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Old 02 May 2005, 16:34   #1
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Guide Poles on Trailers

I have come to the conclusion that recovering on to my trailer would be easier if I had a pole either side at the back of the trailer to guide the boat in to the middle so that the centre of the keel ends up correctly sat on to the rollers. My boat seems to get so far up the trailer and then the wind or tide take it about 8 inches one way and the back is not sitting right on the rear roller.

Does any one have any thoughts on the matter? I have seen very few trailers with them - is there a good reason for that? am I missing something?

I have come up with a design for attaching a pole to my trailer that I want to submit to some metal fabricating firms for a price, before I do so does anyone know if such a thing is already available anywhere off the shelf?
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Old 02 May 2005, 18:26   #2
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Is this the kind of thing you are going for?


All you need is 2 planks of 2"x4" covered in cheap outdoor carpet (stapled on)
and attached to the trailer at the proper angle.
Will last you about 4-5 years at minimum (thats south florida usage and weather)
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Old 02 May 2005, 19:09   #3
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InfBoatsMag, I think Peter is talking about vertical poles to guide the boat between to hold the stern inline while the boat settles onto the trailer when being drawn out of the water.

Peter, the only thing I would say is that they have to be particularly strong to withstand a bump by the side of the bow because the leverage will be high.
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Old 02 May 2005, 22:07   #4
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gotcha
know I shouldnt read things when i have low blood sugar

People use those here but all they are generally are capped hollow PVC tubes. Generally around 4" in diameter.
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Old 02 May 2005, 22:15   #5
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I have guide poles on my trailer and they have done a great job.
Especially as I have solid bunks on either side and they allow to position the boat exactly; so it does not rest on the chines.
They are made of pretty substancial tube (scaffold pole gauge) and welded to square section.This slides in a larger tube with bolts to set the width ,after adjusting to fit.
The metal pole is sleeved by ABS pipe to protect the RIB and also allows the boat to roll in to fit on the bunks.
Works well ,as if you drift and mess up the approach you can grab onto the poles to line yourself back up.
Have seen them for sale at WestMarine for about $75.00 (but a weaker U bolt on setup)
No contacts down there with a welding shop to set you up???
Make sure you get them Galvanised!
cheers Dal
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Old 03 May 2005, 05:13   #6
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They are an excellent aid to recovery. However some cautions when fitting them.

1) they need to be as far back as possible. Because the bow is narrow and by the time the shoulder nestles between the poles, the keel has allready run the wrong side of the first set of rollers

2) remember the width of the whole rig will be about another 4" and any side scrape will cause substantial damage to the unlucky bugger in the way!!

3) As the poles are protruding then they need to be marked with reflectors like LimeyDal's.

In my experience the flat boards around the rollers are more effective than poles. Dissadvantage is that the hull is obscured when on the trailler. But hey ho.

Tim'mers.
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Old 03 May 2005, 05:18   #7
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Hi Peter
I apologise if I'm instructing either of your parents mothers in how to remove the contents of a spheroid produced by a member of the bird community (worryingly I'm not 'on' anything!) But..
My local boat and engine dealer advising on launch/recovery said the biggest mistake he sees are people floating the boat onto the trailer instead of winching it on and then having to contend with tide/wind effects in order to line up the rear end,he would advise that where possible leave the trailer further up the slip a few feet and winch onto the rear rollers.Yes its a bit harder on the arms " Darling would you mind just turning that handle for me!" But it does eliminate the problems your having. As I said you may of already known this and your slip may be that shallow as to make this impractical anyway but my local slip is steep and I've never had to reposition once I start to winch.
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Old 03 May 2005, 06:57   #8
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I'd wondered about the pole set up thing too, we recovered a friends boat from surf at Bridlington a couple of weeks ago and it was a bit hairy. PM's blue humber settled out of postion on the rollers putting a point load on the corner of its spray rails, a slight cracking sound was heard we had to take it off and winch it back on again still less than perfect.

Once out of the water a couple of brutes had to lift the back of the boat with their backs (5.5 Humber with 115 Johnson) and repostion the rollers, my back still aches a little!

The problem was as previously stated the stern wandered off a little as it was being pulled through the first few rollers at rear of trailer to align it (floated down onto them already out of line)
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Old 03 May 2005, 08:47   #9
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Limeydal - that is just what I want! Its almost the same as the design I came up with but my sponsons stick out further than my mud guards so I have to have an angle on it otherwise I can forsee towing problems.

Kernow - I usuallyput the trailer right in over the wheels, float the boat up as far as it will go, hook the strap on and pull it on the rest of the way. Its then that the tide gets it and takes the back end off line. You may have a point though. I wonder if I didn't put the trailer in so far as the boat came out and on to it, it would automatically line up. More pulling but I might give it a go next time.

Swifty - Good point about the reflectors - thanks.
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Old 03 May 2005, 09:07   #10
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Give Arthur a ring he calls them docking bars. He is up at Chobham so about 45 minutes from you Des
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