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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > longer hitch for launching boat
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Thread: longer hitch for launching boat Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
08-14-2013 08:45 PM
oomfh
Re: longer hitch for launching boat

Turn your spare wheel into a fifth wheel and launch with a strap

Spare Tire Carrier And Spare Hub 1-3/8"- 86079 | Trailer Spare Tire Carriers And Mounts | Tie Down Eng | TrailerPartsDepot.com
08-13-2013 08:52 AM
Johnnycatt
Re: longer hitch for launching boat

hey, man, if it works for you, go fo it...

Mine is almost exactly the opposite... one guy already posted the idea, but i LOVE my trailer's extention. the "trailer hitch" is on a 10-ft long 3x4 rectangular tube that slides into the main "beam" of the trailer and is "pinned" with a 3/4" pin. When it is fully extended, it lengthens my trailer by about 10 ft. Of course, you can't tow with it that way, but man it is easy to put the boat in and out of the water. Sometimes my tires don't even get wet!

A creative guy with a torch and a welding rod coould do the same for YOUR trailer...
08-13-2013 07:55 AM
SHNOOL
Re: longer hitch for launching boat

To answer the question of "why such heavy tongue weights?"
Easy... tongue weight should be 10% or MORE of the weight of the all-up package of boat and trailer.

I'm at #2950 for the boat, probably #1000 for the trailer (minimum), without any extra gear. So Figure #3950... 10% is 395lbs, and the tongue is every bit of that, if not slightly more. THAT'S why such heavy tongue weight! if you are less than 10% tongue weight, you have a serious unbalanced rig and should consider moving the boat forward on the trailer.
08-12-2013 10:21 PM
Bruce_L
Re: longer hitch for launching boat

Yes, I agree, my trailer rolls less than 80 feet each way with the extension connected. Probably never sees speeds over 1/2 mph. I do get a lot of looks from other boaters launching though. I recommend anyone planning a deep launch to do some research on how far the concrete extends down the ramp to avoid the dreaded drop off and possible wheel hang up on the trailer retrieval. I would not trust a verbal description from anyone unless i see them launch a boat/trailer combo similar to my setup. If there is a pier next to the ramp you can use a piece of metal emt conduit and tap on concrete ramp as you walk out to deeper water while still on the pier. When the clank sound changes to a thud, you are in sand/mud and past the lip of the ramp. Make a note of how far out you walked and also what the tide status is at that time of the day. This worked great for me as i launched from a strange ramp for the 1st time with zero surprises.
08-09-2013 10:17 AM
blt2ski
Re: longer hitch for launching boat

We had a trailer with a built in 10' extension so we could float the 21' CB boat I grew up sailing as a teen. Pretty common way to make it easier to get a boat in and out of the water.

I do agree that a hitch extension is not the best option, extending the trailer tongue is the "BEST" option, but for a short 100'/yd trip typically at best, with speeds under 5-10 mph, should not be an issue!

marty
08-08-2013 07:42 AM
SHNOOL
Re: longer hitch for launching boat

I think the extension will work fine by the way...

I know the tongue weight on my 25 footer (lighter than yours) pushes 500lbs. But when you combine THAT with the angle of launch, and the tongue weight actually decreases dramatically. I WILL strongly suggest you not hitch to the extension until you are ON the ramp though. Block the trailer, unhitch, slide in the extension, hitch, pull forward, unblock, then slide it in!

Make sure to remove the extension as well on the ramp... And you'll be able to use that thing for years!

I had a sliding neck on my old trailer, I think the stress is manageable.
08-07-2013 10:37 PM
boknows
Re: longer hitch for launching boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce_L View Post
My hitch extension is a 20 foot section of 2" square steel tubing, i have 5/8" holes drilled every two feet for adjustment and use two tractor hitchpins to lock it in place. I have a full deep keel and really have to sink my trailer quite a ways since the local ramp is not that steep. i have the tongue weight set light and have no issues when i have 16 feet of extension out there. Trailer pulls perfect with no issues at speeds up to 60 mph. Easy to remove and store too. Truck tires are dry during the entire launch process.
Why are so many of you going with such heavy tounge weights?
Man thats great. Took the original and made it bettee
08-07-2013 10:35 PM
Bruce_L
Re: longer hitch for launching boat

My hitch extension is a 20 foot section of 2" square steel tubing, i have 5/8" holes drilled every two feet for adjustment and use two tractor hitchpins to lock it in place. I have a full deep keel and really have to sink my trailer quite a ways since the local ramp is not that steep. i have the tongue weight set light and have no issues when i have 16 feet of extension out there. Trailer pulls perfect with no issues at speeds up to 60 mph. Easy to remove and store too. Truck tires are dry during the entire launch process.
Why are so many of you going with such heavy tounge weights?
08-05-2013 01:36 PM
boknows
Re: longer hitch for launching boat

I agree its a ton of leverage but based on my tongue weight it works well. Now my wife and I jumped on it with no prob. Over 370 lbs. No problems at all. If you have a tongue weight over that amount or a weak hitch I would not suggest this.
08-05-2013 11:59 AM
JTP11
Re: longer hitch for launching boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by boknows View Post
Just copying an old idea but I thought I would post it to help somebody. I made a 5 ft long bar and ball because I was having to get to deep in the water to launch my oday 25.
I would strongly advise against extending the ball that far from the hitch. That 5ft of leverage with only a few hundred pounds of the trailer tongue is plenty enough to bend the hitch and/or shear the mounting bolts from the frame rails of your truck.

I know when I have a big stubborn nut or bolt to remove when working in the garage, I reach for the 4ft breaker bar. It's never failed me and more often than not the bolts tend to shear off.
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