10th Jan 2020, 09:40 AM #1
Trailer keel rollers or skids under wooden hull?
I am in the process of setting up a trailer for the Seneca skiff I have just completed building. It is 4.3 mtrs. long, flat bottomed but with 250 mm lift at the bow. The false keel timber is 90 mm wide. Should I be using rubber rollers under the keel ? It is set up with matching width rollers and I am in the process of making up carpeted side skids. Are rubber keel rollers my best option? I do not want to damage the false keel. It is not covered with fibre glass cloth as is the rest of the hull.Just Do It !
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10th Jan 2020, 11:29 AM #2
A few years ago we restored one of our wooden Scout boats in our group, we used a local highly respected wooden boat builder to assist with the restoration and the building of a new trailer, his recommendation was to put a full length polythene runner down the middle of the trailer with to support the whole keel this also allows the boat to be launched and recovered safely. The advantage of this is when it is wet the boat slides nicely.
We have gone on to use this setup for all out boat trailers - we recently build a new fibreglass boat and are using the same flat setup for that - there is still a single roller at the end of the trailer to assist getting the boat on the runner, the attached photo shows the bow end of the runner, and the rear roller, excuse the quality of the photos strangely alot of photos of the boats none of the trailers
runner one.JPG Runner 2.JPGRunner 3.JPG
10th Jan 2020, 10:18 PM #3
Thanks for the response. My main worry is not launching/retrieving the boat but keel damage during travel. The keel is made up of three layers of 19 mm thick timber plus the hull sheeting of 10 mm ply all epoxied together - I have 58 mm of timber that sits above the keel rollers so I am not worried about the strength, just the thought of the false keel sitting on four rollers and denting the paint/timber. The The front roller will not have the same load on it because it sits under the curved up bottom towards the bow. I think if I utilise 3 tie-down straps and make sure that they are tensioned evenly and not over tight the keel rollers will do the job. I guess there will be a bit of trial & error involved. I may make up three light but stiff spreader bars , gunnel to gunnel and position the tie down straps over the top of them. That should make it a bit easier to get equal tension on the three straps.
I like your idea of the full length keel skid which would be relatively easy if I was building a trailer but I have a 10 year old trailer, never been in the water, which I am going to use and am modifying only slightly, to do the job.
The boat is purpose built for fishing the inland rivers and dams. Stable casting platform, easy to power and shallow draught for drifting over logs gravel and rock bars in the rivers. We live on the Murrumbidgee. Thanks again for the post.
.IMG_3103.jpgDSCF2235.jpgDSCF3755.jpgJust Do It !
13th Jan 2020, 10:24 AM #4
I would still be inclined to support the whole keel with a centre runner, provides support when towing especially is you are transiting dirt or rougher roads, I would suggest running it all the way through to that cross beam by the front of the trailer and placing a roller to support the bow to stop it rocking bow to stern on the trailer.
Also the problem with tie downs is the drag the gunnels down when you apply pressure cause the boat to flex out, if your side runners a firm you can use like an inverted triangle which is placed on the keel and puts all the tie down force onto the keel and not the gunnels and use a stern cross bar to stop port to starboard rocking, all boats will move a bit and they need to flex.
13th Jan 2020, 05:41 PM #5
I also like the idea of the centre runner. I am going to keep a close eye on the keel for damage from the rollers. It is reasonably easy to move around on the trailer. If I find that they are causing problems it won't be a big job to install a runner. The boat will rarely if ever be towed on rough roads apart from the tracks down to a launch site when the dam water level is low.
I am very conscious of the fact that over tightening tie downs can flare the sides of the boat. I am going to set them up so that the gunnels are located between cleats on the ends of the ends of the spreader boards so that they cannot move neither in or out. I will post a couple of pics when I get them sorted.
Thanks again for your post.Just Do It !
14th Jan 2020, 11:00 AM #6
Definitely sounds like you have it handled - I would like to see the photos of the final trailer and the spreader boards,
BTW the boat looks awesome wish I have the patience to undertake something that big,
14th Jan 2020, 06:47 PM #7
Been in Brisbane for a couple of weeks, just got home this arvo. I spend as much time thinking about things as I do actually working. The boat plans are for a bare hull so I've had to design and build the rope locker, fore deck/storage, floor boards, side console, combination fuel tank box/swivel seat base and the inner rails I have built into the gunnels.
I will post some pics when I get it done.
Alan.Just Do It !
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