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  1. #1

    Newbie Trailer Question Please Help

    So I just purchased my first jet ski (*happy dance*). The trailer that came with it is .... how to say .... less than desirable LOL
    I am about to embark on reworking the trailer a little. I'm just not comfortable with how the ski sits/hangs so far off the back, as well as the lack of securing it to the trailer.
    I plan on adding a winch as well as roller supports on the bow. Thinking I will replace the bunks with 7' bunks. Also getting new tires and a spare.

    In looking at the pic (I know it's not a great pic, my apologies) and it just looks like this trailer must not even be for a PWC. smh

    My question is this: can I move the support where the winch and bow rollers will go, forward closer to the tongue?
    If so, I was planning on installing another keel support. I would like to see the ski actually all the way on the trailer.

    Any thoughts very much appreciated!!
    Thanks
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  2. #2
    Click avatar for tech links/info K447's Avatar
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    Welcome.

    That trailer looks like it was intended for a MUCH smaller watercraft. The bow hold down is of the type typically found with small stand-up watercraft.

    What is the age and weight rating of that trailer?
    Karavan trailer model?

    What year, make and model is the watercraft you have?

  3. #3
    I was thinking the same thing! 2009 Seadoo GTI SE 155, the trailer is a 1993 karavan, I don't know much more about the trailer.
    where would I find the weight rating for the trailer?

  4. #4
    Click avatar for tech links/info K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deb B View Post
    I was thinking the same thing! 2009 Seadoo GTI SE 155, the trailer is a 1993 karavan, I don't know much more about the trailer.

    where would I find the weight rating for the trailer?
    Well, when it was manufactured there would have been a sticker or metal plate with the weight rating, tire size, and VIN serial number info. Since that trailer is now twenty seven years old the VIN sticker may be gone or unreadable.

    If the VIN sticker/plate is still present look inside the Y area of the frame. Or perhaps on the side of the tongue.

    Watercraft made back in the early 1990’s were much, much smaller than modern watercraft. Shorter, and less heavy.

    Even if somehow the weight rating of your trailer is ‘enough’ for your 2009 GTI SE 155, the trailer is still quite short for the almost 11 foot long hull.

    The 2009 GTI SE 155 weighs 745 pounds without fuel. Add fuel and some storage contents and the total weight is about 850 pounds. So you want a trailer that is rated for 1,000 pounds load, or more.

    My recommendation would be to purchase a much less old watercraft trailer that is intended for the length and weight of your GTI.

    The current trailer can be sold to someone else with a smaller/older watercraft.


  5. #5
    Thanks so much for your input!! I was thinking exactly the same thing but thought maybe I was just being silly. New (or newer) trailer it is.

  6. #6
    steve45's Avatar
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    The trailer most likely came with a tag giving it's specs, but after 27 years, it may be missing or illegible. Registration paperwork may give you a clue.

    The dry weight of your 'Ski is about 755 pounds. I'm sure the trailer, although small, can carry that much weight. You can slide the 'Ski forward, but make sure you can lift the tongue to put is onto your trailer hitch. If you're towing with a vehicle with a tailgate, make sure you can open it.

    I would highly recommend radial tires!

    Not sure what you mean by adding another keel support. Most PWC trailers only have two bunks. It's more stable if they are widely spaced. Make sure that you have enough clearance for the front crossbeam, especially when loading and the trailer is at an angle. You may have to raise the bunk rails and put a bumper pad on the crossbeam. I would remove the roller and support on the front crossbeam and extend the bunk rails in both directions. It appears that you can install a longer tongue on that trailer. It looks like the axle position is adjustable, so you can balance it if you make changes. You can even get a welder to extend the side rails farther back and build another rear crossbeam. You would have to install a longer wiring harness if you do this. You can drill holes in the rear crossbeam and install stainless steel eyebolts to tie it down. You also need to add a secondary safety chain/cable to the front tiedown.

    Ideally, you would buy a properly sized trailer, but I realize that may not be in your budget at the moment. Keep an eye on Craigslist. New trailers are expensive. I've purchased a bunch of used trailers over the years and never paid more than $300 for one. I have built my own, too, but you don't want to go there!

    Trailer parts are available from www.boattrailerparts.com, www.etrailer.com, and www.recstuff.com

    Don't forget to unplug the lights before you back it into the water!

  7. #7
    Click avatar for tech links/info K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deb B View Post
    ... New (or newer) trailer it is.
    Tip: With a longer trailer, not only will it fit the hull length better with much longer bunk boards (the less hull overhang out the back, the better), but a longer trailer also tends to behave better during towing. And is easier to back up at the launch ramp. The longer distance between the tow ball and the trailer wheels makes the trailer less ‘twitchy’.

    I do not know what area you are in or what kind of water you will be riding in. Salt water is very hard on painted steel trailers. Even in fresh water, decades of time can degrade a steel trailer, rusting around the fasteners and suspension hardware.

    My own preference is the Triton Trailers brand of welded aluminum trailer. Not inexpensive, but Triton PWC trailers last almost forever and the aluminum will not rust. Some models include all stainless steel bolt hardware, which will not corrode. My suspension preference is torsion axle rather than leaf springs for the axle.

    Triton revised and upgraded their PWC trailer specifications circa 2003ish, so I would recommend a Triton made since then. I have owned several Triton, single and double. Very few issues. I currently have a large WC2-2 Triton.

  8. #8

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    You can move the ski forward on the trailer, but then you will increase the tongue weight. Excessive tongue weight can be a problem when towing or moving the trailer. Also, the best placement for the ski is for the motor to be centered on the bunks. This will balance the ski on the bunks and prevent too much stress on one part of the hull.

    I'll give the same advice I give to everybody. You just spent around $5K on a ski. Don't skimp on the trailer. Go invest the $800 for a brand new trailer. It will protect your investment. And it will spare you the aggravation of being stuck on the side of the road when that one breaks down.

    Another issue is how high the ski sits. It will be a bitch to load and unload the ski unless you back your car deep enough for the fish to swim into the car. Get a new trailer with drop-center cross members so that the ski sits lower and is easy to load/unload.

  9. #9

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    BTW - I wouldn't place the tie-down strap over the seat. The strap should be over a solid part of the hull or through the tow hooks. And without a bow roller, there should be one strap on the back pulling the ski forward and one strap on the front pulling the ski backward.

    The way you're set up now, a hard stop will put that ski in your back seat.

  10. #10
    Click avatar for tech links/info K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grumpy_steven View Post
    ...

    The way you're set up now, a hard stop will put that ski in your back seat.
    Yep.



    First, use the right sized trailer for the watercraft.
    Adjust the trailer to fit the hull and have the correct tongue weight.

    Then configure the straps correctly.

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