The complete refurbishing of Fountain Powerboats hull #1 included new power, new rigging, new interior, new paint – and a new trailer. The original trailer was looking a little shabby, and it ruined the presentation. Reggie Fountain turned to EZ Loader for a new custom trailer to get his boat down the road.
EZ Loader has been building trailers since 1953 and is ubiquitous in the adjustable trailer segment, both as an aftermarket and OEM supplier. It recently added to its portfolio custom aluminum trailers for performance boats up to 42 feet and 24,000 pounds, where it plans to compete with the big names in that market, MYCO and Evolution.
We spoke to Conrad West, general manager of the EZ Loader Custom division, about what goes into building a custom trailer for a performance boat.
“When we build a trailer for a new production boat, we can usually get computer design files from the builder that we use to create a CAD file for the trailer,” explained West, “We work with the boat manufacturer to confirm the boat is supported in structural areas to eliminate hull damage or deformation. For an older boat like Reggie’s Executioner, it’s a much more complicated process. We send an engineer to the boat to hand-measure and make a map of the bottom to plot the location of strakes and chines, of through-hull fittings, and every little detail. Bunks need to align with the strakes, both to support the boat where it is rigid and also to help it self-load using the strakes as guides on the bunks. We also need to consider boat weight and the center of gravity to determine axle rating and location.”
In the future, West says EZ Loader will invest in a digital scan tool that will speed up the measuring process.
Like most performance boat trailers, the EZ Loader frame is formed of 6061-T6 Structural aluminum C-channel, rather than I-beam aluminum. West says C-channel is not necessarily stronger than I-beam, “but it looks substantial, and the smooth sides leave room for custom graphics, especially important for race boats.”
EZ Loader fabricates custom trailers on a dedicated jig. Trailer construction starts upside down and then the entire trailer is rotated on the jig. This process allows for multiple weld passes reducing “heat affected zones” and eliminating overhead welding. All electrical connectors are crimped and covered with heat shrink.
EZ Loader built a test-fit frame for the Fountain and checked its fitment on site before completing the trailer. West says the build time for a custom trailer is eight weeks for a production boat with available digital files. For an older boat, build time will be influenced by the location and complexity of the boat. Prices range from $20,000 to $35,000 depending on boat length and weight, and features. The trailer features triple torsion axles and electric-over-hydraulic brakes on each wheel. One custom flourish on this trailer is LED lighting under the frame that makes the ground glow at night. Other features a customer may order include toolboxes, a bow ladder, back-up lights, custom wheels and an electric tongue jack.
EZ Loader custom trailers are certified by NATM (National Association of Trailer Manufacturers) and NMMA (National Marine Manufacturers Association). EZ Loader partners with BoatUS to provide a complimentary one-year membership with TowAssist for both the trailer and the tow vehicle. The result is a trailer that looks great and will transport a performance boat with confidence and safety.