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jimbo
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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.
 

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How much tongue weight on your trailer? Looks like a couple hundred pounds would either bend the square tube or have you doing wheelies. I'll bet it backs up good though...
 

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Hull Number 33
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Back in the early 80's I had a Venture 17 that had a tongue extension on the trailer mounted on the left side of the trailer tongue box that was held by two metal straps welded to the trailer center bar. To use it, you had to switch from the main trailer ball to the one mounted on the extension and extend the extension it's full length. The problem was that you had to be careful on some ramps with a steep incline not to "High center" the extension until the vehicle was on the same incline as the trailer and boat.
Worked fairly well at Lake Mead when the launch depth was very shallow, but you might have water over the rear wheel openings in a Ford Bronco.
 

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We've used a tow strap in a pinch. Just steer the trailer wheel and let gravity do the work. Getting it out was even easier.
 

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Freedom isn't free
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Yep Strap launch... although a decent set of dolly wheels helps. The hard wheel on the adjustable dolly is not built to take those kinds of stresses. Tractor supply or a hardware store will have fixed, or rotating dolly wheels that can hold up to #600 of tongue weight.

Make sure your boat tongue weight is well positive, chock the wheels of the trailer.. unhitch, lower trailer down onto the dolly wheels... rig a strap from the trailer to the tow vehicle (actually do that first before you unhitch)... then slowly take up the slack until the chocks can be removed... Back down.

This procedure requires you to be all lined up first, but it allows you as much extra distance as you like (as long as the strap), to get the boat in... It ALSO requires a very long ramp.
 

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We cut off the hitch on the trailer and found a tube that would slide into the trailer tongue. drilled a couple of holes thru the tongue and tube to extend the tube then welded a coupler to the end of the tube. unhitch slide out the tube. place the pins thru the tongue and tube rehitch and back in. we left the wheel on the tongue jack down enough to take some of the weight.
 

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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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jimbo
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
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.
 

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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?
 

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jimbo
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
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
 

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Freedom isn't free
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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.
 

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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
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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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...
 
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