How to Properly Adjust Your NewTrailer

 

If you have any question about adjusting your trailer please call us toll free at 888 278-1991, 8 am to 5 pm Monday - Saturday. You may also email pictures of your boat for the purpose of choosing a trailer to info@topnotchmarine.com.

 

The following instructions are written assuming your boat is on the original old trailer. If your boat is blocked and needs to be placed on the new trailer we recommend hiring a professional rigger to do this.

 

Step 1. Look at your boat on the old trailer. Look at the height and shape of the bottom of the boat. Look at how the hull clears the fenders. Now look at the new trailer. Look at the bunk height and the fender height. Will the boat be above the fenders and clear them? If not you can either move the bunks up in height or closer together to make the boat sit higher. Remember, if the bow support vee brace is on the trailer you chose, the bottom of the boat can not go higher than the vee block support can reach. It will extent approximately 4". If you are sure your boat will NOT touch the new trailer's fenders proceed to step 2. If you need assistance snap a pictire from the back and the side of your boat on your old trailer and email them to info@topnotchmarine.com.

 

Step 2. Using a local boat ramp launch your boat in the water and off your old trailer.

 

Step 3. Prepare the new trailer by loosening the winch stop "Picture 1" and moving it as far to the front as possible. Remember to leave room for your vehicle to clear the trailer when turning. Be sure to tighten the nuts once the winch stop is moved forward because you will need to use the winch to get the boat positioned properly on the trailer.

 

Picture 1:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 4. If the trailer has side guides installed remove them. Stretch the winch strap or cable to the back of the trailer and rest it on the frame of the trailer. You will need it in step 6.

 

Step 5. Connect your new trailer to your vehicle by latching the coupler to the hitch ball and connecting the safety chains and lights. Back your new trailer in the water in front of your boat so you can float the boat on. Back the trailer down until the forward top of the bunks are above the water about 3 inches. Put your vehicle in "Park" engage the emergency brake and chock both back wheels for safety.

 

          TIP: For trailers with surge brakes... If you attempt to back your new trailer and the wheels lock your brakes are engaging and the brake lockout solenoid is not working. Probable causes could be you are not using a 5 pin adapter for your vehicle or your vehicle wiring is malfunctioning. 99% of the time there is no power getting to the solenoid through the blue wire on the harness. In a pinch you can remove the 5 pin harness from the adapter, turn on your vehicle lights and insert the blue pin only directly into the femaile pin that alligned with the brown wire on your trailer harness. This will supply power to the solenoid only allowing you to back up. DO NOT drive on the road with the connector in this position! Stop at an auto store or boat dealership and get a 5 pin adapter to solve the issue.

 

Step 6. Now manually float your boat into the trailer as far as it will go and connect the winch strap or cable to the bow towing eye on the boat. Slowly crank the winch and pull the boat up on the trailer. BE SURE TO ENGAGE THE WINCH LATCH so the winch will not spool out on its own if you release the winch handle.

 

Picture 2:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 7. Watch the boat coming up the trailer and make sure the bottom is clearing the frame and fenders and the bunks are positioned flat against the hull. If bunks require left or right adjustment see Picture 2 below.Stop pulling the boat up when th back or transom of the boat lignes up with the back end of the bunks. Look at the trailer ball coupler and make sure you have tongue weight. At this point you should have approximately twice the required 5% to 10% of the boat's weight because the boat is floating in the back which will make the front of the boat push down more on the front of the trailer like a see-saw.

 

Step 8. Get in your vehicle and slowly pull the boat up the ramp to a level road surface but stay in line with the ramp in case you have to go back in the water to reposition the boat. The goal here is to meke sure the boat is in the center of the trailer and in the correct position for the tongue weight to be in the correct range of 5% to 10% of the boat's weight. Also make sure the trailer clears transducers, pulpits and anything else protruding from the hull. See below for more info. If everything looks good, loosen the winch stand nuts and slide the stand to the towing eye until the stop roller make contact with the hull/keel. You may hve to raise or lower the roller so it fits against the hull 2" above the tow eye of the boat. You may relocate the tongue jack and / or the spare tire carrier to achieve to correct adjustment. Tighten all nuts.

 

          TIP: The bunks may extend beyond the transom or back of the boat up to 10". In this case they make great steps to climb into the boat. The bunks may be positioned as much as 8" from the transom also. The important thing is the tongue weight being in the correct range of 5% to 10%. 

 

Step 9. Install your side guides if you have them. Position them approximately 1/2 to 1" from the hull. In some cases the boat hull "bellies" in the middle requiring more clearance to pass the guides. Test your lights to be working properly.

 

Step 10. If required in your state, register your trailer and install the tag on it. Double check tongue weight, clearances and bunk and vee block adjustments. Not sure? Call us at 888 278-1991 or email your concerns and pictures to info@topnotchmarine.com.

 

All Done!

THINGS THAT REQUIRE EXTRA CONSIDERATION WHEN BUYINGGHMGHM

 

THINGS THAT REQUIRE EXTRA ATTENTION WHEN BUYING or ADJUSTING A BOAT TRAILER...

 

Transducers:

 

If your boat has thru-hull or transom mount transducers you must be sure to position trailer bunks so they do not come into contact with transducers. In some rare cases, transducers must be moved to allow a boat trailer to fit properly if not the transducer and the trailer will likely be damaged.

 

Bow Pulpit:

 

A bow pulpit us usually a narrow platform that extends forward from the front of the boat. It can be functional or cosmetic. Pulpits usually provide support and extension to an anchor davit that supports the anchor on the end of the pulpit. When a boat has a pulpit, the way the hull is supported while the boat is loaded and unloaded is important. If a hull drops off the trailer while sliding in the water too early the pulpit may hit the winch stand. Bow guide boards are a common solution.

 

Motor Bracket:

 

Motor brackets are metal or fiberglass boxes that allow the mounting of outboard motors behind the boat’s transom. Brackets will increase the amount of weight on the rear of a trailer and are NOT counted when measuring the length of the hull. Axle position may have to be moved toward the rear to achieve correct tongue weight of 5% to 7% of the total boat’s weight.

 

Inboard Engine:

 

There are 2 types of inboard engine configurations that concern trailer fit. One is a straight shaft and the other is a V drive. The straight shaft places the engine more toward the front and the axle position on the trailer may have to be moved forward as well to achieve proper tongue weight. Secondly, additional clearance is needed for the shaft to clear the trailer frame. Most shaft drive boats up to 24 feet will fit on our standard aluminum trailers. A V drive is a consideration only in that the rear of the trailer needs to be strong enough to support the additional weight of the engine in the rear. The weight is similar to a stern drive engine configuration.

 

New Volvo Forward Facing Drive:

 

Your boat will require special fitting. Please contact us for more information at 888 278-1991.

 

Trim Tabs:

 

Trim tabs should not effect trailering in most cases. Always retract your tabs prior to loading your trailer.

 

Boat Trailer Outlet makes every effort to properly fit our trailers to your boat. We guarantee the trailer you purchase will be a proper fit based on you following our guidelines for loading and setup. Trailers will require some adjustments in most cases. This is easily accomplished with hand tools at a boat ramp. Remember we are always here to help at 888 278-1991. After 30 years, we have thousands of happy customers.