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Long Lost Member
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hola all, been searching loads of the boat / trailer companies for a full width roller. I want to add one to the back of my utility trailer for loading and launching my cataraft easier. My tubes are about 55" (center to center) apart at the bottom. My trailer is 74" wide and I'd like a roller somewhere between 60 and 72".

I've submitted a bunch of messages to those boat and trailer companies that seem to have parts and accessories. Here is to hearing from them and hearing from you.:beer1:

Thanks.
 

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fish-ician
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Good luck to you Mumbles. I searched quite a bit for my raft trailer and settled on four separate rollers that I found at Harbor Freight for cheap. I seem to remember seeing one since then, but I can't recall where exactly. It seems to me I saw a site that made trailers, or shipped you a kit to put together and they had a roller as an option. It may be worth calling some raft trailer companies and seeing if they could hook you up with one.

Wayne
 

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Old And In The Way
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250 Posts
Isn't the boat only going to contact the rollers at the center of the tubes? Would the center section of a full width, 60-72" roller actually do anything? I don't see why you couldn't use two rollers on those 55" centers.

But maybe I'm just being obtuse.

I would think that two rollers that are kind of "v-shaped" as many of them are would even add some lateral stability.
 

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Make my day
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Mumbles, I think your are on the right track. The full roller will aid in loading without having to line up just so( think cross currents/wind). It.s also smaller diameter and more durable. Plus it will give the strap something to roll on.

I'm very interested in what you find, as that is what I want to put on the little 4xflatbed to tow behind the motorhome.
 

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Just an Old Man
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35,202 Posts
Why rollers for a pontoon boat. Doesn't just carpet work. I had a 14' Zodiac inflatable that I just pulled out of the water on to my trailer. The carpet worked like a charm.
 

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Premium Member
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My vote would be for 2-24" rollers mounted to the outside width of the trailer. That leaves 26" in the center for other purposes ie. stacking lumber, etc. I think the reason long single rollers are hard to find is that they don't work well when a lot of weight is placed on the center. They sag and tend to bind at the ends. Of course that isn't the case with a cataraft but is probably the reason they are not too popular. Just sayin'....

Ive
 

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Just waiting on warmer weather, .......
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Hey now!

I'm reading/listening to your dilemma about finding a long enough roller, with a small enough diameter.
I may have an idea you could possibly utilize. What if you visited your local Menard's, Home Depot, or Lowe's home improvement center.
You could choose a diameter that is suitable for your application, (like 1&1/2", 2 ", 3" 4", etc.Buy a piece of pvc pipe in a 5' length, purchase a couple of end caps & glue them on after center drilling each cap and placing a bolt into the hole from the inside, and secure it to the cap with a washer, nut, etc. on the outside.
Then you could mount the roller onto your trailer frame with a couple of l-shaped brackets to hold the roller.
 

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Long Lost Member
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Ive, any idea who carries the 24" rollers? I like the idea of some free space in the middle.
Jeff, no duct tape unless it is going across your beard!
Freestone gave me a great idea of a rigid pipe secured to the trailer with a PVC roller tube around it. That might work. The PVC alone would not likely support the weight but a rigid pipe with the rolling PVC might just do the trick.
Jim, my trailer has a fold in set of ramps. The exposed "L" beams would rub the tubes if I just drug the pontoon onto the trailer. I want a roller to make it A)easier for me to load/launch solo and B)protect the tubes from the underside of the ramps when they are folded into the trailer.
 

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Ed,
If you cannot find what you want I suggest you build what you need. I built the roller for my drift boat trailer. You can start with something like 2" NPS (Nominal Pipe Size) for the roller in either schedule 80 or 40. At each end you insert a sealed single row radial ball bearing - similar to something like this ( http://www.drillspot.com/products/37027/Ntn_6203LLBC3_5C_Single_Row_Radial_Ball_Bearing) with the correct outside diameter to just fit into the pipe. You use a steel rod (3/8" minimum diameter) which is longer than the length of the roller pipe and goes through each bearing (tight fit in bearing is good). Fabricate your brackets from 1/8" steel angle, drill for the diameter of the steel rod and attach to the trailer as desired. If you do not have the tools for the fab am sure there is something at the sub base you can access. Let me know if you need any help with the design, etc.
Jim
 

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Long Lost Member
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks Jim. Radial ball bearings is a cool idea. I just went through the garage and shop and found some tubing options. Anyone out there using a tube over tube for a roller? If so, are you using metal over metal, PVC over metal? I found some metal that fits well inside some PVC and the two seem to roll nicely on one another. This surely would be an inexpensive option as I have all but bracket material in hand. Anyone using square metal bar inside round tubing? I saw a photo of a guy in the midwest using that method.
 

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fish-ician
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I initially tried PVC over metal, but that did not work at all. I then put some pipe insulation over the PVC (using duct tape to secure it to itself) and it spun pretty well. I had a problem with the bending of the rod and getting in the way of it spinning well. That is when I bought the shorter rollers. It seems to work well, but I didn't get the raft out last year due to back issues (still going on.... Maybe I need duct tape back there too.)



Wayne
 

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Long Lost Member
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Hyde sells rollers that are a foot long for $13. Maybe I should stop tinkering and buy those. I might put some at the rear of the trailer on the ramp (that is folded inside the bed) and another set near the front of the ramp (middle of the trailer). That ought to work. A foot of contact is more than enough each side I think.
 

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I built a drift boat trailer with a detachable above the fender raft rack consisting of two bunks that attach via stake pockets and are connected to each other by the roller. I used 2-3/8" Galv chainlink fence posts you can buy and Lowes for $18. I ordered 2 flanged bearings from McMaster Carr to fit the ends of the pipe than ran a 1/2" steel rod full length and through the attachment brackets. I can not think of any reason to have a padded roller if they are not being used as bunks. Hard rollers will roll easier and the bigger the diameter the less your cat will hang up on them. If they are being used as a bunk, I would concede that they should be soft. I have retro fitted two flatbed trailers that are being used for rafts with this same set up. It is very clean and doesn't look cobbled up like many of the retrofits that are seen at the boat ramps. If you are interested in pictures, I could get some loaded up.
 

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Long Lost Member
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Brian, email sent to them. That is excactly what I'm hoping to find.

Bullwhacker, I'd like to see photos for sure. If you are willing to post some I'd be very appreciative.
 
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