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Musky_Madness

Warning: Boat Access Horror Story!

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My dad and I were fishing out on Lobster Lake last night for musky and ended up having quite a dramatic night. After a beautiful night with the moon, slight breeze, no bugs, and topwaters we decided to call it shortly after 11pm. We headed back to the new access and loaded up the boat. We're in a 07 Crestliner 1850 FishHawk dual console 150 Optimax pulled by a F-150. As the boat is being pulled out of the water, we hear a horrible screech sound and then boom and the truck comes to a halt. Get out of the truck trying to figure out what had happened:

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The tire pictured is the spare mounted in front of the actual axle.

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The front support beam of the trailer actually got stuck in between the two concrete bunks on the access. Keep in mid it's now after 11pm on a Monday evening. There was no way just to drive forward or reverse because it was in between the bunks and there's no way you want to bend a new trailer. (The boat was a 07 closeout and have only had possession of for a month now.) The heads began spinning and we devised a plan of stacking 2 x 4 chunks that we had in the bed of the pickup for firewood (20 at most) that were roughly 18" long. We were able to back up the trailer slightly to get the tires up on some 2 x 4's and then inched our way up the access stacking the 2 x 4's. After getting out we were obviously relieved and upset at the same time. The boat access is brand new and obviously not designed right. The angle of the access is too steep and then the tar is at a 45 degree angle where it meets. I took out a tape and measured the difference between the top of the cement bunks and the top of the tar and it was slightly over a 2" differential. I then laid out a 2 x 4 on the top cement bunk to see how high the angle was coming off the back compared to the tar and it was over a 3" difference. Pictures are below. I will be contacting the DNR tomorrow to see if they can do something about it. I know we weren't the only one after looking at the gashes on the cement once it happened to us. Here is a photo montage:

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Always pack blocks just in case now! You can see the scrapes from other rigs as well.

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Notice the sharp incline and how out of line the bunks are towards the top.

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Damage done, luckily the support did not bend as it had a lot of weight against it.

I don't know what we would've done without those 2 x 4's last night. It would have been awful for sure. If we got stuck with a full size truck, I don't know how you'd get in and out with a car. Be careful out there!

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I have the same trailer (same scrapes on the support) and did the exact same thing 3 times the first year I owned it. One time I hung it up on an access at Mille Lacs without the boat on it. We found a rather large and thick branch and pried it up to get it out.

Solution: Instead of using a 2" drop hitch, I flipped it and made it a 2" elevated hitch.

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That sucks, you would think that they know how to build a launch by now. The bluffs used to be bad for a while but didn't cause damage. They fixed it now and it's much better. Let us know what you hear from the DNR.

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Instead of using a 2" drop hitch, I flipped it and made it a 2" elevated hitch.

Ray - was your boat riding level before you flipped it, or did flipping it bring it closer to level?

Regardless - it sure looks like the access could use some work.

marine_man

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Does the bumper have holes for a hitch ball? those drop hitches are OK But in your case you need a higher point of connection.Maybe get a offset receiver,I think thats why they started making them.

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I was fishing a bass tournament on Dead lake in ottertail Co and had the same thing happen to a friend. Skeeter trailers also have a very low crossbar like on your rig. We ended up using a spare tire jack and jacking up the trailer, then pulling the boat foward. Later he took some rhino lining and painted his crossbar to prevent rust and more chipping.

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I've had this same experience with my (Skeeter) bunk trailer. However, it was a different access, but a new access that was incomplete and I didn't know it until it was too late. I had to push my glass boat off the bunk trailer to get it off because my trailer was totally stuck...it was a mess!

If you have a drop hitch, I would do what Ray said. I also can see in the photos something doesn't look right. I bet my trailer would hang up too looking at that.

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I'm gonna play devil's advocate here. That ramp doesn't really look all that poorly designed. What is poorly designed is the boat trailer. There just isn't enough ground clearance there. I think a lot of the newer trailers have this problem. They're more form than function. Just my 2 cents

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I agree, Upon looking at those trailers going down the road, my buddy and I both said, that would cause problems on some ramps.

What is the reason for that design.

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I agree, Upon looking at those trailers going down the road, my buddy and I both said, that would cause problems on some ramps.

What is the reason for that design.

To keep repair shops in business!! cool

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It is too much of a drop on that support bar, I agree with that.

Marine Man, I was riding just a little above level after I flipped it. I am not really a big fan of going that direction. Lack of toungue weight can cause some vehicle handling issues, but I think I am OK in this case.

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You guys must have hit launching the boat too.

It is a dual access and we switched to the other side after a close call on the way down. We were hoping the other side would be better. I'll have to go out in the garage and switch the hitch around and see what that looks like. I have the hitch holes on the bumper, but don't want to pull with my bumper. I'd rather use the tow package.

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The ramp has a definite dip where the pad ends.

If you have a tandem axle trailer you'll want it to ride level.

Single axle trailer you can get rid of the drop hitch as long as you have the tongue weight. I think an easy solution if you can't trailer with the tongue higher is to have a second ball on the bumper that you can use at the ramp.

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I don't agree with poor design. Many newer trailers have V shaped crossmembers to lower the height of boat and help loading/unloading in shallow waters. I think the design of ramp is incorrect, they should fill the drop after top slab for at least 20 ft.

I bet they built ramp on specs, then ground got packed from vehicles and dropped a good 6" below what it was supposed to.

Also vehicles backing up to it got stuck, spun tires and moved dirt away from the area.

Besides suggestions above, you can also raise your trailer height by mounting the axle above the springs, if possible, this should give you 2" more clearance. Carrying 2 long 2"x6" boards will help also, use them as a "bridge" over the gap.

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Do you have full size tires. 15"s. Probably do. I went out and looked at my roller trailer. The lower cross member must be just on bunks. The lowest part on my trailer is the axel. I am suprised that launch is the first place you git hung up on being that low. What happens on driveways?

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Funny I have not heard to many issues of this happening in the past. And I also thought that the ramps were getting better and more improved over the years. Now you buy a fancy bunk trailer and probally an expensive boat and you have to bring extra equipment just to launch your boat. Lets see bring wood, re mount axle to give more clearance, make sure ramp is in perfect shape and size to be able to get boat off trailer. HMMMMMMMM.

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My brother keeps and extra insert in his truck for this type of deal (he's told me to do the same) - I guess its the boyscout in him.

Its a good deal you had the 2X4's. Thinking back to times when we've had to go the McGiver route, all the "extras" in the truck tend to help out.

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