Author Topic: Towing and Launching - modifying the front hitch  (Read 439 times)

BMFrogPrince

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Towing and Launching - modifying the front hitch
« on: June 11, 2018, 01:26:02 PM »
All - I am thinking of modifying the Frog Prince a little to make launching easier (as you might have seen on More4 it was not easy), so first thing I want to do is add a plate on the bottom of the front hitch bracket to attach a swivel wheel.  Then, when we launch (without getting feet wet), we unhitch before the wheels hit the water, chock up the wheels, detach from car and fold up the hitch.  Let it rest on the new swivel wheel under the hitch, tie a rope a few metres long to the back of the car and do a controlled launch into the water before removing rope.

So, does everyone have a small wheel under the hitch like this?

Also I want to improve the play I am getting from the hitch joint when towing, I didn't have the original parts, so at the moment I have a threaded M19 bolt going through to a nut. I want to get that nut welded onto the hitch bracket so there can be no play, at least on that side of the hitch bracket, which is where there seems to be some opening out of that hole.  Then I tighten up the bolt before I start towing each time.  Any comments on what you guys do, or the setup you currently have?

Also here's another thought - does anyone have a small wheel or wheels on the stern, to stop the bottom of the hull grounding if the Caraboat tips back on the launch ramp?  Unlikely to do this but I wondered if it was worth it.

Thanks

Ben

phil riley

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Re: Towing and Launching - modifying the front hitch
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2018, 02:08:50 PM »
Hi Ben,take a look at Mr Towed (sorry Ruby Tuesday) .That`s how we did it for 14 years and it works fine.No wheels or anything at the back,just make sure you,ve got a bit of weight in the front before launching.We used to have all our tins of food and bottles of drink in a box on the floor at the front until after launch.(this also helped with noseweight while towing -more noseweight better stability-especially as we always towed with the motor in place.)As for the bolt,we just used 2 big bolts and nuts and tightened them up for towing and slackened them for launching.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2018, 02:11:20 PM by phil riley »

Tom Bradley1

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Re: Towing and Launching - modifying the front hitch
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2018, 02:56:45 PM »
I added a nose wheel to my boat (Little Sue II sold 15 years ago). Its uprising how much force it is subjected to especially when you motor onto the slip but very handy. I smashed up a few casters & think I ended up using a solid aluminium wheel. The frame was 3mm steel. A caster might last 5 minutes if you are lucky.
My website has spontaneously reappeared but it does come with really annoying adverts now
http://www.geocities.ws/littlesue2323/hitch.html

I launched with the car until the back end was just touching the water then articulated the hitch & continued with the car only just getting the back wheels wet but depends on the gradient.

Two hitch locking Tee handled bolts with a security chain so they would not work loose were fitted & it towed very well afterwards.

I didn't a tail wheel but a skid might protect the fibreglass.

I enjoyed watching your boat on TV last night & will watch it again before it gets deleted. I have used that same slip after a trip from Bradford on Avon. Mine caused quite a stir so two must have been even better.

Tom

neil m

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Re: Towing and Launching - modifying the front hitch
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2018, 08:44:21 PM »
Hi Ben,
From watching the more 4 program it looked like your boat was back end heavy when you unhitched it from the car as Phil says you want to add weight into the front deck to give you nose weight for towing too. the engine you have is much too big and heavy which won't help either. you will have to fit a wheel at the front on the hitch bracket like Tom and Phil's so the boat is as low as possible at the front because as the rear end enters the water it pushes up and loads the front down putting a lot of weight onto this wheel. We got stuck on a poor slipway at Silsden on the L&L when our jockey wheel broke, and have launched with the car ever since folding the hitch once afloat, Phil Hughes showed me that as the back end starts to enter the water you can pull the top pin/bolt out which allows the hitch to cantilever on the lower pin /bolt and means you don't have to go that far into the water with the car to unhitch, you really need a 4x4 for this though, I just feel that while the boat is on the car I have full control of it, though you will find your own favourite way i'm sure with a bit more practice. I like Phil use large bolts rather than pins so you can tighten the hitch up solid.
Hope this makes sense.
Bye for now..
Neil..