What's new

How much should hang off the trailer?

water rat

Member
Just re-styled a jet ski trailer for my fish and looking for advice on placement in transit. I have used swimming pool noodles on the bunks to give it a softer ride and compensate for springs which were ment to carry a jet ski. I can place the boat on the bunks so that the cockpit and part of the storage area is supported but that leaves about four feet hanging off the end of the trailer. Is this too much..The nose would be snub.ed down in transit and the fantail strapped down secure but not overly tight. . I am used to hauling fiberglass kayaks where only a foot or foot and a half hang over and the boats have front trailer support. They also have a lot more fiberglass than a fish
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
Sooner or later, you're going to encounter a speed bump. Give it a try—and watch for "whiplash"—before proceeding further.
 

Alan S. Glos

Well-Known Member
I have built transverse, fitted bunks for Sunfish. They are usually about 5 feet apart and the hull rests on the bunks centered which results in overhangs of 3 to 4 feet, bow and stern.
As long as the hull is tied down snugly, I have not had any problems with this rig even with fairly stiff trailer suspensions. Keep in mind that if you have leaf springs on the trailer frame, you can remove one of the springs to soften the ride. You might want to have a spring shop do the work as some special equipment/tools might be needed.

Attached are photos of my 4' x 4' box trailer with Sunfish bunks and my retrofitted Trailex trailer that shows the bunk placement and the soft suspension.

Alan Glos
Cazenovia, NY
 

Attachments

water rat

Member
I have built transverse, fitted bunks for Sunfish. They are usually about 5 feet apart and the hull rests on the bunks centered which results in overhangs of 3 to 4 feet, bow and stern.
As long as the hull is tied down snugly, I have not had any problems with this rig even with fairly stiff trailer suspensions. Keep in mind that if you have leaf springs on the trailer frame, you can remove one of the springs to soften the ride. You might want to have a spring shop do the work as some special equipment/tools might be needed.

Attached are photos of my 4' x 4' box trailer with Sunfish bunks and my retrofitted Trailex trailer that shows the bunk placement and the soft suspension.

Alan Glos
Cazenovia, NY
Nice work..I will probably get the trailer shop to remove a spring on either side when we get a couple of bad weather days. They were the ones who rigged my beds so they fit the hull at no charge. .
 

fhhuber

Member
Check your state laws... There is some amount (usually about 3 or 4 ft) that something can stick out past the back of your vehicle without some form of warning flag and/or lights.

That would apply the boat sticking out behind the rearmost part of the trailer.

The Sunfish (and many other light boats) can stick out 5 ft easily and ride just fine.

The rule has to do with visibility of the trailer stop/turn and running lights. If something is sticking too far back it can completely disappear at night and it can block the lights from being visible.

If you panic stop and the boat is sticking too far back... someone rear ending you is your fault. Day or night... all they have to say is the boat blocked them from seeing the brake lights
 

eseibel67

New Member
I find that a Sunfish hull is fairly soft. I wouldn't use any type of bunks on a road trailer unless they are positioned right under the chines and the road was ultra smooth. It looks like Alan's trailers in the pics above would spread the load sufficiently with soft springs. Retrofitting hydraulic shocks to a leaf spring trailer also reduces the pounding tremendously.
 

water rat

Member
I find that a Sunfish hull is fairly soft. I wouldn't use any type of bunks on a road trailer unless they are positioned right under the chines and the road was ultra smooth. It looks like Alan's trailers in the pics above would spread the load sufficiently with soft springs. Retrofitting hydraulic shocks to a leaf spring trailer also reduces the pounding tremendously.
bunks are under the chines and the strongest part of the boat. Akan's trailers can safely haul a fish but for those just starting out with little cash a second hand road trailer for a 4 or 5 hundred dollar boat can get them on the water. Any trailer shop worth a cent can take a jet ski trailer and wit less than $50 worth of parts show a parson how to fit the boat to the bunks and knock out a leaf spring for them. A complete hub and axle inspection should also be done and Buddy Bearings added.
 

water rat

Member
Check your state laws... There is some amount (usually about 3 or 4 ft) that something can stick out past the back of your vehicle without some form of warning flag and/or lights.

That would apply the boat sticking out behind the rearmost part of the trailer.

The Sunfish (and many other light boats) can stick out 5 ft easily and ride just fine.

The rule has to do with visibility of the trailer stop/turn and running lights. If something is sticking too far back it can completely disappear at night and it can block the lights from being visible.

If you panic stop and the boat is sticking too far back... someone rear ending you is your fault. Day or night... all they have to say is the boat blocked them from seeing the brake lights
Very good advice and a good way to avoid accident headache. I just had an anus crater ram a trailer with two kayaks on it. Each boat had a red flag on the stern. His insurance company paid all bills with no objection.
 
Top