added a second axle

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Three Gypsies
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added a second axle

Post by Three Gypsies » Sat Apr 25, 2015 1:20 pm

We got our trailer back from Alabama Auto Carriage . They added a second axle , behind our original axle . They moved the original a few inches forward to accommodate the triangular equalizer they fitted between the axles .

The new axle is a "dead" axle , no brakes .

Haven't loaded the Gypsy on her yet , but looking forward to it . :macx:

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Chinook
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Re: added a second axle

Post by Chinook » Sat Apr 25, 2015 1:48 pm

You're going to love how it feels when towing the boat with that seccond axle. We tow with a full sized diesel pickup and even with that rig, I could really feel the trailer wagging the truck. With the tandem axle, the trailer tracks very smoothly. One difference to be aware of involves how tightly you can turn the modified trailer. It will no longer be able to tightly pivot like it could with just one axle. If you try to back it too tightly into a narrow space you might well end up bending the trailer frame. (Little bit of experience talking here.) :wink:

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sailboatmike
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Re: added a second axle

Post by sailboatmike » Sat Apr 25, 2015 6:02 pm

Im not sure how it works in the USA and Canada but in Australia adding a second axle would only reduce the load carrying capacity of the trailer (AGM) as your adding weight, that is of course unless they re rate the trailer for you.

My X tows like its on rails at 110Kph (65mph) on the standard single axle trailer, generally if the trailer is moving around its because of poor weight distribution, incorrect height of the tow ball or incorrect tow ball weight

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Jeff
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Re: added a second axle

Post by Jeff » Sat Apr 25, 2015 8:01 pm

Agree the second axle would make me feel a little more secure when towing simply because one blown tire wouldn't be quite as bad a white knuckle experience. But the only time I have had trailer wag issues was on my first Beer Cruise. We had only driven ten miles & the trailer was wagging all over the place. I pulled over got in the boat & moved the luggage & loaded coolers to the V berth. Problem solved! I had way to much weight in the back of the boat. Now I always pack it that way & it has behaved ever since.

Three Gypsies
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Re: added a second axle

Post by Three Gypsies » Mon Apr 27, 2015 9:22 pm

sailboatmike wrote:Im not sure how it works in the USA and Canada but in Australia adding a second axle would only reduce the load carrying capacity of the trailer (AGM) as your adding weight, that is of course unless they re rate the trailer for you.

My X tows like its on rails at 110Kph (65mph) on the standard single axle trailer, generally if the trailer is moving around its because of poor weight distribution, incorrect height of the tow ball or incorrect tow ball weight

Not sure how adding a second axle can reduce my load carrying capacity .

My reason for adding a second axle was that the Mac trailer , stock , is rated for little more than the weight of the boat , about 3,500 lbs .
When we refitted our Mac X to a liveaboard boat we increased her weight significantly . I was afraid that Her increased weight would overload the trailer and possibly break the axle . After our Key West cruise , when we pulled the boat out of
water , the trailer was greatly overloaded . I couldn't get my hand between the trailer wheel and the fender . The boat
pulled awful , with a lot of fish tailing .

My last boat was on a tandem axle trailer and a tandem axle cruises down the highway much better than a signal axle .
We plan to trailer our Gypsy long distances and wanted a good pulling trailer as well as a trailer that could carry the extra weight .

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Tomfoolery
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Re: added a second axle

Post by Tomfoolery » Mon Apr 27, 2015 10:21 pm

Three Gypsies wrote:Not sure how adding a second axle can reduce my load carrying capacity .
Because the empty trailer now weighs more, but it still has the same gross weight rating (3500 lb) from the factory, on the nameplate. So adding another couple hundred pounds makes it a couple of hundred pounds more overloaded, because they're virtually always overloaded with anything more than a box of Kleenex on the boat to start with.
Three Gypsies wrote:I was afraid that Her increased weight would overload the trailer and possibly break the axle .
That's a 3500 lb axle under there, and I personally think small trailer axles are optimistically rated to start with, so I'm quite happy the PO's added another 3500 lb axle to mine.

They're equalized leaf spring, but I softened the springs anyway (equalization makes them 'soft' to start with). Rides like it's an air suspension system now, but tracks nicely. 8)

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Gypsea Wind
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Re: added a second axle

Post by Gypsea Wind » Mon Apr 27, 2015 10:26 pm

I tackled the second axle mod last winter. The towing experience is definitely better and I worry less about the weight and safety. I keep her in a building on my property. The bay door is centered on the building and when I back the boat in I angle it into a back corner then disconnect the truck. I then need to push the front over to the side by hand to free up the bulk of the remainder of the usable space. It used to be easy to move the single axle with boat around by hand. Now with the second axle I have to enlist help to push and turn the boat and trailer by hand. I am considering the trailer valet to assist with this.

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sailboatmike
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Re: added a second axle

Post by sailboatmike » Tue Apr 28, 2015 1:39 am

In Australia vehicles have to be to ADR's (Australian Design Rules), if we add another axle makes no difference accept adding extra weight to the trailer and eating into your GVM.

To get our trailers re rated they need to be certified by a engineer, to the new capacity which makes perfect sense.

The capacity is not only governed by the number and size of the axles but also by the frame material and size, The Mac X trailer I have is rated at 1990Kg GVM(4300lB) in USA but only 1600Kg GVM (3500Lb) in Australia, well thats according to the two compliance on the trailer, the original Mac plate and the Australian Compliance plate.

I am currently looking at what needs to be done to get it up to the US specified GVM as 1600Kg GVM means if I carry more than a fart in jar in the boat while towing I will be over the limit, and they love booking drivers for overloaded trailers here and nothing draws attention more than a rather large boat on a single axle trailer.

My other boat is a displacement Trailer Sailor with 330Kg of lead stuck on the bottom, she is on a VERY heavy trailer with load sharing suspension but its still only rated at 2000Kg GVM.

For the record I much prefer towing the Mac on the single axle trailer over the twin axle trailer, the single axle rides far better in my opinion if the roads are a little rough or if there is a large camber on the road, the tandem trailer seems to want to run down the camber all the time

Three Gypsies
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Re: added a second axle

Post by Three Gypsies » Thu Apr 30, 2015 11:36 am

I see what you mean now . Even though the trailer can carry more weight due to the additional axle , the rating plate is still the official capacity .

My plate says 3500 lbs , I believe the empty , dry , boat weighs about 3,000 lbs so that left only 500 lbs for gear . Not much for liveaboards .

We have two Engels , one working as a freezer , the other as a refrigerator , 2 starting batteries , and 4 house batteries .
The capacity for 40 gallons of water , 40 gallons of gas , and 5 gallons of sewage .
5 gallons of stove alcohol , and a months supplies of groceries .
I could go on .

I would venture to say we are around 5,000 lbs gross weight .

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Tomfoolery
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Re: added a second axle

Post by Tomfoolery » Thu Apr 30, 2015 12:47 pm

Three Gypsies wrote:My plate says 3500 lbs , I believe the empty , dry , boat weighs about 3,000 lbs so that left only 500 lbs for gear . Not much for liveaboards.
It's worse than that. My marketing sheet says the boat weighs 2350 lb, and the trailer 710 lb. That's 3060 lb. And that's without engine. And probably without headsail. Or fuel tanks. Or mast raising system. Or just about anything that makes the boat useful.

I don't think anyone here has an :macx: that grosses under 4k on the trailer.

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sailboatmike
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Re: added a second axle

Post by sailboatmike » Thu Apr 30, 2015 4:51 pm

Once again Im not sure how the US laws are (or it may change state to state) but in Australia once your trailer is rated above 2000Kg (4,400Ib) GMV all the rules change, you can no longer use over ride brakes (the type that apply themselves when the slowing car lets the trailer hitch push in applying the trailer brakes) you have to have electric brakes that can be controlled / adjusted from in the car.

For a quick calculation each US gallon of liquid on board adds 3.8Kg (8.36Lbs) to the load so 85 gallons would be 711 lbs, then add you outboard, mine is a 75Hp Merc so weighs in at around 130Kg (286lb), a traditional 2 stroke 50Hp is around 80Kg (176lb)

The weight soon adds up and overloads the standard trailer rating.

Other things to take into account are the rating of the tyres, most road car tyres and rims are not rated to handle 2000lbs each, light truck tyres would be required and heavy duty rims.

While I have no doubt that the trailer will take the load if the insurance company decided to get nasty you could find that they wouldnt cover you incase of an accident as you are well overloaded.

In my humble opinion the standard trailer that comes with the boat really isnt sufficient for the purpose given the mods people do to their boat, but they are built to a price and a trailer to suit what one could consider normal in use weight would add a few thousand $$ to the price of the boat package. The standard trailer really isnt much more than a yard trailer for getting your boat from the storage yard to the water. I know many many people have towed their standard trailer many thousand of miles without incident however one can only wonder if its an accident waiting to happen

Three Gypsies
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Re: added a second axle

Post by Three Gypsies » Fri May 01, 2015 12:55 pm

I agree ,,, probably every Macgregor on its trailer is overloaded . Macs are economy boats and so are the trailers they come on .

But that's the beauty of a Mac , it can be modified up to any level the owner wants it to be . We raised our boat to the level of liveaboard trawler . Now we need a trailer to carry her , so a dual axle trailer .

The previous owner kept the boat in Lake Murrary , never trailered it and never slept aboard . He only took her for a cruise for a few hours in the afternoons . She was the perfect boat for him . Now after extensive modification , she is the perfect boat for us .

jasonsjwou
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Re: added a second axle

Post by jasonsjwou » Sat May 02, 2015 1:23 am

Recently bought my 26M, came with the factory original aluminum trailer. (2007 26M)

I towed it behind a GMC Savana 1500 for 120 miles. It drove alright.

But I've been thinking about adding a second axle.

Does the factory original aluminum trailer use torsion beam suspension?

Should I just add 2nd axle without brake? Should it be also on a torsion beam?

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RobertB
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Re: added a second axle

Post by RobertB » Sat May 02, 2015 10:03 am

Yes to torsion axle. Look at the plate on the axle and use this to order a new one from UFP. Your preference as to adding a second set of brakes. If you do, I believe you need to update the master cylinder also. I personally recommend upgrading the brake lines to the old fashion type without the very small diameter and fragile end fittings that cannot handle the stress of the torsion arm movement (mine broke). WM sells a good brake line kit. The hardest part is adapting new fenders because of the close proximity of the hull.
Search the website and you find all kinds of details on this.

Three Gypsies
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Re: added a second axle

Post by Three Gypsies » Mon May 11, 2015 11:40 am

We loaded the Gypsy on her modified trailer , last week .
All is well ! She seemed to load easier and she definitely towed a 100% better !

We had the "MacGregor Bump " so the Gypsy wasn't snug in the bow chuck . Usually this makes her a little fish taily at anything around 60mph , BUt Now ! No fishtailing ! I was on two lanes roads so I couldn't get faster than 50 or 60 mph , but
I don't usually pull much faster than 60mph , anyway .

I only have brakes on the original axle , but braking seemed to fine , I never felt the boat pushing the tow vehicle . I didn't have to "slam on " the brakes in an emergency on our short tow , but I think she will stop as well as ever .

The only problem is as someone else wrote , very little clearance between the new fenders . There is only about 3 inches of clearance . I am touching one fender and barely off the other .

I recommend this modification to anyone who plans to do a lot of towing . When all we did was move the boat from home to marina , 20 miles away , the standard trailer was all we needed . Now that we plan to take some extended trips , a second axle was definitely needed !

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