View Full Version : Funny Rookie Mistakes

06-02-2011, 07:19 PM
Just got done talking to my buddy and had a good laugh at his expense.

Revisited the story of his first wake boat - a 2004 Malibu Wakesetter bought new the Spring of 2005, a leftover basically. We were having a big bbq at a another friend's house, about this time of year actually, and they were going to be late because they had been at the dealership finishing things up, getting their new owner orientation on the water, etc. and then they were bringing it home to show off.

So finally he comes rolling down the street in his Lincoln Navigator towing this beautiful big 24' Malibu. He swings around in the culdesac to park and we all gather around to ogle over it. It's a sweet boat, all white with black trim. Matches his white navigator nicely but we can't help but notice the ass end of the Navigator is just hanging really low.

He said he was worried that he was going to burn up the compressor that runs the auto air-ride because the thing had been going non-stop trying to level out the ride towing the boat home from the dealer for about the last hour. Was thinking he was going to have to get a weight distribution hitch or something but had no idea how that would work with a swing-away tongue let alone the surge brakes. He was really concerned though because those air ride systems are pretty spendy to fix.

We climb into the boat and start poking around, checking out the stereo gear, lights, etc. Sitting in the driver's seat he goes, "hey, what's this for?" and flips one of the switches. Then we sit there for about 10 minutes laughing hysterically at him as probably 1,000+lbs of water drains out of the front ballast tanks into the culdesac...

Amazingly the Navigator sat nice and level after that!

you da man
06-02-2011, 07:32 PM
Still kills me that rookies and veterans lose track of their ropes only to find them in the prop.

06-02-2011, 09:16 PM
how exactly does a weight distribution hitch distribute the weight?

06-02-2011, 10:46 PM
how exactly does a weight distribution hitch distribute the weight?

In short you have torsion bars connected tot he trailer and the hitch. It requires a speacial hitch and the torsion bars press against the truck, raising its rear end and appling pressure to the front axle.

this is a good read on how it works.


06-02-2011, 11:59 PM
"As the gross trailer weight creeps up on the scales, a weight distribution hitch might start to look a lot more attractive. Usually if your trailer weighs in at more than 50 percent of the towing vehicle's weight, you'll need one of these hitches."

My boat weighs almost the same as my truck, probably at least 85%. Guess i need weight distributing...lol

06-03-2011, 12:50 AM
Yeah I figure if you have some monster boat you might need one but they would pretty much void a surge brake from working at all.

They're more common on travel trailers and actually make a world of difference compared to just riding on the ball.

06-03-2011, 07:36 AM
I've been around boats a long time but it was only relatively recently that I stepped up to owning one and all the 'extras' that go along with actually owning the boat. I did all sorts of research before I made a purchase about the type of boat I wanted, maintenance things I hadn't ever considered, trailering 101, etc. When I found the used boat I wanted I made sure I was all ready to go. I'd never towed a boat before but I made sure I knew a basic checklist, everything I had to do, that my vehicle was capable, that I had the correct ball size, etc.

I make the 10 hour trip to the boat, owner tows it to the river. We check everything out and decide we want to purchase. After the bank we get to his driveway, I back up to a trailer for the first time ever and what do you know, my ball is at the exact same level as the coupler and the jack is at its max height. I needed a 4" drop and only bought a 2". I never even thought about that. After lining it up I had my wife back it up while myself and the owner stood on the back of my suv and jumped to lower it underneath the coupler.

I also had 4 pin wiring on my SUV vs. the 5 pin on the trailer which I didn't think about either. The owner had a key to lock out the brakes, and fortunately the place I took it to on the way home to winterize (we bought at the tail end of a season) knew the trick to just reverse the wiring with the lights on to back up and told us that.

Also, the first time I had ever pulled a trailer was pulling out of his driveway, which went out onto a narrow street and his mailbox was pretty tight to the driveway on the side that we were turning. I didn't know how much I had to exaggerate the turn to get the trailer past his mailbox . He ended up having to take it off to let the guide pole past and then put it back on after we left.

Learn something new every day.

06-03-2011, 08:36 AM
Weightdistrobution hitches dont work on boat trailers, trust me i tried when i hauled a 13K boat and my truck was actualy saggin from that thing. The brakes on it didnt work anyhow so i didnt care.

The problem with boats is the trailer, you have the bow roller and its brace is welded to a plate and thats welded to the A section where the weight distribution unit goes.

RV travel trailers always have Electric brakes and so the tongue of the trailer is always open and has the room needed for the WDH.

I can say after hauling more then 50 RV trailers last winter, even a small 20ft trailer is much nicer to tow with a WDH. It really takes that bump, and jerking off the rear of the truck and makes the entire truck share that load and at times i felt like i was in an old 85 Fleetwood Caddy. The worst trailer i towed was a 24ft with a slide out on the rear for the bed. It sucked because all the weight was on the rear of the trailer and i couldnt get it to shift forward. Constantly for 500 miles it was jerking the rear of the truck up as it bobbed and bounced.

The best trailer i towed and still tow is the Moomba. The tandem trailer is just so well ballanced. I get no side to side, up down, or jerking from it. Even though im not fond of the Boat Mate paint they do make a solid towing trailer and i really never worry about Fierah sitting back there as im crusing down the road. Heck in Black Betty i dont even know i have a boat behind me till i look in my rear view.