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Something2do View Drop Down
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    Posted: 08/26/2013 at 10:26pm
I am rebuilding a 1990 Party Hut on another thread here, but wanted to post my trailer dilemma on this new thread. My boat is a 28" Party Hut. The trailer looks like it was built for maybe a 24 footer. The front hitch was cut and lengthened with a section of Ibeam. The rear most trailer bunks also appear lengthened to accommodate the big boat. When I stand on the boat, I can tell the balance is off. The center of gravity is pivoting way badly to the rear. It is bad enough that if the boat was not strapped to the front winch, it might fall off if more than two people stood near the stern. Here are the pictures.











I am weighing my options here. As far as a possible rebuild using this trailer, I see that I can move the entire axle assembly rearward as it is built to slide back and forth on the frame. That might help with the center of balance and weight distribution over the axles. Extending the rear C channel, lights, and license plate mount is not too big a feat for me either. I figured I could replace the entire hitch extension with a section of sqaure tubing that fits just inside the cut portion on the trailer and make it removable as well. I would replace the stock hitch with a surge brake unit as well.

Would all of those modifications work correctly from an engineering/safety point of view? or...am I better off scrapping the whole trailer and finding a good used one made for a 28-30 foot boat?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SunBlocker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/27/2013 at 8:05am
To do all of that work and still end up with a trailer that has no form of brakes at all scares me.

The Hut isn't the lightest boat in the world, especially if you have it loaded for a trip.  You should at least have surge brakes installed.

We almost lost our Cruiser a couple of years ago due to trailer issues.....  I tend to run a bit conservative when it comes to this topic.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote PS-Guy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/27/2013 at 8:42am
Moved since it's not a Pontoon Rebuild.  Now on to the question...first a statement.  That is one of the scariest things I've seen.  If you are towing that toon on that trailer I hope you are at least using a 10,000# tow vehicle so you have some sort of control.  Here's what I see going on:

A) Obviously it's been modified.  After seeing that "winch stand" I seriously question the integrity of the other mods.  Even with the mods it's too small for that boat.  Your center of gravity is way off, and you are in risk of serious trailer sway on the highway.

B) I doubt those axles/tires are rated for your GVRW.  Looks like there are NO brakes as well.

C) You need a real winch stand.  The bow of the boat should stop tight against the stand.  Then you can strap down/forward on the trailer first.  That keeps the boat from "porpoising" on the trailer.

If you are stuck with this trailer, please have some one qualified lengthen the FRONT of the trailer sufficiently to fit the boat and shorten the rear bunks to where they should be.  Get a real winch stand/bow stop on it.  That will get some tongue weight on it so it will pull better.  And if you don't have brakes on it be sure to tow with a vehicle big and heavy enough to compensate.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Barnmb7117 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/27/2013 at 10:46am
It Might be cheaper to buy a new one. That one looks like it could fall apart at any time. Maybe look for a used one. I would fix the tongue and sell it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SunBlocker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/27/2013 at 10:49am
I did a little research, and for about $3K you can get the correct trailer for your boat (used).  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Something2do Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/27/2013 at 12:30pm
Thank you everyone. You are all echoing my concerns. If I had the trailer modified, the first thing I would do is add brakes I can assure you. I am going to run the trailer by a trailer dealer/manufacturer and what they say. I am very likely going to source a new one and sell this one.

Thank you all for your suggestions.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Barnmb7117 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/27/2013 at 1:47pm
I took this off of Pontoon Stuff web site.   http://www.trailersforpontoons.com/   it will give you Ideas of what to look for in a trailer.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cattzap Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/28/2013 at 9:49pm
I don't see how simply loading the boat back on the trailer after a day on the lake has not snapped off the bunks and punched holes in the front of the toons.  You can probably make this into what you need alot cheaper than a new trailer, IF, and a big IF here, the axles are rated for the weight you have.  I would lean on the NOT side as boat trailer seem to be rated just snuff to be legal and get the minimum job done.  Replacing the two axles will probably kill the deal.     It looks like these were modified using some U Bolts to hold them in place.  I would be surprised of they are set square to the frame, and if they ever were, are they still set square.  I would be scared to read the sidewalls of those tires.  If you don't have them aired to the max they might could blow just sitting there.  That would have been a trailer to get it a mile down the road to home and that's it.  Then make it into a small utility trailer and get a new one for the boat.  I'm cringing just looking at this thing.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote papafunk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/07/2013 at 1:38pm
Another good source for trailers is MC-O trailers in Georgia. They have a website. Doug is a very knowledgeble person and it is  a quality made trailer. You give them the dimensions and they will fab a trailer to your boat.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Something2do Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/25/2014 at 9:24am
I never updated this post and wanted to for others sake. I finally found a good replacement trailer for the Party Hut a good while back. It was the orginal TrailStar that likely came with a similar year boat.
 
 
The trailer was pretty rough, but I spent some time and money on it to improve the condition. New Paint, LED lights all the way around, new tires, and painted the rims. Then I replaced the bunk boards and recarpeted them with good bunk carpeting.
 
 
 
 
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When we first loaded the boat onto the new trailer, all seemed well. As the boat settled, I began to notice that the fit was not exactly right.
 
2 problems,
 
1. Seems the boat is slightly wider than the bunks. The port side toon is sitting nicely in the middle of the port bunks, but the starboard side is sitting on the outer bunk now.
 
2. The stand for this boat/tariler is poorly designed. You have to be dead on the trailer to line up that small rubber stopper right on the nose. That is very hard to do with a 30 foot boat in wind.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
This trailer's bunk brackets are not adjustable so I was thinking I would need to widen each bunk bracket slightly using some good angle iron, then drill a new hole and re-attach the bunk boards. In my mind, the wider boards on the outside would help re-center the boat.
 
For the winch stand, I figured I could weld up some kind of spreader and add two vertical boards that would guide the boat more on center when loading.
 
Any thoughts or experiences would be helpful.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SunBlocker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/25/2014 at 9:58am
Probably designed for the 8' beam boats.. and I believe yours is 8'6"... right?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Something2do Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/25/2014 at 9:59am
I hate to admit it, but I am not really sure where to measure that. I used the 8ft wide plywood for the deck.
 
Is the beam the distance between the center of the outer pontoons?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SunBlocker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/25/2014 at 10:05am
I might also suggest that you get rid of those interior guide rollers and just use the side bunk guides that you can buy from dealers or on line (Tie Down (86124), CE Smith, and others).  I have actually seen a boat come down on the interior rollers and put a hole right through the pontoon.

And where yours are positioned, they're not really doing the job anyway.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SunBlocker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/25/2014 at 10:09am
Originally posted by Something2do Something2do wrote:

I hate to admit it, but I am not really sure where to measure that. I used the 8ft wide plywood for the deck.
 
Is the beam the distance between the center of the outer pontoons?

It would be outside rub-rail to outside rub-rail.  But on my boat that's the same as the outside edges of the pontoons.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SunBlocker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/25/2014 at 10:10am
I've got a buddy with a PH, and I can just tell by looking that your logs are larger than his, and set-out a bit wider.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote curtiscapk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/25/2014 at 11:42am
Here is a pic of mine from the rear. Best one I have. Can you change mount holes on the bunks?
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sceman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/25/2014 at 12:47pm
"This trailer's bunk brackets are not adjustable so I was thinking I would need to widen each bunk bracket slightly using some good angle iron, then drill a new hole and re-attach the bunk boards. In my mind, the wider boards on the outside would help re-center the boat.
For the winch stand, I figured I could weld up some kind of spreader and add two vertical boards that would guide the boat more on center when loading"
 
 

From what I can tell, it looks like your centers are off by approximately 6". Widening each bracket won't fix that. It looks like the brackets are built with 2" x 2" square tube. I would suggest cutting each one off of the trailer frame flush then run a horizontal header across the frame, over the top of where each vertical bracket had been, and allow the header to cantilever over the sides of the trailer frame. Cut the vertical tube down the amount of the height of the header and weld it on top of the header at the proper centers. This will keep it the same height and get you centered back up again. I would think 2"x"2" by 1/4" square tube would be sufficient for headers as you won't be cantilevering over the side that far to get on center.

 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Something2do Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/28/2014 at 9:29am
Thanks everyone. I like the idea of cutting the current supports and cantilevering them out over the sides. Going from the previous description, if I am off 6 inches total on center, then I simply move each bracket outside 3 inches correct?
 
I will be bringing the boat back to the house today and will do some measuring to be sure. I have to make a decsion soon to fix the trailer, or sell it and have a new one made. I really like the new 3 axle jobs out there.
 
Thanks again everyone.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sceman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/28/2014 at 10:44am
That's correct. Should be a pretty easy fix if you otherwise like the trailer. I don't know what you have to work with, but I'd use a thin cutting wheel on a 4, 6 or 9" grinder to cut the uprights off flush. Cut your cross members to length, shorten the uprights with a chopsaw or grinder w/a cutting wheel, then weld the uprights onto the cross members at the proper spacing. Then weld the cross members onto the trailer frame. This way you can do all your welding flat and it will be easier to square the uprights onto the cross members.
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Well, I thought about it long and hard and decided that I really want a new trailer. I have confidence that I can sell this one pretty easily since there are little to none of these 30ft trailers on CL right now. I would rather sell the trailer as is for the right buyer, than modify it and later try to sell.
 
I took the current trailer down to a trailer fab shop and they are looking at about $800-1000 to do the work. That is just the cost on the mounts and does not include the winch stand. When looking at all the work and expense for the trailer mounts and redoing the winch stand, I just can't seem to justify the expense. (wish I trusted my welding skills a bit more)
 
Plus, I think haveing a nice trailer that perfectly fits my for sale 1989 Party Hut project will make it easier to sell the project in the spring.
 
I am looking at buying one of the Mid-America trailers. There is a dealer here in Texas that is getting me a quote. It is a 35' triple axle with the center bunks added for a tri-toon and includes a proper winch stand, two axle brakes, etc.
 
Let me know if you know anyone wanting a nice Party Hut trailer. It will be for sale soon!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote PS-Guy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/05/2014 at 10:26am
You will not be dissapointed with the Mid-America!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Something2do Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/10/2014 at 9:53am
ok, just in case I might not get a trailer asap. (Price scared me away again temporarily) I sure wish the Trailersforpontoons.com  location was closer to Texas. The only dealer for Mid-america I found down here wanted almost $6,000 for the PT-28 HD trailer I wanted. It is only $3995 if I pick it up at their location.

I found these brackets on the web. They have the adjustable offset, but I am concerned that they may not be heavy duty enough. They are 11 Gauge galvanized steel.



If these would work, I could bolt them up with some solid hardware myself after I check the height. Anyone have any ideas?
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What about their location in Lebanon, MO (160 miles west of St. Louis)?


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote p3cflyr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/10/2014 at 12:15pm
Google Mid America trailer dealers.  There are several in Arkansas and Oklahoma.  Worth a drive to save that much money. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Something2do Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/10/2014 at 3:16pm
Thanks everyone. I will try the Oklahoma and Arkansas locations and see what I can find out. 
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