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Johnny B

Tongue Weight

Question

Johnny B

I recently purchased a 25 hp four-stroke for my 14-footer.
(I got it here on the Forum: Thanks again Windy!)

With the heavier motor, I now have too much weight in the back and not enough on the tongue. To compensate for the difference, I have slid the boat forward on the trailer and will remount the winch-boom.

Here are my questions: In order for the trailer to tow correctly, how much tongue weight should there be?
Is there a percentage of total weight distribution that is recommended for the front / back or rule of thumb to follow?

Thanks for the help.

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NotoriousBLM

What are you towing with?

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Fisher Dave

I have been pulling my 14' boat around for 15 years with an average of about 3 pounds (almost balanced) of tongue weight. I have never had a problem, and have never wore out bearings .. the boat trailers great.

I dont see where you would have any problems as long as the tongue still *drops*... you dont want to unhitch your boat and have the tongue take out your vehicle window... Or drag your skeg if it ever were to come off the ball while driving.

On a very heavy boat this would be an issue .. the tongue weight affects your braking under load amongst other things.. but a 14' boat is not that heavy.

If your tongue is coming up, you could reposition something in the boat to compensate for it .. battery, gas tank, etc.

Good luck.

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Dennis Steele

As a guideline you shoud have a tongue weight of 10% of the total towable weight.
As an example if you the boat motor and trailer weigh 2000lbs your tongue at the ball should weigh 200lbs.
I have not seen too many larger rigs that follow these guidelines.Tongue weight is usually a little lighter than 10%.And thats even comming from the dealer.Seems they just plop the boats on the trailer and call it good. smile.gif

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NotoriousBLM

If you were pulling your boat with a Chevette, you would have to be more weight conscience than with your truck smile.gif It sounds like your issue isn't with the actual towing of the boat, but how the the boat fits on the trailer. If you can, I would try to have the last set of rollers(or bunk ends) right underneath the transom.

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Angler Don

Shoreland'r recommends a tongue weight
of 5 - 6 % of the load being towed.

Don

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rmh2o

Tonge weight should be around 100 pounds and can be checked with a bathroom scale

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Johnny B

Judging by the way the boat was positioned on the trailer, it was way too far back to begin with and the new motor made it even worse: the front end would completely lift off the ground and that was even before adding the battery and gas tank. I know that too little of tongue weight can lead to sway problems at higher speeds and that was the reason for my post. Fisher Dave, you get by with only three pounds! That’s good to know, so I could easily go a little heavier and still be ok. Notorious, I am driving an extended cab pick-up: why would that make a difference?
10%- Thanks Dennis.

[This message has been edited by Johnny B (edited 04-28-2004).]

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Johnny B

Thanks for the input guys. Now that I know the range I should be targeting, this will be pretty easy to properly adjust and correct the problem.
Notorious, I will be able to position the last set of rollers just as you mentioned. You made me laugh with the visual of a little Chevette pulling a big rig, bumper nearly dragging on the road – too much junk in the trunk!

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analyzer

In my shorelander manual, it suggests loosening the U-brackets that hold the trailer base to the axle and sliding the entire axle backwards to shift the weight forwards. Then re-tighten the U-brackets. Of course, you'll probably want to take the boat off the trailer while you're doing this.

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Gus

You guys talking about the chevette makes me remeber a day when I was working outside.. There was a ford fiesta that was driving by every half hour one way and then the other. On one way by he was so over loaded with something the bumper was dragging on the ground. When I finnaly got a loook at what he was hauling it was concrete rubble! he took out the back seat and was just dumping in concrete rubble until it was full. That sure made me laugh.

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