Correct sizing of trailer to boat?

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Tin Man

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This boat is new to me....

I have a new to me 2017 Alumacraft V16. It has a 2017 Yamaha 25 and a 2017 Karavan trailer.
Total weight for boat and motor: 500#
Battery, fuel, accessories: 300#
Total package: approx. 800#


All three were sold new as a package from Cabelas.
They have been all together since 2017 and have been towed at least 5000 miles over the past 5 years; apparently with no issues (reported to me by previous owner).

The trailer is the smallest boat trailer Karavan makes.
Single Axle 1250# Bunk Trailer | Karavan Trailers

https://www.karavantrailers.com/product/single-axle-1250-bunk-trailer



Alumacraft V16 Specs/Dimensions/Capacities:

https://www.alumacraft.com/us/en/models/hunt-and-utility/v-series.html#v-series

Based on the boat specs, is the Karavan trailer appropriate for the boat?

NOTES (see attached pics - click on pics so they can be viewed upright):
The bow of boat is approximately 20" from coupler end.
The sides of hull, at chine, are approx. flush with outside edge of fenders/tires (hull above fenders).
Bunk boards are 2"x4"x5'. I adjusted the boat forward so that the rear part of boards stick out past hull 2".

I was planning on adding a Fulton Fold away tongue and add 2'-3' feet of tongue. This is mainly for launching purposes (so vehicle wheels/tires do not have to go too deep).

I have OCD so details can bother me to obsession!
I tend to overthink/overbuild everything!

Is the trailer appropriate for the boat?
Is trailer wide enough?
Is it long enough?

Thanks!
 

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MN Fisher

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I don't see a coupler on the front of that trailer - but even if it's 'right there'...I think you're good to go...just don't take tight turns if the coupler is mounted right at the end there.

Rear looks good - you got the transom supported on the bunks...that's the main thing.
 

Tin Man

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I removed the tongue to install a Fulton fold away tongue. I'll add a 3' section of 3"x3" of tongue.

Does width of trailer and how boat fits in between appear ok?

Thoughts?
 

MN Fisher

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I don't think you need 3' - my winch-mount on the F-9 is only 2' back from the front of the coupler....about the same distance it was on my old Duo runabout...that was plenty of distance for tight corners.

Ya, long as it's between the outside edges of the tires, I think it's fine.

Only thing I'd do...put a couple keel-rollers on ... mainly just in case one or both of the bunks fail for some reason...then the boat doesn't fall onto the trailer frame.
 

MrGiggles

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Looks right to me.

There's a couple things to look for, mainly if the bunks extend an inch or so past the transom, that's important or the bunks will hammer a dent in the hull. The other is trailer length and how the boat sits on it for weight distribution, I've seen some rig a boat on a trailer that is way too short, you can extend the bunks and "make it work", but it's difficult to get the weight set up right to pull decent because the axle is too far ahead.

Adding some length seems like a good idea since that is a rather tall trailer. One thing that you may want to add is a pair of guide bunks on both sides, without them it can be a little difficult to load in heavy wind/current.
 

FishinLite

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I am sure the boat /trailer combo works, but I am more used to seeing the wheels and fenders outside the edge of the boat. That way the fenders can be used as a step and the boat sits lower on the trailer. With the boat lower it is easier to launch and retrieve. You don't have to back as far into the water.

Look at my avatar
 

poorthang

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everyone has great advice here. if i may add to the idea of fenders and lowering the boat on the trailer. maybe install the axle on top of springs, but only if the tires will clear the fenders and the fenders clear the boat. to get that to work in shallow water launches, you would have to widen the axle to stick out beyond the boats edge and modify (replace) the bunk brackets so to drop the boat down into the trailer lower.
where you are located , the current setup may be great.!
 

eeshaw

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I think the trailer was bought based on the weight of the hull and engine package. To me it looks like it could be tippy, i.e. short axle. I prefer an axle that has the wheels on the outside of the hull, not underneath. The lower the boat sits on the trailer frame the better to me. You don't have to back in as far to launch like has been mentioned. I do agree with you though, I'd put the 3 foot extension on if it were mine. The suggestion that it could use guide-ons would be a definite plus. I won't start the transom saver debate. If you were to drop the package closer to the trailer I'd suggest one, not a requirement for a light engine but that's also a light boat. The one thing I see that is total overkill is the double roller tongue jack. You should send that to me and I'll exchange it for the proper one. :mrgreen:
 

LDUBS

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If my boat was not perfectly centered it would rub on one fender or the other. I used 3/4" wheel spacers to widen the track (had to 'fabricate" some "custom" brackets to adjust the fenders out).

I agree with the guide posts/bunks. Those can save you a lot of headaches.

X2 - make sure you have 10% - 15% tongue weight. Personally, I wouldn't go below 12%.
 

Tin Man

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eeshaw said:
I think the trailer was bought based on the weight of the hull and engine package. To me it looks like it could be tippy, i.e. short axle. I prefer an axle that has the wheels on the outside of the hull, not underneath. The lower the boat sits on the trailer frame the better to me. You don't have to back in as far to launch like has been mentioned. I do agree with you though, I'd put the 3 foot extension on if it were mine. The suggestion that it could use guide-ons would be a definite plus. I won't start the transom saver debate. If you were to drop the package closer to the trailer I'd suggest one, not a requirement for a light engine but that's also a light boat. The one thing I see that is total overkill is the double roller tongue jack. You should send that to me and I'll exchange it for the proper one. :mrgreen:

Double wheel jack....they were out of single wheel....Harbor Freight $32!!!! :mrgreen:
 

MrGiggles

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eeshaw said:
I think the trailer was bought based on the weight of the hull and engine package. To me it looks like it could be tippy, i.e. short axle.

I word on tippy trailers. My last boat was a 14' Alumacraft with a Spartan tilt trailer. The tires were wider than the boat, but not by much. The axle width was probably 5 feet or so.

One day I was pulling onto the highway and didn't swing quite wide enough, the trailer dropped into a pretty deep hole off the shoulder. When it came up out of the hole, it bounced up a foot or so on one wheel! Was quite a show from the rear view, it was close to going all the way over.
 

Macintosh

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I actually have done just this on a 1990's version of that exact boat. It was on a very small trailer based on weight, fit was essentially identical to yours, although your trailer looks a lot nicer than mine was. I dont know about the newer ones, but the older version of that boat was actually 16' 7", and mine was sitting on a trailer that was fine by weight, but was designed for a 14-16' boat, so length was more than maxed. I had to skootch it forward to have the transom and engine/battery weight supported by the bunk boards, and then it was sitting too close for comfort to my tailgate. Rather than add a swing tongue to add length, I simply slid a piece of 3/16"x2.5x2.5 square tube steel into the trailer tube about 3 feet with the extra foot or so I wanted sticking out the front, drilled 2 big holes and used grade-5 5/8" bolts to hold it in place. I actually had a really nice trailer that came under a big lund fishing boat years ago that had a factory "removable tongue" that functioned this way, one tube slid into the other held in place by tractor hitch pins. Unless you truly need the storage space of a swing tongue, doing it that way is probably stronger than the folder and will save you $100+ that you can put into those side-bunks, and in a pinch you can still slide it out if you need to. Plus, if your trailer tube is less than 3/16" wall it may not be as strong as the fold-away piece needs--my trailer was only 1/8" wall so I was far more confident sliding another piece of channel inside it.
I guess I have come to really appreciate a nice boat trailer. I never gave trailers much thought, but a nice trailer makes a big difference in how easy and efficient it is to trailer and launch. I've been lucky in that all of the boats I've owned (until the above mentioned one) had super-nice, factory-fitted trailers that were perfectly configured to support the boat well while being really easy to launch and then put back on the trailer. If it were my trailer I wouldn't worry so much about the width until I made sure I had enough support under the parts of the boat where there's weight (engine, batteries, gear, maybe even a person when launching, etc) so it doesn't create dents, make sure there is a roller or bunk positioned so the boat doesn't hit the trailer-frame when launching or trailering, make sure the winch-height snugs it up nice and secure without having to lift it by hand, etc, and make sure the tie-downs are solid and secure. The side-bunks will be really nice on a boat like this too, with the added benefit of providing visibility of the trailer as you back it up empty (without those I have to lower my tailgate to see the trailer when backing it up, which is no biggie unless there's stuff in the bed on a steep ramp. Lowering tailgate to back it up while empty also means you need more distance between winch tower and tailgate.). The one thing I notice in your photo is that the bunks appear pretty far apart--if there isnt a roller in the center you may hit the bow on the trailer-frame when launching and trailering, so if you try it and that's the case think about adding a center roller where the bow hits the trailer frame, and/or a second set of bunks inside those other two to support the engine weight in the center and keep the bow up a bit as it slides onto the trailer. But honestly the trailer looks pretty well fitted to me, so its likely a non-issue. To me all of this is conjecture at best before you've played with it a bit on the water--best done with some extra time at an uncrowded boat-ramp where you can take your time and fiddle with stuff without holding anyone else up or getting rushed. If you've trailered a bunch of boats and have a sense of whats easy to get on a trailer and what's not, then once or twice loading and unloading it at the ramp will tell you everything you need to know. Aside from a true safety issue, anything beyond that is a distant second step if you ask me.
 

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