After I bought a slick kit from Cabellas for the bunks on my tracker trailer, when I go to put the boat back on I have to leave it in gear at a 1/4 throttle so the boat won't slide off when I go to the front to hook the bow strap. I really didn't feel safe doing that on top of the debris around the dock stirring up and hitting my prop. So I hopped on the good 'ol internet and did some homework and found Boat Buddies from Cabellas.
I hopped on a few forums, read reviews, and talked to other boaters before I spent the money. There are two types depending on the size of your boat. I went with the heavier one to be safe. Basicly it is a device that takes the place of the roller on the winch mount that has a spring loaded pin that pops through the bow eye after it trips the trigger when you drive the bow of the boat against it.
I must say it is one of the best things I ever bought for a boat and I highly recommend it. I have launched the boat 130 times scince I installed it and it works the same every time and is holding up very well, I am really impressed and happy with it. So I took some pics of the install so you guys have an idea what it looks like and what is involved.
The hardest part of the install is if you need to install a longer bow eye, which comes with the kit and unfortunately I had to do to get it to work right. Depending on what type of boat you have this can be easy or a nightmare. In my case it was very difficult but I got it done.
Here is a pic of the Boat Buddy device top and bottom. The 2 bottom shots show the pin in the locked and open postions. Note in the last pic the lever on the pin is in the slot with the locking tab, that is the postion that keeps the pin locked open for trailering and launching. I never trailer the boat with the pin engaged, that is what the winch strap is for and that will take the shock, not the pin.
Also notice in the top photo how nice and wide the ears are for guiding the bow eye into the locking chamber, and also how the bumper is molded to the shape of the bow, very nice.
This post has been edited by NorthportTroller: Jul 13 2012, 05:22 PM
Top photo shows the lever moved to the "set" postion. This is the postion that loads the trip device. Notice there isn't a safety tab on this side to keep the lever from popping out of the notch.
2nd pic shows the trigger. This is where the bow eye contacts that spring loaded plate and trips the pin.
3rd pic is a dumba$$ sticking his thumb on the trigger to show the engagement to you folks. When that baby locks, it makes a very loud >CLICK< noise and you can actually feel the boat lock onto the trailer, very awesome, like a space ship docking on a space station. Very secure feeling when this sucker latches the boat to the trailer and very easy to hear over the noise of the boat under power.
Top pic is next to the ruler to give oyu guys an idea of the size of this and what width winch mounts this will fit.
2nd pic notice the different size shims included to make a nice fit to virtually any winch mount, very adjustable.
3rd and pic is mounted and shows how close the mold fits the shape of the bow. This device comes with a nyloc nut on the main mounting bolt. DO NOT tighten this device to the point of it not swiveling or crushing it.