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Old 06-02-2022, 09:28 AM   #1
thinkxingu
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Default Jetski Loading/Unloading Trailer Mods?

Last fall, I picked up a second ski and a double trailer. My current "issue" is that either I have to bury the trailer in the water or push/crank real hard to unload/load the skis.

Given the hull depth, I don't believe I can drop both sides of the bunks, but I may be able to drop the rear one. Would that help?

Also, would it help using a riser hitch, say 4" rise or something?

Any other suggestions?

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Old 06-02-2022, 09:34 AM   #2
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Old 06-02-2022, 01:03 PM   #3
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For $15.19, Overton's has a 16-oz spray bottle of Slydz-On-Spray-On Bunk Lubricant.

For about two dollars, there's a large jar of Vaseline in the Family Dollar baby section, and that probably works very good. Just grease the last three feet on both bunks, or something, so's it will slide off the trailer when pushed ..... plus the trailer will totally love it. .... ha-ha-ha
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Old 06-02-2022, 02:19 PM   #4
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Bunk trailers want to be submerged as much as possible.... if you don't like how far you have to back your tow vehicle in, get a metal fab shop to help you lengthen the tongue of the trailer...

Do not try and play games with the hitch point, you will gain very little doing so.....
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Old 06-02-2022, 02:41 PM   #5
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It appears I have four (main) options:
1. Go deeper.
2. Drop the bunks.
3. Bunk slide spray.
4. Add bunk glide thingies.

I can't really go deeper as my axle and exhaust are just about submerged and I don't want to risk hull damage by lowering the bunks too much.

I assume the spray would require periodic reapplication, which would require me putting the skis somewhere while I did that, so I'm wondering if bunk slides are a good solution.

Thoughts?

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Old 06-03-2022, 10:13 AM   #6
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How far are you towing? As stated above, can have a loooong hitch made so trailer is deep but vehicle out of water. Just won't want to tow too far if really long.
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Old 06-03-2022, 11:51 AM   #7
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How far are you towing? As stated above, can have a loooong hitch made so trailer is deep but vehicle out of water. Just won't want to tow too far if really long.
I'm only towing 1/4 mile off main roads, but the long hitch causes other issues—mostly that where it would put me would be too deep and close to other boats.

I ordered some bunk slides this morning, so I'll see how that goes.

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Old 06-03-2022, 02:23 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thinkxingu View Post
I'm only towing 1/4 mile off main roads, but the long hitch causes other issues—mostly that where it would put me would be too deep and close to other boats.

I ordered some bunk slides this morning, so I'll see how that goes.

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As I continue to read here, the m ore I am thinking you are looking for just a few more inches so you aren't in a position that your exhaust is at water level.... so how about something like this:

https://www.etrailer.com/Hitch-Adapt...ophy/HE06.html

or for even a few more inches this Model:

https://www.etrailer.com/dept-pg-Hit...nch_Hitch.aspx

Just some aditional options to think about, that are easily removable, for when you want to go down a main road...
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Old 06-03-2022, 02:55 PM   #9
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Maybe you can put smaller tires on the trailer or have a spring shop lower the trailer.

If you are only using it to go a very short distance down the road, as long as there are no big humps or speed bumps, those changes won't negatively affect it.
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Old 06-03-2022, 04:50 PM   #10
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Will a lower lake level later in the season have any impact, or does the ramp extend out enough to avoid these issues?
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Old 06-03-2022, 05:48 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Descant View Post
Will a lower lake level later in the season have any impact, or does the ramp extend out enough to avoid these issues?
It doesn't get any worse because just beyond where I stop now gets deeper, which means that it continues to be the same overall problem when the water level drops...just further back.

I think the issue might be resolved with the bunk glide-ons I ordered. The only thing a lot of people say is to make sure the bow hook is connected all the way so the machine doesn't slip off. I do that anyway, but the manual for the glide-ons also mentions keeping part carpet for a little bit of grip. That might be the solution.

The ones I ordered, by the way, are Tiedown Industries Bunk Glide-ons.

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Old 06-03-2022, 06:33 PM   #12
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Loosen the winch strap about 12 to 18 inches just before you back in. Hit the brakes and the machine will slide back on the trailer. That should help some. Just make sure you lock the winch before you back up.
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Old 06-06-2022, 06:51 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LIforrelaxin View Post
As I continue to read here, the m ore I am thinking you are looking for just a few more inches so you aren't in a position that your exhaust is at water level.... so how about something like this:

https://www.etrailer.com/Hitch-Adapt...ophy/HE06.html

or for even a few more inches this Model:

https://www.etrailer.com/dept-pg-Hit...nch_Hitch.aspx

Just some aditional options to think about, that are easily removable, for when you want to go down a main road...
I like that idea. I launch with the sienna and often submerge the tailpipe. Few extra inches would be nice.


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Old 06-06-2022, 07:09 PM   #14
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PSA about the bunk slides and locking the winch. I replaced the bunks on my 24' four winns trailer last year and did the poly bunk covers for them instead of carpet. The first time relaunching the boat with them on I backed up as normal, undid the safety chain on the bow eye, but left the winch strap connected. I reversed the winch and began to crank out the boat, it didn't move so I gave it a little shove.....

It proceeded to slide down the trailer, fast, unwinding the winch and spinning the handle right around until it found my elbow as a stop...I am still sorry for what came out of my mouth at the boat ramp that day.....
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Old 06-06-2022, 08:40 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Juiced06GTO View Post
PSA about the bunk slides and locking the winch. I replaced the bunks on my 24' four winns trailer last year and did the poly bunk covers for them instead of carpet. The first time relaunching the boat with them on I backed up as normal, undid the safety chain on the bow eye, but left the winch strap connected. I reversed the winch and began to crank out the boat, it didn't move so I gave it a little shove.....

It proceeded to slide down the trailer, fast, unwinding the winch and spinning the handle right around until it found my elbow as a stop...I am still sorry for what came out of my mouth at the boat ramp that day.....
Thanks for the tip!

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Old 06-07-2022, 01:26 PM   #16
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Quote:
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I am still sorry for what came out of my mouth at the boat ramp that day.....
Would Spock have been in awe of your use of colorful metaphors? (its a Star Trek thing).....
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Old 06-12-2022, 09:55 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LIforrelaxin View Post
Would Spock have been in awe of your use of colorful metaphors? (its a Star Trek thing).....
I'm not familiar with the reference, but yes, I'm sure he would have haha.
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Old 07-28-2022, 02:26 AM   #18
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For some closure here: I ended up installing Tie Down Engineering's "Bunk Glide-ons" purchased from eBay for $55 shipped. One box comes with 4 pieces, which allowed me to put one on the bottom of each bunk of my double trailer, keeping carpet on the top sections. This is a suggestion in the manual to keep a bit of grip.

They work perfectly and, because they're "self-aligning," help to keep the skis from loading crooked. They are much easier to slide the skis off and on, even without a ton of water.

It was very good timing, as well, since one of the bunks was rotted away and probably only a short drive from collapsing. I replaced it with a new PT stick and double-checked all the others.

Thanks for the suggestions!

PS In the process of solving this, it was shared with me that there should be a third tiedown when transporting vessels: the standard bow hook, stern hook(s), and a backup bow hook that goes straight down to the trailer (rather than to the roller). Without this, the vessel might have some bounce in the front, potentially causing issues.

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Old 07-28-2022, 08:48 AM   #19
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Life is easier with a well set up trailer!

The extra tie down from the bow ring straight down helped tame my 17'cc.

If there is no obvious place to attach the additional strap there are small galvanized plates available that have two holes in them.

The plate can be placed on to a winch post clamp or another clamp can be added to the trailer tongue.
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Old 07-28-2022, 09:21 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 8gv View Post
Life is easier with a well set up trailer!

The extra tie down from the bow ring straight down helped tame my 17'cc.

If there is no obvious place to attach the additional strap there are small galvanized plates available that have two holes in them.

The plate can be placed on to a winch post clamp or another clamp can be added to the trailer tongue.
I haven't looked closely at my trailer yet, but I was just thinking of using a ratchet strap wrapped around the frame of the trailer—that should work, yes?

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Old 07-28-2022, 10:54 AM   #21
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That will work but over time the fabric strap might get chaffed from the metal contact.

Lots of launches and /or lots of miles might create an issue.

If that isn't your usage it should be fine.
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Old 07-28-2022, 11:28 AM   #22
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That will work but over time the fabric strap might get chaffed from the metal contact.

Lots of launches and /or lots of miles might create an issue.

If that isn't your usage it should be fine.
I only trailer it out of camp twice a year when taking it to, and picking it up from, DaSilva's.

Thanks!

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