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Thread: small light boats on a trailer--do you put a towing eye on the boat?

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    Default small light boats on a trailer--do you put a towing eye on the boat?

    I've got an 18' skin-on-frame pulling boat that's a little heavy for rooftop carrying. I'm looking for a used trailer now, but I'm wondering if people bother putting an eye on the bow of the boat for something that small? To be the same height as the trailer winch the eye is going to have to be way above the waterline and I figure it might be just as easy to slide the thing on/off the trailer by hand, assuming I can get the boat secured from sliding off on the highway.

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    Default Re: small light boats on a trailer--do you put a towing eye on the boat?

    I wouldn't bother with the towing eye, although it would be a good place for the painter, too. I would make sure that the trailer was designed for really light loads, or otherwise soften the suspension (take out a leaf if leaf springs, otherwise swap out the springs/torsion bars for light-duty pair.)

    When you find your trailer watch how it behaves when you bring it home unladen. Some will bounce clear off the road. An SOF boat won't do much to change behavior like that.
    -Dave

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    Default Re: small light boats on a trailer--do you put a towing eye on the boat?

    I wouldn't worry about it, just make sure you're tied down. Do you have anything else up there like a cleat?

    Kent

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    Default Re: small light boats on a trailer--do you put a towing eye on the boat?

    Have you seen this?


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    Default Re: small light boats on a trailer--do you put a towing eye on the boat?

    One of my partly-finished projects is making a Jonesport cleat to bolt on the bow breasthook (double ender).

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    Default Re: small light boats on a trailer--do you put a towing eye on the boat?

    That's a really pretty boat, but the method looks a little precarious. Also, I can get it onto the roof rack of my truck by lifting one end up then sliding the thing forwards, if I want to badly enough, but a) the truck canopy has a crack and the weight of the boat is not doing it any good, and b) taking it on/off the roof is such a pain in the fundament that I never use the boat.

    I do plan to remove most of the leaves from the springs, and perhaps order lighter leaves if necessary.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gib Etheridge View Post
    Have you seen this?


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    Default Re: small light boats on a trailer--do you put a towing eye on the boat?

    What is a "Jonesport Cleat"?

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    Default Re: small light boats on a trailer--do you put a towing eye on the boat?

    I would. I would put the attachment between boat and trailer through the forefoot, where the boat is strong. Relying on tying down over the gunwales will flex the boat and be less secure. The shorter the tie down the less stretch and wriggle in the rope or webbing.
    Although Peerie Maa is heavier, this is the way I would have you consider.
    safety chain.jpg
    As short as possible between boat and trailer.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: small light boats on a trailer--do you put a towing eye on the boat?

    The question is most easily answered by deciding; will I be towing my boat?

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    Default Re: small light boats on a trailer--do you put a towing eye on the boat?

    Nah. The "towing eye" is more about the winch line, which I doubt you'll use.

    Forget for a minute that trailers specifically designed for boats even exist.
    Start with a completely generic small flatbed trailer. Now come up with the best way to secure your particular boat-shaped bit of cargo.
    No adversary is worse than bad advice.

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    Default Re: small light boats on a trailer--do you put a towing eye on the boat?

    A towing eye on the boat is not required but it can make it easier to tie down. You may also want to consider having it upside down as shown at
    http://www.wcha.org/forums/index.php?attachments/5305/ for example. Good luck,

    Benson

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    Default Re: small light boats on a trailer--do you put a towing eye on the boat?

    On a trailer or on a cartop, I'd lash down your SOF rowboat fore and aft, as well as athwart-ships.
    Quote Originally Posted by James McMullen View Post
    Yeadon is right, of course.

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    Default Re: small light boats on a trailer--do you put a towing eye on the boat?

    Some photos of your boat would help but I don't see you needing to winch something as light as a SOF boat on to a trailer.

    I carry my boat, flipped upside down on bunks, on a modified motorcycle trailer. The bunks have some removable pins to centre the boat. I put some foam blocks between the gunwales and the bunks on the trailer to cushion the ride and to prevent the varnish from getting scratched. (These are the same blocks that people use for carrying canoes on the roof of their car). The boat is secured to the trailer with tie down straps that run through the spacer blocks that separate the inwales and outwales.

    Carrying it like this eliminates any stress on the skin, the stringers or the frames. You could modify just about any light trailer to do this


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    Default Re: small light boats on a trailer--do you put a towing eye on the boat?

    Is that a Gentry Shenandoah Whitehall?
    Quote Originally Posted by James McMullen View Post
    Yeadon is right, of course.

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    Default Re: small light boats on a trailer--do you put a towing eye on the boat?

    Quote Originally Posted by Yeadon View Post
    Is that a Gentry Shenandoah Whitehall?
    Good eye - Yes it is.

    http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...lls&highlight=

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    Default Re: small light boats on a trailer--do you put a towing eye on the boat?

    After breaking the first tow eye I ever installed, no tow eyes fer me. Bow loops thru the stem are my preference, even on light boats like kayaks. Not sure if such would work on a SOF.




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    Default Re: small light boats on a trailer--do you put a towing eye on the boat?

    I could bore a hole crosswise through the false stem, probably near the top. a 5/16" hole for 1/4" line ought to be sufficient, with modern rope. The stem gets thinner as it runs to meet the keel, so any
    hole would have to be lose to gunwale height.


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    Default Re: small light boats on a trailer--do you put a towing eye on the boat?

    I always use a bow eye on my boats for the painter, no matter how lightweight. And I always use both winch strap hook AND the painter / bowline, tying the latter around the winch stand as a backup in case I forget to lock the winch pawl.

    If afraid that drilling a hole in the stem will weaken it too much (and I would be), how about the old dory tradition of the hole through the "planks" -- in other words, just aft of the stem? You'd have to seal the edges of the hole somehow, but it would give you a nice strong painter for both car transport and for use on the water (like being towed by a friend with a small outboard).

    Last edited by Thorne; 05-01-2018 at 12:26 AM.
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    Default Re: small light boats on a trailer--do you put a towing eye on the boat?

    3 of my boats have a towing eye/ring above the waterline. For towing on the water. For my racing dinghy it's a club requirement
    All the boats have fixed tie down points for road towing.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: small light boats on a trailer--do you put a towing eye on the boat?

    I do a fair amount of towing of small light boats, specifically my Uffa Fox Fourteen, "Galatea", my elder son's International Canoe, "Ogaf the Unbearable" and the family Firefly, "Aquarius". None of them have a towing eye externally, and the latter two have foredecks. We take the painter to the mast support on the trailer as a precaution, but leave it slightly slack, with about an inch of play in it, and put a tie down strap over the boat between the eyes on the combination trailer. If the boat moves under two the painter will come taut and you will see what needs to be done when you pull over for a break.
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    Default Re: small light boats on a trailer--do you put a towing eye on the boat?

    I'd be less concerned about any towing eye than I would about supporting a SOF boat right side up on a trailer so that any bunks or whatever don't bear too heavily on the skin.
    If I had a dollar for every girl who found me unattractive, eventually they would find me attractive.

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    Default Re: small light boats on a trailer--do you put a towing eye on the boat?

    Quote Originally Posted by rbgarr View Post
    I'd be less concerned about any towing eye than I would about supporting a SOF boat right side up on a trailer so that any bunks or whatever don't bear too heavily on the skin.
    I agree completely. That's why I carry my boat upside down supported and tied down using only the gunwales.

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    Default Re: small light boats on a trailer--do you put a towing eye on the boat?

    I still really prefer some sort of towing eye / strong painter for trailering or cartopping any sort of boat. Otherwise you have to rely on the cross-straps to hold it in place, and particularly for a SOF boat that might create issues if over-tightened. And I've trailered boats down bumpy mountain roads and discovered that they need to be held in place from the back as well as from the front... ;-)
    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
    Doctor Jacquin to Lieutenant D'Hubert, in Ridley Scott's first major film _The Duellists_.

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    Default Re: small light boats on a trailer--do you put a towing eye on the boat?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Mercer View Post
    I could bore a hole crosswise through the false stem, probably near the top. a 5/16" hole for 1/4" line ought to be sufficient, with modern rope. The stem gets thinner as it runs to meet the keel, so any
    hole would have to be lose to gunwale height.

    If you do that Bill someday someone or something is going to give the painter a good jerk and it will come off along with a bit of laminated outer stem unless you reinforce it fore and aft with long screws or thru bolts above and below the hole along with maybe a short bit of metal strapping. I would bore fore and aft then pass the line thru and keep it there with a stopper knot. And yes, I would do one at each end and use them both when trailering, along with a cross strap passed thru the oarlocks at each rowing station.

    That's lovely craftmanship .
    Last edited by Gib Etheridge; 05-02-2018 at 10:57 AM.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: small light boats on a trailer--do you put a towing eye on the boat?

    Kinda depends on how often you launch/retrieve and how easy you want it...winch on trailer and bow eye or all the other methods. Nothing is easier than cranking the boat up on a trailer using a bow eye after a long day boating...Even if its a light 10'r or you float the boat on. A bow eye makes it easy to snug up and tie down. Cleats work but in my book the lower bow eye works better than a high bow cleat to ride over rollers and bunks or for towing. To me, bow eyes are standard equipment. Loading/riding upright is less demanding and damaging than lifting and turning over a boat to ride upside down. Car topping is a hassle in comparison too, even with kayaks or small dinks. Bottom line is you may have to learn from experience whether a bow eye works for you.

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    Default Re: small light boats on a trailer--do you put a towing eye on the boat?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Mercer View Post
    I've got an 18' skin-on-frame pulling boat that's a little heavy for rooftop carrying. I'm looking for a used trailer now, but I'm wondering if people bother putting an eye on the bow of the boat for something that small? To be the same height as the trailer winch the eye is going to have to be way above the waterline and I figure it might be just as easy to slide the thing on/off the trailer by hand, assuming I can get the boat secured from sliding off on the highway.
    I like the arrangement in Post#13. There are other ways to skin this cat, but that is a good one.

    SOF, so we can't be talking much over 70 pounds? So gravity is enough to hinder you and not enough to resist a crosswind.

    Funny, I have a stripper guideboat that was easy enough to cartop in 1975, but is oddly difficult to lift after 43 years. I don't think I used lead paint. So yeah, I need a trailer now too. Or a bottle of those magic pills they advertise for old guys. I think the key ingredient is called placebo.

    Rowboat? One set of oarlocks or two? Are the holes vertical or angled outwards? On the gunnel, centered or inwale?

    I have two sets of oarlocks on the gunnel (outside, easy access top and bottom) and the holes are vertical. Vertical and outside makes things simpler. On one or two of the many iterations of roof rack mods over the years I drilled through the sockets and through a 2x4 and used 1/2" bolts to hold the boat. (corvairs, renault 16, '78 civic, transmission eating minivans, POSs I won't admit to having driven...) A piece of carpet as a pad, a washer between the nut and end of the socket and Bob's your uncle. The 2x4 was attached to the roof rack and the boat was bolted to the 2x4. There was always something lashed on and a turn around the bolt kept the not too tight wing nut from backing out. You can't trust the nut to stay put by itself.

    That is an option, but there is nothing wrong with keeping it simple and strapping it down. I would turn the boat upside down for traveling any distance. You don't need a high tension ratchet strap that can crush or distort the boat. The vertical loads are not that much, and the side loads are best handled by blocking the gunnel. Tie downs bearing against the foam blocks in #13 should be enough. Make them snug, pad if needed, and recheck if they are Nylon and it starts to rain as they can go slack when wet. As mentioned above, or below if you set the post order to newest first, you do need to restrain the boat from moving forward or backward.
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    Default Re: small light boats on a trailer--do you put a towing eye on the boat?

    If you add a towing ring, keep it low near the waterline. Should be strong enough to lift the boat with. That one is from the Port Townsend Foundry.
    Jay

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    Default Re: small light boats on a trailer--do you put a towing eye on the boat?

    If I had a dollar for every girl who found me unattractive, eventually they would find me attractive.

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    Default Re: small light boats on a trailer--do you put a towing eye on the boat?

    Those are nice.
    Quote Originally Posted by James McMullen View Post
    Yeadon is right, of course.

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    Default Re: small light boats on a trailer--do you put a towing eye on the boat?

    Requires a 3/4" inch diameter hole. Isn't that too large for the stem's of the type of boats being considered here?

    Kevin
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    Default Re: small light boats on a trailer--do you put a towing eye on the boat?

    Yeah, I don't think a 3/4" hole is a good plan.

    I'm also not really enthusiastic about having to flip the $#%& thing every time I launch/load it to carry the boat upside down--the thing is probably 100+ lbs--I can pick it up and carry it for short distances, or get it onto the truck by lifting up the bow and then pushing, but it's no fun and no good for the truck canopy. If I'm going to far as to modify a trailer for it, I want easy launching.

    The oarlocks are mounted on the outside of the gunwale, and are almost vertical (slanted a tiny bit outwards). Could put something through them to secure the boat.

    Quote Originally Posted by Breakaway View Post
    Requires a 3/4" inch diameter hole. Isn't that too large for the stem's of the type of boats being considered here?

    Kevin

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    Default Re: small light boats on a trailer--do you put a towing eye on the boat?

    galvanized eye on the stem of an 8' dinghy



    mounted low for towing



    i always have an eye on the stem or at least a rope loop in the case of canoes

    yes one can look out of place on a fine yacht finished stem butt security trumps the visual IMHO

    sw
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    steve

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    Default Re: small light boats on a trailer--do you put a towing eye on the boat?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Mercer View Post
    I've got an 18' skin-on-frame pulling boat that's a little heavy for rooftop carrying. I'm looking for a used trailer now, but I'm wondering if people bother putting an eye on the bow of the boat for something that small? To be the same height as the trailer winch the eye is going to have to be way above the waterline and I figure it might be just as easy to slide the thing on/off the trailer by hand, assuming I can get the boat secured from sliding off on the highway.
    Well, I've not built a skin on frame, but generally speaking an 18 footer would have a bow eye, and the eye would snub under the winch tower/cushion piece. The height of that bracket on the trailer is usually adjustable and can be lowered a bit.

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