Archived Trailer Guys Questions
The Boat Trailering Guys
I'm "single-handing" a 1000# skiff with a 315 PowerWinch on a roller trailer. That winch is a web-strap model. I wore out the clutch discs in a season because the vibration and pressure of long trailering caused them to slip, requiring me to periodically stop and winch-on about three inches. Suspecting something was wrong, I re-read the manual and spoke to them on the phone. The manufacturer says not to trailer with the web-strap supporting the pull of a vessel's bow-eye even when a loose safety-chain is attached between the winch mount and boweye. Instead, they want the strain only on the safety-chain and bow-stop by winching the bow up the bow-stop, hooking the safety-chain to the bow-eye, then de-tensioning the webstrap by backing off on the winch's clutchknob. This transfers the tension to the chain for towing. What is your opinion of this connection and procedure? John F., New York
Answered on: 6/2005
MIKE: While I have not had this particular experience with an electric winch, it does make sense. I would always recommend a bow safety strap in any towing situation. Since the manufacturer is recommending backing off the brake on the winch it is important that your safety chain/device be very taught, not allowing any movement of the boat on the trailer while towing. One set up that I have seen and really like is the use of a turnbuckle in place of the chain. It allows you to make a very solid connection between the bow eye of the boat and the eye on the winch mount (install one if there is not one already). The turnbuckle is very strong. The tension is adjustable allowing you to hold the bow of the boat tightly up against the bow stop. With this type of connection you can take the load off of the winch strap.
The Boat Trailering Guys: Mike