Trailer tongue length?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by dvx216, Nov 14, 2019.

  1. dvx216

    dvx216 Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Feb 1, 2012
    Catawaba Island,Oh.
    2000 310 sundancer 5.7
    optional electronic package

    twin 5.7 300 Hp.
    The trailer that I had made for my 310Da. is steel construction and as you can see in the picture has a short tongue compared to a lot of trailers on the internet with the same boat.My set up pulled fine so why are some trailers so long. IMG_20191011_113115673_HDR.jpg
  2. RollerCoastr

    RollerCoastr Well-Known Member

    Nov 15, 2007
    Cedar Point, OH / Miami, FL / MacRay Harbor, MI
    1997 400DA
    340HP 7.4 Mercruiser Bluewaters
    Garmin 741, 742, 8212, 24HD, Intellian I2
    1999 280BR
    Twin 250HP Merc 350 Alpha Ones
    I'm guessing that a longer trailer would've pulled even better?


    I like having a long trailer because:

    - It makes the boat look smaller than she is - less attention is good...
    - It's easier and drier at the launch ramp. The truck stays high and dry on ALL ramps.
    - It's very, very stable on the road. It never sways, even when empty.
    - Longer trailers are actually easier to maneuver in reverse (less reactionary)

    I don't like having a long trailer because:

    - Tight/city turns can be stressful
    - It can complicate storage
    GATORB8 likes this.
  3. andy k

    andy k Active Member

    Feb 7, 2009
    Door County, Wisconsin
    1998 3075
    Mercruiser 5.7 w/ Alpha one. Kohler 5kw
    typically large steel trailers have a shorter tongue. Large Aluminum trailers tend to be longer. I could be wrong but I would imagine it has to do with the strength of the aluminum vs steel. Here is a pic of my steel trailer.
  4. Lazy Daze

    Lazy Daze Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 21, 2009
    Axle placement has a big impact on trailer tongue length. It's all about properly spreading out the load. If you have the proper tongue weight and it pulls fine, then all is good.
  5. Strypes

    Strypes Active Member

    Dec 10, 2015
    Catawba Island
    12 Meter Trojan International Motor Yacht
    Boston Whaler 235 Conquest
    454 Crusaders
    Mercury 225 4-Stroke
    I agree with this.
  6. Henry Boyd

    Henry Boyd Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 24, 2007
    Newburyport, on the peaceful and serene Merrimack
    ‘09 Sabre 38 Hardtop Express “Serenity”
    Volvo D6 w/IPS450 Pods
    Keep in mind that unless you build a custom trailer for your specific boat, most trailer builders are trying to get the broadest range of possible boat sizes and shapes for each of their models.

    Longer tongue length increases what is called swing radius. The swing radius is more critical with trailers with square fronts like box trailers, so the advantage here would be the ability to haul can, or houseboats.

    The obvious, longer tongue length = longer trailer = longer boats that will fit.

    Longer tongue and length gives greater flexibility in axle positioning, that in turn dictates weight distribution (axle weight load and tongue load). Again increases the possible spectrum of boats.
    Woody likes this.
  7. boatman37

    boatman37 Well-Known Member

    Jun 6, 2015
    2006 Crownline 250CR. 5.7 Merc BIII
    Previous: 1986 Sea Ray 250 Sundancer. 260 Merc Alpha 1 Gen 1
    5.7 Merc BIII
    Our 250DA had a steel trailer with a fairly short tongue length. Our Crownline has an aluminum Venture trailer and the tongue length is quite a bit longer. The LOA on the 250DA was 28' on the trailer while our 250 Crownline is 31'. The swim platform is probably about 8" or so longer so that is some of that extra length.

    I have moved the boat forward about 12" from this pic as you can see the back of the boat hangs quite a bit past the end of the aluminum rails. The bunks actually run back to the transom so I had to move the bunks forward.

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