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South Florida Trailers

My 30 foot Cobra Terminator came on a triple axle boat trailer made by "South Florida Trailers"

Here's some of the highlights of my trailer rework

Triple Axle Boat Trailer

I needed to haul a pair of 26 foot steel I-beams for my Boat House (my utility trailer is just too small) so I used my boat trailer. While I have it out from under my boat, I figured I'd 'catch up on the maintenance' that's obviously been neglected for quite some time.

Turbine Powered Boat Trailer

I reworked the 'bunks' on my boat trailer. This view (on the left) shows the condition 'as received'. Of particular note; look closely at the center 'bunk' section and notice there is no diagonal bracing for the long black carpeted 'bunk'. Every time the boat was loaded, those three center support posts were subjected to severe longitudinal strain. They even showed signs of failure and subsequent repair. I certainly cannot imagine why the trailer manufacturer would have designed it this way or why the previous owner would have not made an effort to correct the problem.

I took care of that 'design problem' right away by tying all the bunks together so they take advantage of the heavy braces already located on both ends (as you can see in the finished product shown on the right). Heavy pressure treated 2" by 8" planks now properly support the hull and 2" by 6" side guides ensure it loads straight every time. All surfaces (that come anywhere near the hull) are now fully covered with soft carpet to ensure no damage occurs during launch or recovery (the way it should be). When I complete my Boat House I'll repair the gouges in the bottom of the hull from the carelessness of the previous owner.

Offshore Race Boat Trailer
L.E.D. Trailer Lights

Using some scrap aluminum I got at the local recycle center and some sealed LED light assemblies I bought online, I fabricated new light brackets for my trailer.

LED Trailer Lights
Trailer Towing Package

I incorporated these lights into the side braces that support the fenders. Nice bright, sealed LED lights are quite an improvement over the old (leaky, corroded) 'bulb and socket' lights. I also installed six new tires and two new spares. I always carry a high-lift jack and a hydraulic jack (with a nice wide pad on the bottom) so I can change a tire in any situation.

All electrical connections are soldered then sealed with heat shrink to ensure long life.

towing my boat trailer
trailer clearance lights

I mounted four clearance lights along the rail forward of the wheels. Next, I turned my attention to the brakes.

Now I see why the boat pushed me all over the road as I was coming down the 'Grapevine'- no brakes!

trailer surge brake
surge brake master cylinder

I completely disassembled the surge brake unit and ordered replacement parts as required.

While I was waiting for my new stainless brake tubing and master cylinder, I performed some corrosion control. All rust was removed (with wire brush or sandblasting), all parts were scrubbed, then primed with Petit Rustlok primer.

boat trailer master cylinder
trailer brakes

Both drum brake assemblies were completely shot. I guess nothing surprises me anymore. Doesn't anyone understand the concept of 'preventive maintenance'?

So at this point we've sandblasted and primed all six rotors, and installed new brake assemblies, new bearings and races, new seals, new stainless brake lines, and a new master cylinder.

boat trailer brake drums

Triple Axle Boat Trailer

Triple axle boat trailer

During the recent rework of the bottom of my Kevlar Cobra Terminator, I noticed several areas of the gel-coat that had rock damage. On closer inspection, it's pretty clear to me the trailer wheels throw debris up onto the underside of the sponsons during towing. This is not acceptable.

Never one to ignore a problem, I widened the fenders and completely enclosed the wheel wells. Now there will be no road debris thrown anywhere near the bottom of my hull.

Triple axle boat trailer
Triple axle boat trailer

While I was at it, I added the rear bumper to my boat trailer. I chose 5" steel channel to fit properly inside the existing frame rails and I need the additional weight to ensure the trailer does not float at the boat ramp.

This extended bumper will protect my Arneson ASD-8 and Surface Drive Prop as the entire assembly protrudes out an additional 45" beyond the transom. I'll post some better photos after the boat is back on the trailer with the Arneson ASD8 drive installed.

Triple axle boat trailer

After carefully measuring the angle of the local boat ramps, It's pretty apparent I'll need rollers to safely retrieve my Cobra Terminator.

Triple axle boat trailer

I starting with 4" by 6" angle iron (welded in pairs) then drilled holes for the rollers.

Sand blasted, primed, and painted it's time to mount the rollers.

Triple axle boat trailer
Triple axle boat trailer

The bottom of my Offshore Powerboat has twenty feet of flat area where rollers can properly support the hull.

Correctly angled to fit the tunnel, these rollers automatically center the hull as it's loaded.

Triple axle boat trailer

Later, I may even anodyne, prime, and paint the rest of the trailer frame.

We have T-58 & Rolls Royce Gnome gas turbines available to power your project.
We also have starters, manuals, instruments, and gearboxes for T-58 and Gnome gas turbine engines.

'south florida trailers'

There's more to towing than just adding a hitch

When I bought my truck, I was told it already had the "Towing Package" installed. Sure it had a receiver bolted on the back, but did it have all the other (unseen) towing equipment? My GVWR sticker had been removed from the door post and the "Towing Package" is not indicated by the VIN. After a detailed inspection, it turned out to not have the factory "Towing Package" installed. So I researched, located, and installed the proper components myself.

I mounted the correct oil cooler and thermostatic bypass valve behind the grill and plumbed into the engine oil lines with stainless steel braided aircraft lines. I also mounted a high-capacity transmission cooler behind the grill (next to my triple air horns) and plumbed it into the existing transmission fluid lines. According to the book, my towing capacity is now 10,500 lbs. based on my properly equipped engine, transmission, rear differential ratio, tire size, and my four wheel drive (with the proper class three hitch and weight distributing bars). With my 30 foot Cobra Terminator fully loaded, I'm pulling under 6,500 lbs. so this is a very comfortable load for my towing rig. I'm very satisfied with the results.

stainless steel brake lines

I was concerned about factory brakes having enough stopping power. After reading through a lot of truck and towing related forums, I decided I did not need to replace my four factory disk brake rotors with slotted disks. I did learn however, it is recommended that I replace the front rubber brake hoses with a set of stainless steel braided lines. This inexpensive modification firmed up the brake feel and is more resistant to 'brake fade' while towing heavy loads.

If you've ever parked on the boat ramp, you know how inadequate the 'parking brake' is. Up to this point I used a chock behind the drivers wheel.
Barely adequate for my smaller boat, this is definitely not safe for holding my 30 footer.

After some more research, I decided on the Mico Brake Lock system. Since my ABS splits the front disk brakes into separate left and right systems, I needed two solenoids for the front. After some shopping online I obtained all the parts. I hooked up the solenoids to the existing front brake lines after mounting them on the frame rails. I used a new 12" brake line from my local auto parts store to connect each solenoid to the respective front brake hose. Installation only took a couple hours and now I've got excellent holding power at the flip of a switch. Now I'm not concerned that my truck may want to 'take a swim' whenever I park on the boat ramp.

Mico brake lock
Tow Vehicle

If you've been parking trailers very long, you already understand how difficult they can be to park in a tight spot.

To make it easier, I mounted a receiver on the front of my truck (normally hidden behind the front plate).

Towing Vehicle
Boat Towing Vehicle

I just remove the front plate and attach the trailer ball.

Now, maneuvering my trailer into a tight spot is a breeze.

Trailer towing truck

Even with four wheel drive, you can get stuck on a slippery boat ramp. To improve my 'grip' I selected the Detroit Truetrac limited slip differential made by Eaton.

Boat Towing Vehicle

Installation only took a couple hours.

Now, I have lots of traction even on the slickest boat ramps.

Trailer towing truck

While we're setting up for towing, I also made the exhaust flow better with the addition of an all stainless steel exhaust system from JBA performance exhaust.

Boat Towing Vehicle

The kit was complete and installation only took a couple hours.

I noticed a little performance improvement, and it sounds great.

Trailer towing truck

Towing package

My turbine powered boat is now complete.

Thanks to all those folks who have provided tips, technical advice, and information to help me with this project.
Soon I hope to be skimming across the waves at 120 miles an hour with a permanent grim etched on my face!

Please take a look at my "items wanted" list.

My Dream   T58-GE-3   4 Sale   T58-GE-8F   Projects   Gathering   Composite   SDG   Boathouse   History   Gnome   Cobra 30   ASD8   Wanted   Trailer

turbine powered boat trailer

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