Weight Distribution When Towing- Must See Video

Lark

Supper Anarchist
9,326
1,603
Ohio
It's scary amazing how much difference being 6 inches too far back on the trailer makes with a weighted keel. Even three inches can be felt.

 

Glenn McCarthy

Super Anarchist
1,811
252
Elmhurst, IL
Star boat shifted aft on the trailer while driving. Got to Monteagle (I-24 in TN) with a 4% - 6% grade going downhill. The trailer starts fishing, the only way to stop it is to speed up (not wise on Monteagle to go fast), I stop the fish, and let off the gas and is starts fishing wildly again, lather, rinse, repeat. Over and over. I'm up to 85mph after multiple tries figuring this is my final ride. I get a straightaway, after I speed up stopping the fish, I ease off the gas pedal as lightly as possible, press on the brake as lightly as possible and keep pressing, finally getting it under control and slowed down. My clothes were soaked after getting down that mountain. Tongue weight is critical.

 

PeterHuston

Super Anarchist
5,902
80
Star boat shifted aft on the trailer while driving. Got to Monteagle (I-24 in TN) with a 4% - 6% grade going downhill. The trailer starts fishing, the only way to stop it is to speed up (not wise on Monteagle to go fast), I stop the fish, and let off the gas and is starts fishing wildly again, lather, rinse, repeat. Over and over. I'm up to 85mph after multiple tries figuring this is my final ride. I get a straightaway, after I speed up stopping the fish, I ease off the gas pedal as lightly as possible, press on the brake as lightly as possible and keep pressing, finally getting it under control and slowed down. My clothes were soaked after getting down that mountain. Tongue weight is critical.

Maybe US Sailing needs to start USSailingTrainingTrailerLoading.com

 

Glenn McCarthy

Super Anarchist
1,811
252
Elmhurst, IL
Star boat shifted aft on the trailer while driving. Got to Monteagle (I-24 in TN) with a 4% - 6% grade going downhill. The trailer starts fishing, the only way to stop it is to speed up (not wise on Monteagle to go fast), I stop the fish, and let off the gas and is starts fishing wildly again, lather, rinse, repeat. Over and over. I'm up to 85mph after multiple tries figuring this is my final ride. I get a straightaway, after I speed up stopping the fish, I ease off the gas pedal as lightly as possible, press on the brake as lightly as possible and keep pressing, finally getting it under control and slowed down. My clothes were soaked after getting down that mountain. Tongue weight is critical.

Maybe US Sailing needs to start USSailingTrainingTrailerLoading.com
Absolutely.

 

SloopJonB

Super Anarchist
67,162
11,570
Great Wet North
Never really done any trailering but I've watched lots of dogs being wagged by their tails on the highway.

Looks to me that 4 wheel trailers are a lot less susceptible to it - is that the case? Sailboats over 20' sure look sketchy on 2 wheel trailers.

 

RKoch

Super Anarchist
14,865
346
da 'burg
4 and 6 wheel trailers can fishtail too. It's a little harder to get the tongue weight right on them. Also, if the trailer is heavily loaded, even just an almost imperceptible fishtail will overheat the tires and cause blowouts.

 

Innocent Bystander

Super Anarchist
11,749
756
Lower Southern MD
I worked for a used sports car dealer one summer during college. He sold a rebuildable wrecked Mercedes 240 to a dealer about 300 miles away and told me to deliver it on the race car trailer we used to move an MGB SCCA race car. I made it about 10 miles on local roads with severe tail wagging at anything over 30 MPH before I pulled over and called to tell him the only way I was dragging that thing 300 miles was if he authorized me to rent a real trailer.

Axle ratings and weight distribution count for a lot. My power boat goes down the road at almost 7,000 lbs and the axles are set way aft so tongue weight is more than 200 lbs. Tows great as long as the trailer brakes work. For heavy loads on dual wheeled trailers, it doesn't need to be 10% but it needs to be significant.

 

RKoch

Super Anarchist
14,865
346
da 'burg
When I was in college I picked up a 2-door '57 Chevy wagon that didn't run. Needed to tow it about 60 miles back to campus. Rented a triple axle trailer from an equipment rental place ( only one they had available). Borrowed a dorm mates 6 cylinder Maverick. Picked up the trailer, guy was giving me a lot of shit (rightfully so) and I lied my ass off and assured him I was just picking up the trailer with the car, I'd be towing the load with a pickup. Towed OK empty. Coming back with the car was terrifying. Crawled up the Sunshine Skyway bridge in low gear, started downhill gaining speed. Pumping brakes to avoid overheating them, still gaining speed. Everything I could do to keep it in two lanes. Made it, but I have no idea how. Stupid shit we did at 17....

 

TQA

Super Anarchist
1,208
35
Caribbean
Got stopped on the M6 motorway in the UK towing my race car on a 4 wheel trailer at 105 mph.

The police man was pissed because he could not keep up in his Ford Transit..

Yes I was young and dumb at the time. But it towed just fine at speed.

 

SHNOOL

Member
327
0
NE PA
Great video link added it to our sailclub FB page...

I tow regularly a 14,000lb (average weight) horse trailer (with 4 horses in it, up to 6 dogs, 100 gallons of water, plus living quarters)... Thousands of pounds of animals moving in the back adds some interesting components to it... of course it's a gooseneck, so tongue weight is in the 2200lb range, but one horse stumbles you feel it (imagine just 1 1000lb horse falling say on the driver side of the trailer, at say 65mph)... Which is why we try REALLY hard not to jam on brakes or take turns to quickly... for fear that a horse will "add" to the momentum in the wrong direction.

My sailboat is a 26 foot S2 7.9, boat/motor/trailer is about 6000lbs (light by comparison), but since it's bumper pull (tag along), if you don't get it centered right things can certainly get interesting. Actually its why I changed the trailer I was using for the boat, to (believe it or not) something lighter. The heavier trailer had to rigid a suspension, and it caused it to bounce, and was less "stable" on the road. I'm at about 90% capacity of the trailer I use now (I'm only guessing because I have the weight of the boat from the National class, and am adding my gear and the stated empty weight of the trailer - I know I really should weigh it), and it rides much better, and frankly safer.

Fortunately I also have a dually, so sway is nearly imperceptible. Also I've gone out of my way to add tongue weight as the trailer rides better that way.

My Capri 25, was more "interesting" as the center of gravity was much higher. Can't lose sight of that either when you talk fixed fin keels, now not only are you swaying, but you are swaying with a (more) top heavy object.

 

Varan

Super Anarchist
6,552
1,730
Star boat shifted aft on the trailer while driving. Got to Monteagle (I-24 in TN) with a 4% - 6% grade going downhill. The trailer starts fishing, the only way to stop it is to speed up (not wise on Monteagle to go fast), I stop the fish, and let off the gas and is starts fishing wildly again, lather, rinse, repeat. Over and over. I'm up to 85mph after multiple tries figuring this is my final ride. I get a straightaway, after I speed up stopping the fish, I ease off the gas pedal as lightly as possible, press on the brake as lightly as possible and keep pressing, finally getting it under control and slowed down. My clothes were soaked after getting down that mountain. Tongue weight is critical.
or simply tap on the electric trailer brakes ;)
 

Varan

Super Anarchist
6,552
1,730
Great video link added it to our sailclub FB page...

I tow regularly a 14,000lb (average weight) horse trailer (with 4 horses in it, up to 6 dogs, 100 gallons of water, plus living quarters)... Thousands of pounds of animals moving in the back adds some interesting components to it... of course it's a gooseneck, so tongue weight is in the 2200lb range, but one horse stumbles you feel it (imagine just 1 1000lb horse falling say on the driver side of the trailer, at say 65mph)... Which is why we try REALLY hard not to jam on brakes or take turns to quickly... for fear that a horse will "add" to the momentum in the wrong direction.

My sailboat is a 26 foot S2 7.9, boat/motor/trailer is about 6000lbs (light by comparison), but since it's bumper pull (tag along), if you don't get it centered right things can certainly get interesting. Actually its why I changed the trailer I was using for the boat, to (believe it or not) something lighter. The heavier trailer had to rigid a suspension, and it caused it to bounce, and was less "stable" on the road. I'm at about 90% capacity of the trailer I use now (I'm only guessing because I have the weight of the boat from the National class, and am adding my gear and the stated empty weight of the trailer - I know I really should weigh it), and it rides much better, and frankly safer.

Fortunately I also have a dually, so sway is nearly imperceptible. Also I've gone out of my way to add tongue weight as the trailer rides better that way.

My Capri 25, was more "interesting" as the center of gravity was much higher. Can't lose sight of that either when you talk fixed fin keels, now not only are you swaying, but you are swaying with a (more) top heavy object.
Towed a bull and 8 cow elk in a setup like that from W Montana to Wyoming... Quite the adventure.
 

Alcatraz5768

Super Anarchist
towed a mates caravan (trailer?) about 4 hrs and found out it swayed like crazy after 2 mins. After shitting myself for the first few minutes, i got used to it and added a little steering input with every sway. sweet as, but it must have been terrifying for anyone following.

 

Lark

Supper Anarchist
9,326
1,603
Ohio
Star boat shifted aft on the trailer while driving. Got to Monteagle (I-24 in TN) with a 4% - 6% grade going downhill. The trailer starts fishing, the only way to stop it is to speed up (not wise on Monteagle to go fast), I stop the fish, and let off the gas and is starts fishing wildly again, lather, rinse, repeat. Over and over. I'm up to 85mph after multiple tries figuring this is my final ride. I get a straightaway, after I speed up stopping the fish, I ease off the gas pedal as lightly as possible, press on the brake as lightly as possible and keep pressing, finally getting it under control and slowed down. My clothes were soaked after getting down that mountain. Tongue weight is critical.
or simply tap on the electric trailer brakes ;)
I've not heard of electric brakes that can handle immersion in water. Do you have experience? I just have hydraulic surge brakes. and understood them to be normal for boats. Adjustable electric brakes are nice for normal trailers,

 
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