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  1. #1
    Beantowner's Avatar
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    proper trailer position

    I recently bought new Yammy FX HO. I also purchased a new Karavan galvanized trailer, model WCE 1250-46.

    I noticed that it was quite well balanced, in fact, maybe too well balanced. It is light on the tongue. It takes almost no effort to lift the trailer by the tongue.

    Also, there seem to be a lot of overhang off the rear of the bunks (the bunks are 5 feet long). I measure it at 31 inches past the rear bunk of overhang. Also also, the engine seem perfectly aligned in the middle of the bunks. Assuming that is where the most weight it, this seems to make sense. I certainly could adjust the winch assembly forward, but the question is: Is that wise? I attached a few pics to show what I'm talking about:

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  2. #2
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beantowner View Post
    I recently bought new Yammy FX HO. I also purchased a new Karavan galvanized trailer, model WCE 1250-46.

    I noticed that it was quite well balanced, in fact, maybe too well balanced. It is light on the tongue. It takes almost no effort to lift the trailer by the tongue.

    Also, there seem to be a lot of overhang off the rear of the bunks (the bunks are 5 feet long). I measure it at 31 inches past the rear bunk of overhang.

    ... I certainly could adjust the winch assembly forward, but the question is: Is that wise?
    I attached a few pics to show what I'm talking about:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Click image for larger version. 

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    It looks to me that the trailer is simply too short for that hull.

    In my opinion the hull overhang at the rear beyond the bunks should be very little to none, certainly not more than two feet.

    If you move the winch tower forward by two feet it will bring the nose very close to the hitch and crowd the trailer jack.

    You might be able to work around this by adding a Fulton tongue extension with hinge and extending the coupler forward by about 30 inches. That would allow you to shift the trailer jack and winch tower well forward on the tongue.

    Check whether the hull will get too close to the trailer frame if it was shifted forward on the trailer.

    Is the trailer's weight rating (as shown on the trailer VIN plate) enough to handle the PWC weight plus full fuel tank weight plus whatever gear you have stuffed into the storage bucket?

    Tongue weight is important to maintain predictable trailer handling. Light tongue weight can allow the trailer to sway left and right at speed. A bigger concern is sudden emergency maneuvers at highways speeds such as an emergency lane change or very heavy braking while turning, where the light tongue weight might aggravate the trailer behavior.

    There are various rules of thumb for tongue weight. I have heard everything from 7% of the total weight (trailer plus ski plus fuel) up to 1/7 th of the total weight. In general from a handling perspective the more tongue weight the more predictable the trailer will handle.

    The tow vehicle will have a maximum tongue weight spec for the hitch ball, typically this is 10% of the maximum allowed trailer weight for that vehicle. For a 3000 pound limit tow weight the tongue weight would be 300 pounds maximum, on the tow ball.

    For your ski and trailer (total loaded weight is something around 1000 pounds?) I would imagine you want the tongue weight somewhere at or above 100 pounds.

    You also want to ensure the loaded trailer is level when hooked up to the tow vehicle, with everything loaded into the car/truck and ready for the road. The top surface of the trailer frame should be the same distance from the ground at the rear as it is at the front. If the trailer tongue is too low or too high then you need to change the ball mount on the tow vehicle to shift the ball height to match the trailer frame height.

    Ball height is measured from top of the ball down to the ground. When the trailer is hooked up the ball height and the trailer frame height above the trailer axle should be the same or very close.
    Last edited by K447; 08-10-2014 at 10:32 PM.


  3. #3
    This is how I run a jetski shop in the desert nmpeter's Avatar
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    my general rule is if you can one hand the trailer, it's too light in front. Watch your weight as it seems that trailer is rated for 1200 pounds and according to the Yamaha web, the dry weight of this ski is 875. A full tank of gas puts you into the reserve zone for total weight.

    I'll also say the trailer is too short for that ski, depending on venue it could mean a law enforcement encounter if the taillights are obstructed.

    plenty of stuff on proper trailer setups around such as tongue weight level, drop hitches and the rest. Don't forget to get a towing rider for your auto policy

    never cheap out on trailer hardware/chains/tires/hitches. Unexpected consequences have horrific results when dealing with them.
    Last edited by K447; 08-10-2014 at 10:29 PM.

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  5. #4
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    No one likes to hear it, but I think your trailer is too short for your ski.

    I have a VX on a Triton trailer and my Triton is about 14' long. I see the specs for your trailer and
    the length says its 12.5' long. I believe your ski is close to 11' long. I don't know if there is enough adjustment left on your trailer
    so as to make it correct. I question the front of the ski that close to your tow vehicle. A better trailer might be the
    WCE-1250-46L or WCA-1250-39 as shown at http://www.karavantrailers.com/liter...ater_Craft.pdf
    I would want my new,expensive , whole, ski *on* the bunks and not hanging over, thereby putting extra stress on the hull.

    Do try to move the winch as far forward as it will go. This will add more weight to the tongue as expected.
    (Can always use a bathroom scale under the front wheel for a "close" hitch weight reading.)
    2x4 under the hitch to the scale is more accurate.

    Again though, target about 10% to 15% of (trailer weight +Ski "loaded") for your tongue weight.
    Like K447 stated tongue weight at about 100#'s would be great

    Safety first!
    Good Luck

  6. #5

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    Wow... rear of your ski is WAY too far off end. Like everyone else says. Yikes

  7. #6
    Beantowner's Avatar
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    After reading, I went down and moved the tongue jack forward. I then moved the winch tower forward as well. I would put the tongue weight at 75 lbs or more, while still leaving enough hull clearance. I measured the rear hull overhang at 17 inches now, as opposed to the 31 before. Looks way more reasonable.

    The trailer is certainly within it's capacity to haul the ski, as it has a "carrying capacity" of 1250 pounds.

    I plan to keep digging and try to locate literature that shows the trailer is insufficient. But until then, I will see how this goes. What could go wrong? <--- I'm joking

    Thanks for all of your input. I appreciate it.
    Last edited by Beantowner; 08-11-2014 at 06:55 PM.

  8. #7
    This is how I run a jetski shop in the desert nmpeter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beantowner View Post
    You guys are confirming what I suspected. I will try to dig up literature and go back to the dealership with it. It was a package deal, and it appears I got shafted.
    mention to the dealer a trucker buiddy of yoru said it was too dangerous to tow and there would be a problem if there was an incident casue it's obvious the trailer was too short to safely tow your new 10k+ boat.

    Dealer is going to have to take a big bite out of an unpleasant tasting sandwich, taking back a trailer that was titled already and giving you a new one ( I suspect you'll have to pay the difference in price, make the dealer show you the invoiced price for the correct trailer)

    Mistakes get made, to get what you want:

    1-remain calm
    2-do not raise your voice
    3-do not make any verbal threat.

    if you don't get satisfaction, a letter is the next step, not a scream out at the dealer.

  9. #8
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    I don't think you want the ski hanging off the rear of the bunks at all. I know on my Triton double, my skis are about 4 inches forward of the rear of the bunks. Having the rear of the hull completely over the bunks makes for much better support of the entire hull on the trailer. With the Yamaha Nano hull I would think this is especially important. That trailer looks too short for the size of hull you are trying to carry.

  10. #9
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    This is funny I'm having the exact opposite problem. My ski is dead even with the bunk ends yet it feels like there is almost 200# on the tongue. Trailer is very difficult to try and turn when off the vehicle should I move mine back? My trailer is a Road King which is a high end trailer.

  11. #10
    r33pwrd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Broncosguru7 View Post
    This is funny I'm having the exact opposite problem. My ski is dead even with the bunk ends yet it feels like there is almost 200# on the tongue. Trailer is very difficult to try and turn when off the vehicle should I move mine back? My trailer is a Road King which is a high end trailer.
    grab a scale from the bathroom and check what it is, your expedition? should have no problem with 200 lbs IMO. You might just need a better trailer wheel

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