sticking up pole on FL trailers

Discussion in 'Powerboats' started by yipster, Apr 14, 2004.

  1. yipster
    Joined: Oct 2002
    Posts: 3,486
    Likes: 96, Points: 58, Legacy Rep: 1148
    Location: netherlands

    yipster designer

    just curious -for many years now- what the sticking up pole(s), often made of PVC on rear of boat trailers in florida are for...
    not important, but it keeps comming back to mind and now i wanna know :confused:
  2. Doug Carlson
    Joined: Feb 2003
    Posts: 113
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Arizona

    Doug Carlson Senior Member

    Poles on trailers


    I don't live in Florida but we use them as visual and/or physical alignment devices when backing or when the trailer is submerged. They are also sometimes helpful when there is a strong wind from astern when putting the boat back on the trailer.

    Doug Carlson
  3. Kovas
    Joined: Apr 2004
    Posts: 5
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: St Petersburg, FL

    Kovas Junior Member

    PVC Pipes - good question

    I never thought about it much -- I just figured that they were a visual aid, so that one would know where the back end was.
    :confused: :confused:
  4. duluthboats
    Joined: Mar 2002
    Posts: 1,585
    Likes: 43, Points: 58, Legacy Rep: 779
    Location: Minneapolis,MN, USA

    duluthboats Senior Dreamer


    I don’t know about FL, but here in MN, I frequently launch at ramps that are unprotected along our many rivers. The guides keep the boat centered over the trailer, without them the current would make recovery impossible.

    Gary :D
  5. yipster
    Joined: Oct 2002
    Posts: 3,486
    Likes: 96, Points: 58, Legacy Rep: 1148
    Location: netherlands

    yipster designer

    Thanks guy's now i know, so just visual aid's and in wind / current helpfull in hauling.
    dont think i've seen them here, if there's more to ad to it let me know please :D
  6. CaptPPan
    Joined: Oct 2003
    Posts: 45
    Likes: 2, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 41
    Location: Bellport,N.Y.

    CaptPPan Junior Member

    You'll see them mostly on Bunk or Float-on style trailers. I use them on my 27' trailer and I power the boat right up to the winch.
  7. Corpus Skipper
    Joined: Oct 2003
    Posts: 606
    Likes: 8, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 173
    Location: Corpus Christi TX

    Corpus Skipper Hopeless Boataholic

    We also mount the trailer lights on 'em down here, to keep them outta the salt water. :D
  8. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
    Posts: 19,133
    Likes: 480, Points: 93, Legacy Rep: 3967
    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    I finished a 27' Sea Skiff for a buddy some time back and he kept beating the death out of the bow and topsides when loading. It's good size boat with a single screw, a bear to handle in a contrary wind or cross current at low speeds. I rigged two sets of "guides" on his trailer, one aft just applying pressure to the rub and the other set foreword, several feet aft of the bow to center the hull on the trailer also applying slight pressure to the rub (not as much as the stern guides). There is also a "V" notch under the foreword section just in front of the skeg. These guides have to spread an inch or so to let the boat past, being PVC they do this well.

    What these do is guide the boat down the centerline and keep it from going anywhere other than the centerline of the trailer. As you slowly drift into the aft end of the trailer the guides provide an aiming point then shepherded the bow through the guides. You bounce from one to the next on the rub until the "V" foreword finds the bottom of the boat. The V is set to slightly less deadrise then the boat in the area affected. When the keel strip bangs into this it is forced to follow down the centerline to the other set of upright guides, which also land at the rub. The pinching of the rubs on the stern keep the boat "loaded" with her head in it's rest, not a bow roller or rubber "V" but a custom made, shaped to the bow padded rest. This rest is designed to pivot with the boat as she settles on the trailer so there isn't a gap where the boat backs away as she drops down to the bunks or supporting gear. Once on the trailer and against the bow fitting, she's tied off and dragged out.

    The point is, some boats, can't be winched easily, can be easily damaged by being dragged up onto bunks, can't use rollers and a number of other reasons the trailer must be tailored to fit the boat and allow float on and off retrieval and loading. These refinements have come about at the request of clients looking for a fool proof way to keep their freshly redone antique a good experience. If loading will cause damage then it doesn't get used and rots on the trailer. After spending the money (and lots of it in a lot of cases) on their 50 year old pride and joy the owner's don't want as much as a ding in the paint. A lot of these boats do not have bow eyes and can't have one fitted because of structural or authenticity reasons.

    This Chris Craft I mentioned earlier wasn't equipped with a bow eye and the stem isn't strong enough to support using one if it was installed. The owner was using the mooring bitt with a winch mounted on an extended winch stand (picture a 8' tall winch stand, no kidding) He was climbing up and turning the thing with one hand as he held on with the other. Now he drives up slowly, bounces the bow off one of the stern guides and burps the throttle a wee amount as he steers and slides past the aft guides. I've seen him as much as 30 degrees off center, but the V catches him and the boat starts to drag and slow down, just as she enters the bow guides. This owner is a nice guy and owned nothing but wooden power boats all his life. He currently has three (and the Chris is back in my yard again) he's not the best boat handler in the world, he panics when things don't go as he planed, so he bangs into things a lot. But he loves his boats and keeps me fixing the stuff I've fixed before.

  9. Portager
    Joined: May 2002
    Posts: 418
    Likes: 13, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 325
    Location: Southern California

    Portager Senior Member

    Some trailer manufacturers call these poles "goal posts" since they are useful in turbid water to show where the trailer or goal is on recovery.

    Another use is they can be marked for depth and to show how deep the water is. I have also seen then painted red from the desired launch depth down, so they indicate when the trailer is in deep enough to launch or recover the boat. This is useful on shallow ramps (got them in Florida?) where you need to back in further than normal to launch.

    Mike Schooley
Forum posts represent the experience, opinion, and view of individual users. Boat Design Net does not necessarily endorse nor share the view of each individual post.
When making potentially dangerous or financial decisions, always employ and consult appropriate professionals. Your circumstances or experience may be different.