This boat has an extended bow eye to support the Boat Buddy, which comes with most Mastercraft trailers. The downside is that the longer bow eye would frequently get hung up on the front V bunk on the trailer, making loading and unloading a bit of a chore sometimes. I also wanted to switch the Boat Buddy for a Ramp-N-Clamp, because I prefer the way they work.
The Ramp-N-Clamp changes how the bow sits on the trailer though. For example, on this boat the trailer needed to move forward about 1" and the V bunks needed to be raised by about 1/2". I didn't want to take on this project until the new latch was on, so that the measurements wouldn't change much.
Here is how I modified the V bunk.
Like my other posts, on a scale of 1 (anyone can do this) to 10 (pay someone else). I would say that this is closer to an 8. Unless you have a welder, then I would say its like a 6 or 7.
It would have been much easier to take the boat off the trailer for the exercise, but I really don't enjoy that process. Needing to lift, at least the front, the boat off the trailer makes this project a little daunting, not difficult, just daunting.
To install the Ramp-N-Clamp: I used a jack to raise the bow, then attached the latch to the bow eye and lowered it into place. This process is easier at the lake ;). Launch the boat, install latch, load the boat.
After that our story begins:
I measured the length of the bow eye to be 3". This means a 3 1/2" to 4" notch in the trailer would make enough room. My actual notch ended up a little deeper due to where the original weld was located.
With the bow sitting on the latch, I measured from the bottom of the boat down 4" to locate the bottom of the notch. Then I used a 2 1/2" hole saw to start the process.
Marking the center of the hole, I first drilled a 1/4" hole to locate the hole saw.
Now that I'm committed to this project. I guess I'll do some math and make a template.
Need to make sure to brace the upright to prevent bending now that there is a big hole in the side. I also put a welding blanket in there to protect the boat from the rest of these shenanigans.
I decided that this would work and cut up some 4" x 3/16" steel to match, and clean it up for the metal glue.
Tacked in. I added the braces before removing any more of the original structure to help maintain the shape.
More of the glue in place:
Now to finish cutting out the notch.
Not pictured... I filled the inside of that tube with rust preventing frame paint. (Side note, I also forgot to remove one of the discs from the hole saw ;( ).
I made a template of the inside of the tube at this point. I wanted to make it look like this hole was supposed to be here. I didn't get a picture of the template.
Although, handy finding was that part of my vice was the perfect shape for bending the inner shape.
Here it is all glued into place.
Then I did some cleaning and self etching primer.
It's not perfectly shaped... Remember the only people who will judge your work are YOU and your in laws. Don't worry so much!
Quick dip in some blue!
Now to add the new bunks.
For this I cut two strips of 1/2" plywood down to 6", and then glued them together. I actually did this first, and let it dry while everything above happened.
Then I cut the new 1" plywood into the size for my new bunks. After some measuring and careful consideration totaling less than 2 minutes. I cut the new bunks to 7" long with a 22.5 degree bevel. Why 22.5 degrees, you say? Well, because it looked close enough and was a setting on my miter saw!
Then I epoxied some 5/16" stainless carriage bolts into the new bunk wood, after some additional careful measuring. This looked like holding it up and tracing the holes on the trailer.
Epoxy not shown. I also used a forsner bit to countersink the bolt head. The epoxy is because I may need to remove these things some day.
Now that I have two 1" thick bunk boards... I really need them to be 1 1/8". After wrapping them in bunk carpet they ended up being 1 1/16"... sigh. So I added an extra piece of bunk carpet on top.
Don't forget the stainless staples!
For those paying attention. Stainless nut followed by a nylock lock nut, because I worry sometimes. The scuff mark is from the previous owner. They didn't pull the boat all the way onto the trailer and only used the winch strap to hold it on. Needless to say the boat moved some while being trailered. That's a project for another day.
I don't have links for this project, because I had all of the supplies at the house. Except for the stainless carriage bolts, I found those at my local big box store.
All in, this took about 5 hours. I wish I would have worked to get the boat and trailer farther apart, it would have made some of the steps easier, and probably look better.