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Thread: Bow turnbuckle completed.

  1. #1
    PBN User lchauvin88's Avatar
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    Bow turnbuckle completed.

    So when I bought my boat, the trailer didnt have a turnbuckle. I thought that was odd, and I shopped a few places for a 1/2" unit. But i was not satisfied with the junk on the shelves especially at the cost. I know not much can be had for cheap in the boat market. But come on, $35 for a galvanized made in China half ass made turnbuckle?

    Nope. I Wasnt having it. Instead i used a 2" Wide 20k lb ratchet strap to hold the bow to the trailer along with the crank up winch. And it worked flawlessly. Except for looking like some red neck slapped together shit. But, eh function over form right?

    A buddy of mine, also a machinist by trade, made a full stainless turnbuckle for his boat, over a few weeks, on lunch breaks and before work hours. I was impressed with his and decided I'd make one myself. It took a long time to complete it mostly because we had worked Damn near 16hr a day for weeks while trying to get the system back up and running, if you Hadnt seen the news Google n.o. Sewer and water board flood June 2017. I can explain if you guys want some back story otherwise, let's get on with the details and project.

    I used 306 stainless steel for all the working components, the coupler nut, the all thread, the wing nut, the stop nut. The only thing that is steel is the Chicago eye nut and shackle. I did however, blast, prime and paint them white to match the trailer.

    So I'll lay out some details, I lost ALOT of pics, or this thread would be longer.

    I saw cut some round bar, faced it off in a 3 jaw lathe, drilled and tap 5/8"-11unc right hand on one side and left hand on the other.

    Using a drop off length, I undercut down to .620" and turned left hand 11t.p.i. I later placed This part in a super spacer on a manual milling machine and cut two flats on it, with only 0.010" of clearance to fit in the shackle. I Also drilled a hole with 0.007" clearance for the pin to pass through. That completed the left hand thread of the assembly.

    Using some rolled all thread 306 s.s. i undercut the threads off one end. Using a torch, i Heated and bent it into a hook shape with a slight angle. The angle was to be sure the hook would Pull tightly into the bow shackle on the hull, while binding it down. Later I used a rough and fine grit flapper wheel, some bastard flat files, and sand paper to shape the hook on the end of the right hand all thread.

    Back to the coupler nut. Using the machine super spacer i cut 6 flats on it, so you can utilize a 1-1/16" open end wrench. Next I used a small 3/16" diameter center drill and cut 12 slots around the coupler nut. Then I used a 3/16" ball end mill and ran the cutter through the slots.

    I completed this piece by blasting the nut in our slurry blaster. Then I put the nut back into the 3 jaw lathe and polished all the high spots. 120, 360, 600 grit. Then used a buffing wheel and compound to finish it off. This gives a two tone affect and doesn't stand out so much as bright stainless. It won't scream STEAL ME at the boat launch.

    I may have missed some details, and I'm 99% sure it was 306 but it may be 316 stainless steel. Any way onto the pics. The first one is my buddies.
    Attached Images Attached Images                                          
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    PBN User hook'em's Avatar
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    Nice work Leroy. Looks like you got your $35 worth.
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    PBN User Slandrew's Avatar
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    Very nice no expert here do you need any play maybe incorporate a piston gas or spring?Nice work hope it works out!
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    PBN User MillerTime's Avatar
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    Looks good!!
    Never seen a single boat or trailer with a turnbuckle though. Seen a bunch of stainless safety chains hooked to bow eye or big straps.
    All the big $$$ boys use 2" straps, even on tilt trailers.
    Some of the little jet boats have a little leg that pops up and holds the bow eye instead of having a winch.
    This is a first for a turnbuckle though.
    I guess whatever holds your boat and you feel comfortable with!
    Last edited by MillerTime; 12-26-2017 at 07:06 PM.
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    Looks very nice. Now get rid of the bow roller and put a -V-block on there. Eventually the roller will wear and the next thing you know the bow will be resting on the bolt. BTDT
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    PBN User lchauvin88's Avatar
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    Hey guys thanks for the comments. I put alot of time and effort into this project and having learned a few things, I'd do some of it differently. For one, I'd make the new one using 3/4" for the all thread, more cross section, more strength, bigger threads, less t.p.i., would look better on a lengthy boat like mine.

    Hook, I value my labor between $25-50 an hour when I do side work, the amount of hours I have in this, I'd say $35 would be a steal for this part. But I'm truly satisfied with the product compared to off the shelf junk.

    Slandrew, no sir. The purpose of the unit, to my understanding anyway, is to hold the bow rigid to the roller on the trailer to keep it from bouncing during road transport.

    MillerTime, that's kind of odd. I have only ever seen turnbuckles on boat trailers growing up, or short loose chain and hooks on small flat boats. But I have not been up close to a large powerboat on trailer. However, I think if I had a small fortune on a trailer, I'd want every bit of holding capability and have it strapped everywhere if possible. But for this purpose, the winch stand holds the boat up to the roller, my turnbuckle keeps it snug to the roller, and I have a 2" 10k ratchet strap on each side at the transom. Believe me, if I could I'd have 3 more points to secure the hull to the trailer.

    Sonic, i dont believe that would work for me. When i Drive up the trailer the hull rides up the wheel about 6" before it reaches the eye. V block would probably cause extra resistance or damage. However i get what your at with the worn out wheel. Mine is Stuck in the middle and loose on the outsides. I am Going to change it for a new one and add the pex tubing like Dan did for a rolling sleeve. Its on my Project list for over the winter.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MillerTime View Post
    Looks good!!
    Never seen a single boat or trailer with a turnbuckle though. Seen a bunch of stainless safety chains hooked to bow eye or big straps.
    All the big $$$ boys use 2" straps, even on tilt trailers.
    Same here. Never seen a turnbuckle. Only seen safety chain and HD ratchet straps.

    But the turnbucket works. Probably just takes longer and requires "a tool". Looks good Leroy tho.

    Once you get tired of screwing it in and out and or the threads get messed up. 2" ratchet strap next

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    PBN User lchauvin88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 92nsx View Post
    Same here. Never seen a turnbuckle. Only seen safety chain and HD ratchet straps.

    But the turnbucket works. Probably just takes longer and requires "a tool". Looks good Leroy tho.

    Once you get tired of screwing it in and out and or the threads get messed up. 2" ratchet strap next
    I put the flat hex on it so if i got it too tight, you could wrench it off. The slots are for gripping by hand, and honestly i tightened and loosened it. You only have to stroke it about 1/2" to get it to clear the eye on the hull.

    I had a 2" 20k lb ratchet strap through the trailer winch stand into the eye. But i was unhappy with it, looked cheap to me.
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    PBN User hook'em's Avatar
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    I'm "that guy"....I only trailer CYHMN about 1/2 mile on a 30 mph country road from dry storage to the ramp. I don't even have straps on the boat.
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    PBN User lchauvin88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hook'em View Post
    I'm "that guy"....I only trailer CYHMN about 1/2 mile on a 30 mph country road from dry storage to the ramp. I don't even have straps on the boat.
    Nothing wrong with that. If youre happy with the rigging so am I. What ever floats your boat Bajahaha!

    That new aluminum trailer is a few years out, but best believe This turnbuckle is coming with me when i get the new one.

    For now some odds and ends projects i can do in a few hours on the weekend if the weather is right. The next one is new winch and bow roller. Then onto the brakes. Yay!

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    Quote Originally Posted by lchauvin88 View Post
    Nothing wrong with that. If youre happy with the rigging so am I. What ever floats your boat Bajahaha!

    That new aluminum trailer is a few years out, but best believe This turnbuckle is coming with me when i get the new one.
    !
    Talk to me when you start trailer shopping, I did some looking / pricing a month or so ago and learned a lot. Learned the people I thought I wanted a trailer from really didn’t give a damn if they have my business or not.
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  12. #12
    PBN User lchauvin88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kefurr View Post
    Talk to me when you start trailer shopping, I did some looking / pricing a month or so ago and learned a lot. Learned the people I thought I wanted a trailer from really didn’t give a damn if they have my business or not.
    Good to know. Thanks!

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    Hi Leroy, you probably got this covered but stainless on stainless threads are prone to galling (sort of a friction weld that can occur between to pieces of sliding material). There does not need to be much, or any load on the threads to have this occur and if it does, the threads will be locked together. I know it is messy, but you might want to consider putting some anti-seize on the threads of your turnbuckle to prevent this.

    Beautiful work.
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  14. #14
    PBN User lchauvin88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BajaDan View Post
    Hi Leroy, you probably got this covered but stainless on stainless threads are prone to galling (sort of a friction weld that can occur between to pieces of sliding material). There does not need to be much, or any load on the threads to have this occur and if it does, the threads will be locked together. I know it is messy, but you might want to consider putting some anti-seize on the threads of your turnbuckle to prevent this.

    Beautiful work.
    Dan,

    I didn't cover it much in the pics. However, there is enough copper based antiseize on it. I coated each threaded end heavily. And stuffed some into the nut aswell. Then I screwed it together. The extra oozed out and then I cleaned it up.

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