trailer dimples


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Thread starter #1
I'm considering purchasing a 1990 Capri 14.2 for $1000. The boat is in decent shape but has been on a trailer for 2 years and there is a substantial dimple (about 1 ft diameter and 3/4 inch deep) in the hull resulting from the front trailer roller and 2 minor dimples from the trailer bunks.
1) How much of a problem is this?
2) Does it have to be repaired?
3) Can I do the repairs myself?

Thanks in advance
Hi Eben,
It's really hard to say whether your dimples are a problem or not without seeing pictures and having the ability to depress the gelcoat and guess the possibility of any de-lamination. There is some flexibility in the hull underneath. Do these dimples pop out when the hull is off the trailer?

Assuming these dimples are permanent, they will affect the speed of the boat through the water. A smooth, well-faired hull moves the fastest. My guess is it won't slow you down that much; likely less than 5%. If top speed is crucial, more important for these boats are well-fitted sails and the skill to draw their best shape and angle.

Should you buy it? I think so. My boat was also $1,000 and like yours, it has problems (blisters) with it's hull fairness. Otherwise it is perfectly usable and I never see the blisters unless I crawl under the boat. Given the cost of a new boat and how newness has absolutely no correlation to fun, I think you found a bargain.

Welcome to the forum!


New Member
Thread starter #3
Jim--thanks for the reply. The large dimple due to the front roller didn't pop out when I lifted the bow for 30 seconds or so and I didn't check the rear dimples. Since I'm not sailing competively I'm not real concerned about top speed--I'm more worried about debilitating damage and expensive repairs.

Hey Eben,
It doesn't sound like you have anything to be concerned about but here's a test to make sure. The worst case scenario is a de-lamination, which can be common under certain conditions. De-lamination is where the various plies can come apart, drastically reducing strength.

To test for de-lamination, have someone hold the boat up again, or slide it to the side so you have access to the front dimple. Take your knuckle and rap the dimple like you're a carpenter looking for a stud behind some drywall. If the sound is tight, hollow and drum-like, you're OK. If the sound is tinny, rattle-like or thin, it's probably a de-lamination.

Let us know what you find out, OK?


New Member
Thread starter #5
Hi Jim,

I got under the boat and tapped with my knuckles, a small wooden hammer and a small rubber hammer. Around the dimple it sounds hollow but rigid--no rattling but definitely not as solid as around the centerboard, for instance. I suspect there is simply too much weight on the trailer roller. The trailer is set up with 2 rear bunks and only 1 front roller about 2.5-3 feet back from the bow so there is substantial weight on the one roller.

Hey Eben,
This sounds optimistic to me. It seems your boat is OK but the dealership which originally sold it set up the trailer incorrectly. I say this only because the trailer which came with my boat has no roller in the position you describe. Instead, it has two carpeted bunks over the wheels which support most of the boats weight, and the v-shaped bow support mounted on the winch stand. There is nothing in between.

It might be possible to remove the keel roller and take the pressure off the dimple. The two rear bunks on my trailer are about 7' long and centered over the wheels. Are your bunks centered over the wheels? Is the tongue weight low enough to easily lift the front of the trailer (about 35 pounds)? If so, you should be able to remove the roller.

If you can remove the roller, you might be able to get the hull to reset to the original shape by applying pressure from the inside. I would try setting a heavy weight over the dimple. Or you could try a jam stick cut the exact length between the underside of the deck and inside of the dimple. But I wouldn't sail or travel with the stick in place for fear it might get poked through the hull.

Good luck!
keel roller needed?

I'll revive this thread with a question. Is the keel roller needed? My trailer has one in the about the same position eben describes.

I also have the two rear bunks, both about six feet long. These were incorrectly set up by the dealer, but are now correct.

I am thinking of replacing the 5 inch spool-type roller with an 8" v-roller which would spread the pressure of the hull a little better. Our boats have an almost flat hull in that forward area, so the spool type roller really concentrates the pressure on just two relatively small points.

I think removing the keel roller entirely would put too much force at an oblique angle on that bow roller; if your winch strap slips at all, the bow will drop and possibly hit the trailer (a bad!).

What do you folks think? Do you have keel rollers, forward bunks, nothing?
What is the minimum number of rollers that should be used to support a Catalina 14? I have a roller beacher and only 3 pairs of hard plastic rollers support its entire weight. I assume that is OK, otherwise such a beaching setup would not be very useful.

Gary, the dolly in this link is supposedly for the Capri 14.2:

It is similar to ones they use at the Mission Bay Aquatic Center to store their Holder 14's.

You'll notice they have webbing slings that distribute the weight a bit better than hard rubber rollers; there's a small keel cradle and a bow stop The MBAC skippers just pull out the boats and park them in their gated lot, prop the front of the dolly on a crate and remove the drain plug.

Here's a pict in case that link dies: