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Back tie down ideas

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  • #16
    Originally posted by steve45
    ... I think most boat winch straps and tie-down straps are a lot weaker than their original rating.

    Exposure to sunlight
    I had not fully considered to what degree sunlight exposure might weaken the winch strap webbing material in the first few years.

    Apparently the strength reduction can be in the range of 30% or more in the first year, for a strap exposed to full sunlight all day, every day. Second year % reduction is not as drastic.

    I will admit this is a greater strength reduction percentage that I might have guessed, for the first year and then the second year. In my seasonal climate the trailer and winch straps are stored indoors for half the calendar so hopefully the rate of degradation is also less. During the summer season my PWC trailer does sit outside with direct exposure to the sun.

    I had already intended to replace the bow winch straps every few years. Right now those winch straps have been on there for four summers. I have not noticed much color change nor surface roughness (which are indications of strap degradation) but I should more closely compare my on-trailer winch straps with a rarely used entire 'spare' winch tower assembly, including a nearly new winch strap.

    Which raises the question - what is the optimal age to proactively replace old winch straps with new?

    I do see lots of trailers with frayed and clearly degraded winch straps, either from many years of exposure or from frequent use. I suspect many PWC trailer owners intend to use their original winch strap right until the day it fails entirely.

    I suppose the same degradation issue affects my ratchet tie down straps. 2ÔÇØ wide Boat Buckle brand. Two straps on the rear of each ski are mostly in shade during the day but the front safety straps are exposed to the same sunlight cycle as the bow winch strap.
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    • #17
      Yes, I think periodic strap replacement will be on my list of maintenance items.

      I was really surprised when I broke a strap on my nephew's trailer hoisting an old STS 750. I don't think those things weigh more than 500 pounds or so.

      We live in a part of the country that has very high UV exposure and it tears up everything. I'm in the process of extending the awning over my toys at our lake house by a few more feet to try to reduce sun exposure.

      I've had a new strap for my boat trailer laying around my shop for a couple of years--time to put it on!
      '15 Kawi Ultra 310X
      '99 Kawi Ultra 150 (2)
      '10 Kawi Ultra LX, '13 Kawi Ultra LX, '13 Kawi Ultra LX parts 'Ski
      '04 Kawi STX 15-F, '06 STX 15-F (2)
      '91 Kawi Jet Mate
      '97 Yamaha Exciter 220 (Boat)
      '99 Yamaha Exciter 270 (Boat)
      '78 Nacra 5.2 Catamaran
      '05 Windrider WR-10 Trimaran, '05 Windrider WR-16 Trimaran
      ... and that's just the boats! I'm living proof that you can have too many toys!


      • #18
        When I see such pictures, the first thought in my head is 'OMG, it will be dirty as hell by the end of its trip'


        • #19
          Now y’all have me wondering if my ski is safel!!!