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Best Trailer Options

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Lakerider80 View Drop Down
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    Posted: April-03-2021 at 8:30pm
I am looking to purchase a new trailer for a '91 Ski Nautique and in my search through the forums I haven't found a real consensus about which brand I should be pursuing. I am looking for a single axle trailer with torsion suspension and currently I am looking at boatmate, load rite and phoenix. I have seen concerns on the forum about the paint quality/longevity and customer service experience of boatmate trailers and don't want to spend my money on a trailer that is going to rust within 2 years. Rust concerns have pushed me towards getting an aluminum I-Beam trailer (like load rite or phoenix) but would love to hear anyone's input on what brand they have had successes and failures. Seemingly everyone loves Ramline but it appears they have given the finger to Nautique owners sadly. Overall I am not too worried about aesthetics (painted vs just plain aluminum). The trailer likely won't see more than 500 miles per year but likely will be stored outside all year. I am also looking to stay below $5,000, I don't need a bunch of bells and whistles, just a solid trailer that isn't going to require replacement within 5 years. Big smile
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Gary S View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gary S Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April-03-2021 at 10:51pm
I have a steel Phoenix under my Nautique, an aluminum Owens and Sons on a Shamrock. Paint jobs on Phoenix are awesome but they should have done some rust proofing inside the frame rails. There are no bolts or screws into the frame rails like a Ramlin which seems to make a difference too. My Owens is nice in the respect that it is easy to wash off after use- it is used in saltwater the I beam construction has no hidden areas. I have seen torsion axles rust bad in saltwater- water gets trapped inside the tube but may be a non issue for you. My Owens has solid leaf spring axles covered in a thick tar like substance which has held up well.
Why not see if some one like Phoenix can build a steel trailer that's galvanized. Don't forget a Ramlin style bow stop for it. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Orlando76 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April-04-2021 at 7:35am
I’m not a huge fan of torsion axles. Ramlin hasn’t given the finger to Nautique owners..... they’ve given the finger but it’s not to us lol. Boatmate is a joke imo. At this point for a new trailer I’d look at Phoenix. Keep in mind the single 3500lb axle doesn’t cut it, some manufacturers try to say its fine.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lakerider80 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April-04-2021 at 8:25am
Thank you both for the insight. I had seen someone in another post suggesting asking for a RamLine style bow-stop and that really makes a lot of sense. Also probably the double axle, despite not taking the trailer any great distance, nice to have the redundancy of an extra axle. Though living in Upstate NY where everything rusts due to the road salt, I am still a bit weary of getting a steel trailer but the galvanized option seems like it would be the ticket. I never plan on putting the boat in salt water nor trailer it when there is salt of the road but still. It is just astounding to me that no trailer manufacturer has come out with a painted galvanized trailer (at least not one that I can find).

 With the Phoenix trailer, did you have anything special done for the placement of the bunks or add a roller at the front for the keel to allow for easier loading/unloading? (so you don't have to goes a deep into the water with trailer) I just want to make sure that I spend my pennies wisely and not kick myself for not adding something I wish I had further down the line. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 8122pbrainard Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April-04-2021 at 8:31am
Originally posted by Lakerider80 Lakerider80 wrote:

. It is just astounding to me that no trailer manufacturer has come out with a painted galvanized trailer (at least not one that I can find). 

Tim,
Don't be astounded. Paint on galvanized isn't that easy. It doesn't like to stick to the zinc coating so special primers are needed. 


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Gary S View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gary S Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April-04-2021 at 9:33am
I did not spec the trailer so what came on it was all done by the dealer. I don’t know the details but N3 Boatworks ordered a brand new trailer in ‘13 when I brought ‘95 from them. Out of curiosity what brand trailer do you have now?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lakerider80 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April-04-2021 at 10:03pm
I have a steel Eagle trailer that is definitely not meant for the boat. The previous owner cobbled together some bunks that have since scratch the gel coat and left a weird brown stain. He thought it was for a mastercraft but didn't really know. I just want to make sure that I am not causing any further damage to the hull and have a tailer that doesn't look like I built it myself blindfolded. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Donald80SN Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April-05-2021 at 5:36pm
Hello, 

I just bumped up an old thread in the General Forums titled :  

1999 Longhorn Nautique Restoration Thread

Screen name: DHMcFadin in Austin Texas is documenting the restoration of a 1999 Sport Nautique. He has not given an update in a while, but he had a very nice looking trailer built.  I believe it is a company in Texas. Check out his thread and you can see the trailer. It is very nice.  He is doing a University of Texas Long Horn deal.  Do a search or just look where I bumped it up.  Just another option. 

Looks like the company is Magnum Trailers in Texas.  Go to page #8 of this thread. Go to March 12, 2020 and you will see his trailer. It came out very nice. Chris Quinner uses Magnum condoms, but that is another thread. 

Good luck, 
Donald 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wetskier2000 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April-05-2021 at 6:48pm
When our 1997 Ramlin rusted away I replaced it with a used Owen's and Son's Aluminum Slide On that had carried a Supra TS6M. It was $1200 with the boat that I gave away. I replaced the winch and post with a Nautique-like bunk stop up front, put on 4 tires and replaced the brakes. It's a tandem axle and gets 3-4000 miles per year mostly back and forth to FL. Trailer placement and the right amount of dunking is considerably more critical with the Owen's over the Ramlin... The Ramlin could be cockeyed, too shallow or too deep and still be loaded pretty much successfully. The Owen's needs to be in the right place. It is a 1998 model and also floats which takes some getting used to... The first time I noticed it, I thought I was seeing things... But nope, it was going down river... This "feature" is easily handled by just dunking it in far enough to get the bunks wet then pulling it right back out to the correct depth...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wetskier2000 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April-05-2021 at 6:50pm
....and Owen's and Son's customer service? Out freakin standing even for a guy like me that bought the thing used....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote burban65 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April-05-2021 at 10:28pm
Just got one of the boats out of storage Sunday. Boat sits on a 2013 Phoenix singe axle trailer and I was just telling my wife (not that she cares) how darn nice the trailer is.  This is my second Phoenix trailer and, from my experience, I would highly recommend.
Good luck with your search!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lakerider80 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April-06-2021 at 12:40pm
It really seems like the Phoenix is the way to go. I am definitely going to see what the price difference is between aluminum and steel. And adding an extra axle. Also I have two dealerships within an hour which is nice so I know I can get parts if need be. When I called Phoenix directly yesterday, they were super helpful and answered all of my questions, even the dumb ones LOL. Now I just have to make sure I don't forget any add-ons that I would regret not having later (Spare tire, swingable tongue, bow stop, etc). 

Has anyone every put a clear bra on the front surfaces of their trailers to prevent stone chips or do you think that would just hold water leading to rust? 

I will definitely keep this thread going with the whole process so hopefully someone with the same question in the future doesn't have to go through the same trouble. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gary S Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April-06-2021 at 9:49pm
Are you talking something like Clearguard or Xpel?  I think it would be a good idea but that stuff isn't cheap. I have had 3 vehicles done. I had a rock hit my truck recently even saw it coming. It tore the Xpel but didn't even leave a mark in the paint. I would even look into getting the frame rails Ziebarted as well if you can find one nearby. I think that on a Phoenix's the boat sits up higher compared to a Ramlin because the bunks of a Ramlin sit right on the frame rails vs the Phoenix's that are raised. I can measure mine tomorrow if you want. The advantage of that is the bunks don't hold the water against the frame. 
Here is my wife who is 5'6 looking in our 95 Super Sport to give you an idea how high they are-

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lakerider80 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April-07-2021 at 7:56am
Thank you for the offer for measuring but I don’t think I need the measurement.

But yo answer your question, yes to something like Clearguard or Expel. For how much I was just quoted I definitely want to protect the investment. And just to confirm that the picture you posted is of a Ramlin and not a Phoenix?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wetskier2000 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April-07-2021 at 8:21am
Personally, I won't buy another steel painted trailer if I can avoid it. Admittedly, my boat trailer does see winter weather and brackish water every year. 

On height, the Owen's does place the boat higher than the Ramlin and we thought this might be a towing issue. It certainly is not but we did also go from single to tandem axle... It tows FAR and AWAY better than the single even when I look over and see speeds in excess of the posted speed limits when the wife is driving... LOL
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gary S Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April-07-2021 at 12:00pm
No that's my Phoenix-you can see the chine up almost a foot above the trailer frame rails. Does not affect the towing but does affect the launching - oviously the boat needs to go deeper into the water. What really affects the towing is the width of these trailers- not alot of room for error on lane width. Not really a problem until you get into road construction and nothing you can do about anyway.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lakerider80 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April-07-2021 at 3:18pm
Its a really nice looking trailer. I don't think mind dunking the trailer a little bit deeper if the design helps reduce the amount of rust. I can say the price I was quoted for the trailer was a bit surprising but if it lasts then it will be a good investment. I will definitely be keeping the trailer off of the road in the winter and it will never see any brackish water. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gary S Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April-07-2021 at 4:03pm
Well I'm going to guess north of 6 k because that was my list back in '13. That was dual axle.leaf springs,4 wheel disc brakes,Vault bearings.  Is galvanizing something they can do or offered?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lakerider80 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April-07-2021 at 4:09pm
Pretty much spot on regarding the price. And sadly no regarding the galvanizing 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gary S Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April-07-2021 at 4:29pm
Seriously look into Ziebart then. They will not even have to drill any holes- the cross members have holes already and the frame itself  has cutouts in the bottom and the clearance lights are rubber mounted and pop out easily. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote James T Brockma Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April-07-2021 at 4:50pm
Lakerider80, I know many on this site don’t have positive opinions toward Boatmate. I am the original owner of a 2006 216 on a 2006 Boatmate trailer that I bought new through MidWest CorrectCraft with the kind assistance of both Ken and Greg Meloon. Obviously I am dating myself but if the ever have the opportunity to meet one or both of those gentlemen you will truly be blessed. The trailer is tandem axle, 4 wheel disc brakes, swing away tongue, and oil bath hubs (I know...antiquated).  Except for needing to change a seal on one of the hubs when the trailer was new it has been flawless. I put the boat in Norris Lake, TN in the Spring and pull it out in the Fall. For many years I stored the trailer in my lake house garage but for the last 4-5 years to get more room for another car I have been towing it 250 miles for the Summer to Cincinnati to store the trailer in a metal pole barn with concrete floor that I own. I put new Goodyear made in the USA tires on it about 2 years ago just to be safe. Granted I am anal about my boat and trailer. My trailer has no rust and the paint (black with red pinstripes) is like new, I maintain the trailer myself so I know the brake fluid has been flushed regularly and properly  as well as the oil bath hubs. Just my 2 cents
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lakerider80 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April-07-2021 at 5:13pm
I appreciate the info and it sounds like you really take good care of it. My concern is that I foresee my trailer living a bit more of a rough and tumble life. I don't currently have a dock/lift to leave my boat at so every time I go out I am going to be getting the trailer wet and probably driving 25-100 miles. Plus I don't have an indoor storage option for the summer so its going to be sitting out in the elements save for winter. From people's experiences noted on this forum and others, it seems like BoatMate is really variable and somewhat dependent on how much you use the trailer and how the paint guy at BoatMate was feeling that day. 

My inability to have an easy answer on what trailer to get is why I started this tread and to give people a chance to weigh in on what has worked and what hasn't worked. And maybe the Phoenix isn't perfect and I sell it a year or two down the line to try something else. I seems like there will always be a market for lightly used trailers in the Nautique world. Or I have no idea what I am talking and someone who has been around the block (or lake) a few more times will set me straight.
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