Here you will find a range of helpful topics for choosing the right trailer configuration, rollers or bunks, advantages and disadvantages.
Plastic materials rollers and bunks are made of, common problems and some safety advice.
Browse through and enjoy.
Make yourself a "Best Mate”.
This is a piece of rope spliced permanently to the bow of the boat.
When you get a new boat, the first thing you should do is go and buy a piece of rope that will go from the bow to the stern of your boat.
Most boats have a crucifix or cleat on the bow to tie off your anchor rope.
Splice a loop in one end tight around this, as this will be a permanent feature.
If you don't know how to splice, have a go, it is rewarding and helpful.
Cut the rope to a length that if it falls in the water it can not entangle the prop.
Then splice a loop in the stern end . You can use the back loop to make a lasso or a number of other useful uses.
Lay the rope alongside the gunwale past the windscreen or cabin and then hitch it around your starboard transom crucifix or cleat to keep it out of the way.
It is a permanent feature of your boat and will be your Best Mate when you are on your own.
What will I use this rope for ?
It is great and handy if you have to operate your boat on your own.
You will find many practical uses, you can drive up to a jetty and throw it to somebody to secure your boat, you can often flick it yourself around a pile, helpful if people fall over board, and it is particularly useful if you have to launch and retrieve your trailer boat alone.
It does not matter if your boat is a 10 foot dinghy or a 40 foot game boat… if you are the sole person on board it will become your Best Mate.
The Spitfire 2021-5G GLIDE-ON Model trailers are the easiest for launching and retrieving your boat and they are is the easiest and safest trailer for boat protection .
There are no roller brackets to scratch your hull.
Spitfire's 2021 Glide-On Models are a simple, practical drive on trailer and have taken boat trailers out of the 1970s into the 21 Century.
Spitfire trailers offer the lowest height entries of any boat trailers on the market, which is ideal for operation in shallow water.
However because the entry height is so low, on some shallow V hulls the mudguards and boat may contact.
To avoid this the mudguard height is adjustable on all of Spitfire’s 2021 Model boat trailer range.
1. On fibreglass boats, carpet causes osmosis.
Osmosis it the cancer of fibre glass.
There are many technical descriptions of osmosis in relation to fibreglass.
A simple explanation is osmosis is the transfer of moisture through an almost waterproof material.
Fibreglass boats have a Gel Coat outer finish.
Gelcoat is water proof if you wash your boat, but with long term exposure to moisture, the moisture will penetrate the Gel coat surface and cause a breakdown and chemical reaction to the resin holding the glass fibre.
At first it appears as blisters on the surface and seems an unsightly pity, however as it grows like a cancer it destroys the resin that holds the glass, blisters will ooze an oily like brown fluid and the once steel hard hull becomes soft and spongey with no integral strength.
It can be cut out and repaired but usually, like cancer, is not always successful.
Osmosis caused by carpet bunks.
Why do carpet bunks cause osmosis.
This is where you need to, not believe anything you hear or read, but think for your self.
The reality of a carpet bunk is it comes out of the water wet.... usually wet with salt water.
That would be good if it dried out… which it might the next day… but night fall comes and your boat gets covered in dew and the dew runs down the side of your boat and where does it stop… ?
On the carpet bunk.
They absorb like water to a sponge.
Adding to this, if not thoroughly washed, after use in salt water, and that is pretty impossible to do that with a boat sitting on it, the water dries and the salt remains and on any humid day, even without rain or dew the salt collects moisture from the air.
It would be OK if you lived at Alice Springs and there was dry air with little dew… but you have a boat and so you live near the coast and all costal areas enjoy dew…. Or in the case of Fibreglass boats and carpet bunks, suffer from dew.
Souther States like Tasmania, Victoria are bad because the cold winters keep the carpet wet longer
Tropical States like Queensland are worse because you have in addition to the dew, you have humidity, afternoon thunderstorms, and heat.
Southern Queensland gets most of it’s rainfall from December to February and in the far north you have the Monsoon Seasons which can run from October to March.
This continual wet carpet either from dew, rain, salt crystal absorption keeping the carpet wet is the cause of osmosis and will destroy a fibreglass hull.
The end result is very expensive.
Never ever use carpet bunks on fibreglass hulls.
2.Carpet collects sand and becomes sandpaper.
Again, do not believe anything you read on the web...Think about this and form your own opinion.
Boat ramps are usually very busy places on good boating days.
The water is shallow and with many boats using the ramp and the sand is churned up… or even if you are the only boat on that day, if you have bunks, then chances are you drive your boat off the trailer.
Think about what happens when you put your motor in reverse and back it off.
The prop is close to the bottom and stirs up sand off the ramp floor and swirls it forward all over your bunks.
Drive your trailer to the car park and the water runs off and while you are boating and the carpet dries… but the sand is caught in the fibres.
Do this 5 or 6 times and you have made the perfect carpet sandpaper to buff the beautiful gel coat surface on your fibreglass hull.
Worse than that you have removed the glass finish surface and made it easier for water permeation to cause osmosis.
3. On aluminium boats Carpet accelerates corrosion through electrolysis.
True carpet on aluminium is not as bad as carpet on glass, but it is still a No... No..
Todays aluminium boats come in two finishes.
Raw mill finish aluminium hulls…. or painted hulls on many smaller to mid size boats.
On the painted hull… simple… carpet bunks will just blister your paint from the continual moisture of dew, rain or humidity attracted by residue salt crystals.
The raw mill finish hulls will suffer a little more as most carpet bunks are on wood which is secured to different metals supports and this might mean anything from or a combination of steel, galvanised, aluminium, stainless steel supports, galvanised bolts or stainless steel staples and when your aluminium hull is in continual contact with different metals of different nobility and there is a conductive connection fluid, as in a wet carpet bunk … then you are creating a battery which is called electrolysis.
Carpet bunks on an aluminium hull will cause corrosion and pitting as a result of electrolysis.
In simple terms, while many trailer manufactures see carpet bunks as a cheap alternative…Carpet will wreck your boat, be it fibreglass or aluminium.
Osmosis caused by carpet bunks.
Spitfire Trailer Bunks
Our bunks are made from solid HDPEUV.. hard and shiny…..set on an angle... this helps protect the hull if hit side on in unfavourable loading conditions.
Unlike carpet, it will not remain wet from any dew or rain will run off.
Generally speaking no.
Having said that, any two materials making contact under movement will wear to some degree.
Older fibreglass hulls oxidise and a white powder is present on most old hulls.
Normally this powder can not be readily seen.
This powder will show up on the bunks, but this same powder would rub off into a carpet bunk, but not be so noticeable.
Spitfire Bunks are formulated and extruded in a hardness which is a little softer than Gelcoat so that any wear will wear the bunk rather than your hull.
Given the choice, any material except carpet, puts you ahead of very expensive damage.
Wheel bearings are far the most troubling issue with boat trailers but this is a thing of the past on Spitfire Braked Trailers.
The problem with wheel bearings on any brand of trailer is physics.
The problem is not the bearings or seals or the brand of them but the fact that you can not drive for several kilometres, get very hot hubs from breaking and plunge those hot hubs into cold water without contraction sucking in some water.
Bearing Buddies have falsely been believed to be the solution to maintaining bearings... but reality is that while they might make you feel good... they do not... and can not work.
Your hub is a sealed unit and it is not possible, unless you have a leaking seal, to pump grease into a sealed hub....
If you force it in... you will pop a seal.
THE DIAGRAM ABOVE SHOWS THE FUNCTION OF SPITFIRE'S BRAKED TRAILER AXLES.
Simply.... there is a rubber plug which seals the outer bearing.
Jack the wheel off the ground so you can turn it by hand....remove this plug and you will see a grease nipple.
Pump grease into the hub as the wheel is being slowly turned and the internal grease will be ejected beside the grease nipple and replaced with new grease.
When you see new grease appear, wipe off excess old grease, probably it is water contaminated grease and replace the rubber plug.
It does not get any simpler than this.
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