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I’m upgrading to a galvanized trailer this year.  I would like to consider adding a central roller system to it, but I can’t find Graham’s post  on how he did his.  I’m wondering about details like how you handle the  boat’s rocker into the design (for my Bay River Skiff), and how the rollers are attached to the wooden framework.

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The system worked fine for me.  At the start Alan sent me the profile of the keel rocker relative to the DWL (or some other horizontal) and one end of the CB slott.  I transferred that data to a 12’ long 1 x 6 (or maybe a 1 x eight) and I cut along that line.  Then I trailed to a yard where they had a lift and raised boat off the trailer.  Then with two helpers holding the as-designed cut profile up against the keel (helpers careful not to bend (the 1 x as-designed board)) — I marked the “as-built” keel profile right alongside the cut as-designed cut profile.  Then the as-built profile was transferred to a trough side board that would anchor the 13 roller axels.  The transfer was not done by measuring — but directly by drilling small holes thru the 1x as-built line that I had marked on the 1 x as-designed board.  The two trough side boards were firmly clamped together so that the 13 pair of axel holes were simultaneously drilled with a 1/2” Forrester bit.

 

After fabricating the roller trough and the the boat was set back on the trailer in its trailering position — the keel rested on all 13 rollers at least firm enough so that you couldn’t move (i.e., roll) any of the rollers by firm finger pressure.

 

I sold Chessie to Erik (Now we do it my way) — he could tell you how it has held up.

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Don — I just added another note to the roller posting.  Here’s the text:

 

Now, more than 2 years later, I recall a couple of things that I didn’t mention or would do differently.

 

First, I didn’t glue the side cheeks to the trough bottom.  That would have been a lot of trouble and I worried about how “pressure treated” lumber would react to epoxy as a binder.  So I just went with the lag bolts.  But after the first season I think they should be re-torqued.

 

Second, I worried that the side cheeks (not perfectly quarter-sawed) would “curl” inward and pinch the rollers.  I thought I would position the cheeks so that with time & moisture I could orient the growth rings such that the natural curl (of the plank) would be outward — but I didn’t know which way (it would curl).  So, I assembled the cheeks without regard to the grain.

 

However, I later thought of another way to take care of the concern.  When trimming the bottom board’s edges — set the table saw to cut a slight bevel, about 1 or 2 degrees outward.  Then when installing the roller-axel assemblies, clamp the side cheeks inward when inserting the axels — slightly stressing the side cheeks together.

 

By the way, I didn’t weigh the assembled trough with rollers, but it was heavy — difficult for me to lift.  Mt guess, about 50 lbs.

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I guess the bigger question is if this roller system is necessary on a skiff.  I see that Alan Stewart used three or four rollers on the trailer for the Core Sound 15 he built.  What do most core Sound 15’s and 17 Mark 1’s use?

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For years, I used just a single hard roller on my CS17 trailer along with two carpeted bunks and it worked fine on reasonable ramps.  After moving to a location with a flat ramp I added a length of pvc decking down the middle of the trailer for the half round to slide upon.  It works well, especially when wet. 

I think the slick plastic strips that screw to the bunks would work well too and might have been easier. 

Keep in mind, I put my trailer wheels into the water so the boat is partially floating.       

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@Randy Jones— That’s clever!  I also submerge my trailer.  Now that I think about it, I only need a roller or two up forward.  The rest of the keel weight could rest on a bunk of some sort.  I’ve noticed with my current trailer, that the paint on the keel has worn off at at least one of the rollers.  I don’t have hollowback on my keel, and think I need to rectify that.

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Yea high everyone

i built a roller tray with nine rollers and placed it down the center line of the trailer that I had retrofit to fit this boat the boat keel makes full contact from about bulkhead 1 to just forward of the motor well also installed bunk pads to keep her steady

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I mostly work in freshwater or brackish and corrosion is less of a problem for me. I think the goal is to not get the tires wet, but I don't think that can be achieved unless you use a two part or electric  winch with the steep ramps we have around here.

 

Instead I narrowed the bunks and they support the longitudinal stringers. The only roller I have is in the back of the trailer. I do have a keel support forward, but must of the weight sits on the bunks. I believe I saw this at the messabout one year on Michael's (greybeard) CS17.3. I liked the simplicity. 

 

I'm not one of those "I did it this way so it's the best" guys, but will say the boat is stable and goes on and off the trailer easily FWIW. I did create a thread for this subject which has a lot of sources/ideas that might help. It's here. 
 

 

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@Steve W— Thanks for the link.  The ramps here in the NC foothills are more shallow, so I usually dunk about 1/2 of the trailer.  Also, this year I’m planning to do a lot more coastal cruising.  My painted trailer has been dunked in salt every year (except for 2020) into the Bay River, and is showing quite a bit of rust.  Time to go galvanized!  Can’t wait to read your thread.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I believe it is from a bending load.  This bow roller puts a downward load on the two verticals.  This in turn tries to bend the 2x10 over the channel.  I happen to have an aluminum plate that will be slipped in between the wood and the trailer.  This will transfer the load from the vertical walls directly to the trailer.  I’ll take a photo when I’m done.

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I believe it wouldn’t have split if that board had been assembled with the growth rings curving upwards rather than as shown.  If I remember correctly, the aging and moisture cause wooden boards to “cup” opposite to the rings.  That would have the bolts pressuring in the same direction — rather than in opposition as in this case.

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I thought it might be the tightened nuts causing the crack, but whatever the cause, those plates will help distribute the load.  The crack doesn't look like it runs very far back, so it might not be a big deal at all.  Another approach to stabilize the crack might be to run a bolt or threaded rod athwartships(?) through the base board and two cheeks. Consider galvanized steel for the material in order to avoid corrosion at the junction of dissimilar metals.

 

My shins already hurt thinking about those sharp metal corners sticking out just over the edge of the trailer frame.  I'm a klutz and I have the scars to prove it!

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@meester. Glad you pointed out my little shin-jabbers.  The aluminum plate was close at hand, and galvanized was not.  The problem I have with using galvanized is that if I cut the end, it’ll rust.  Suggestions?  Also, what about all these nickel-plated fasteners?  I used galvanized, where possible.  But the trailer guide fasteners and all the OEM fasteners are nickel- plated.

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4 hours ago, Don Silsbe said:

@meester. Glad you pointed out my little shin-jabbers.  The aluminum plate was close at hand, and galvanized was not.  The problem I have with using galvanized is that if I cut the end, it’ll rust.  Suggestions?  Also, what about all these nickel-plated fasteners?  I used galvanized, where possible.  But the trailer guide fasteners and all the OEM fasteners are nickel- plated.

Try zinc rich or cold galvanize paint.  Pettit makes some to keep barnacles from growing on metal.  I think there are less expensive alternatives however.

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