Trailer roller height vs. bunks



Thread starter #1
OK, brought my new 14.2 Expo home yesterday. (Yeah, its' the Expo, but I think the hull is the same as the stayed rig). The trailer rollers are easily 3 inches below the hull, so all the weight is on the bunks. Shouldn't the rollers be raised to ease launching and retrieving? You wouldn't want them bearing much load, given their small area vs. the bunks. It would seem that they should be contacting the hull some to provide some support in the center. I can't lower the bunks as the fenders would then contact the hull.
My trailer has only bunks to support the boat when it is fully on the trailer. The rollers are there only to support the boat when it is almost off of the trailer, so the boat does not hit the trailer as it comes off the bunks. (Does this make sense?).

I have no problem launching as long as a I back far enough into the water so the boat begins to float. I have no problem retrieving (is that the opposite of launching?) as long as I use a winch. Bunks are much better support than rollers.

When launching, however, it is always a bit of drama. If I go too far into the water. the boat floats too much and begins to drift sideways off the trailer while still connected in the front. It is similar for retrieval: I have to back in far enough so the bunks will provide support when the boat is back on the trailer, but not so far that the boat floats over the trailer because it will drift off between when I get it set and when I get back in the car to pull forward. Likewise, if I am not in far enough, it is too hard to winch onto the trailer.

So, basically it takes a litte bit of practice to get it down pat.

What is an expo?


New Member

This is my third sailboat, two of them trailerable. So, I know EXACTLY what you mean about the trailer depth when launching and retrieving. This is especially critical in a cross-wind. On one trailer I mounted side rollers. They helped, but not as much as they would on a motorboat. Given the curve of the boat, they have to be mounted forward of the widest part.

The Expo has a carbon-fiber, unstayed mast. The mast is bendy and the main furls around the mast. Check the Catalina site. The dealer here (Houston) that we deal with claims that these are outselling the traditional rig. Of course, if you want to race in a fleet, I'd stick with the stays and aluminum mast. For just sailing around and relaxing, this should be faster to rig and launch.

Ed Jones

Secretary/Vice Commodore
Trailer rollers

I think it's OK for the rollers to provide extra support ONLY if the rollers are WELL forward, where the hull is distinctly V-shaped, NOT further aft where it's flatter. Why? Because a point source of pressure on the flatter part will cause the hull to flex when you go over bumps, and sooner or later cracks will form. I've seen this happen, so it's not just theory.


New Member

I spent some time looking at the trailer and I talked to the dealer. I decided to raise them until they just touched the hull. DOn't really see that they're doing anything. THe bunks go further aft than the last roller, so they aren't going to help much with loading/unloading. Hopefully, it's a light enough boat that we won't have any problems.