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Thread: boat trailer question

  1. #1
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    Default boat trailer question

    I need a trailer for a boat I am building (Assassin by Wes Farmer). It is 16ft double ender. The trailer I am looking at (sea Lion s-16-1200) will have the boat hanging of the end by one foot. I have never towed or launched a boat. Will this be okay? Does an overhang make launching easier? Thanks
    PXL_20221221_004524428 (1).jpg

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    Default Re: boat trailer question

    No problem. The lower the waterline is to the road, the easier it is to launch. Overhang isn't a factor. Retreiving is harder if there are no guides to center the boat. Every boat is a bit different and takes a bit of practice.
    -Dave

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    Default Re: boat trailer question

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete H View Post
    I need a trailer for a boat I am building (Assassin by Wes Farmer). It is 16ft double ender. The trailer I am looking at (sea Lion s-16-1200) will have the boat hanging of the end by one foot. I have never towed or launched a boat. Will this be okay? Does an overhang make launching easier? Thanks
    PXL_20221221_004524428 (1).jpg
    That wont be a problem, providing that you can secure the lights and plate OK.
    straps 013.jpg
    Peerie Maa has a deep plank on edge keel, with plenty of strength to handle a long over hang. It looks as though Assasin is as strong.
    I put a couple of rollers on vertical axles to help guide her on when recovering her onto the trailer.
    Guide roller.jpg
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Besides strength, there is legality. Max overhang is four feet, if I recall ( check with your state DMV) So, when you say the boat is overhanging by a foot, do you mean the transom or the keel?

    Kevin


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    Default Re: boat trailer question

    Quote Originally Posted by Breakaway View Post
    Besides strength, there is legality. Max overhang is four feet, if I recall ( check with your state DMV) So, when you say the boat is overhanging by a foot, do you mean the transom or the keel?

    Kevin


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    That is a perverse ruling. What is the point of that? Half of the boat is going to be behind the trailer wheels, what ever the length of the trailer frame.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: boat trailer question

    I think Kevin means the overhang distance between the end of the boat and the lights/end of the trailer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Palmer View Post
    I think Kevin means the overhang distance between the end of the boat and the lights/end of the trailer.


    Yes, end of the trailer frame is the measurement point, as I recall ( but do check before towing)

    Kevin


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    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    That is a perverse ruling. What is the point of that? Half of the boat is going to be behind the trailer wheels, what ever the length of the trailer frame.


    I m not sure I see what you mean, Nick?



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    Default Re: boat trailer question

    The Assassin was on my short list before I built my Palmer fantail launch.
    I'd love to see pictures of the boat and know what you powered it with.
    Trailer looks fine. No problems with the amount of overhang you have.
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.
    Skiing is the next best thing to having wings.

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    Default Re: boat trailer question

    Quote Originally Posted by Breakaway View Post
    I m not sure I see what you mean, Nick?



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    For the boat to balance on the trailer with a sensible tongue weight, the longitudinal c of G will be over or a smidgen forward of the axle.
    That determines where the back of the boat is, and the overall length of the boat and trailer.
    What does it matter where the trailer frame stops? A foot behind the axle or a foot forward of the stern. Why does that matter?
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: boat trailer question

    Mine overhangs 3 feet. It is a light boat with no engine weight.


    A removable transom light bar meets regs.

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    Default boat trailer question

    First of all axles are readily and regularly moved to help balance a trailer.

    Why too much overhang might matter can be answered in several ways.

    For boats with outboards, a foot or lees of overhang is best, to avoid building hook into the bottom.

    Why the DOT requires it legally, I think, is because the trailer lights become more difficult to see the longer the overhang. There may be other reasons.

    Kevin




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    Default boat trailer question

    Quote Originally Posted by rgthom View Post
    Mine overhangs 3 feet. It is a light boat with no engine weight.


    A removable transom light bar meets regs.


    I am not judging you, but trailer lights must be permanently attached to the trailer, according to DOT. The lightboards that we all use, or have used,( I have) are not legal.

    I see you have both.

    Kevin


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    Default Re: boat trailer question

    Quote Originally Posted by Breakaway View Post
    Why the DOT requires it legally, I think, is because the trailer lights become more difficult to see the longer the overhang. There may be other reasons.

    Kevin
    How so? Thew trailer board with the lights is capable of being hung on the transom, yes? And taken off and stowed so that it is not soaked when launching off the ramp.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: boat trailer question

    I am bringing the largest mold to the dealer tomorrow see how it fits. I will ask him about the overhang as far as legality goes. thanks to everyone for your responses.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    How so? Thew trailer board with the lights is capable of being hung on the transom, yes? And taken off and stowed so that it is not soaked when launching off the ramp.


    No. While the lightboard is common practice, as stated, I do it. Its not legal. Our federal DOT requires permanently installed lights.

    Kevin


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    Default Re: boat trailer question

    Quote Originally Posted by Breakaway View Post
    I am not judging you, but trailer lights must be permanently attached to the trailer, according to DOT. The lightboards that we all use, or have used,( I have) are not legal.

    I see you have both.

    Kevin



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    I'm sure you know the regs Kevin, but even BoatUS is saying OK to use light boards: https://www.boatus.com/expert-advice...trailer-lights

    "One solution for dinghies and very small boats is to build a light board that never gets dunked. For less than $40 you can buy a trailer-light kit that includes left and right taillights, two sidelights, and an ample length of wiring harness, including the connectors for both the vehicle side and the trailer side. Together, with simple tools and a few odds and ends, plus an hour or two of your time, you can create your own lasting solution to this perennial problem."

    They do put a disclaimer in the article saying make sure you meet all the regs., without saying what the regs actually limit of course...

    - Rick

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    Quote Originally Posted by rgthom View Post
    I'm sure you know the regs Kevin, but even BoatUS is saying OK to use light boards: https://www.boatus.com/expert-advice...trailer-lights

    "One solution for dinghies and very small boats is to build a light board that never gets dunked. For less than $40 you can buy a trailer-light kit that includes left and right taillights, two sidelights, and an ample length of wiring harness, including the connectors for both the vehicle side and the trailer side. Together, with simple tools and a few odds and ends, plus an hour or two of your time, you can create your own lasting solution to this perennial problem."

    They do put a disclaimer in the article saying make sure you meet all the regs., without saying what the regs actually limit of course...

    - Rick
    This is standard in the UK. You buy them ready made and just have to screw a copy of the tow vehicles number plate in place. You can also buy extension leads for long rigs. My board ties onto the sheet horse.
    nick-miller-2.jpg
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  19. #19
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    Default boat trailer question

    Quote Originally Posted by rgthom View Post
    I'm sure you know the regs Kevin, but even BoatUS is saying OK to use light boards: https://www.boatus.com/expert-advice...trailer-lights

    "One solution for dinghies and very small boats is to build a light board that never gets dunked. For less than $40 you can buy a trailer-light kit that includes left and right taillights, two sidelights, and an ample length of wiring harness, including the connectors for both the vehicle side and the trailer side. Together, with simple tools and a few odds and ends, plus an hour or two of your time, you can create your own lasting solution to this perennial problem."

    They do put a disclaimer in the article saying make sure you meet all the regs., without saying what the regs actually limit of course...

    - Rick


    We can go to the source for the info.
    Heres a copy of the regs. Second sentence.



    https://www.championtrailers.com/fed...and-locations/

    You can also go to the Federal Register.

    ote: The information contained in this article is based on the US government's regulations pertaining to vehicle trailer lighting. These regulations can be found under Title 49, Part 571, Section 108 of the Code of Federal Regulations. This section covers lamps, reflective devices, and associated equipment related to motor vehicles. To see these regulations and to get the most up-to-date information, visit the US government's Electronic Code of Federal Regulations.

    https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-id...2.7.8&rgn=div8

    Kevin


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    Default boat trailer question

    So, I went to federal register. Tiny font. On my phone!!!!

    S7, each lamp, reflective device, and item of associated equipment shall be securely mounted on a rigid part of the vehicle other than glazing that is not designed to be removed except for repair, in accordance with the requirements of Table I and Table III, as applicable, and in the location specified in Table II (multipurpose passenger vehicles, trucks, trailers, and buses 80 or more inches in overall width) or Table IV (all passenger cars, and motorcycles, and multipurpose passenger vehicles, truck, trailers and buses less than 80 inches in overall width), as applicable.


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    Default Re: boat trailer question

    Ha. So has anyone ever been ticketed for using a light board? So far no issues on mine traveling through 3 states for a decade. I can imagine some trooper could make an issue of it if you were pulled over for something else.

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    Default Re: boat trailer question

    In addition to the length of the overhang, one needs to consider the elevation of the rudder/transom/whatever above the pavement. Too little elevation and the aft end of the boat may drag on the road when entering a steep driveway or ramp into a fuel station. For "no worries" when towing, I like the elevation of the boat appearing in #11 much more than that shown in #3.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicholas Scheuer View Post
    In addition to the length of the overhang, one needs to consider the elevation of the rudder/transom/whatever above the pavement. Too little elevation and the aft end of the boat may drag on the road when entering a steep driveway or ramp into a fuel station. For "no worries" when towing, I like the elevation of the boat appearing in #11 much more than that shown in #3.
    I do not tow with the rudder in place, and have never grounded the stern. A longer trailer will only cause the trailer to ground out as it is under the boat. By keeping the boat low, I do not have to put the car wheels/rear lights into the water on our ramp when launching/recovering the boat.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: boat trailer question

    Quote Originally Posted by rgthom View Post
    Ha. So has anyone ever been ticketed for using a light board? So far no issues on mine traveling through 3 states for a decade. I can imagine some trooper could make an issue of it if you were pulled over for something else.

    Being illegal and being banged for it are two different things.

    Thinking on this now, the one time a hard ruling on the regulation is likely to bite a user of a light board is in the event of an accident.

    Kevin
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

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    Default Re: boat trailer question

    Quote Originally Posted by rgthom View Post
    Ha. So has anyone ever been ticketed for using a light board? So far no issues on mine traveling through 3 states for a decade. I can imagine some trooper could make an issue of it if you were pulled over for something else.
    A light board is fine - as long as you also have lights permanently mounted to the trailer as well - which you do.

    I brought home a 36 ft I beam on my big trailer & mounted a light board at the end - as it stuck out 12 ft beyond the back of the trailer. I was stopped by the side of the road checking binder tightness & a cop (MA) stopped to ask if everything was OK. I said I was just checking things & he thanked me for adding the lightboard at the back. So - no legal problems as I had trailer lights as well.
    Last edited by Garret; 01-23-2023 at 06:00 PM.
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    Default Re: boat trailer question

    A light board is fine - as long as you also have lights permanently mounted to the trailer as well - which you do.
    Exactly. At any rate, I've been towing boats up and down the U.S. East Coast for more than 30 years with far more than 4' of boat behind the lights and license plate, and It's never been an issue. There are laws, and then there are those that are enforced. I doubt the average state trooper even knows what Title 49, Part 571, Section 108 of the Code of Federal Regulations says.
    -Dave

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    Default Re: boat trailer question

    Commercial towing outfits use light bars where the towed item lacks lighting. Perhaps that's in compliance with Title 49, Part 571, Section 108 of the Code of Federal Regulations, or they've lobbied for an exception.

    When I got my Waterlust canoe ready for trailering year before last I ended up with more than three feet of overhang (w/o rudder attached) but less than four feet so I felt some need of augmenting the trailer's supplied lighting by some means.

    So I added a 'third eye' tail light that hangs on the upper rudder gudgeon when being trailered, day or night. What was supposed to be the illumination for a license plate serves to light up the stern below where this light hangs. The hull, painted yellow, tends to show up nicely from behind.

    In addition I fabricated some aluminum extensions to the frame behind each wheel's fender that carry side-displayed amber running lights. The length of these effectively decreases the distance from the sternmost end of my canoe by about a foot to the nearest illuminated side-displayed light, as well as presenting a much more visible indication of where the trailer's end is relative to the back end of my towing vehicle. The trailer's supplied tail lights are further behind, at the end of the central beam:

    Side_Lights.jpg

    Pic was taken before I added the 'third eye' device but shows the side-facing amber marker lights behind each fender.

    I don't expect to be trailering much at night but even in the daytime I want to do what I feel I can to 'call out' to following drivers what they have ahead of them.
    Last edited by sp_clark; 01-23-2023 at 09:54 PM.

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    Geez, hit a sore spot, huh? I didn't write the law, guys. I just happened to be award of it.

    That said, not getting caught is not the measure of legal or illegal.

    Kevin
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: boat trailer question

    It's a federal law... who here has ever been stopped by a federal cop on a highway?
    Much of that is aimed at new vehicle manufacturers.
    (I have trailered 50ft steel beams through a weigh station with the axle chained to the beams and the lights stuck on with magnetic light boards)

    edit: The thought of going to a federal court for a traffic lighting violation brings a smile...

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    ^Again, lack of enforcement is no measure of legality.

    Here's Pennsylvania's trailer inspection requirements. PA's doc just happened to come up when I Googled state trailer inspection .

    It says in section (X) that detachable wiring is not allowed.

    It also states that lights must be " properly fastened."

    https://www.dot.state.pa.us/public/d...ubchapterG.pdf

    BTW: These are Pennsylvania Sub-chapter G, Sections 175. 125 (e) and 175.130 (4) (x)


    For good measure, Transport Canada also specifies that trailer lights be permanently attached.

    https://tc.canada.ca/en/road-transpo...n-requirements

    Kevin
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Breakaway View Post
    ^Again, lack of enforcement is no measure of legality.

    Here's Pennsylvania's trailer inspection requirements. PA's doc just happened to come up when I Googled state trailer inspection .

    It says in section (X) that detachable wiring is not allowed.

    It also states that lights must be " properly fastened."

    https://www.dot.state.pa.us/public/d...ubchapterG.pdf

    BTW: These are Pennsylvania Sub-chapter G, Sections 175. 125 (e) and 175.130 (4) (x)


    For good measure, Transport Canada also specifies that trailer lights be permanently attached.

    https://tc.canada.ca/en/road-transpo...n-requirements

    Kevin
    Sure, why not, let's drive this point into the ground.

    When Ian Farrier started selling the F27 back in the 80's, the boat came standard with light board that was to be hooked onto the transom and plugged in. I used it for a couple of years, and then decided it was too fussy and moved the lights and plate to the trailer. Never a problem either way. But he was selling them across the country. As to Pennsylvania, that's where I live and have lived for more than 40 years. And I can tell you that regardless of what the rules say, the police either aren't aware of them, or don't bother to enforce them. I was stopped once because a trailer brake light had gone out. The boat in question was actually a few inches beyond the legal road width, and the boat hung way beyond the lights -- probably six feet -- but the officer's only concern was that the light wasn't working.

    On a somewhat related note, I've driven those toll roads where they take a photo of your license plate and send you the bill and gotten a free ride. The camera often can read neither the car plate nor the trailer plate due to the bulk of the boat and the position of the tags.
    -Dave

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    Default Re: boat trailer question

    Quote Originally Posted by Woxbox View Post
    Sure, why not, let's drive this point into the ground.

    When Ian Farrier started selling the F27 back in the 80's, the boat came standard with light board that was to be hooked onto the transom and plugged in. I used it for a couple of years, and then decided it was too fussy and moved the lights and plate to the trailer. Never a problem either way. But he was selling them across the country. As to Pennsylvania, that's where I live and have lived for more than 40 years. And I can tell you that regardless of what the rules say, the police either aren't aware of them, or don't bother to enforce them. I was stopped once because a trailer brake light had gone out. The boat in question was actually a few inches beyond the legal road width, and the boat hung way beyond the lights -- probably six feet -- but the officer's only concern was that the light wasn't working.

    On a somewhat related note, I've driven those toll roads where they take a photo of your license plate and send you the bill and gotten a free ride. The camera often can read neither the car plate nor the trailer plate due to the bulk of the boat and the position of the tags.
    I'll repeat.

    Lack of enforcement does not make it legal.

    Why is this so hard?

    Kevin
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Breakaway View Post
    I'll repeat.

    Lack of enforcement does not make it legal.

    Why is this so hard?

    Kevin
    There must be dozens of laws on the statute that are no longer enforced, but no one has spent the time to repeal them

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    Finally, if you’re a fan of dairy, in Wisconsin, butter and cheese are required to be “highly pleasing.”

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    https://blog.linksquares.com/7-outda...ht-have-broken

    There are 50 of them in this list https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/lif...zy-state-laws/
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: boat trailer question

    Quote Originally Posted by Breakaway View Post
    I'll repeat.

    Lack of enforcement does not make it legal.

    Why is this so hard?

    Kevin
    It's not hard. You are right OK? Nobody is saying that you are wrong in fact, they are talking about how things work in the real world actually towing their boats with light bars fitted.
    There is nothing quite as permanent as a good temporary repair.

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    Default Re: boat trailer question

    Quote Originally Posted by Stiletto View Post
    It's not hard. You are right OK? Nobody is saying that you are wrong in fact, they are talking about how things work in the real world actually towing their boats with light bars fitted.
    Sure. Breaking laws goes on all the time. I get it. I really do.

    For the clarity of people with less experience to make up their minds on a topic, it's good to present the entire picture. Then they can do or not do as they see fit.

    Kevin
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

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