What to do with trailer tongue extension?

Jul 17, 2014
112
Hunter 23.5 Chesapeake Bay
Wow! First let me say how excited I am to find a forum with other Hunter 23.5 owners in it! Some other forums look down their noses at trail'r sail'rs.

Can someone help me with a trailer question please. I have a 1993 Hunter 23.5, one of the early models (Hull #18), and the stock trailer that came with it. The tongue of the trailer can extend by taking out a locking pin and pulling it out. I have never known what to do with the extension of the trailer tongue. Do you extend it to launch and retract it to tow? Or do you extend it to tow and retract it to launch?

It has actually been stuck for years in the retracted position, and I have launched many times in the retracted position without difficulty. Should I extend it to launch and if so is there much benefit to doing that? Or is launching with it retracted the right way? (pic isn't mine, but just like it)

Many thanks!
 

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Nov 9, 2012
2,499
Oday 192 Lake Nockamixon
You would generally tow with the extension retracted and well pinned. Then extend for launch and retrieval. I can tow my 18 footer around the parking lot and down the ramp with the 6' extension I fabricated, but other boat/trailer combos can not. Some folk have an extra wheel on the tongue so the works doesn't drag on the ground.

Most folk back the boat down to the water's edge, chock the wheels well, then use the tow vehicle to extend the hitch, pin off, then back the rest of the way in. This is especially true for full keel boats like a J24, which has a 25' extension that you HAVE to use.

Sounds like for your local launch area, it's steep enough that you can launch and retrieve without the extension, so I wouldn't worry about it, just keep doin' what you're doin', if it works for ya!
 
Jul 17, 2014
112
Hunter 23.5 Chesapeake Bay
Many thanks, Brian. That's what I thought, but just wanted another trailer sailor to verify that. Fair winds to ye'
 
May 25, 2004
958
Hunter 260 Pepin, WI
Hi KrustyKrab - and welcome to the forums.

Using the extension is dependent on the ramp and the trailer. My Catalina 22 had a single axle trailer. I needed to use the extension to get deep enough to float the boat off the trailer. My H260 has a two axle trailer. I have never needed to use the extension on the same ramp. The tongue on the larger trailer is much longer.

Since your extension is stuck, I suspect the previous owner never needed it either.
 
Jul 17, 2014
112
Hunter 23.5 Chesapeake Bay
Thanks Dave! It probably helps that I have the swing keel and don't need much draft to launch her. Maybe I will try to get the extension unstuck and try it out my next launch.
 
Feb 27, 2004
150
SunTracker 18 DLX PartyBarge Hoover Reservoir - Columbus OH
Krusty, I have found the extension to be most useful in retrieving my Hunter19 (also water ballast). It allows me to float the boat much higher onto the trailer. Launching can go either way, usually dependent upon lake level at the time. I always road tow with the extension retracted.

I have also found it much easier to extend or retract the tongue with the trailer disconnected from the tow vehicle and supported by the tongue jack. This allows me to raise or lower to aid in aligning the extension in the trailer.

I also suggest you visit http://forum.trailersailor.com for another trailer friendly forum.
 
Dec 23, 2008
762
Catalina 22 Central Penna.
If your setup is like the photo you attached I would think that you will not have any problems at any launch ramp with the hull sitting that low. Make sure you recover your boat with the trailer deep enough so that you don’t stress the bow eye by winching the hull up the bunks. The supplier of replacement parts for Catalina 22’s offered a heavy duty backing plate for their bow eye and now they offer a super duty backing plate, that tells me everyone is trying to winch their boats up the trailer like the power boaters do.

I would fix that tongue extension just in case you have to use it someday.
 
Jul 17, 2014
112
Hunter 23.5 Chesapeake Bay
Thanks Henry & Watercolors.

Henry, my tongue jack is attached to the part that extends, so I can't support it on that while extending. Is my tongue jack in the wrong place?

When I bought my boat the dealer showed me that I had to load it almost all the way on the trailer, then pull the trailer part way out of the water in order to tip up the bow or else it would catch the bow tip on the bow cradle. I would much prefer to float it all the way onto the bunks, but if I do and then pull out, the bow catches under the bow cradle as it tips up. Do you think they sold me the wrong trailer or are all Hunter 23.5's like that? I always assumed (don't make the tired pun please) that this was normal for this boat.

p.s. - I plan to Teflon spray the bunks (like "Liquid Rollers"). Those who have never done that I highly recommend it for ease of winching. Just don't unhook your winch strap until the boat is floating or it will slide right off of the bunks and onto the ramp. Google "Liquid Rollers" for some good stories.
 
Feb 27, 2004
150
SunTracker 18 DLX PartyBarge Hoover Reservoir - Columbus OH
Your jack should be mounted to the stationary part of the tongue. That will allow you to extend and retract the extension by hand.

I usually float the boat up as far as it will go then pull the trailer forward far enough to drain the ballast tank. If the boat is not far enough to winch it easily I will close the tank valve and back down to refloat enough to bring it forward. The bow is almost always 6" or so off of the bow stop so I end up winching it tight after I'm back on the level.

I agree on spraying down the bunks AND being cautious when backing it down after you have. wink wink nudge nudge say no more say no more!
 
Dec 23, 2008
762
Catalina 22 Central Penna.
Something is not right.

You’ll have to show us some photos; side view showing the length of the bunks and where the hull sits on them and a close up side view of the bow and winch hookup.

How long is this trailer extension? If the jack is attached to it and it’s only a couple feet long then it’s not for the launch ramp.

During recovery the bow should be floated up to about 3 feet from the bow chock and winch and then winch the bow eye up to its final resting position before pulling out of the water. The stern will go down to rest on the backend of the bunks but, if the bow is up to the chock where it’ should be it can not go up.

I never heard of spraying the bunks with Teflon, I have heard of soap but, if the trailer and hull are setup correctly then none of this stuff is needed. I hear guys talking about slamming on the brakes in the parking lot to slide the hull forward, again if the setup is correct.

Attached is a photo of all trailer sailboats at my marina, I have helped launch, sail and recover everyone over the years and not one of them has your problems!
 

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Jul 17, 2014
112
Hunter 23.5 Chesapeake Bay
Henry, my mistake, the jack is on the stationary part of the tongue. And I have some experience with liquid rollers on a SeaDoo trailer and forgetting to lock the winch when hauling out. Thankfully it was on a beach and not a ramp, but a real PIA to get it back in the water regardless. :redface: know whatahmean...

WC, I agree something is not right. I think the dealer was BS'ing me when he showed me how to use the trailer. When I haul out (see pic) the front of the keel will hit the front crossmember of the trailer, thus the DIY PVC pipe bumper (red arrow) on the crossmember. And if the boat is floated on too far the tip of the bow will catch under the bow chocks (blue arrow) as I pull out. So I have to load it part way - pull up a few feet - then winch it the rest of the way. Not easy when the ballast tank hasn't had a chance to drain yet.

The bunks look correct (pic #2), so I must be doing something wrong. Thoughts?
 

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May 25, 2004
958
Hunter 260 Pepin, WI
A common tactic with water ballast boats is to pull it out high enouth to drain the ballast, close the port and back the trailer into the water again. You can often get the lighter boat to sit better on the trailer for the finial pull out.
 
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Feb 27, 2004
150
SunTracker 18 DLX PartyBarge Hoover Reservoir - Columbus OH
My trailer has a 'rub strip' across the same area. One advantage of the extension is allowing you to get the trailer deeper so that the boat floats up to the front of the bunks. I usually dunk the wheels to the point where just the tops of the fenders and the front of the bunks are above water. This puts that crossmember deep enough to be out of the way.

With the boat floating above the trailer and using a bow line pull it as far forward as you can. Then step out onto the trailer and hook the winch strap to the eye. When you pull forward to drain the ballast the boat will settle onto the bunks without the bow dipping against the trailer. After the tank has emptied, back it down again to float it just enough to take the strain off of the eye when winching it the rest of the way to the stop.

With the teflon spray you might even be able to forego refloating and getting your feet wet!
 
Jun 8, 2004
8,893
-na -NA Anywhere USA
Krustycrab;

I am considered the most knowledgable person on the 23.5 trailer which was actually built by Hunter at that time. I can help you with this issue. I responded to another issue you are having so send me your phone via forum email and I will call and go over this with you as well. I sold nearly 1/4 of the production line along with other things too..

dave condon aka crazy dave
 
Dec 23, 2008
762
Catalina 22 Central Penna.
Your tongue extension is not very long to make that much difference with all the work of extending it. Looks like you only get between 3 and 4 feet, if that!

I’m looking at the hull almost up to the trailer bow chocks and the winch location. The winch should be level or higher than the bow eye when the hull is in it’s final resting place, so that area of your trailer setup is good.

Your boat sits very low on the trailer, this is good and the bunks look good.

Now, with you showing me what is happening on the launch ramp between the trailer and the hull says that your launch ramp is very steep!

If the bow is hitting the trailer crossmember then the trailer is not deep enough into the water. The hull must not hit or touch the trailer. The hull comes in contact with the front ends of the bunks first and as you winch the hull forward and UP the front of the bow comes in contact with the 2 rubber chocks in front of the winch.

The small roller right under the bow is the trick to everything!

I look at your photo and I visualize everything in the photo as being in the water. The water is level and the hull is level floating on the level water, if the trailer is deep enough in the water, the very front of the submerged bow just clears the crossmember under that small roller. This roller would be just sticking up out of the water. As the hull comes in, it would make contact with this roller right at the top of the hull paint area and not allow the top of the bow to come in contact with the trailer chocks in front of the winch. The winch would lift the bow up this roller, out of the water, and just a little forward due to the slight angle of the front of the bow above the waterline. This small roller would act as a stoping point for the bow from going forward under the winch area.

It looks like it just might clear but, because of the angle of the launch ramp and the trailer sitting with the hitch much higher than the tail lights the winch area would now be directly straight up above this small roller. So this roller is too far forward!

This is what I would do first.

Get the hull forward on the trailer so the bow is in contact with those 2 rubber trailer chocks. The bow eye will now be higher and just about dead center between the 2 chocks and almost level with the winch. Remove that small roller and place it under the bottom right at that crossmember where you say the bow now hits the trailer. Set this roller just high enough so it does not make contact with the hull, say about 1/2 inch below the bottom.

Try this setup to see what happens!

I’ve attached 3 photos;

the bowroller is far back under the hull, this roller makes contact with the hull out 4 feet from the winch, pulling on a bow line the hull rolls up the roller to a point about 18 inches from the trailer bow chock which is as far as I can pull and lift the bow by hand, I use the winch to pull and lift the last 18 inches. This small roller lifts the hull above the ends of the bunks and reduces friction between the bunks and hull until the hull starts to make more contact with the bunks.

the rollerdistance shows this little gap between the roller and hull when the hull is in its final resting position on the trailer. This gap allows the trailer to flex a little over rough highways without adding pressure at this small point to the hull.

the rollerramp is what it looks like. If the roller moved back under the hull doesn’t solve all your problems then a series of rollers would be needed to lift the bow in steps or a trailer ramp, like in the photo and this is what I would spray with the teflon.
 

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Jun 8, 2004
8,893
-na -NA Anywhere USA
For those who do not know this, I introduced the 23.5 and sold a majority of these boats over the years as a former dealer and know that trailer well. I have spoken with KrustyCrab. If the ramp is a shallow ramp, the extension has to be used; otherwise, it is not needed if at a decent angle. That is one key to the picture which is true at some ramps in the Chesapeake Bay.
 

Spence

.
Sep 29, 2013
57
Sloop Halman 20 Marina
I haven't used my full keel Halman 20 or launched yet.

The boat has 2.5' draft. The boat came with the trailer and tongue extention. The extention is a 2.5 square tube 12' long. One end has a tongue hitch for the vehicle, and the other has the ball for the trailer hitch. Under the ball there is a set of wheels. All for the same purpose I would guess.

I could be wrong but this setup could present problems if one trailer wheel should drop of into a hole and get caught while under the water. The steel beam would not present any resistance to sideways movement which this situation would need, so I hope all ramps are well maintained underwater.
 
Jul 17, 2014
112
Hunter 23.5 Chesapeake Bay
Spence, sounds like your extension is an add-on, and not built into the trailer like the ones above. A good ramp will be maintained and not have any holes. And the end of ramp location should be clearly marked on the dock next to it, but this isn't the case in many places. Ask the ramp owner about the conditions. Or, you can always get wet and check out new-to-you ramps yourself to be sure. Trailer ball rotation could compensate for a small dip by one trailer wheel, but a large hole would cause problems for any trailer.

p.s. - I got my extension to work and found out that the hole for the pin to lock it in the extended position was a hair too small for the pin! Maybe that's why I didn't use it in the past? I drilled it out to fit the pin and now I will plan to use it on my next launch.

p.p.s. - That Halman 20 is a cool lookin' boat :)
 

emmott

.
Nov 11, 2018
5
Halman 20 Halman 20 albany
IMG_0927.jpg
I haven't used my full keel Halman 20 or launched yet.

The boat has 2.5' draft. The boat came with the trailer and tongue extention. The extention is a 2.5 square tube 12' long. One end has a tongue hitch for the vehicle, and the other has the ball for the trailer hitch. Under the ball there is a set of wheels. All for the same purpose I would guess.

I could be wrong but this setup could present problems if one trailer wheel should drop of into a hole and get caught while under the water. The steel beam would not present any resistance to sideways movement which this situation would need, so I hope all ramps are well maintained underwater.
another problem is side to side movement. I thought about doing the ball attachment system,but deferred to a solid tongue attachment, a 2 1/2x2 1/2 3/16" square tubing in to a 3"x3" square tube bolted under side of the tongue. gives me 15 feet from the ball to the winch stand.
IMG_0928.jpg
IMG_1890.jpg
 
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