Trigger’s Broom

New Suspension Units Give Greater Peace of Mind.

The Lune Pilot has been a lot of places with me. Windermere, Salcombe, Rennes in Brittany to name a few. That’s the beauty of “Trailer Sailing” you get to go to a lot of different places – easily. I used to own a larger cruising boat which was permanently moored at Beccles on the River Waveney and all journeys started and ultimately finished at the same place. I am planning a one way journey from Norwich city center to Beccles in a few weeks time. The problem was that I have started to become less confident with the ground tackle so to speak – the trailer running gear.

I have now grasped the nettle and change the suspension units and the difference is amazing. Firstly, the boat and trailer follow the car perfectly and secondly, there is much less banging and bouncing around. Everything feels so much more secure and smooth.

Suspension Units

The suspension units looked pretty old and there was little if any detectable give in them. That’s because the rubber hardens over the years. Because of this I have been running the tyres at around 18psi (which is a lot less than they aught to be) in order to provide some give. No suspension at all not only risks a breakage in the metalwork which could be a complete disaster but it also risks damage to the boat itself on the trailer. Running the tyres on low pressure reduces their performance and longevity – which might be why one popped only a couple of weeks ago.

The only thing to do was to replace the suspension units with new ones and only then would I have security. Indespension of Northampton supplied the units from stock and even threw in the new bolts to go with it. I was right about the old units being old because the label on the inside suggested the capacity in CWT – bit of a clue. The mounting holes didn’t match, naturally, because of the difference between inches and millimeters so I had to drill new holes. This was pretty straight forward really. The hub bearings were nearly new anyway and so I reused these.

Now if you google torque settings for the hub bearing nuts you will have difficulty finding the correct value and there is a reason for this. You don’t torque the hub nuts on the stub axles on these trailers. (There you go – if you google that question now this answer should come up). They are tightened to slightly over hand tight to take up any slack and then you fit a new split pin through the castellated nut. You do need to check for play in the hubs regularly however.

The final job is to grease the bearing. This of course is done by squeezing the grease through the nipple with a grease gun until the grease oozes out of the air hole in the hub nut cap. Most trailer sailers claim to grease each time the trailer goes in and out of the water – I bet they don’t though…     If you don’t then water gets into the hub and mixes with the grease turning it into a lovely creamy emulsion. This will allow your bearings to form rust – because emulsion contains water – even salt water. The rust in turn forms a smooth creamy grinding paste – trust me its not good!

Anyway, I now only have the winch, keel rollers and the wooden bearing blocks to replace and then The Lune Pilot will have a new trailer – unless you apply the “Trigger’s Broom” rule…

Lune Pilot Thumb

4 Responses to “Trigger’s Broom”
  1. Peter Self says:

    Hi – I’d be interested to know what weight suspension units Indespension suggested for your Lune Pilot. I need to do the same upgrade but can’t see any weight markings on my existing old and rusted units.

    • The boat weighs 250 kgs and so allowing for trailer and some gear in the boat we agreed on 250 kg suspension units totaling therefore 500 kgs. When I removed the old rusty units one of them still had a label on it indicating 500w (250 kgs). This made me feel much happier. I did think of going for a higher weight rating but thought against this because it might increase the suspension stiffness which I was trying to avoid in the first place. I wanted to protect the boat from road shock. Is it me or are the roads not getting worse these days? TLP

      • Peter Self says:

        Sorry for the long delay in responding – am just getting round to this now in time for some time on the water in the Outer Hebrides next month. Yes, I was following similar calculations i.e. 250kg per unit = 500 and was concerned about going higher/ harder. I will go for the 250’s as any extra heavy gear can go in the car and I’d prefer the softer ride. In answer to your last point, yes I’m sure they are getting worse! Regards…

  2. Peter Self says:

    Just doing more research and have just realised my mistake! – rating is per pair not each so am going for 350’s, not 250’s

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: