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GoodOldBoater 11-26-2011 04:14 PM

Trailering a Spirit 23 - Surge Brakes
hey all

So I have a double axle trailer for my 77 S23,

It used to have surge brakes
but I rebuilt it and replaced both hubs,
with non-surge type brakes.

SO - who is trailering the 3000 lbs plus trailer without surge brakes?
AND WHAT Vehicle do you use?

I have towed up to 300 miles boat
w/ a Landrover LR2 SUV rated at 3500 lbs.


my900ss 11-28-2011 12:26 PM

A few questions come to mind...

1. What type of brakes are on the trailer now or are you suggesting there are none?

2. What is the total weight of the boat and trailer combined?

3. Is your tow Vehicle still the Land Rover LR2 SUV?

GoodOldBoater 11-28-2011 05:09 PM

1. No brakes on trailer. Original surge brakes non-functioning and removed.
2. Total Boat weight w/ motor and gear 3000 lbs plus Double Axle trailer approx 1000 lbs.
3. Tow Vehicle 2008 LR2 SUV (3500 lbs towing capacity).

So that Puts me 500 pounds over weight limit for my SUV - and no surge brakes.
(I did tow it home and have moved it around the yard but that's it.)

I guess I could get the whole thing weighed to be sure?


my900ss 11-29-2011 07:56 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Ok, so I what take from the conversation is that you are hoping you do not need brakes on a trailer based on the towing capacity of your tow vehicle. You are slightly over the rated amount thus wanting validation of your thought/hope you will not need the trailer brakes. Do I have that summary correct?

When we trailer a boat the pull and push point to start and stop the trailer is at the hitch. The brakes on the trailer reduce the load at that point under braking. The brakes on a trailer serve in a primary regard to help you stop your vehicle with the added weight but as a secondary function aid in the stability of the trailer under braking. I.E. will help reduce the tendency of the trailer to want to get in front of your LR under heavy braking. Can you get away without having brakes on your trailer while towing a Spirit 23? The answer is more than likely yes, you may never have an issue. However if you ever need to brake and change lanes in an urgent fashion, NOT having the trailer brakes may indeed turn out to be a poor choice. By not reducing the excessive load on your trailer pivot point you increase the likely hood of a jackknife under heavy braking.

As a reference I just towed my Catalina 27 from California to North Carolina and brakes on the trailer while possibly never needed, they were appreciated. Best of luck to you whatever your final choice may be.



makenmend 11-30-2011 10:08 AM

Towed my (new to me) NA23, 200 + miles with an Avalanche rated at 7,300 lbs,allowed plenty of braking distance and kept road speed to no greater than 60 mph. No problems with braking under normal cicumstance at all.

GoodOldBoater 11-30-2011 10:30 PM

Thanks for the reply all. I usually tow my S23 and trailer once a year w/ a F250 and the lack of brakes are no problem for that truck.

BUT When I towed my boat back home w/ my LR2 V6, I used the sport mode which revs the engine higher, and I took it VERY easy on the highway 50-55mph - left PLENTY of space for braking - used a amber flasher light on the roof while driving, and kept the drive as simple as possible. The lack of brakes didn't seem like a problem as long as there was no panic stops.

So YES, I'm considering towing her up to New England for a few weeks next summer, instead of the little 10ft sailing dinghy I usually bring up to get out on the water.

If not she'll go back into the Chesapeake Bay in May...maybe a bit sooner!


windyway 12-15-2011 09:52 PM

I may get flamed here... but I think that anyone that trailers these boats any distance with anything under a 1 ton truck and no trailer brakes is suicidal. :eek:Things may not go wrong, but things sometimes do... You have to prepare for the worst to happen when your on the road with other (insane) drivers. The original trailers came with only brakes on the front axle. I decided to put brakes on both. I tell you it's a pain, cause every fall I need to overhaul the brakes cause salt water gets into the slave cylinders even with the fresh water flush system I installed. But I feel it's necessary. Mostly for safety, but also cause I love my boat! (there I admitted it! :o)

GoodOldBoater 12-16-2011 05:22 PM

I do agree after some thought and research - the dual axle trailer alone must be well over 1000 lbs, plus at least 3000 lbs for boat = too much for my little Landrover.

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