What's new

tongue weight question


New Member

I'm the new owner of a 2003 Catalina EXPO 14.2 on a Load Rite 15' trailer.
When I bought the boat and measured the tongue weight at the hitch, it was 120 lbs. I pushed back the crank post / mast crutch, as well as the boat, as far as possible and shifted forward the axle by an inch or two. That reduced the tongue weight to 90 lbs. I figure the boat, mast and sail weigh 350 lbs and the trailer 200 lbs for a total of about 550 lbs. 90 / 550 is 16-17%. Recommended tongue weight is 5-15%. Does anyone have any advice or experience in lessening tongue weight?

Dave in Kansas
Lighten Up !

Hi Dave --
I trust others on this forum will correct if I'm giving you bum advice, but my thinking is that if the boat is balanced and cradled well where you have it then don't worry about 2 or 3 percent tongue weight.

This is a little dingy, easy to tow and maneuver with. That little bit of weight isn't going to dive when you brake and shouldn't push your vehicle down much at the rear. 12 pounds is the equal of about three 2 liter soda bottles. Not enough tongue weight is dangerous, but I don't think this bit of extra will be for ya.

Relax, go sailing and enjoy your new boat, you can shift the axle a little more forward if you really think you need to next time you have it jacked up.

jim / so. fla. / toshita 1857


Tongue Weight

On a few occasions, I've seen trailers which were tail-heavy sway rapidly from side to side while pulled down the highway, and on one occasion with about an 18 ft. runabout, it resulted in a roll-over. So don't make the tongue too light and remember if you pack things in the boat, they will also affect weight distribution. Still with our light boats you ought to be able to lift the tongue onto and off the hitch if you are reasonably strong, so maybe 90 lbs is OK? RK


I think it's going to be pretty hard to get the tongue weight too high on this boat. As mentioned by others, the real danger is too light. However, unless you're pulling it with a SmartCar, I wouldn't worry too much.