Boat winches And single handed launching

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Boat winches And single handed launching

Postby nzfisher on Tue Oct 09, 2018 2:14 am

Just broke the second caul lever on the 3200 lb easy loader standard winch on my trailer used for R25. Does anyone use the wireless electric sold through Etrailers (Fulton xlt)? Does it enable single handed take out of boat on trailer? Any problems with it? Do you rely on the truck parking brake only when retrieving your boat on the ramp when single handing?

Curious if anyone does this.
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Re: Boat winches And single handed launching

Postby tugnnaweigh on Tue Oct 09, 2018 12:44 pm

Are you breaking winch levers because you’re hoping winching will keep the vessel snug to the roller? I too thought that’s the way it should work and the only thing that resulted for me was the hook point on the boat being loosened and still having to do the “Ranger Bump”.

So what I can’t figure out is why the boat backs away from the roller every freakin time but figure it’s in the changing geometry of the trailer boat relationship when exiting the water?

I looked around for the ability to latch the boat into the trailer and if you put “boat trailer boat catch” in the YouTube you’ll see some devices that do exactly that.

But I’m still wondering about the stresses that are present as it appears there isn't any “give” with these devices like there is with a strap and the last thing I need is one of these latching systems failing whilst preceding up the ramp! I would have the strap and safety chain in place of course, I’d just be out the cost of the latching system and they’re not cheap!

What I do in the meanwhile is snug the strap, (not too much!) go up the ramp, snug it more, do the bump and final snugging which seems easy on the various components and myself.

On your brake question I’m assuming you mean you already place the transmission in gear or in park, actuate the parking brake and are wondering if you should add chocks behind tires because I’ve wondered the very same thing, should I chock up for the safest operation? My first thought was it won’t help because of the slippery conditions present at most ramps so I haven't pursued it.

What I do in the meanwhile is put the transmission in park, actuate the hell out of the parking brake, gently release the brake pedal and monitor the roll back and stop while covering the brake pedal. It’s off putting, that roll back but I think braking components don’t really bite until there’s a bit of pressure on them.

After the stop I still remain behind the wheel for a bit seeing if anything is going to fail and if nothing does I ease out and go about my business. I think this is one of the most dangerous aspects of boating but take heart in the fact it’s not like I’m parked on dry land on a hill with all that inherent strain on the braking components, here the boat is off the trailer floating so perhaps the brakes are only having to hold the truck and trailer which they are likely well capable of?

One takes comfort where one can.
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Re: Boat winches And single handed launching

Postby Tug Travelers on Tue Oct 09, 2018 2:02 pm

Hi NZFisher-
I have an R31CB and I single hand it on an off the trailer. It takes me about 20 minutes by myself from the time the trailer hits the water to the time I pull the boat up the ramp.
I back the trailer in very close to the dock, so that when the boat is on the trailer a buoy will be touching the dock. (I have a couple different sized buoys, so I can be off by a few inches).
I don't back the trailer all the way in, but about 80% of the way. I then drive the boat on the trailer and power it up in place. I tie off the stern, go up and hook up the winch, crank it on until tight, then start the truck, and back in about 18 inches more. Start the boat, power on a bit, crank it on some more and back the truck in a little bit more.
I've tried it different ways and this seems to be the best for getting it up fairly snuggly to the winch, although there is always a gap when the boat settles. I can get the gap to 2 inches now, and have a piece of wood that fits over the gap to make it a solid contact point.
No matter how hard you crank, sometimes the boat just won't come up further. I destroyed a winch my first time trying to get the boat to slide a little bit further up.
Jeff
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Re: Boat winches And single handed launching

Postby Red Raven on Tue Oct 09, 2018 2:49 pm

Spraying the bunks with liquid rollers also helps.

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Re: Boat winches And single handed launching

Postby YukonRon on Tue Oct 09, 2018 7:22 pm

We've had the same problem with our R25. We've destroyed 2 winches so far, before realizing what the problem is. Yes, it has to do with the geometry of the boat and trailer, and the change in angles as it settles. The boat, of course, stays level as it moves from the water to the trailer. The trailer, however, transitions from whatever angle it is at under water, to being level under the boat as it comes up the ramp. The changing angles will cause the roller and winch assembly to move lower and forward in relation to the bow eye, often 6 to 8 inches depending on the steepness of the ramp. If you run the boat right up to the roller and winch the strap tight, you will have the weight of the boat, plus leverage, straining against the strap as the boat settles, and the winch will break.
We now bring the boat up to the roller and hook everything up, but we give it some slack as we slowly work it up the ramp. The idea is to give enough slack not to break things, but hopefully keep the boat from slipping back on the bunks. Once the boat is out, we suck everything tight and do the "Ranger Bump". Then re-tighten everything once you're up to the roller.
I hate doing the "bump". It seems so hard on all the equipment. There must be another way.
Someone mentioned moving the entire winch stand forward 6 inches before retrieving, then bring the boat right up to the roller. Let the boat settle on the trailer with the 6 inch gap as it wants to (right where it is supposed to be), then move the winch stand back again till the roller touches the boat. I might try that next time, It sounds like the least stressful option.
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Re: Boat winches And single handed launching

Postby Dale777 on Tue Oct 09, 2018 11:51 pm

When I had an R27 that I trailered, to better understand what causes the bow to bow roller gap when pulling a Ranger Tug out of the water on a trailer, I sketched the following two diagrams on this one image. Click on the image for a larger image:

Image

In looking at the BOTTOM diagram, you can see that when the bow roller is pulled tight to the boat's bow:
1. Only the most forward portion of the bottom of the boat rests on the bunks
2. The entire aft portion of the boat is still floating and not touching the bunks
3. The most forward portion of the bottom of the boat becomes a PIVOT point for the boat as the trailer is pulled from the water.

Imagine what happens as the trailer moves out of the water:
1. The boat begins to pivot creating SLACK in the roller strap, since the bow eye moves up towards the bow roller and the strap length does not shorten
2. Eventually, the boat becomes parallel with the trailer bunks, thus matching the TOP diagram with slack in the roller strap and a bow to roller gap.

The steeper the incline of the ramp, the more exaggerated the slack in the roller strap and the bow to bow roller gap.
Dale, My sister's art: http://www.cindydaunis.com/
My edit [] of: "The horn [ocean] stirs memories of fearful things, of powerful things, of noble and beautiful things!" by John Williams. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7gztnm6GS9M
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Re: Boat winches And single handed launching

Postby YukonRon on Wed Oct 10, 2018 12:46 am

Dale, I like your diagrams. That is the effect I was trying to explain.
Our setup is a bit different though. Our bow roller was originally set very close to the bow eye. When the trailer was under water on the ramp, the bow eye would be below the roller. As the boat was pulled out and settled, the bow eye would be above the roller. This caused some real problems with attaching the strap.
Our winch post is too short to raise the roller completely above the bow eye, as in your drawings. So I was able to drop the roller down lower, so that it is now always below the bow eye. Our strap and chain goes over top of the roller, rather than under it as in your drawing.
I do like the idea from TugTravellers of inserting a spacer into the gap between the roller and the boat. That may be a better solution than moving the post back and forth.
I just wish I had understood this issue better BEFORE I ruined 2 winches :oops:
Ron & Barb
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Re: Boat winches And single handed launching

Postby tugnnaweigh on Wed Oct 10, 2018 1:07 am

Great illustration and explanation of retrieval geometry, certainly answered my questions.

Looking at those latching devices there’s only one attachment point to the boat so the pivot would be on a single axis and I’m thinking in the beginning you set up the winch pedestal to boat relationship while the vessel is on the trailer. I should watch the videos.

A note on the “Ranger Bump”, if you can, find any downhill no matter how slight it seems and go downhill for the bump, really really really seems to help. I’m thinking going downhill the boat lifts a bit upon deacceleration and any reduction of friction is very helpful.

On a downhill “bump” I apply and release the brakes then come to a gentle halt to go check while on level ground it's a hard brake mash until I feel a thump from behind that I don’t care for. This has bent the two arms holding the roller so there was some energy left as the two made contact.
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Re: Boat winches And single handed launching

Postby YukonRon on Wed Oct 10, 2018 12:18 pm

tugnnaweigh wrote:
Looking at those latching devices there’s only one attachment point to the boat so the pivot would be on a single axis and I’m thinking in the beginning you set up the winch pedestal to boat relationship while the vessel is on the trailer. I should watch the videos.


This is how I see the problem, as per the bottom drawing in Dale's sketch:
The pivot point is not where we attach the boat to the trailer. The pivot point is where the forward part of the hull comes to rest on the bunks when you run it up on the trailer. As the back end of the trailer comes up to meet the stern of the boat, the front end of the trailer MUST move down and away from the bow. Like opposite ends of a teeter-totter.
The movement of opposite ends around a central pivot is in an arc.
The only way for the boat and roller to stay in contact through this movement would be if the bow of the boat was build to the same arc, and same point of pivot, as the swing of the movement as the boat and trailer settle together. Then the bow roller would still swing down as the back end of the trailer swings up, but the bow of the boat would stay in contact with the roller.
You will have more movement from a steeper ramp, so you can only minimize the effect if you can choose a shallower angled ramp.
You can't attach the bow solidly to the trailer without breaking something (unless its strong enough to force the pivot point to move).
Does that make sense, or am I missing something else here?
Ron & Barb
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Re: Boat winches And single handed launching

Postby tugnnaweigh on Wed Oct 10, 2018 3:20 pm

Great thread, tremendous experience and insight. I think the boat pivoting on the first part of it to make contact with the trailer is hitting the nail on the head of the diaminacs at work here. Then it’s not even going to remain sitting level in the water anymore, it’s being lifted by said pivot point as the retrieval continues which I can see really creating distance.

There’s a lot going on here, I wish a trailer guy would chime in, likely they’ve got some insight.

I’m thinking these latching systems are for smaller, shorter, lighter hulls and they can withstand the stresses that come and go during the retrieval arc.

Folks breaking winch handles and exploding winches is what’s known in boating as “Well that didn't work” and what I take as that ain’t the way to do it.

And I did it that way until the eye on the boat began pulling out so I’ve been in the same boat so to speak.

So I’ll power on until the bow contacts the roller, throw the winch strap and safety chain keeping a bit of give in the strap and a bit of faith in the safety chain. Then look for downhill to do as gentle a “bump” as I can.

Only once have I had a boat slide to the length of the safety chain, coming out of Lake Shasta on the low water ramp which has a crazy crazy incline at the top. I also tend to replace the typical too light safety chain with a heavier one when I purchase a trailer.
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Re: Boat winches And single handed launching

Postby Dale777 on Wed Oct 10, 2018 4:15 pm

YukonRon,

I think your reasoning about the arc of the upper portion of the boat created about the pivot point is correct, EXCEPT your terminology is backward. You state, "As the back end of the trailer comes up to meet the stern of the boat, the front end of the trailer MUST move down and away from the bow."

In fact, the back end of the trailer does NOT come up upon retrieval. Actually, the stern of the boat comes DOWN to meet the back end of the trailer upon retrieval.

Also, the front end of the trailer does not move DOWN and away from the bow. Actually, the bow of the boat moves in an arc UP about the pivot point towards the bow roller which CREATES the slack in the roller strap.
--------------------------------
For those that have broken some portion of the winch-handle-roller-strap assembly and bow eye, I suggest that the breakage or fracture leading to breakage likely occurs during launch and not retrieval.

The reasoning is that upon boat retrieval, there is SLACK created in the roller strap. Therefore, when the opposite is done upon launch, the roller strap will tend to TIGHTEN. This suggests that a bit of slack should be put on the roller strap before launch to avoid too much strain on the winch-handle-roller-strap assembly and bow eye.
------------------------------
I think this topic is a good discussion of what creates the bow to bow roller gap we all experience to some degree. I think I understand the geometry of what happens, but I am completely open to any corrections or disagreements with my analysis.
Dale, My sister's art: http://www.cindydaunis.com/
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Re: Boat winches And single handed launching

Postby YukonRon on Wed Oct 10, 2018 7:12 pm

Dale:
After further thought, ya, you might be right; partly. As you pull the boat forward the stern is still floating, so the trailer is coming up to meet it. I don't think the boat is sinking lower in the water to meet the trailer. As the bow gets lifted higher and the trailer comes up further, then yes, the boat settles down onto the trailer. Much depends on the shape of the ramp, how steep it is, if there is a curve or hump to the ramp before it levels off, etc. No matter, it is all semantics. The point is, as the stern and trailer get closer together at the back end, the bow and trailer move the opposite way at the front end. That is the important part. The teeter-totter effect on the pivot point.
For me the breakage always occurs in the pulling out. I know this, because I stand at the bow watching as my wife slowly pulls the truck and trailer ahead. The loud noises are unmistakable :o :shock:
My setup is opposite to Dale's sketch. My winch post is short so the winch and roller are below the bow eye and the strap and chain go above the roller. This is why mine gets tight on retrieval. As the stern settles on the trailer, the bow rises (with respect to the trailer mast) and pulls on the strap and/or chain till something gives.
The original setup had the roller just slightly above the bow eye, when sitting on land. When the trailer was in the water and I put the boat up to the roller; the bow eye was now below the roller because of the different angle. As the boat would be pulled up the ramp, the bow eye moved past the roller, from below it to above, as the bow rose. This wreaked havoc because the strap and chain would always interfere with the roller through the transition. The post is too short to raise the roller assembly sufficiently, so I lowered it instead. Now the roller/bow eye connection stays entirely below the bow eye through the movement cycle.
Image
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Re: Boat winches And single handed launching

Postby S. Todd on Wed Oct 10, 2018 9:18 pm

I concur with the analysis mentioned with the angle changing as the boat comes out of the water. As Curt mentioned liquid rollers on the bunks is the trick. The "Ranger Slide" can be done gently with wet bunks and liquid rollers previously applied. Liquid Rollers worked well on my prior Sea Ray too. A second benefit of the Liquid Rollers is you can spray a small amount in those window tracks that like to get sticky.
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Re: Boat winches And single handed launching

Postby S@LTD on Wed Oct 10, 2018 9:47 pm

I could not agree more with what has been said here. Yes a trailer manufacturer could probably address this with a little time and research but they haven’t so here we go. I am determined not to have to do the bump as it is so hard on equipment. With my twin engine bravo drive I could simply have my wife dunk the trailer and pull it out so that more of the bunks were visible, trim the engines, drive up and it would push the bow eye right up to the roller with no gap. Problem with our CW is the single prop cavitates when trying to do this and will not go all the way up on steeper ramps which is where the problem lies.

I went for the reducing friction approach and have had pretty good success. I am not affiliated with Gator BaKs but, combined with liquid roller as mentioned (good stuff) has worked well. No risk of scratches on the boat either or wearing out carpet after a few launches. The trick is judging the angle of ramps we are less familiar with to know how far to pull up. On steeper ramps we also pull our Rocna up on the deck as it can hit the winch post. If I estimate wrong yes the gap occurs and the unnerving popping sound occurs. We launch and load weekly so have only had that happen once in the last few months. Another new ramp to try this weekend so will see. Most of the time now we can literally drive right up to the post, turn off the engine and crank it tight with no gap or grunting. We did find it does take the GatorBaks 3-4 launches to wear in as they can be a bit sticky at first.

This has been a frustrating problem to say the least and could be a deterrent to taking your boat out if not resolved. While we have to be mindful about the angle when loading to make it seem less we are having much more success. I cringe at the thought of breaking a winch or strap.
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Re: Boat winches And single handed launching

Postby stwendl on Wed Oct 10, 2018 9:52 pm

Has anyone given thought to adding floating devices to the trailer so when it is on the launch ramp it does not entirely sink to the bottom and would make it easier to float on with the bunks elevated and preventing that angle on the bow roller?
Difference between RVers and Boaters:
RVers move until they reach water, Boaters move until they reach land.
Ranger Tug owners can do both :)
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