Help adjusting trailer bunks/rollers PLEASE

Tbird650

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Hi guys,

First of all love the site! Lots of great info! I’m on the second boat since I found this site:)

I just got this 14’-4” western a few weeks ago, guy said it had been stored for the last ten years and I wasn’t able to get anything beyond that for history. It came with this trailer but I’m thinking it is not the original and needs some help...

I’m looking for some feed back on what I’m thinking about doing

1. Replace the current bunks with longer ones covered in vinyl (currently about 5-6’ maybe replace with 8-9’?)
2. Move bunks to location 2 (or would 1 be better?)
3.move bow roller up to where keel is not riveted( the keel itself is a thin I-beam that looks like I shouldn’t be putting weight on, as it is it’s floating in the front with the winch holding it. What you guys think about that??)

As it is I’m one guy and I don’t have anyone to bounce ideas off of and any input would be awesome.
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JL8Jeff

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Longer bunks should help distribute the weight better but it depends if the bottom of the boat has any curve to it then it might not even rest on the ends of longer bunks. I think position 2 would work better, try to get the bunks just inside the strakes and it helps make it almost self centering when loading. My boat is more of a flat bottom so it works for me, you could try it and see if it makes it feel like it wants to lean/tip to the side too much. That keel is kind of strange and you could try moving the bow roller forward (I did on my trailer) but you might need more of a V style bow roller if it still contacts that keel section. It's tough to tell in your pictures if the bunk brackets can pivot or not. You could get the pivot style brackets and that should make it easier to get the bunk angle to match the boat bottom.

Here's a picture of my trailer after I removed the rollers and went to bunks. You can kind of see how the top of the bracket can pivot. After this picture, I ended up moving my bow roller forward another foot or 2 since the boat sat lower with the bunks vs the rollers.
 

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LDUBS

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I would not have any part of that keel resting on any roller when the boat is fully loaded. Doing that will likely result in bending the keel. Moving the front roller to that more substantial looking part of the bow (your ? and arrow) seems like a good idea to me. I don't think you want the weight of the boat hanging from the bow eye.

I agree with JL8Jeff's comments about using position #2.

Whatever you end up doing lengthwise, make sure the bunks extend back enough so that the transom is fully supported. This is pretty important and your current bunks don't do that. Extending them back 1/2" to 1" behind your transom is good.
 

Tbird650

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Cool thanks for the feed back guys.

I guess my big concern was that keel. It looks like 3/16 maybe 1/4 and would taco if I look at it too hard lol.

I noticed that the bunks didn’t reach the transom when I got it and thought there was room to move the bow stop/winch post and pull it up 4” but then when I saw how the bunks were sitting I figured it was just put on this trailer and they were never adjusted for this boat. I just want to be able to sleep at night knowing I can hit a bump and not worry.
I have a 9.9 I’m going to put on and all together should be 450-500lb max

It’s a 98’ western w-14. Looks pretty clean and I would just like to keep it that way. For the time being I’m just going to pull it up a little and adjust the current bunks. See what that looks like before I go buying 100$ worth of chit lol
 

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LDUBS

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That is a very clean looking rig -- congrats! The storage in each of the benches is a nice touch.

I agree with your approach. A few essentials like rod holders and then use it! That boat can be enjoyed just the way it is. After you have some time on the water you will have a better feel for what if any changes/additions you might want.
 

Douglasdzaster

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JL8Jeff said:
Longer bunks should help distribute the weight better but it depends if the bottom of the boat has any curve to it then it might not even rest on the ends of longer bunks. I think position 2 would work better, try to get the bunks just inside the strakes and it helps make it almost self centering when loading. My boat is more of a flat bottom so it works for me, you could try it and see if it makes it feel like it wants to lean/tip to the side too much. That keel is kind of strange and you could try moving the bow roller forward (I did on my trailer) but you might need more of a V style bow roller if it still contacts that keel section. It's tough to tell in your pictures if the bunk brackets can pivot or not. You could get the pivot style brackets and that should make it easier to get the bunk angle to match the boat bottom.

Here's a picture of my trailer after I removed the rollers and went to bunks. You can kind of see how the top of the bracket can pivot. After this picture, I ended up moving my bow roller forward another foot or 2 since the boat sat lower with the bunks vs the rollers.
Not to hi jack the OPs thread but you just answered one of mine. I have a 16/52 flat bottom that is on 2x6s on edge and wanted to change to 2x4s but was worried about support. Mine being flat I’m also adding a cross bunk close to the front. How are your 2x4s attached I noticed no hardware on top?
 

JL8Jeff

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Douglasdzaster said:
JL8Jeff said:
Longer bunks should help distribute the weight better but it depends if the bottom of the boat has any curve to it then it might not even rest on the ends of longer bunks. I think position 2 would work better, try to get the bunks just inside the strakes and it helps make it almost self centering when loading. My boat is more of a flat bottom so it works for me, you could try it and see if it makes it feel like it wants to lean/tip to the side too much. That keel is kind of strange and you could try moving the bow roller forward (I did on my trailer) but you might need more of a V style bow roller if it still contacts that keel section. It's tough to tell in your pictures if the bunk brackets can pivot or not. You could get the pivot style brackets and that should make it easier to get the bunk angle to match the boat bottom.

Here's a picture of my trailer after I removed the rollers and went to bunks. You can kind of see how the top of the bracket can pivot. After this picture, I ended up moving my bow roller forward another foot or 2 since the boat sat lower with the bunks vs the rollers.
Not to hi jack the OPs thread but you just answered one of mine. I have a 16/52 flat bottom that is on 2x6s on edge and wanted to change to 2x4s but was worried about support. Mine being flat I’m also adding a cross bunk close to the front. How are your 2x4s attached I noticed no hardware on top?

The bunks are attached to the brackets with some short lag bolts.
 

airshot

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Get rid of the lag bolts and go with thru bolts with nuts, preferably nyloc nuts. Being wet/ dry the lag bolts will work there way out. Why not carpet in the bunks, slippery and easy on the aluminum hull. Normally the keel is the strongest part of the hull but your looks weird... as mentioned look for deeper V rollers to support the hull while also supporting the keel at the same time. Keep us posted
 

Ronbedard57

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Hi,
Nice set-up! I'd add that you could easily check total weight/tongue weight ratio once you've got the bunks sorted out. Load it up like you're going to tow it, and head over to the local junkyard or transfer station. Most will let you weigh the boat and trailer. Back at home, measure the tongue weight with a bathroom scale and a 2x4 "T" cut to match the tongue height when towing. You're shooting for 10-12% of total weight.
If you're off, you can move the axle position forward or back to get where you want to be. Insufficient tongue weight allows the trailer to exert an upward force on the ball every time you hit a bump. The hitch mechanism wears out too soon this way. Too much tongue weight causes other issues not the least of which is the exertion needed to move the trailer around manually.
When this is done correctly, the rig tows without swerving, and the least possible strain is placed on the vehicle and hitch parts.
Best of luck,
Ron
 

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