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Old 25 June 2018, 10:04   #1
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Shorten Trailer

Firstly you will have to excuse me as I am asking a question without having all of the info to hand. I have a 4m rib and would like to keep it in the garage over winter and the garage is circa 5.2m long. I don't have the trailer measurements with me but it does seem excessively long and I was wondering what are peoples thoughts of cutting some of the tongue off to reduce its length so it will fit in the garage?
The boat will only be towed about half a mile to where I launch from and maybe 7 miles or so twice a year to get serviced so I never intend to do any long distance towing.
I don't really want to be gutting holes in the garage door etc and I have had a look at the Fulton swing away couplers but they don't appear to stock the size that will fit my trailer 2.5"x2.5".
Any thoughts / advice will be welcome
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Old 25 June 2018, 10:30   #2
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why not install a swinging tow bar, SBS did this on one of my trailers and it worked a treat.
The trailer was shorter than the boat.
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Old 25 June 2018, 15:44   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charliee View Post
why not install a swinging tow bar, SBS did this on one of my trailers and it worked a treat.
The trailer was shorter than the boat.


Does the op not explain that?
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Old 25 June 2018, 16:37   #4
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Buy the 3" Fulton & use some 1/4" steel - or stainless steel - packers on the sides & top & bottom of the drawbar? (1/4" so the connector is in line)

The Fulton just looks like a couple of bolts holding the two parts of the drawbar together.
Would a thick strip of steel bolted to the top & the bottom of the boat end of the drawbar & two bolts through the other end of the strips going down through the hitch end work?
If you do this I'd be inclined to put tubes into the hitch end to strengthen it. Weld the tubes in place & the bolts go through them.
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Old 25 June 2018, 16:46   #5
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The 'tongue' is there to keep the front of the boat clear of the back of the towing vehicle when you are reversing it around a corner.

If you can still get the trailer to let's say ninety degrees to the towing vehicle without the two clashing then this side of the equation will be OK.

By moving the towing point aft you will be increasing the nose weight on the towing point. It may not be enough to make a significant change but you may need to move your boat aft or your axle(s) forward to compensate.
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Old 25 June 2018, 18:47   #6
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Depending on what car you have and the height of the boats bow you can almost shorten the trailer to the length of the boat so the boat almost overhangs the cars boot as long as you leave enough clearance for turning
Youd never want the trailer at 90 degrees to the car as thats fully jack knifed
Just make sure the trailer wont contact the car when the car is turning on full lock
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Old 26 June 2018, 04:03   #7
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Thank you for all your comments and suggestions, it is such a light set up I have and given that I am going to be towing it such short distances I think cutting some of the tongue off will be the simplest answer, and it wont have too big an affect on the tongue weight. Sadly I don't have a decent side on picture of the boat on the trailer but, you might have an idea from this as to how long it actually is. I am in Wales this weekend so will take a few more pics and measurements
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Old 26 June 2018, 04:51   #8
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Bear in mind you may not always tow with the same vehicle.

Smashed the rear window of a Land Rover backing a Tremlett Sportsman up into a steep driveway because the draw bar was too short.

That asides...no reason not to have it as short as you can get away with.
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Old 26 June 2018, 05:22   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Last Tango View Post
Bear in mind you may not always tow with the same vehicle.

Smashed the rear window of a Land Rover backing a Tremlett Sportsman up into a steep driveway because the draw bar was too short.

That asides...no reason not to have it as short as you can get away with.
Thats why I use the other halfs!!

From all that has been said I cannot see an issue with taking some off the tongue just so that it fits in the garage.

As always thanks for the comments
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Old 27 June 2018, 07:25   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GuyC View Post

By moving the towing point aft you will be increasing the nose weight on the towing point.
Decreasing, surely?



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