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Tailpipe under water?

Mar 29, 2016
74
Cal 21 Sidney, ME
I just bought a Chrysler 26 Swing Keel on a trailer from a Chris Craft cabin cruiser. I suspect the boat is sitting higher than if on a purpose-built trailer. I'm concerned that when I back down the ramp, I'll need to have the truck's tailpipe underwater quite a bit. (I'd love to be wrong about this.) My question is: Is there any danger having the tailpipe underwater for 5 minutes or so with the engine running? I heard one horror story where a tailpipe was underwater, the engine stalled, and water got sucked into the engine. It seems to me that as long as there is exhaust pressure, and no vacuum between pulses, there is no danger.
I can add a tongue extension offset from the fixed tongue if it turns out I need to get the truck really deep, but I won't know this until my first trial launch.
Maybe I'm fretting unnecessarily. You can see in the pic the keel is practically right on the axles.
C26.jpg

Comments?
 
Apr 26, 2015
506
S2 26 Mid On Trailer
There is a reason I would never buy a used U-Haul pickup (the ones you can rent for $19.95 a day). I've seen my fellow local sailors drown them. The engine will keep running and make it back to the U-Haul dealer even after a foot of water in the bed and the driver could not get out due to water above the bottom of the door. These trucks just bubble away.
 
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Likes: sailme88
Apr 5, 2009
1,069
Catalina '88 C30 tr/bs Oak Harbor, WA
If you need to get out farther, this is better than an extension. spare tire launch I have had two trailers with extendable tongues and neither worked very well. With this, you back the trailer down to the edge of the water and block the tires on both sides. Then unhook and lower the jack down until the spare tire is supporting the tongue weight. Then attach a tow strap from the trailer to the hitch that is long enough to leave the truck high and dry.
 
Sep 24, 2018
805
O'Day 25 Chicago
I built a tongue extension for my trailer. My only attempt to pull the boat out without it didnt go well. My 2WD truck was dipped as far as possible into the water without submerging the trailer electrical connector. I only managed to pull it up a few feet before the tires spun and spun and spun. I also couldnt take my foot off the brake when stopped. The truck would slowly slide backwards in park. Long story short, I had to get pulled out by a fellow boater.

With my extension I backed up right before my rear tires touched the water and very carefully walked on the extension to winch the boat on to the trailer. I pulled the boat out without issues. It went so smoothly that my girlfriend who was napping in the passenger's seat didn't even notice.

Seeing the price of the spare tire carrier that Hayden posted I would give that a try first. I know I'm going to have trouble floating my boat off in the spring. @Hayden Watson To use this hub, I assume it gets mounted upside down and then the trailer is detached and tongue lowered until spare touches ground?

@jimshipsky The height of your boat on the trailer is similar to mine. It looks like you have a very well built trailer. A three axle trailer is somewhat uncommon for a 26' boat. I'm guessing it's very stable on the road?
 
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Jan 19, 2010
7,962
Hunter 26 Lake Martin AL
Based upon the way the bottom paint has faded, it looks like she floats a little high on her water line. You might get lucky and she will start to float off the pads before you have to get the third set of tires wet. BTW, that is a serious trailer for a 26' sailboat. Are those 2000# axles or the more common 5000#?


I'm guess that if you do have trouble you will only be short a few inches. It would probably only cost you $100 to have a welder weld a piece of square tube to the bottom of your existing trailer tongue to extend the tongue a half foot or so... you could run some long U-bolts between the existing tongue and the extended tongue in case you don't trust the welder (piece of mind stuff). But I would simply look for a steep ramp and do a test run before I go to all that trouble.
 
Apr 5, 2009
1,069
Catalina '88 C30 tr/bs Oak Harbor, WA
Seeing the price of the spare tire carrier that Hayden posted I would give that a try first. I know I'm going to have trouble floating my boat off in the spring. @Hayden Watson To use this hub, I assume it gets mounted upside down and then the trailer is detached and tongue lowered until spare touches ground?
It can be mounted in four directions up, down, front or back. Find the orientation that will allow the spare to support the tongue and allow you to lift the tongue jack off the ground but still give you sufficient ground clearance for travel.
This is the system that the big hydraulic semi-trailers that boat haulers use.
 

Tedd

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Jul 25, 2013
155
Macgregor 26S near Vancouver, BC
I suspect the "sucked into the engine" story has been embellished somewhat. There's no source of vacuum to suck the water up like that. A more realistic risk, if the engine were to stop, would be water flowing into the catalytic converter and damaging it from shock cooling.

I wouldn't worry about the tailpipe being a few inches below the water surface. If it's going to be more that that you might think about attaching an exhaust snorkle. It wouldn't be hard to rig it up so you only attach it when you launch.
 
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Likes: kloudie1
Nov 6, 2006
8,611
Hunter 34 Mandeville Louisiana
Would not be a problem to have exhaust under water a bit, as long as the engine does not stop.. if the truck has electronic fuel injection , the computer should compensate for the slower idle from the added back pressure and keep it running. If the engine stops, the condensing gasses in the muffler/tailpipes/converter will pull water into the system, but most likely wouldn't get as far uphill as the cylinder head itself..
 
Jan 19, 2010
450
Catalina 34 Casco Bay
Assuming the trailer tongue is box tubing, I'd cut the hitch end off. Measure the cross section of the tongue. Great luck would mean that the inside of the tongue is slightly larger than a stock exterior box tubing that you'll need to get... Other wise take that tongue to a metal fab shop. Have then build a sleeve that would fit inside of it and would properly receive another box tube. That sleeve should be welded to the trailer and the new box tube slides in and out extending your tongue. Frame hitch type pin will hold the extender in either the extended or retracted positions. It is very important that your tongue weight be light else you'll need to add a tag wheel to the extender..
 
Apr 5, 2009
1,069
Catalina '88 C30 tr/bs Oak Harbor, WA
The tongue weight was why I had problems with my two extendable tongues. They were on trailers for a Catalina 25 and a Clipper 26 and you need to have at least 10% of total trailer weight on the tongue or you get trailer sway. The tongue weight was between 400lbs - 500lbs and it put a bow in the extension so that it was really hard to get back in.
 
Sep 24, 2018
805
O'Day 25 Chicago
My tongue extension is very similar to what Sailme88 suggested. I was worried about slag and dents inside the tubing so I got the next size down and added some plastic slides on the end of extension and inside the end of the trailer tongue. The one disadvantage with this method is that you can't have anything that bolts through the tongue. In my case I had a support for the bow support that was through bolted. I used a kit that was made for mounting a spare tire mount. In other words, it clamps the outside of the tubing. I'd still go with the product Hayden mentioned before building a tongue extension. From what I can see it's cheaper and has some big advantages
 
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Jun 8, 2004
7,991
-na -NA Anywhere USA
Did that as a dealer many times. There are many things to consider. Be glad to talk with you. Send a private message from a perspective as a former dealer who designed trailers
 
Mar 29, 2016
74
Cal 21 Sidney, ME
Thanks to everyone for the good information and suggestions!
First, about that triple-axle trailer. The man I'm buying the C26 from acquired that trailer with a big old Chris Craft cabin cruiser on it. The boat was beyond redemption. He sold the two Gray marine engines out of the boat and kept the trailer for the C26.
The tongue is a good distance from the bow of the boat. There may be no launch issue at all. That would be lovely! But on my maiden voyage, I'd hate to be unable to launch the boat and have to go back home. After posting, it dawned on me that my Cal21 trailer has a telescoping tongue. It consists of a square steel tube, 2.5"x2.5",x0.250" wall thickness. It slides inside a 3x3 square steel tube. I can slide this extension right out of the trailer and take it along. I can weld a length of 3x3 tube to the underside of the C26 trailer tongue. Insert the extension and thru-bolt it.
I hadn't thought about sag, or deflection of this cantilevered tongue. I don't know the tongue weight, but I'm guessing there would be alarming deflection, if not tube buckling. I like the idea of having a tag wheel at the trailer. Could prevent an unpleasant situation. Maybe the tag wheel is one of those spare tire carriers?
My hesitancy about using a tow strap instead of an extension tongue has to do with hauling out. I've used some ramps that consist of precast concrete panels bolted together. At some point, they stop and there is a sharp dropoff to the bottom. I can imagine the trailer wheels dropping off that end, and it requiring a terrific force to get them back up. I envision the tow strap snapping. I don't think this will be a problem at my "home" ramp, but in late July I plan to launch at an unknown ramp on Penobscot Bay, so I can sail alongside the Eggemoggin Regatta. Once I get the C26 down there, I want to ensure that I can launch, even on a shallow pitch ramp.
I am searching for a tow vehicle, which must be 4WD anyway, due to the snow we get here in Maine.
 
Apr 5, 2009
1,069
Catalina '88 C30 tr/bs Oak Harbor, WA
The link (in blue) I provided in post #3 is the tag wheel using your spare tire. The tow strap I would use is a 4" wide nylon strap which would have enough capacity to lift your boat . (breaking strength 20,000lbs) tow strap
 

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  • Helpful
Likes: LloydB
Jan 19, 2010
7,962
Hunter 26 Lake Martin AL
At some point, they stop and there is a sharp dropoff to the bottom. I can imagine the trailer wheels dropping off that end,
I did this once. We had a drought back a few years and my home lake was down about 8'. No amount of pulling was going to get the tires back on the ramp. But this old-timer walks over and says to me.... take a line under your trailer back up to the winches and just float your trailer back under your boat.

Well it made me laugh but it worked like a charm. I used the tow strap to my boat's winches. :thumbup: