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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2019
    Location
    Las Vegas, NV
    Posts
    45

    Lightbulb Trailer Tongue Extension (Fabrication) for Beach/Shallow Launch (Low Water Levels)

    Hello all,

    I am launching in some sketchy beach areas with mud, rocks, soft sand, etc due to low water levels. I am wanting to fabricate a trailer tongue extension that I can add on just for launching (not for towing).

    Has anyone on here fabricated something like this before?? My simple design that I am envisioning after searching around was to clamp on a simple hitch receiver onto bottom of trailer and attach a hitch coupler to opposite end of square tubing (8-10 feet in length). I have a fairly light boat (around 1200 lbs loaded) and am unsure of what guage or size steel to use for thickness of square tubing. Would 0.083" be sufficient for something like this - this is the most common size I have seen for sale. I called a metal shop and they could not advise what size to use for something like this.

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Maryland - USA
    Posts
    9,204

    Default Re: Trailer Tongue Extension (Fabrication) for Beach/Shallow Launch (Low Water Levels)

    I'v e never seen anybody use a "tongue stretcher" as you described.

    For just launching and recovery, the thin walled stuff my work...you need to check the physical properties of the material you actually use to see if it is suitable...I wouldn't use a "generic table" unless there was a significant surplus margin...the worst case would likely be due to the dynamics when actually pulling out...

    I'd also suggest being real careful trying to install it on any incline...doing that on a somewhat level parking lot would be much safer...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2019
    Location
    Las Vegas, NV
    Posts
    45

    Default Re: Trailer Tongue Extension (Fabrication) for Beach/Shallow Launch (Low Water Levels)

    Quote Originally Posted by makomark View Post
    I'v e never seen anybody use a "tongue stretcher" as you described.

    For just launching and recovery, the thin walled stuff my work...you need to check the physical properties of the material you actually use to see if it is suitable...I wouldn't use a "generic table" unless there was a significant surplus margin...the worst case would likely be due to the dynamics when actually pulling out...

    I'd also suggest being real careful trying to install it on any incline...doing that on a somewhat level parking lot would be much safer...

    Mark thank you for the response. I found out about this mod while coming across a thread of sailboat owners who use these extensions. Some of the owners have to use them even on a standard launch ramp because their boats sit so high off the trailer, and have to back in very deep into lake to launch. Hope I can get this to work as I'd feel much safer if my back tires didn't even have to touch the water

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2021
    Location
    Michigan / Florida
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: Trailer Tongue Extension (Fabrication) for Beach/Shallow Launch (Low Water Levels)

    Quote Originally Posted by travis0332 View Post
    Mark thank you for the response. I found out about this mod while coming across a thread of sailboat owners who use these extensions. Some of the owners have to use them even on a standard launch ramp because their boats sit so high off the trailer, and have to back in very deep into lake to launch. Hope I can get this to work as I'd feel much safer if my back tires didn't even have to touch the water
    QUOTE=travis0332;722165]Mark thank you for the response. I found out about this mod while coming across a thread of sailboat owners who use these extensions. Some of the owners have to use them even on a standard launch ramp because their boats sit so high off the trailer, and have to back in very deep into lake to launch. Hope I can get this to work as I'd feel much safer if my back tires didn't even have to touch the water[/QUOTE]
    Hello Travis - I have a similar situation when launching or loading my pontoon boat, by the time I get it backed down the ramp far enough (so it is "afloat") my tow vehicle rear tires are in below the water line, further than I would prefer.. I am considering extending the trailer tongue three feet or so by adding a section of tubing to it.. Am wondering if you had any luck on the the modifications you were considering ? I did post something on this site a couple of days after your item first appeared, but no responses so far.. I would appreciate any input or ideas you might have on this, Thank You

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2019
    Location
    Las Vegas, NV
    Posts
    45

    Default Re: Trailer Tongue Extension (Fabrication) for Beach/Shallow Launch (Low Water Levels)

    Hello! I have put my project on hold for a bit but have not abandoned it. Unfortunately my new truck decided to start leaking axle fluid so it will be going in for service/axle replacement soon. I will update on here when plans are complete for this extension. I would do what you're planning with a permanent tongue extension but wouldn't fit in garage for me, so mine will be a removable piece that I just attach for launching and retrieval.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2019
    Location
    Las Vegas, NV
    Posts
    45

    Default Re: Trailer Tongue Extension (Fabrication) for Beach/Shallow Launch (Low Water Levels)

    Update - have acquired two 4 foot thick steel extensions for a whopping $15 a piece.

    Going to attach a hitch coupler to one end and the tough part will be figuring out how to secure it to trailer tongue, and also make it removable.

    Will post back when its completed.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2021
    Location
    Michigan / Florida
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: Trailer Tongue Extension (Fabrication) for Beach/Shallow Launch (Low Water Levels)

    Quote Originally Posted by travis0332 View Post
    Update - have acquired two 4 foot thick steel extensions for a whopping $15 a piece.

    Going to attach a hitch coupler to one end and the tough part will be figuring out how to secure it to trailer tongue, and also make it removable.

    Will post back when its completed.
    Quote Originally Posted by travis0332 View Post
    Update - have acquired two 4 foot thick steel extensions for a whopping $15 a piece.

    Going to attach a hitch coupler to one end and the tough part will be figuring out how to secure it to trailer tongue, and also make it removable.

    Will post back when its completed.
    Hello Travis, I haven't been back on the site for some time, so I just noticed your posting in January of 2022.. Wondering what you decided to do on your idea of extending the trailer tongue length.. On my new trailer, i still have tongue length unmodified from (factory build) stock.. I would like to extend my trailer tongue by a good three or four feet, but have not done so yet.. any modification I do will be of a permanent type (adding an extension into existing channel iron ) So it becomes a matter of how to attach the extension, choices being to (either) weld or bolt it together (or perhaps both would be best) then paint it.. I really don't see any feasible way to add a "removable" extension.. When launching my boat, I have to back in till the rear tires on my tow vehicle (two wheel drive pickup truck) are just before the water line, then the boat is not quite afloat enough to launch unless I wade in and give it a shove.. A minor inconvenience, but extending the tongue length should help .. and a few more feet of total tongue length would have an effect on turning radius and such, but nothing I could not get used to.. and combination length would still be well within legal limitations.. So if I do end up extending my trailer tongue length, I will try to post photos "before and after" on the site..

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