terrible trailer sway

Discussion in 'General Maintenance/Repair Questions' started by Nu searay owner, Mar 18, 2020.

  1. Nu searay owner

    Nu searay owner New Member

    1
    Mar 16, 2020
    2015 SeaRay 190 Spx with 150hp mercy outboard.Raymarine Navionics.
    150 hp merc outboard
    we have a 19' searay with a 150hp outboard on a duel axle trailer with surge brakes and a break away tongue. trailer sway is a terrible issue. we currently have 10% of gvw on the tongue, about 350lbs. I was looking into the Reese friction type anti sway system, but i can't figure out how it would attach to the trailer. We are new to this boating game and seeking some advice. Anyone out there have a similar issue,and was able to solve this problem?
    Thanks for your thoughts and time.
    NuSeaRay Owners IMG_3230.JPG
     
  2. JimG

    JimG Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Nov 4, 2008
    Southern WV
    2007 310 DA
    Kohler 5ECD
    Twin 350 Mags
    Raw Water Cooled
    V-Drives
    bobeast likes this.
  3. Third Edition

    Third Edition Active Member

    409
    Apr 9, 2017
    NE Florida
    360 Sundancer 2002
    T-8.1L V-drives
    Yes, I agree. More weight on the tongue will likely solve the issue.
     
  4. Espos4

    Espos4 Well-Known Member

    Jan 1, 2017
    Long Island NY
    2007 240 Sundeck
    350 MAG Bravo 3 W/DTS
    What are you using as a tow vehicle?
     
    Thornton69 likes this.
  5. Lazy Daze

    Lazy Daze Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 21, 2009
    PA
    Various
    Various
    I don't know what trailer manufacturer that is, but it doesn't appear to be the one that would have came with the boat from Sea Ray. It's not a problem - but the only reason I bring it up is that we can question the trailer specs (carrying capacity) and how it's setup for your boat. Let's see a full profile picture.

    Where did you measure the 350lbs? Did you measure it under the tongue jack or under the (correct spot) coupler? 350lbs is actually plenty for tongue weight on that boat, if it's been measure under the coupler. Boat trailers only need to be 5% to 7% of total weight.

    Does the same sway happen with another vehicle?
     
    RBB likes this.
  6. Leardriver

    Leardriver Active Member

    226
    May 24, 2016
    Denver, CO
    2004 270 Sundeck 8.1 Bravo III
    5.0, 5.7, 6.2 8.1 Bravo III over the years
    I agree with Lazy Daze, 5-7% weight on a tandem axle trailer should be just fine. Are you pretty sure about the total weight of the boat, motor and trailer, and some gas and gear?
     
  7. hpcrank

    hpcrank Member

    113
    Feb 4, 2016
    Col. Spgs, Co-Lake Pueblo State Park
    1981 260 Sundancer with rebuilt 454/Mercruiser330-I/O. w/ alum. hard top with front and side wdos
    One rebuilt 330 hp. 454 Chevy
    Greetings

    You should have 20% weight on the tongue but even more important than that you need an equalizer hitch. You can not possibly know how much difference that makes I suggest the "Equalizer" brand. I have been using since 1968. This hitch system does not need an add on sway control system.

    hpcrank
     
  8. Wylie_Tunes

    Wylie_Tunes Active Member

    768
    Oct 26, 2012
    Lake Wylie NC area
    N/A
    N/A
    Both too much and not enough tongue weight will cause handling issues. If the trailer is right for the boat and the load is within the limits of the truck, I do not see a need for a weight distribution apparatus.
     
  9. Lazy Daze

    Lazy Daze Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 21, 2009
    PA
    Various
    Various
    HP, see above - 5% to 7% is the correct recommendation. 20% is way, WAY too much. And, while it can never hurt, this boat is too small to even start to think about any type of equalizer system.
     
  10. techmitch

    techmitch Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    May 1, 2008
    Chesapeake Bay, Middle River/Frog Mortar Creek MD.
    1999 270 DA
    Twin 4.3s W/Alpa I Gen II's
    Hopefully he is in the processes of answering your questions.

    Nu searay owner
    New Member, 62

    Nu sea ray owner was last seen:
    Viewing thread terrible trailer sway, Today at 6:43 PM

    Then you guys will be able to put him on the right track.
    My first question would also be, what is the tow vehicle?
     
  11. boatman37

    boatman37 Well-Known Member

    Jun 6, 2015
    pittsburgh
    2006 Crownline 250CR. 5.7 Merc BIII
    Previous: 1986 Sea Ray 250 Sundancer. 260 Merc Alpha 1 Gen 1
    5.7 Merc BIII
    20% is way too high. For my comfort with a boat I look for about 10%. I weighed mine on the scales last fall and was at 9% IIRC and mine tows great both with my old 2013 1500 and my 2018 2500.

    What is your tow vehicle? The trailer should sit almost level, maybe slightly nose down but not much. You don't want the front of the trailer higher than the rear. And agreed, equalizer hitch not needed on this trailer.
     
  12. Jeremygavin

    Jeremygavin Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Mar 6, 2012
    Cape Cod, MA
    2011 520 Sedan Bridge
    2016 Sea Ray 19 SPX OB
    2019 Walker Bay Generation 340
    Cummins QSM11s
    Mercury 150 Fourstroke
    Honda 40hp
    I have a 19SPXOB that came with the factory supplied single axle galvanized trailer and the boat trailered horribly with a lot of sway. I towed it with my 2014 Tundra with trailer package that was rated to tow 10,000lbs so the truck was more than enough handle the boat. After some research I Think the issue is the trailer was spec’d for the I/O model 19SPX which the engine weight more and is at least 4ft further fwd than my OB. I wouldn’t tow it above 55mph otherwise it was dangerous. I had to cut off the spring hangers and add u-bolt mounted spring hangers and moved the axle back about 1ft and now it trailers like a dream. Just because it came with it from the factory doesn’t mean it is correctly set up for your boat.
     
  13. Lazy Daze

    Lazy Daze Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 21, 2009
    PA
    Various
    Various
    Of course, there can always be mistakes. But this would be the exception, rather than the rule. I've literally had contact with 1,000's of "Sea Ray" supplied trailers and while I may be forgetting about an isolated incident, I can't recall any issues like you had. There's another possibility here... while you may have ordered "boat/motor/trailer", the selling dealer may have had a trailer already in their inventory so they ordered "boat/motor" from Sea Ray and put their in-stock trailer under it - not realizing it was the wrong one.

    However, all of this talk about a "Sea Ray" trailer really doesn't matter to the OP. The OP has a "non-Sea Ray" trailer. What's more important is finding out exactly how he measured tongue weight, the truck being used and then possibly adjusting the trailer to fit better.

    But... the trailer in question here appears to have a fully welded frame (which means the axle(s) aren't easily adjustable). The winch stand also appears to be welded... but that could be cut off and a new one bolted on.

    In the end, if the trailer is the issue, it might be best to have the selling dealer "make it right". Which, truth be told, they should have been contacted immediately upon finding out that the trailer swaying.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2020
  14. Jeremygavin

    Jeremygavin Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Mar 6, 2012
    Cape Cod, MA
    2011 520 Sedan Bridge
    2016 Sea Ray 19 SPX OB
    2019 Walker Bay Generation 340
    Cummins QSM11s
    Mercury 150 Fourstroke
    Honda 40hp
    All good points. I missed that the trailer was not a Searay branded trailer. In my situation I was trying to get the dealer to swap it out with the correct trailer because it was brand new but they kept telling me it was the right one From Searay so I did verify with Searay corporate (not the dealer I bought it from) that the trailer I had was the one that they spec’d for the boat and it was. I didn’t have room to move the boat forward to distribute the weight better and Thats why I ended up cutting up a brand new trailer to get the tongue weight correct and ultimately to get it to trailer well.
     
  15. Wanderer 290

    Wanderer 290 Active Member

    160
    Jul 1, 2019
    01 sea ray 290 sundancer
    Twin 5.7 b3’s
    10% +- a couple of points is within the correct range and if the tongue weight is “there” then something else is suspect.
    It was stated the tongue weight is estimated at 10% and my question is was the measurement taken at coupled height. In other words, if the measurement was taken on level ground with the trailer also in a “level state” then to couple the trailer the tongue is raised a few inches to couple the tongue weight would be significantly less.
    While there may be other conditions causing your sway such as weight distribution side to side, trailer axle alignment, etc. verify the tongue weight in the coupled position.
     
  16. hpcrank

    hpcrank Member

    113
    Feb 4, 2016
    Col. Spgs, Co-Lake Pueblo State Park
    1981 260 Sundancer with rebuilt 454/Mercruiser330-I/O. w/ alum. hard top with front and side wdos
    One rebuilt 330 hp. 454 Chevy
    Way better too heavy than too light. The principal of how an equalizer hitch arrangement works is that it puts approx. 40% of the tongue load on the tow vehicle. That 40% is distributed on the vehicles two axles approx. 60% on the rear axle and 40% on the front axle. This means that the tongue weight that the toe vehicle sees is only 40% of the off hitch trailer tongue weight (ie. 40% of the previously mentioned 20%).

    Years ago Equalizer brand hitch had an advertisement video showing a Caddy Eldirado (front wheel drive) pulling a 20 ft. Airstream with their hitch. They had removed the rear wheels of the Caddy and proceeded to run the rig thru a slalom course.

    V.R.
    Hpcrank :cool:
     
  17. DWABoat

    DWABoat Active Member

    425
    Aug 13, 2019
    S Louisiana
    2001 280 Sundancer
    1989 220CC Cuddy Cabin
    Twin 4.3 w/Alpha Ones
    5.7 Mercruiser Alpha One
    I would recommend we get more facts and photos from the OP before making specific recommendations.

    There have been several questions about the tow vehicle, total boat weight, trailer specs, and the position of the boat on the trailer. Critical information.

    Nu Sea Ray, can you answer the questions listed then post full length photos of the tow vehicle - boat combination? Also the boat sitting on the trailer from the side?

    I am very sure the knowledgeable and very experienced crew on this forum can help you if you give them enough information.
     

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