New owner and a couple trailering questions

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New owner and a couple trailering questions

Postby badgley » Fri Jul 28, 2017 6:25 pm

Hi all,

New owner of a 1982 DS II here, #10911. Well, actually we have owned a DSI in a past life (pre-kids) but that was short-lived and a poor decision at the time. This one, in contrast is a great fit for the family, I'm happy to say. So, firstly I have already learned a ton from this forum and want to formally thank everyone for all of their inputs to the the incredible amount of useful information here. We took her out to a couple nights ago on her maiden (to us) voyage after considerable time on the trailer and shockingly everything went pretty smoothly. Other than a couple lines that look like green pipe cleaners and a surprise wasp nest, which were taken care of by a trip to the hardware store and an order placed to D&R, I have yet to find (knock on wood) anything that is too pressing to keep us from enjoying her as much as we want right away.

My biggest concern is actually the trailer, and I have a couple questions that I haven't yet find answers to here, so I thought someone might be able to weigh in on or slap me on the wrist for not finding the right previous discussion. Overall the trailer is in fine shape but I want to ditch the rollers and redo the verticle narrow bunks for three wide planks as has been recommended elsewhere on the forum. My biggest question that I'd like to address at the same time is the location of the boat along the length of the trailer. Right now, the transom is just a hair over 6.5' past the axle. This seems excessively long to me (if anyone tailgates at night based on my lights ... surprise!) I can lengthen my bunks (I plan to) but even still they can only hang so far off the back of the trailer without support. I have about 1' of bare tongue length that I could move everything forward which would get me closer to 5.5' of overhang past the axle, which given that my tongue weight seems kind of light for a boat this size (need to actually weigh it) seems like a good idea. However, does anyone know if there is an 'ideal' position for the axle along the length of the boat that I should aim for?

And for my second trailering question: the boat came with a Nissan 4HP 4-stroke, which, at around 55 lbs. is a bit of a beast for this boat. Especially given that aft overhang that I was just mentioning. At least I know I won't get swept out to sea... but it seems like a lot of weight when trailering. Does anyone else have a motor this heavy and if so how do you transport it? It's way too close to the road to leave vertical, which means trailering tilted which is even less reassuring. I was looking at transom saver bars but they don't seem designed well for the long overhang of this boat/trailer combo. Any suggestions are welcome, and thanks!
Brian Badgley
1982 DS II #10911 EGRETTA
Blacksburg, VA, USA
badgley
 
Posts: 41
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Location: Blacksburg, VA

Re: New owner and a couple trailering questions

Postby TIM WEBB » Sat Jul 29, 2017 12:26 am

Wendy from CCSB posted these pics on the DSA Facebook group in response to a similar question. This is how they set up new DS's on trailers at the factory, and might give you some idea of how you could set yours up:

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid ... =3&theater

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid ... =3&theater

The general rule of thumb is that you want tongue weight to be at least 10% of all up weight (boat + contents of boat + trailer), and preferably a bit more. This short vid illustrates why quite effectively!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4jk9H5AB4lM

Does your trailer have a moveable axle? If so, you could play around with boat placement on the trailer as well as axle placement in order to give you the optimum balance/tongue weight.
Tim Webb
1979 DS2 10099 The Red Witch
(I used to be Her "staff", in the way dogs have owners and cats have staff, but alas no longer ... <pout>)
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Re: New owner and a couple trailering questions

Postby GreenLake » Sat Jul 29, 2017 2:04 am

As Tim writes, the location of the boat on the trailer critically affects your safety.

Effectively, the center of gravity for boat and trailer must sit sufficiently before the axle so that any side-to-side oscillations by the trailer can't overwhelm the tow vehicle (but get damped out). The video he linked is really nice.

Now, you don't need to measure the location of the boat because that's not as important as the location of the center of gravity (of boat and trailer) relative to the axle. Luckily simply putting the tongue on a scale (or in the case of the DS, just estimating the tongue weight by lifting it), is enough to answer this important question.

A DS should weigh around 600-700lbs if you include some gear; the trailer will also weigh something. If you can just lift the tongue (at around 80-100lbs) you should be in the ballpark. Mine seems to be fine with a tongue weight that I can still lift and move around without a trailer jack; but I don't fill the boat with provisions etc. when trailering.

You can achieve the correct tongue weight either by moving the boat or moving the axle.

If the lights are too far forward, there are a number of things you might be able to do. Some owners (mostly of even smaller dinghies) build a "light bar" that they attach to the hull of the boat when on the trailer. The main reason is that it allows them to submerge the trailer without affecting the electrics, and their boats sit so low, that having lights underneath them is also not very good for visibility.

If've seen people use a bike rear light on the mast, because of the overhang. Not sure whether that is legal, but it sure makes it less likely someone will try to impale themselves on the mast.
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
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Re: New owner and a couple trailering questions

Postby GreenLake » Sat Jul 29, 2017 2:13 am

On the motor: I deliberately use a very minimal motor (trolling motor) and usually transport it in the vehicle, not in the trailer. I do keep the batteries in the boat for some trips up to an hour. A heavy motor hanging off the transom is not just an issue when trailering, it will also affect the balance of the boat when sailing -- and not in a good way. 4HP is at least not total overkill. Around 2.5HP the motor would be strong enough to push the DS to hull speed (or close to) in the absence of strong winds/waves. A 4HP gives you a bit of reserve, higher than that is really not necessary. My setup is more minimal; I don't want to put myself in situations where I will be counting on a motor to get me out of. (However, there are places where narrow spaces, traffic, or blanketed winds make sailing impossible or undesirable.)
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
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Re: New owner and a couple trailering questions

Postby badgley » Sat Jul 29, 2017 7:40 am

Thanks so much for the quick and helpful responses - those pics are great reference and while I've trailered a lot and am familiar with the importance of tongue weight for safety that video is the best example of it I've seen. The trailer is definitely tongue heavy and does not feel unsafe when pulling, but I do think it's closer to ~60-70 lbs so that I have some leeway to move the CG forward a bit without making the tongue too heavy. My biggest concern was actually for the boat in terms of the amount of unsupported hull that hangs off the rear of my trailer, probably 5-6' past the bunks with no support whatsoever. That's what seems extreme to me... That's a good point about the moveable axle, I'll have to check, except it wouldn't help me get the bunks any further back. However, looking at those pictures, I think the biggest limitation is just the length of the trailer, and the tongue in particular. I just don't have a lot to work with. Given that the coupler is bent (looks like someone backed into it) and welded on I already need to get someone to cut that off anyway so I can replace it. Might be best if I just inquire about having them lengthen the tongue at the same time. Seems like that might get me everything I need in terms of support, flexibility and getting lights further aft.

Just one other question - as far as I can tell and have read, there seems to be no structural connection between the cockpit and the hull in the DSII, in terms of supporting the side bunks. If so, when I re-do those, I was thinking it might be best to just move them outboard closer to the curve of the hull, which seems like it would be stronger. Plus she seems a little wobbly side to side on the trailer, so that should improve also. Or does anyone know if there are some stringers or other invisible structure that I should be aiming for in terms of lateral placement of the side bunks?
Brian Badgley
1982 DS II #10911 EGRETTA
Blacksburg, VA, USA
badgley
 
Posts: 41
Joined: Thu Jul 20, 2017 11:33 am
Location: Blacksburg, VA

Re: New owner and a couple trailering questions

Postby TIM WEBB » Sat Jul 29, 2017 4:38 pm

You are correct in that there is no mechanical support between the cockpit sole and the hull, but there are lengthwise stringers on both the inside of the hull and the underside of the cockpit sole. So, yes, the wider the bunks the better. TRW's old trailer had vertical bunks set too close to centerline, and there was some of the wobble you describe. That trailer rusted out and broke, so I got her a new trailer with much better support. Pix in my gallery.

Good luck!
Tim Webb
1979 DS2 10099 The Red Witch
(I used to be Her "staff", in the way dogs have owners and cats have staff, but alas no longer ... <pout>)
TIM WEBB
 
Posts: 1208
Joined: Wed May 18, 2005 10:28 pm
Location: RIVERSIDE, CA

Re: New owner and a couple trailering questions

Postby GreenLake » Sat Jul 29, 2017 5:45 pm

The bunks should run almost the full length of the cockpit. If you don't come to the conclusion that you'd be better off sourcing a new (used) trailer, then it may be possible to swap your bunks out for new ones that are both wider and longer. There's a limit to that in that at least one support connecting the bunk to to the trailer should be further aft than the mid-point of the bunk. If you can't even get that, your trailer may simply be too short for the boat.

In terms of "aiming" the bunks side-to-side: just make them as wide as you can. If you support (most of) the entire flat area of the aft hull you ought to be fine.
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
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Re: New owner and a couple trailering questions

Postby badgley » Mon Jul 31, 2017 12:59 pm

Thanks again! Yes I plan to put horizontal 2x8x8 on the sides, as far as the frame will allow. And the lack of trailer frame to support said bunks in the rear is exactly my problem. I'm going to inquire about extending the tongue and then move the boat forward and reposition the axle to dial in the tongue weight. If that doesn't work, I'll consider a replacement, but the trailer itself is really in good condition (except for the the bunks) so I hate to put money into a new or even used one if I don't have to.

And yes, Tim, the edge set short 2x4 bunks near the centerline as you describe is exactly what I have. I hate thinking of all that weight riding on those small pressure points! Especially when I'm climbing around on her. I've already been snooping your pics which, along with others, is what convinced me to chuck the rollers in the first place and do a similar setup.
Brian Badgley
1982 DS II #10911 EGRETTA
Blacksburg, VA, USA
badgley
 
Posts: 41
Joined: Thu Jul 20, 2017 11:33 am
Location: Blacksburg, VA


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