The major issue I'm having with the Vipermax is launch and recovery.
It's simply not possible/safe to do a drive on recovery on the current trailer (keel rollers and four side bunks) and in our often (usually!) windy conditions here, as I found out last weekend, single handed recovery is a bloody struggle - it took me about 20 min to get the boat back on the trailer by myself as there was a strong breeze blowing onto the stern from an angle and it took several attempts, a lot of sweat and cursing and quite a bit of cosmetic damage to the front of the boat (bow ran up between the keel roller and one of the little side rollers just next to it, doesn't seem to have gouged the gel coat but has left black marks on the hull that won't come off with anything which I am really pissed off about seeing as its only about the fourth outing
Thinking about this over the last couple of days I have decided that if the boat is going to last more than six months and not have a massive accident, I need to either get a new trailer or do something pretty drastic to the current one as it simply isn't working as it is - no fault of either the trailer or the boat and recovery is dead easy when it's calmer, it's just not the right combination for the windy conditions here. Nor is a conventional roller trailer which would rule out drive-on recovery on rocky beaches (rocks through the prop) - it has to be something you can hit with a bit of speed to let momentum do the work and a roller trailer just isn't strong enough.
So ... what are people's thoughts on the best design of trailer for drive-on recovery in windy conditions? My old trailer (photo attached - built by the original owner of the boat) had big wide wooden bunks full length keel and side and was great for this (if there was enough water...) as you could hit the trailer at about 3-4 knots and whizz her up almost to the winch post where it would sit 100% secure while you hopped out and attached the hook, but you could not recover in shallow water and launching was only possible if you had quite a bit of water as well - the boat used to stick on the bunks. On balance I'd rather have that, than what I have now, as it's usually windy and 30 sec for safe recovery is a lot better than 20 min of cursing and ending up with damage anyway.
The best compromise would be easy drive-on recovery in windy conditions, usable shallow water winch-on recovery in calmer conditions (less important) and not too hard to launch from, but it has to support the hull really well travelling on rough roads and also fit the curved hull of the Vipermax which is another issue with the current trailer - 8 nice big keel rollers of which only 3 touch the hull at any one time.
Anybody out there designed a one-off that I could pinch some ideas from? At the moment I might try and modify the existing trailer, I might buy something new or I might get something built locally and perhaps re-use some parts off the existing trailer but something is going to have to be done before the boat gets wrecked and last weekend was getting a bit close to my "and to hell with the consequences" temper limit!
I'm thinking a row of closely spaced keel rollers with solid bunks going right up to the edges of the roller brackets could fit the bill but would be interested to hear any other ideas especially from those who either launch and recover in windy places (especially beaches) and those who have built their own trailers as I think there are a few on here. The bunks would have to fit between the Vipermax hull chines which is another complication, but I think it could be done.