Boat winches And single handed launching

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Re: Boat winches And single handed launching

Postby nzfisher on Wed Oct 10, 2018 10:40 pm

Understanding the geometry of the boat floating versus the boat dry on the trailer helps with the gap visualization. Probably solves the overtightening issue. My carpet has had it on the bunks so I will look at alternating a “slippery” plastic with the carpet to enable an easier slide forward. I made a wood block as a filler for the front roller long ago but forgot all about it as the first one floated off in a boat loading problem.

Regarding single handing does any one use a remote control powered winch? For me it would help float the boat on the trailer straight, (usually windy) using a boat hook to keep it in line with the guide lines I have drawn on the fenders without assistance.

The parking brake always makes me nervous as it is only actuating the trucks rear wheels but as it has been pointed out, the boat is relatively weightless at this point, (Duh!). It always helps to get input on this stuff as I tend to have tunnel vision without other points of view.

Thanks for the feedback everyone
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Re: Boat winches And single handed launching

Postby ixlr8 on Thu Oct 11, 2018 4:07 am

stwendl wrote: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?

My previous boat had a floating trailer... I found it a pain to get trailer/boat aligned to get boat on the trailer.
Jim
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Re: Boat winches And single handed launching

Postby Dale777 on Thu Oct 11, 2018 5:48 am

I was WRONG about one item. I have a mistake in my analysis of what happens to the winch strap as the boat rotates about its pivot point as the boat is being retrieved from the water.

I stated, "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." This statement is partially wrong, specifically about the winch strap becoming slack.

In fact, NO slack is created in the winch strap as the boat is being retrieved from the water. If the ramp angle is extreme enough, the strap gets much tighter. I took my sketches and created a cardboard diagram of the boat to trailer relationship so that I could actually rotate the boat through its motion pivoting about the forward portion of the boat resting on the bunks. In that model, it became very clear that the roller strap does NOT become slack, but the bow does, in fact, move away in an arc from the bow roller as the boat is retrieved.

Click on this thumbnail for a larger image of my modified sketch to illustrate what I have said:

Image
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 Thu Oct 11, 2018 10:25 am

Dale:
Your sketch confirms what I have been experiencing. It's even worse in my case with the low winch, because the bow is moving away and up.
Notice in your sketch, with the boat settled, how the strap has now come up right under the roller. This is also a danger point to watch out for. Originally my bow eye would start out being BELOW the roller as I floated the boat onto the trailer. So I hooked up the strap and chain under the roller. As I pulled up the ramp, the bow eye rose ABOVE the roller. Now the strap and chain was looped under the roller pulling upwards with extreme force. The strap and chain were now between the boat and the roller. I stopped when I heard loud banging and popping noises, but had already done some damage to the roller and some teeth on the winch were partly stripped. That was when I started trying to figure out the whole "moving bow eye" thing.
That was why I lowered my winch, and that problem is gone now at least. If my mast was taller I could have raised the winch and I'd be set up like yours. I'm curious which way most trailers are set up? I kind of like my winch lower, because it sucks the boat down tight onto the trailer for towing. Having the winch higher might give you some lift if you are dragging the boat forward to the bow eye?
Ron & Barb
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Re: Boat winches And single handed launching

Postby Red Raven on Thu Oct 11, 2018 12:38 pm

My EZ-Loader winch stand with Fulton winch has a label that says the strap is to go above the metal spool and below the bow roller (like in Dale’s drawing).

My experience is as Dale’s drawing indicates with one exception. I always get a gap but the strap length doesn’t change. It is locked in position. I suspect the boat rises the same amount that it drops back as the strap length cannot change (without breaking the strap or gears!) It is possible the boat may slide a bit at the pivot point as well. I have never broken the winch or strap.

With liquid rollers I can actually winch the boat forward without doing the bump (my winch has two gears and using low gear I can move it, barely (It is hard cranking though!). Without liquid rollers I need to do the bump.

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Re: Boat winches And single handed launching

Postby The Doghouse 2 on Thu Oct 11, 2018 2:12 pm

Hello All,

New boat, new EZ Loader trailer with bunks, same issues identified in this posting. Boat lives on the trailer, no bottom paint, so my launch encounters are always round trip. I frequently launch/retrieve solo, but a situation I have always faced and am comfortable with. Having my First Mate along as a dockhand makes the ramp much easier though!

Previous boat trailers have been rollers, and I really like bunks! Bunks do have their issues, however. I have always used the break tap (or stomp aka "Ranger bump") with rollers once secured and up off the ramp on level ground. It worked great! Launching was always a breeze as long as you could hold you boat to bow roller long enough to unclip the winch strap. Securing forward dock line was a way of life.

In an effort to reduce the bow roller offset, I once winched the boat as tight as I could to roller, pulled forward in truck, and noticed I was wrenching my winch stand on trailer. I backed into water, loosened strap about 3-4", pulled out and there was the typical gap described in this posting.

I do the Ranger bump if I have a convenient parking area slope to work with... flat ground has never produced the desired results. Having fully wetted bunk carpet, I find, is mission essential. I have heard mixed opinions on slicks/slides relative to fiberglass finish. I am not aware of "liquid rollers", unless it is some form of silicone spray onto carpet pads.

Another great feature I find with bunks is you can center boat on trailer, as long as you go up ramp very slowly. With rollers I would spend the time to make sure the trailer was level side to side... rollers were not self-centering or forgiving!

Thanks for all the valuable info everyone has provided!

Bob & Kim
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Re: Boat winches And single handed launching

Postby Red Raven on Thu Oct 11, 2018 2:24 pm

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Re: Boat winches And single handed launching

Postby YukonRon on Thu Oct 11, 2018 3:39 pm

I have gone back on some pictures and videos from our time of sea trial and testing of the boat, and found some interesting footage related to this. This is all at the dealer's location with them doing the launching and retrieval:

1. The boat is on the trailer in the dealer's yard. The bow eye is above the roller. The strap goes over top of the roller, but the chain goes under the roller. The chain is now between the roller and the boat:
Image

2. As the boat is being launched you can clearly see the bow eye is above the roller, the strap over top of the roller, and the chain is in the gap between the roller and the boat:
Image

3.Retrieving the boat, the bow eye is now below the roller; so he hooks up the strap AND the chain UNDER the roller:
Image

4. As the boat is pulled up the ramp, the bow eye is rising up past the roller. The strap and chain are now both getting looped under the roller as it rises and they are now both in between the boat and the roller.
Image

5. Parked back in the yard, there is now a gap between the roller and the boat. The strap and chain are both looped under the roller to hook up to the bow eye above the roller. This leaves the strap and chain caught between the boat and the roller. No way to snug up now to remove the gap without crushing the chain hook into the roller. The first quick/downhill stop is going to mash the hooks into the roller, damaging the roller, and making it extremely difficult to disconnect at next launch. There is also too much upward tension on the roller from the strap looped underneath:
Image

Now I understand why we got frustrated and broke things trying to figure out how to hook up.
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Re: Boat winches And single handed launching

Postby The Doghouse 2 on Thu Oct 11, 2018 4:31 pm

Ron,

As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words... your "situation" is well documented, but not necessarily resolved.

Now, at 70 y.o., I'm just a young buck and have a lot to learn. Trailering, launch and retrieval cannot be excluded from my "more to learn" list. However, it seems like the bow eye in my inherited used or two new from the factory configurations have been below the bow roller. When you think about it, IMO, holding the bow keel tight to the bow roller with the bow eye below the roller, strap underneath roller, will not allow boat to ride up and over winch stand. The emergency chain is there as an emergency backup, either boat going forward or backwards.

Trailers and winch stands are adjustable to the boat, I'm sure within reason. That's what I like about our EZ loader trailer... it was designed for our R27-OB by EZ Loader for Ranger Tugs. Having said that, my previous post points out the fact we don't live in a perfect world. Drats!

I'm sure this is a topic we all will commiserate on until we buy that R41, non-trailerable boat!

Bob
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Re: Boat winches And single handed launching

Postby tugnnaweigh on Thu Oct 11, 2018 8:10 pm

Well I think I got miswired from years of cinching things down tight and driving away although I stopped that when I went to big big boats years ago. This thread has really opened my eyes I must say.

Forgot to mention I not only power on I power off as well.

I immerse the trailer until the boat is floating, wife starts the motor, I release the strap and chain while staying dry, back in a bit more and stop which gives the wife a helping hand on backward movement.

One thing I’ve changed my mind on due to this thread is Liquid Rollers; I’ma give that a try because of a comment it makes the bump easy and I’m in favor of anything helping that. Also, no ones mentioned boats sliding backwards while going up the ramp so my main worry is apparently a non issue, good to know.

As for the eye to roller relationship I’ve always felt the eye should be below the roller with the the strap reaching down and through the arms that hold the roller and the safety chain making a loop below everything.

Also I believe the strap windings on the winch get tightened down to beat the band and that’s where the additional length comes from during retrieve, something that concerns me when I have to overcome that to actuate the winch release. I don’t want that handle turning into a blur and then everything turning blurry for me!

With some decent tension on the strap for over the road you won't get boat bouncing on the trailer but I do back that off once home.
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Re: Boat winches And single handed launching

Postby Bigsky on Thu Oct 11, 2018 10:09 pm

At our local ramp we are fortunate to have a downhill slope right after we load and pull up and over the ramp. With wet bunks I immediately winch the gap tight. Still a bit of a crank but much easier working with gravity. We haven't had to do the 'bump' yet. I realize that not everyone has this option and we maybe won't when we 'finally' :roll: get to trailer to a foreign port. I'm wondering if maybe circling around a bit back toward the ramp to gain enough downward slope would also work.
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Re: Boat winches And single handed launching

Postby tugnnaweigh on Fri Oct 12, 2018 10:40 am

I myself have used the tippy top of ramps for the downhill bump but I then back up out of there to avoid being sideways on any portion of the ramp at any time.

Now, of course the first sideways concern is the boat leaving the trailer and going tumbling down the ramp but that depends on the steepness of the ramp and would be apparent to the eye. However the possibility of the downhill tires coming into contact with the fenders even on the gently sloped parts of ramps is what I worry about.

If you look at the clearance between tire and fender on most trailers likely it ain’t much and if you think of the weight and leverage the boat has that gap can be fairly easily closed. Keep in mind, you’re not hitting a bump while moving forward or back with all suspension components doing their weight bearing and shock absorbing job; here the weight and leverage has transferred onto the downhill the suspension and the uphill suspension still pushing up thank you very much! And because of the friction between rubber and steel you’re stuck, can’t move forward, can’t move back you’re going to have to remove the fender or the tires are going to destroy it and you’re left with a trailer that’s not road worthy.

So I just back all the way down and with the lakes low in CA. it can be quite a drive! Temple Bar Marina, Las Vegas Boat Harbor, you name it, I’ve had staff show up in golf carts saying there’s a betting pool as to what the heck I’m doing. Dude in the cart and I agreed I’d claim to be practicing backing up and we split the proceeds! Only time in boating I've had a positive cash flow...
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Re: Boat winches And single handed launching

Postby Red Raven on Sat Oct 13, 2018 11:27 am

I have a different problem related to this discussion maybe you all could help with.

I put the trailer into the water as far as possible without letting the brake controller get wet. The front bunks are all the way under the water. This still limits how far the boat will float forward before hitting the bunks. I power the boat forward the last 3 or 4 feet to the roller. Due to the difference in angle of the trailer and the boat on the water (as shown on Dale’s diagram) the boat digs pretty hard into the front bunks and scrapes off the bottom paint in this area. It is also really hard on the bunk carpet.

I use liquid rollers which helps it slide but the pressure point is so severe that the friction is high enough to take off the bottom paint each time. I don’t think using other bunk material would help and may make it worse. The boat shape also changes rapidly near the contact point so the bunk cradle angle does not match the boat bottom until it is driven forward the 4 feet or so. This makes the contact point a sharp edge until the boat is all the way up.

My first thought is that the ramp is too steep. A more gradual ramp would reduce the ramp angle but the trailer would be shallower and thus the boat would hit the bunks further back resulting in more distance to power onto the trailer. I really don’t have another workable ramp option in the area anyway.

The other thought is to raise the brake controller and battery higher so that I can put the trailer even deeper. Much further though and the truck will be in the water. Also, if the boat floats all the way forward it may be hard to get it to center.

Of course a third option would be to just lift it out instead. More expensive and a much further drive (over land and water).

Anyone else have this issue? Solutions?

Curt
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Re: Boat winches And single handed launching

Postby tugnnaweigh on Sat Oct 13, 2018 1:10 pm

You said this ramp is too steep, do you think you meant too gradual because I’ve been on softly slanted ramps myself and was unable to get enough water over the trailer as it sounds like what’s going on here.

Boating in CA, AZ and NV leads you to very large lakes that have dried up and have multiple ramps which is nice but with our size vessels you need more water depth than say smaller, more typical boats and they usually tell you which ramp is the deepest of the available ramps as you pay at the gate. The sad fact is if anybody is going to have trouble at the ramp it’s us Big Boat People.

Keep in mind, “deep” meant slant, I usually measure ramps with a digital inclinometer and found there can be quite a few degrees of slant difference between ramps. Have to bite the ‘ol tongue as the Little Boat People effortlessly launch and retrieve alongside you while commenting “Won’t float huh?”

Anyway, for a learning curve I’ve dipped in at what I was told were the insufficient ramps to see the subtitles of insufficient water and I learned if it’s not up to and perhaps a bit over the bottom paint on the side most of the way up the length of the boat, she ain’t actually floating and launch and especially retrieval is going to be difficult and perhaps even damaging as you wrote.

The nightmare here is the boat dropping a bit as it leaves the bumpers and the keel contacting any transverse members of the trailer. There'd be some keel damage which wouldn't be a worry because of the way Rangers are built and my R25 held up just fine when I bounced her off a submerged ridge in mid Lake Shasta but that’s another story anyhoo I think the trailer would take the real hit and perhaps bend said transverse members rendering your trailer unroadworthy.



In my mind how far you’re willing to submerge the towing vehicle is the limiting factor on launch and retrieval and there’s a few things at work there and they're different for fresh and saltwater.

To start with, all differentials have a vent hole on top and while I don’t mind “dipping the differential” you never want to “submerge the differential” fresh or salt. Also keep in mind when your brake drums and shoes become wet that affects their holding ability on the ramp and their ability to do their part during the “bump” keeping in mind the trailer brakes are very very wet during “bump” time also.

I sometimes drive around launch areas manually actuating my trailer brakes to heat ‘em up a bit and drive some of the moisture off before getting out into big city traffic, better safe than sorry.

Now in salt water I won’t immerse above the tires because the last time I had my spring stacks redone the shop had to cut away the components that held them in place as they had rusted into one piece. I’ve always used salt a way on the trailer brake components and after this experience I also spray the truck brakes.

So that covers backing in the tow vehicle as deep as you dare and there’s also another direction to go.

In moving up to an R29 I purchased and transported my R25 on a trailer built for the coming R29. This placed the bow of the R25 six feet further than the four feet it had been from the rear of my truck and really really helped at ramps that had formerly been difficult. I think I’ve read here on the ‘Nuts of folks using hitch extensions on difficult ramps but I don’t recommend anything that reduces hitch capacity especially during such high load, critical maneuvers.

All I’ve currently done with the new to me R29 is retrieve it at purchase so I’m looking forward to returning to the dried up lakes and seeing the challenges of launch and retrieval of an R29 on a R29 trailer.

I’m thinking there’s 5 more feet of length, 2 more feet of width which is good and 5,000 pounds more weight which is not in my favor and don’t know what to think of all that, time will tell.
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Re: Boat winches And single handed launching

Postby Red Raven on Sat Oct 13, 2018 2:15 pm

It’s definitely a lot steeper than the ramp I used to use. I haven’t measured it but I suspect it is near 15%. 12% is normal. The back of the trailer is way down there (maybe 4 or five feet). The old ramp closer to my house is only about 8% (old Seaplane base). It is unusable. I could actually get it on easier than off though. Couldn’t get the boat off without sinking the truck. On this ramp the boat pretty much floats right off with a touch of the brakes. It is the retrieval that is harder. The boat floats nearly all the way up the roller short about 3.5 feet. The trailer is combing out of the water at such an angle that driving up that last 3.5 feet causes the bow to dig into the edges of the bunks.

The thing limiting me from going back further is the brake controller which on my boat is mounted behind the winch stand and not in front. There is no room for it in front because I have a shortened trailer in order to fit in my garage. I am thinking of adding a bracket to raise the brake control,er and battery up 6 inch or so so I can float her more forward.

Does yours float all the way forward to the bow roller or do you have to drive it up the last bit. If so, how far?

Curt
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