Zip Trailer Width

Boat trailers and trailering

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Location: Perth, Western Australia

Zip Trailer Width

Postby Barra » Wed Aug 20, 2014 5:00 am

Hi Guys

I'm currently looking for a trailer for the Zip. Most of the photos I've seen of Zips on trailers show them down between the mudguards which keeps the boat pretty low.

What width between the guards did you guys go for? Is there much clearance? Any issues with hitting the guards when getting the boat on?

Any other hints? Definitely looking at a roller at the back and up forward. 2 carpeted bunks each side inline with the battens (very rare in Oz - all either rollers or polyurethane skids). Actually has anyone used Poly skids?

Thanks again. :)

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Re: Zip Trailer Width

Postby gdcarpenter » Wed Aug 20, 2014 4:14 pm

Here's my ZIP trailer. It happens to be a '60 or '61 "Champ" (poor cousin of a Gator).

My fenders are below my hull, but being as the boat is sitting on cradles and battens the two can never meet. The trailer outside fender to outside fender is just a tad wider than the boat. Riding lower between the fenders might lower the CG and make launching in low slope ramps easier, but I had what I had to work with. Trailered over 5,000 miles to date and no problems.

Since I rebuilt from scratch I have cradles that line up with and sit directly below the frames, and trailer battens that line up directly below my floor battens. I have one roller up front but the keel does NOT rest on it, just helps roll it off and on in launch angle, ditto at the back.

I would recommend 2 bunks per side if possible to distribute the weight over a larger area. I use standard bunk carpet and it works fine. I have heard that the Poly Skids can be a tad harder on bottom paint, and God forbid you undo the winch line before floating her or they can be so slippery that she might take a premature slide off.

Don't get too heavy on spring rating, my ZIP boat/motor/trailer tops out about 1,150 lb. - so you don't want 4,000 lb springs or the ride will be unnecessarily bumpy.
This is my first, last and only boat build.

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Location: Perth, Western Australia

Re: Zip Trailer Width

Postby Barra » Thu Aug 21, 2014 9:53 pm

Great, thanks for that. Looks like I'll end up with the boat sitting above the wheels too.

All the boats here are either fibreglass or aluminium and typically use rollers or poly skids, so trying to find suitable isn't easy. Their also expensive, been quoted >$3000... whoa...

And thanks for posting the photo upside down to suit me down under in Oz! :lol:

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Location: Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia. Building Gentry.

Re: Zip Trailer Width

Postby Trackhappy » Thu Aug 21, 2014 11:56 pm

I found that the height limiting factor on an inboard is the prop hanging down. Mine sits about 1/2" above the guards, but if I widened the track and tried to lower her in between the wheels the prop would be dangerously low and catch on obstacles in the road. Yours being outboard you can raise the outboard for transport and limit that problem, so you could have the wheels wide enough to sit down in between. Then you would find the keel to axle or cross-member clearance to be the next limiting factors. A trailer with either curved or vee shaped cross-members will allow you to sit her in between the wheels down close to the axle. More difficult if you make it yourself but common in bought trailers.

I have ended up making sprung guide poles to centre the boat as I bring her on. Otherwise it is difficult to centre her as you pull out the trailer and she settles, particularly if there is wind or a cross current. You simply aim between the poles and drive in, as you pull the trailer out she settles and the springs centre her on the bunks automatically. Gentry is wider in the forward part than the middle, which is why they are sprung.

Maybe someone can measure the maximum width at the chine for you and you can compare that to available trailers.

By the time I have built a boat, I'll be ready to build a boat....

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