound though - simply by definition!

To be fair though - with your next purchase the cost of a new made to measure barn to keep it in will be only a small proportion of the total bill...
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Old 20 August 2011, 17:11   #5
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Mrs willk's judgement is clearly not sound though - simply by definition!
She was very young at the time. She still is

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To be fair though - with your next purchase the cost of a new made to measure barn to keep it in will be only a small proportion of the total bill...
Worryingly (for you), you are beginning to sound like donegaldan... he thinks a space frame hanger would suit nicely
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Old 20 August 2011, 17:20   #6
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To be fair though - with your next purchase the cost of a new made to measure barn to keep it in will be only a small proportion of the total bill...
SHUSH!

He-Red might hear you!

Re: letting the garage choose my boat for me - yes, this is not ideal. I can say with some confidence that the garage knows less about boats than I do. I should hang out with the garage more often, it is making me look good. But the logistics are that we will keep the RIB permanently up here at our holiday house and we will be 200 miles away from it in term time and if we store it offsite it will be shivering in a cold field, poor thing. Plus the local storage options will stick quite a bit onto our time-to-launch - weather is v changeable here and operating out of the garage I think we could be on the water in less than half an hour end to end; the other storage options are a fair detour.
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Old 20 August 2011, 17:22   #7
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Firstly remember its not just length -
Hmm... Now I am trying to remember where I have heard this before...
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Old 20 August 2011, 17:28   #8
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Hmm... Now I am trying to remember where I have heard this before...
Um, here?
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Old 20 August 2011, 17:47   #9
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OK - I accept that other people have good reasons for keeping a boat in a garage, what I was really meaning though was there are lots of boats that will fit a garage, so don't just go with whichever dealer finally wakes up and tells you the total length. Also don't completely dismiss anything which at first glance might not fit - as there are some clever folding "nose" trailers etc, which might save you a few inches.
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Old 20 August 2011, 18:10   #10
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I have a Searay trailer and as is common with American trailers, it is hinged on the drawbar allowing it to fold back so in fact the total length when folded is just the length of the boat.

There are many US trailers built like this and I have seen online the hinge arrangement on it's own that can be welded into a conventional trailer.

http://www.iboats.com/Fulton-34-Bolt...view_id.341674

My Searay boat trailer is not home at the moment but I will run up the road and take a photo of the neighbored Bayliner.
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Old 20 August 2011, 18:31   #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, 19:03   #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, 02:31   #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, 03:06   #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, 05:00   #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, 05:08   #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, 16:53   #17
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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, 17:18   #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, 17:48   #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, 18:13   #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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