Trailer Repair / Cleaning & Detailing tips...

Dave_L1

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Pine Island
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Florida
We were having a hard time getting the Skiff off (much less back on) the trailer. The Trailer though built like a tank, and could handle a boat three times the weight of our Skiff, was just giving us fits... I was really spoiled by my last trailer that I had updated with all kinds of goodies with it's dropped "Rolls axle" and bracing. I also had everything on the last trailer (including the jack stand) all mounted on the same side of the trailer as the drivers side of the truck. No stepping over or walking around the Xterra to get at anything :) This made for a pretty simple process of just backing the 190 down flush with the hubs in the water, jumping up on the trailer and then onto the bow, and simply driving the boat right off the trailer. Much less unhooking it real quick when getting her back home ;) Not the case with this one (yet)...

So I contacted the guys via email since it is was after hours over at Island Coast Trailers http://islandcoasttrailer.com/ with my shopping and wish list, and some pictures to show them how sad it had gotten over the years before we bought it.... So Rick Joslin got right back to me! And since I had the Skiff on the lift while it was getting worked on, now was the time to have this all addressed :D

So here are some "Before" pictures so you can see just how worn out the bunks, carpet (or what was left of it) and general overall appearance had become! And I will go into some tips that Rick gave me on bunks, hardware, and carpet to pass along to help them last longer on yours :cool:

So as you can well figure, it's kind of hard to slide anything off of something like this, and the last launch really finished off what was left of the original carpet :rolleyes:

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Matter of fact, I had the water touching the rear tires on the Xterra, and my feet up to my knees were in the water to both lift and push her off the trailer last time :(

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Pretty sad shape. So Rick and Kyle reworked her with all new bunks (side bunks also) with new carpet mounted on them with Monel Staples which is more rust proof due to the higher nickle content than 304 Stainless types. And they repaired and tucked all the wiring to include a couple of new "Trailer" grounding points. This is how she now looks ;)

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Couple of things to help make sure your next set lasts longer and why these OEM bunks and carpet failed so soon.
  1. The original bunk boards were completely wrapped (not exposed on the bottom to drain and dry) with the wrong type of carpet "and" an extra padding was installed under the carpet? All this did was retain moisture and in this case, it was salt water... The bunks were so bad and rotten on the under side, they could not be just recovered.
  2. The bunk mounts were of a different type of metal, thus the galvanic corrosion of the dissimilar metals combined with salt water slowly ate the mounting points alive. As you can see, the majority of this trailer is aluminum and not galvanized steel. And as Rick advised me, the cost difference for higher quality bunk mounts is mere dollars each... :confused: You know, some times is simply does not pay to try and save a few dollars and this was one such case!
  3. The original trailer wench was shot and really, not of very high quality from the get go. I had hammered the original loose "Knuckle Skinner" one flat again, and back onto place and remounted it with larger bolts and washers. Really, that was a waste of time as compared to how smooth and sturdy the new HD unit that is now installed in it's place works. Again, some times it simply does not pay to try and save 20 or 30 dollars only to fight with it each time. And though I hate to say it... For such a rugged built trailer frame, some components employed on the original build were simply sub standard for a Salt Water Trailer... :rolleyes:
  4. The wench jack stand was simply too high. As such, I had to lift up on the bow (combined with other issues) and push just to float off a lightweight Skiff :rolleyes: Rick and Kyle cut the jack stand down as far as they could, and remounted the top plate when they installed the new wench ;)
  5. Lastly as far as upgrades go, while working on cleaning and detailing the trailer I have sprayed all the bunks down with liquid rollers bunk lube a few times to ensure good coverage.
So for the less than a quarter of the cost of a new trailer, with the guys help at Island Coast Trailers who really did a great job rebuilding and repairing it! She is in much better shape now...

Now comes the appearance items and hopefully you can see the work in process changes, and how I have been able to slowly bring her back to life.

  1. The I beams looked very poor, and both sides were stained with what looks like rust even though it they are Aluminum. So taking some Bar Keepers Friend which is the same product I used to remove some rust stains from the hull of the Skiff. I sprinkled it down the top right side of the trailer and right behind the wench stand. And then with a damp cloth, wiped and rubbed it down and pulled up quite a bit of tarnish. Seeing how that was taking a while, I found a old terry cloth cover for my buffer and really went to town on one side of the trailer. Made a vast improvement in how it both looked and shined (even the R/S metal fender as you can see above) as compared to before! IMG_0392.jpg
  2. Next and is many times the case when detailing anything (Truck, Boat, or Boat Trailer in this case) that the smallest of things, can make a noticeable difference in the overall clean looks of the entire unit. And though I still have one more side to knock out with the buffer, that little yellow roller for the bow wench stand looked like it was old and worn out and really took away from looks of the rest of the trailer. Well being of a hard rubber and really dirty that looked like it was grease, was not really grease or dirt at all, it was mold growing inside it... So I took it off and 1st thing I did was put it into the dish washer. That helped, but it still had some black streaks and was cloudy looking. So I hit it in the kitchen sink with some Clorox spray cleaner and let it set for a 1/2 hour or so. Then I came back and wiped it all down. Now I know you can get those bow rollers at most hardware or marine stores at a pretty low cost. No need to do that though if in good shape, for the bleach and a little wiping it all down with paper towels really made it look new and I am very pleased with those results :cool:
Before... And really was much worse looking close up then that.
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And after...

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And like many things, once you get it back into shape it is so much easier and simpler just to just keep her that way going forward :cool: A simple wash down and hitting with a pressure washer from time to time, should work wonders in helping her stay this nice going forward :D

Hope this helps and if you are in SWFL and need repairs. This or need some parts shipped that may be hard to find at other places? Fell free to reach out to the guys at Island Coast Trailers http://islandcoasttrailer.com/ or call them at 239-458-9442 and let them know the guys at Performance Outdoors sent you!

Dave
 

Dave_L1

Administrator
Staff member
Lifetime Member
Premium Member
City
Pine Island
State
Florida
Good Video on getting the trailer updated and the bunks covered again. Notice how they are only covered the carpet on the bottom 3/4 of the way, so they can dry out after dunking ;)

 
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