Tri-Toon Trailer Guides

Fltcrew

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Can I get some advice on trailer guides for my R25? Every single time I load the boat the back has floated off center.

It turns into a complete waste of time and goat rope and I dread it.

My uncle has a home made set for his small 20' pontoon and loves them (I can't imagine needing them on a boat that length unless you back the trailer too far into the water which I know he does)

I have an R25 with ESP which probably doesn't matter..... I know a lot if not most if the members on here keep theirs on the water but I trailer and this is a problem to be fixed during the offseason.



Thanks
 

DaveyJ

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I cut off a set of short Veve guides and put covers on them. I mounted them immediately in front of the trailer axle. (The vertical lines in the side view pic). They are tall enough to limit the movement but not so tall I can’t float over them.


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Tin Diesel

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I have two pair on my 25' tritoon. Two towards the bow and two towards the stern. How far forward and aft you place them makes a difference in their functionality, depending on the steepness of the ramp. For itinerant boaters like us, I have to find a happy medium.

On the ramp we use the most, I back the trailer in until I can only see 3 inches of the forward guides. The rear are submerged, but I think they still guide the toons.

Coming in straight is critical but I open the front gate, aim the center toon at the center post and come in steady.

Once the forward parts of the bows are in the V of the bunks and I snug up to the front bumpers the rear always settles in to place as I pull up the ramp. Always.

Here's pics of my guides:

20180428_145325.jpg20180428_144818.jpg
 

kaydano

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I have guides similar to the photos, but instead of carpet it's covered with PVC pipe.

It's basically a vertical piece of 2x2 square metal tubing with a flange that bolts to the trailer frame, and a 4 inch section of white PVC pipe placed loose over the 2x2. The PVC rotates when the pontoons hit it, and the nice thing is it provides 360 degree protection (vs carpet on just one side). It also lasts a lifetime vs carpet. They came with the trailer, so i don't know where you'd get them, but they work quite well for me. If you can find them, they should be cheap as they are very simple.

There are 4 of them on my trailer, 2 between each outer toon and the center toon, spaced maybe 12 feet apart front to back.
 

kaydano

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These are really close:


I don't have the caps on the PVC pipes like these do. My pipes are loose fitting (gravity holds them on) and caps would trap air and cause them to float off. If you bought these, you could drill a hole in the cap to let the air out.
 

Nautical

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Of course the ramp angle could be aggravating it but it sounds to me like you're putting the trailer too far in the water. The wheel fenders should be just under the water and the front 1/3 to 1/4 of the bunks should be out of the water.
 

Fltcrew

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Of course the ramp angle could be aggravating it but it sounds to me like you're putting the trailer too far in the water. The wheel fenders should be just under the water and the front 1/3 to 1/4 of the bunks should be out of the water.

It is not too far in the water in my case... 25' and longer boats are a lot more sensitive the shorter ones. I can't power the boat onto the trailer if it isn't in the water enough. Try loading a 25' Tri-toon and you'll see what I mean.
 

Nautical

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Yikes, don't let the "powering on police" hear you say that!! :oops:o_O;)

I'm a boat broker and load lots of boats all of the time. If the back floats off to the side when you are where you need to be on the front then either the ramp angle is too steep or your trailer is too far in the water. If you are trying to use power to get all the way to the stops then you should consider enlisting help so someone can attach the hook and winch the boat up the last foot or two while you stand way in the back (or gently apply power :oops:).
 

AZHEAT

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It is not too far in the water in my case... 25' and longer boats are a lot more sensitive the shorter ones. I can't power the boat onto the trailer if it isn't in the water enough. Try loading a 25' Tri-toon and you'll see what I mean.
We just took ours out for the first time and I’m running into the exact same issue. It took 2 tries to get the back of the boat straight relative to the trailer bunks. My front guides were actually an impediment to making adjustments and I backed the boat off the trailer to take a second run at it to get it right. Frustrating, as I found that the trailer has to be very deep in the water and the rear guides are essentially useless. Also, with the trailer so deep in the water I can’t come in as “hot” as I’m used to and when basically floating in, the back end can easily move a couple feet off center. I’m sure it will get better with practice/trial and error, but I’m not used to having issues at the launch ramp and frankly I don’t like it!
 

Tin Diesel

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It is not too far in the water in my case... 25' and longer boats are a lot more sensitive the shorter ones. I can't power the boat onto the trailer if it isn't in the water enough. Try loading a 25' Tri-toon and you'll see what I mean.
I've never loaded a small boat but intuitively agree that bigger boats are more difficult to to load. There's the obvious problem of more sail-plane area. They are less maneuverable with more momentum. Also, there's a lot more weight to push up those bunks, and I don't feel like tearing them up. And, I suspect (but am not sure) that my I/O is more balanced, meaning that I might have more weight on the bows than a boat with 260 HP hanging off the stern.

Over time, I've found that my ability to compensate for wind drift is getting better, but I have a ways to go.

We have towed a big Airstream trailer for 15 years. It has a complex anti-sway hitch called a Hensley. Sometimes it goes in easy. But to this day, there are still times when it takes multiple frustrating tries that make me look like a total newbie.

A calm confidence is always helpful... so when you're staring at that mostly submerged trailer, and there's a 20-knot crosswind with a strong cross-current, 8 boats are waiting to launch or retrieve, and the gallery of second - guessers at the nearby waterfront cafe are watching, just say this to yourself...

"God, grant me the serenity..."

:cool:
 
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dannyleininger

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I took things a step further. I have two pairs of interior guides, like Tin Diesel PLUS a pair of Outside Guide Posts. Sure helps on a windy day.

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