Retrieving the boat, back onto the trailer, can be a real pain!

FIRE UP

Well-Known Member
Messages
73
Reaction score
124
Hey Gang,
Well, all our other boats up to this point, have been V-hull boats. And, retrieving them back onto a trailer, is not very hard. Some are harder than others but, most V-hulls don't give us very much trouble. But, this Benny tri-toon, can be one pain in the a... And, that's even with no wind, no wakes etc. Now, I know, many guys have different approaches, little systems etc. that help them put their Bennies back on the trailer. Well, we've done it, a few times but, based on the logistics of the boat, type of trailer, bunks etc. it's still a pain. We've tried it with the bunks out of the water pretty far, back down in the water 'till they're barely out, fenders all the way under, fenders just even with the water level etc. We eventually get it on the trailer correctly. But, it normally involves me wading around and holding the boat from meandering from side to side while she drives the truck up the ramp so the boat self seats on the bunks. And, I've done the *Power the boat" thing onto the trailer too. Sometimes that works but, at other times, well, it don't. We've had boats, 5 of them before this one and, as stated, they've not been too hard to retrieve.

So, I was about to put my *MacGyver* skills to the test and come up with some guide board, i.e. 2"x6" on a set of stanchions that would be horizontal and help guide the boat more straight onto the trailer. Well, low and behold, the wife was diligently looking at things on Amazon and, came up with what you see in the pictures. She told me of them and I looked them up and checked out all the reviews. About 9 out of 10 were raving about these. The way their made and, the way they attach to the trailer, sure as heck made sense to me. So, I figured what the heck, let's get a set. Better yet, let's get TWO sets. So, I did. Amazon had them at my front door in two days.

I installed them in about 25 minutes. They fit on the 2"x3" cross beams of the trailer. There's two U-bolts for each up-right. When you tighten them down, it's like they're welded onto those cross beams. The instructions don't say just how far from the inside of each side toon, to mount them to help guide the boat onto the trailer. So, I installed them so they were about an inch and a quarter from the inside edge of the side toons. There's one set on the third cross beam from the tail end of the trailer. There's a second set, on the cross beam in front of the front axle. The two sets are spanned far enough apart that, they will hold that boat parallel to the bunks to, hopefully, successfully bunk the boat properly without any input from me, in or out of the water. By the way, the water's about 52-54 degrees right now so, wading around in it while trying to bunk the boat, AIN'T FUN! I don't mind it when the water's 80+ degrees.

Anyway, take a look at these new toys to see what you think. If they work half as good as the reviews, we're both gonna be happy campers.
 

Attachments

Justin M

Active Member
Messages
29
Reaction score
40
Location
CT
My trailer came with a similar set up. It's very easy to use. Usually I'm able to just back the trailer under the boat.Screenshot_20200201-053953_Photos.jpg
 

sjhorner9475

Well-Known Member
Messages
330
Reaction score
532
Location
Centerhill Lake, Silver Point TN
The trailer I purchased with my boat has a very similar setup. It does make get the boat back on the trailer much easier but some skill is still necessary.
 

Stevez

Well-Known Member
Messages
142
Reaction score
255
Location
Kentucky
May have to get some of these. I've only loaded my boat twice and both times have been challenging. I too have had many boats; v-hulls that are almost self loading. And a pontoon that wasn't that difficult, but the tri-toon seems more challenging.
 

myv10

Well-Known Member
Messages
293
Reaction score
228
Location
Pittsburgh, Pa.
Hey Gang,
Well, all our other boats up to this point, have been V-hull boats. And, retrieving them back onto a trailer, is not very hard. Some are harder than others but, most V-hulls don't give us very much trouble. But, this Benny tri-toon, can be one pain in the a... And, that's even with no wind, no wakes etc. Now, I know, many guys have different approaches, little systems etc. that help them put their Bennies back on the trailer. Well, we've done it, a few times but, based on the logistics of the boat, type of trailer, bunks etc. it's still a pain. We've tried it with the bunks out of the water pretty far, back down in the water 'till they're barely out, fenders all the way under, fenders just even with the water level etc. We eventually get it on the trailer correctly. But, it normally involves me wading around and holding the boat from meandering from side to side while she drives the truck up the ramp so the boat self seats on the bunks. And, I've done the *Power the boat" thing onto the trailer too. Sometimes that works but, at other times, well, it don't. We've had boats, 5 of them before this one and, as stated, they've not been too hard to retrieve.

So, I was about to put my *MacGyver* skills to the test and come up with some guide board, i.e. 2"x6" on a set of stanchions that would be horizontal and help guide the boat more straight onto the trailer. Well, low and behold, the wife was diligently looking at things on Amazon and, came up with what you see in the pictures. She told me of them and I looked them up and checked out all the reviews. About 9 out of 10 were raving about these. The way their made and, the way they attach to the trailer, sure as heck made sense to me. So, I figured what the heck, let's get a set. Better yet, let's get TWO sets. So, I did. Amazon had them at my front door in two days.

I installed them in about 25 minutes. They fit on the 2"x3" cross beams of the trailer. There's two U-bolts for each up-right. When you tighten them down, it's like they're welded onto those cross beams. The instructions don't say just how far from the inside of each side toon, to mount them to help guide the boat onto the trailer. So, I installed them so they were about an inch and a quarter from the inside edge of the side toons. There's one set on the third cross beam from the tail end of the trailer. There's a second set, on the cross beam in front of the front axle. The two sets are spanned far enough apart that, they will hold that boat parallel to the bunks to, hopefully, successfully bunk the boat properly without any input from me, in or out of the water. By the way, the water's about 52-54 degrees right now so, wading around in it while trying to bunk the boat, AIN'T FUN! I don't mind it when the water's 80+ degrees.

Anyway, take a look at these new toys to see what you think. If they work half as good as the reviews, we're both gonna be happy campers.
I had these on my trailer when i was still towing the boat. i am on a lake with 10-15 mph. crosswinds and never had an issue. once the boat starts on the trailer I could power all the way and it would center on the bunks.
 

BigKahuna

Well-Known Member
Messages
4,213
Reaction score
2,800
Location
North Carolina
Couldn't see the guides......The glare from those shiny toons were blinding me!!! Ha! Before moving to Lake Norman we kept our boat on the trailer for years. We just floated it on, winched it tight and pulled up the ramp slowly and it seated itself on the bunks. Now we just do it twice a year.
 

FIRE UP

Well-Known Member
Messages
73
Reaction score
124
Hey Gang,
Thanks to all for responding. Very much appreciated. Yep, there's various ways of retrieving a boat, including a tri-toon. In the first 25 or so years of retrieving our other boats, I never *powered* them onto the trailer. In my mind, I thought that practice was just a form of laziness or, folks just didn't want to get the tires wet on the tow vehicle or whatever. But, as time went on, and boats changed (ours), I actually tried that practice and, well, I learned that, in most cases, it does work and help. But, I do have my concerns about it. One being that, if you realize the physics of that type of operation, depending on just how much or how far, one has to POWER the boat onto its bunks and, up to the stopping point, you're actually putting a fair amount of forward pressure on those bunks, and the mountings for them.

Now, so far, I doubt anyone's done any damage to their trailer/bunks/mounts etc. by doing this practice and, after quite a few years at boat ramps, and seeing folks retrieve any and all size/types of boats and not seeing any form of issues/damage/problems, it seems the practice of powering a boat onto its trailer, does no damage. But, in any case, we'll be taking our lovely Benny out for a short cruise today and, will be testing our newly installed guide-ons. And, while the boat's off the trailer, we'll dock it and if the parking lot is somewhat open, it's time to do a bit of *trailer backing* teaching to the CEO. She, over all the years of us boating, has Captain'd the boat off and back on the trailer as I do all the backing of and parking the trailer and truck.

But, she's a bit intimidated with our newly acquired Queen Mary (2550 RCL) and, she thinks she'd rather do the truck/trailer backing while I take on putting the boat back onto the trailer. We'll see. Thanks again.
Scott
 

2fast4u

Well-Known Member
Messages
191
Reaction score
187
Location
central North Carolina
nice set up. since this is a tri toon and the pictures look like the clearance between the toons is close and you have polished toons you might want to add some type of protection on the back side of the uprights (opposite from pads) to protect your center toon from scrapes or scratches when you first start the boat on the trailer.
 

FIRE UP

Well-Known Member
Messages
73
Reaction score
124
2fast,
I thank you for responding. I beat ya to the punch Pal. Yep, I had the same thoughts when I first opened the packages for these guide-ons. The black pads you see are a form of ABS plastic for the *intended contact points*. As for the back side of those posts, well, I had numerous ideas. One was to add some HDPE 1/8" plastic to them. Or, some glued on carpet. Or, I have some brand new left over 3/8" thick mud flap that I could cut into strips and screw it to the posts. But, in the end, I came up with another idea that will work even better and, was a whole lot easier to install. Not that installing any of the other ideas was gonna be any big deal anyway.

But, what I did was, cut and install, some UHMW *anti-friction* tape on them. This tape is approximately 3/32" in. thick x 1.5" wide. And, it has some of the strongest glue on it that I've come in contact with. I just peeled the backing off and stuck it to the backside of those posts. Then, I trimmed it where needed. Now, if ANYTHING were to bump up against the back side, it would slip right on by it due to the fact that that tape provide an almost bearing like non-resistance. It's more like a Teflon ZERO friction tape.

But, in reality, once all that work was done and the guide-ons were installed, frankly, I can't figure out how ANY portion of the toons could hit the back side. I mean, we're gonna get that boat darn close to being as perfectly aligned with the trailer BEFORE we actually come close to those guide-ons. And if all goes well, then the front side of the guide-ons will be the only part that MAY touch the inside of the outside toons. At least that's my theory anyway, we'll see, later today. I'll be back, as Arnold would say. Stay *tooned*.
Scott
 

Maynard G. Krebs

Well-Known Member
Messages
274
Reaction score
214
I see a potential problem. On a steep ramp it's possible for the front uprights to be centered but the rears can get underneath the lifting strakes if there's any crosswind. Connecting the front and rear uprights with a padded horizontal brace forces the aft end to follow the bow as you pull out of the water.
 

Vikingstaff

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,201
Reaction score
3,013
Location
Michigan
Whenever I read these threads, I‘m thankful I don’t have to trailer our boat. I have to “assist” twice a year when our dealership drops it off and picks it up at a DNR boat launch for off season storage for us. Looks like good ideas and a nice solution above with the bunk guides. Best wishes on it all working as you in vision.
 

Maynard G. Krebs

Well-Known Member
Messages
274
Reaction score
214
Whenever I read these threads, I‘m thankful I don’t have to trailer our boat. I have to “assist” twice a year when our dealership drops it off and picks it up at a DNR boat launch for off season storage for us.
Lol, personal preference I guess. I've read enough posts about boats in storage that I'm glad I don't have to worry about theft, damage, or lack of access. Mine sits in my backyard under a metal canopy and I can have it in the water twenty minutes after I decide to go.
 

FIRE UP

Well-Known Member
Messages
73
Reaction score
124
Ok Gang,
News flash, just in. THEY WORK PERFECT!!!!!!!! Yep, I parked the trailer with the bunks about 3-4' out of the water, that is, length, not up. So, the front set of guide-ons were out of the water by maybe 18" or so, I don't recall. The rear ones were out of the water by about 4"-6" or so. We had almost no wind, and, where that particular ramp is, it's not totally shielded from wakes from the lake but, there's a 5 mph/no wake zone that extends from that ramp, to about 300' out. So, the water was about as calm as could be, no wind and, no congestion. I lined the boat up as best as possible for a Queen Mary and, I could feel the new guide-ons ever so gently *nudge* the boat dead straight. I hit the bunks at about baby crawling speed. (I know, some babies crawl pretty fast but, I was going REALLY slow).

The boat stopped, about 2.5' away from the trailer bumper/stops at the front ladder. I began to throttle up a slight bit and the boat climbed right up the bunks and, the rear settled in EXACTLY where it's supposed to sit, as the bow gently touched the ladder bumpers. YAHOOOOOOOOO! I didn't even get WET. I stepped off the boat, onto the trailer tongue and bent down to take a look at the clearance between the new guide-ons and the outer toons. They were/are sitting EXACTLY the distance away from the toons, as I installed them last night, again, YAHOOOOOOO. All is well. To me folks, the approximately $180 for those four guide-ons was money SERIOUSLY well spent.

If anyone has any trouble retrieving their boat, like we USED TO, I'd highly recommend them. As stated by some of you, you already have something similar. Well, that's great. Now, we used to have the outer ones that guide the boat from the outside of the toons. I didn't like those so, off they came. I'm very happy with these new ones.
Scott
 

JandKE

Well-Known Member
Messages
90
Reaction score
180
Location
Live: Rochester, MN Boat: Hutchinson, MN
Ok Gang,
News flash, just in. THEY WORK PERFECT!!!!!!!! ... I'm very happy with these new ones.
Scott
Good for you Scott! You've found out the secret...do what works for YOU! Like VikingStaff, I only put my pontoon back on the trailer once, at the end of the year, but that's how it works for me, not for you. I'm glad you found something that makes your enjoyment of your pontoon easier! Thanks for sharing with the rest of us!
 

Vikingstaff

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,201
Reaction score
3,013
Location
Michigan
Good Deal! Less stress will = more boating. Just as it should be. Enjoy the heck out of your solution, and the satisfaction that comes with doing it yourself. Boat on buddy. Boat on. :)
 

Tin Diesel

Well-Known Member
Messages
302
Reaction score
666
Location
Houston, TX
They are like what came with my trailer. Work great!
20180428_145325.jpg20180428_144805.jpg
 

FIRE UP

Well-Known Member
Messages
73
Reaction score
124
Tindiesel,
We used to have the external guide-ons. But, they were constructed out of heavy gauge steel tubing and had ABS pipe that slid over those. Well, the very first time we launched and retrieved the boat, we'd put too much pressure on one of those ABS pipes (it floated up at the trailer sank deeper into the water while on the boat ramp) with one of the pontoons and, SNAP! That ABS pipe snapped right off, leaving a very sharp edged piece of tubing protruding just above the water line. Well guess what, that sharp edge scratched one of our toons, CRAP! And as stated, that was our very first time to retrieve this boat.

So, I was not about to have this happen TWICE! So, OFF THEY CAME! And since then, we'd have various troubles retrieving that boat. We've since also, had the toons HIGHLY POLISHED and, again, I did not want to take any chance on scratching those polished toons. So, this is when I saw the INTERNAL guide-ons. I thought, hmmmm, they appear to work in a better fashion and, with way less potential damage. So, anyway, you know the rest of the story. I should have looked these up a long time ago. Thanks for your pics. Yours are darn close to what I just installed.
Scott
 

Dewey643

Active Member
Messages
41
Reaction score
58
Whenever I read these threads, I‘m thankful I don’t have to trailer our boat. I have to “assist” twice a year when our dealership drops it off and picks it up at a DNR boat launch for off season storage for us. Looks like good ideas and a nice solution above with the bunk guides. Best wishes on it all working as you in vision.
I'm STRONGLY leaning towards renting pier space over trailering seeing that I'm single,and a "one man band".
 

FIRE UP

Well-Known Member
Messages
73
Reaction score
124
I'm STRONGLY leaning towards renting pier space over trailering seeing that I'm single,and a "one man band".
Dewey643,
Well, before I installed those wazoo internal guide-ons, I was getting a bit frustrated with getting it back on the trailer. But, so far, with the one and only time I've retrieved that boat, it was SOOOOOOOO much easier with them. I drove it onto the trailer and, never even got wet. Normally, I'd be outside the boat and guiding the wife while she navigated the boat back onto the trailer and I'd be up to my knees or almost waist helping position the boat. But, this last time, I piloted that boat right onto the trailer, with the TREMENDOUS help from those guide ons and, drove it right up to the bump-stop-ladder. I stopped the engine, tilted it, and walked up and kneeled down and hooked up the winch. She put the truck in gear (4WD) and, up the boat ramp we went. The boat was positioned on the trailer EXACTLY where it's supposed to ride. It was a very, very easy retrieval.
Scott
 

jhill

Well-Known Member
Messages
297
Reaction score
393
Location
Portland, Oregon
Hey Gang,
Well, all our other boats up to this point, have been V-hull boats. And, retrieving them back onto a trailer, is not very hard. Some are harder than others but, most V-hulls don't give us very much trouble. But, this Benny tri-toon, can be one pain in the a... And, that's even with no wind, no wakes etc. Now, I know, many guys have different approaches, little systems etc. that help them put their Bennies back on the trailer. Well, we've done it, a few times but, based on the logistics of the boat, type of trailer, bunks etc. it's still a pain. We've tried it with the bunks out of the water pretty far, back down in the water 'till they're barely out, fenders all the way under, fenders just even with the water level etc. We eventually get it on the trailer correctly. But, it normally involves me wading around and holding the boat from meandering from side to side while she drives the truck up the ramp so the boat self seats on the bunks. And, I've done the *Power the boat" thing onto the trailer too. Sometimes that works but, at other times, well, it don't. We've had boats, 5 of them before this one and, as stated, they've not been too hard to retrieve.

So, I was about to put my *MacGyver* skills to the test and come up with some guide board, i.e. 2"x6" on a set of stanchions that would be horizontal and help guide the boat more straight onto the trailer. Well, low and behold, the wife was diligently looking at things on Amazon and, came up with what you see in the pictures. She told me of them and I looked them up and checked out all the reviews. About 9 out of 10 were raving about these. The way their made and, the way they attach to the trailer, sure as heck made sense to me. So, I figured what the heck, let's get a set. Better yet, let's get TWO sets. So, I did. Amazon had them at my front door in two days.

I installed them in about 25 minutes. They fit on the 2"x3" cross beams of the trailer. There's two U-bolts for each up-right. When you tighten them down, it's like they're welded onto those cross beams. The instructions don't say just how far from the inside of each side toon, to mount them to help guide the boat onto the trailer. So, I installed them so they were about an inch and a quarter from the inside edge of the side toons. There's one set on the third cross beam from the tail end of the trailer. There's a second set, on the cross beam in front of the front axle. The two sets are spanned far enough apart that, they will hold that boat parallel to the bunks to, hopefully, successfully bunk the boat properly without any input from me, in or out of the water. By the way, the water's about 52-54 degrees right now so, wading around in it while trying to bunk the boat, AIN'T FUN! I don't mind it when the water's 80+ degrees.

Anyway, take a look at these new toys to see what you think. If they work half as good as the reviews, we're both gonna be happy campers.
I put the exact same guides on my 2013 22SLX with express center tube. I actually have horizontal 2x6 carpeted bunks on 2013 EZLoader trailer so I put one set on last crossbar near engine like you did but had to mount second set farther forward than you because of those guides. First time we launched the front ones caught under the front rub rail so I took them off and shortened them a couple inches and sprayed raw metal with rustoleum and reattached the vinyl cap. Works perfect for driving boat onto trailer now! My dealer says most people go too deep int water. He recommends like middle of tandem fender breaking water surface I think. Then drive it on....ease it 95% to stop....leave it idling in forward gear....lean out front door and attach winch strap and crank to stop. Then neutral and off. Even easier if you have helper
 
Top