Trailer launching with extension

Discussion in 'Trailer Sailors' started by Submarine, Aug 19, 2017. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. Submarine

    Submarine

    Joined Jul 5, 2017
    66 posts, 6 likes
    Hunter 25.5
    US Arizona
    So I'm getting close to being able to launch this Hunter 25.5. It has a 20ft IMG_20170819_121752.jpg IMG_20170819_121800.jpg IMG_20170819_122151.jpg long extension bar included with the trailer that attaches to the truck receiver with a tongue and the trailer with a ball mount as pictured. I'm wondering if anyone does it this way and how it works vs. taking off the tongue and removing the receiver from my truck and pinning it through there. The lakes I will be sailing at have rather long launch ramps so I'm thinking the extra pivot point will be problematic like when I back up tandem trailers at work. Thoughts?
     


  2. Sumner

    Sumner

    Joined Jan 31, 2009
    5,248 posts, 288 likes
    Macgregor & Endeavour 26S and 37
    US Utah's Canyon Country
    I've never done it or seen it in play but probably youtube videos on how others do it.

    I envision backing the trailer down to close to the water's edge on the ramp and then blocking the wheels and unhitching from the tow vehicle. Pull it forward and attach the tongue extension. Then pull ahead just enough to get rid of the blocking and then backing the boat down into the water.

    You would never be pushing the trailer while it is attached, just letting it go backwards with gravity on your side or forwards when you retrieve. I would do more research for sure but this is how I would envision doing it.

    A number of ramps I've been to would not be long enough to do the above. The trailer would drop off the end of the ramp into a hole. I'd make sure the ramps you want to use are long enough,

    Sumner
    ===========================================================
    1300 miles to The Bahamas and Back in the Mac...
    Endeavour 37 Mods...
    MacGregor 26-S Mods...
    Mac Trips to Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Canada, Florida, Bahamas
     


    LloydB likes this.
  3. Submarine

    Submarine

    Joined Jul 5, 2017
    66 posts, 6 likes
    Hunter 25.5
    US Arizona
    Yeah they should be long enough, as both lakes I expect to go to are used regularly by sailboats and both had their dams raised by 80 feet or so which meant the ramps had to be extended. What concerns me about doing the block method is the ramps tend to be really slippery at the waters edge to about 15 feet or so up. It's that heavily channeled concrete, where the channels are about an inch and a half wide by one inch deep. In Mexico I'll just pay to have them launch it as they have special built tractors with the engine about 10 feet in the air. The guy I bought it from included some heavy rope that was double braided into a chain of sorts and said he used that!
     


  4. vhoisington

    vhoisington

    Joined Mar 13, 2011
    139 posts, 35 likes
    Islander Freeport 41
    US Longmont
    I had a hunter 25 (older version with a full keel). The extension might work but most likely only the steepest ramps can use it. As mentioned back down to waters edge, block the trailer and then pull up to use the extension.

    On the other hand, I ignored the extension with my boats and used the strap method, two lengths of 30' 30lb nylon strap linked to trailer and truck. Plenty of room to ensure the trailer is in and the truck always stays dry. We launch boats up to a Catalina 30 at our club with this method and have for the last 20 or so years. Works great and isn't hard to learn to maneuver the trailer with the strap.

    Good luck
     


  5. Meriachee

    Meriachee

    Joined Aug 1, 2011
    3,269 posts, 1,114 likes
    Catalina 270
    CA Wabamun - on the orange ball
    Mine is aluminium tube so the trailer is limited to straight line only. It's a small price to pay for the weight savings, and it requires diligence at the ramp.
     


  6. Benny17441

    Benny17441

    Joined May 24, 2004
    5,764 posts, 420 likes
    CC 30
    US South Florida
    These are used in ramps that are long with a shallow slope to permit floating the boat without having to submerge the tow vehicles wheels. Yes you have to unhitch the trailer, hitch the extension bar to the trailer and then hitch the assembly back to the tow vehicle. Most of the time it is just easier to find a ramp with a deep slope but on occasions you may find yourself with a shallow ramp being the only alternative. Always consult with local knowledge about where is what lies beyond the end of the ramp, a smooth bottom or a large drop off.
     


  7. LakeShark

    LakeShark

    Joined Sep 15, 2016
    420 posts, 168 likes
    Catalina 22
    US Minnesota
    There are lots of gray threads on how to use extensions for launching. Here are a couple that helped me.

    https://forums.sailboatowners.com/index.php?threads/trailer-toungue-extension.181585/

    https://forums.sailboatowners.com/index.php?threads/a-question-of-balance.184405/

    What others have said about the end of the ramp is absolutely true. I was at a lake in WI this summer and was loading the boat with the extension when I needed to walk back to the axel to adjust something. I fell off the ramp into likely 8 feet of water where the sand was blown out from under the ramp from the power boats launching. When I stood back up on the ramp my tires had less than 6 inches before they would have fallen off likely damaging the axel and trailer.

    Once you learn your local ramps though it's no big deal to launch with the extension or strap method I do it every time I launch. If your extension mounts to the trailer firmly then you can extend it before approaching the ramp so long as you don't make to many tight turns but if you have to leave your wheel jack down for support then you want to be lined up before you install it. Try hooking it up in your drive way to get the feel for how it works and if you can post some pictures of it deployed likely someone here can help with more advice on how to make it as efficient as possible at the ramp.

    And what every you do do not pin the extension directly into the hitch after removing the ball portion. The load forces will tear your mounted hitch right off your truck with that much leverage.
     


  8. waterpirate

    waterpirate

    Joined Sep 6, 2015
    110 posts, 20 likes
    Unknown snipe
    US delaware bay
    I made my trailer extension permanent. It solved the problem of beach launching, and shallow long ramps. It made driving to the launch site only slightly more difficult than when the trailer was shorter. I also cut the ball receiver off and opted for a pintle ring. I have no faith or patience for a ball coupling.
    YMMV
    Eric
     


  9. Cowpokee

    Cowpokee

    Joined Jan 8, 2015
    317 posts, 186 likes
    MacGregor 26S, Goman Express 30
    US Kerr Reservoir
     


  10. Sumner

    Sumner

    Joined Jan 31, 2009
    5,248 posts, 288 likes
    Macgregor & Endeavour 26S and 37
    US Utah's Canyon Country


  11. Submarine

    Submarine

    Joined Jul 5, 2017
    66 posts, 6 likes
    Hunter 25.5
    US Arizona
    Thanks for your input everyone, I think I will modify the trailer side so it doesn't pivot at the trailer connection. Luckily I have a welder and haven't had anything I've welded break so this shouldn't be difficult
     


    waterpirate likes this.
  12. Cowpokee

    Cowpokee

    Joined Jan 8, 2015
    317 posts, 186 likes
    MacGregor 26S, Goman Express 30
    US Kerr Reservoir
    Cowpokee are you having to use that with the MacGregor?

    Sumner
    ============================================================
    No. That was used on my 30' Goman Express.

    Express 30 Loaded.jpg
     


  13. Crazy Dave Condon

    Crazy Dave Condon

    Joined Jun 8, 2004
    7,316 posts, 814 likes
    -na -NA
    US Anywhere USA
    @Submarine
    As a dealer, several of my trailers had long extensions. There is a lot of information but would take too long to write. Be glad to discuss my technigques and I was use to off loading up to the Hunter 340 with a tandem axle with long extension and retrieve it. The first thing I can tell you is that attachment chains are needed regardless. As suggested you need to know the ramps and check with the locals as they will know more than the far away week end warriors. Feel free to contact me. Even launched from bulkheads and over bridges.

    Crazy Dave Condon
     




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