Center Lift Pontoon Trailers Page 2
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Center Lift, Scissor, or Up/Down Pontoon Boat Trailers cont...

Construction In the past most center lift trailers were made for dealer use. They were heavy duty to stand up to the rigors of daily use. This added to the cost and the retail customer who wanted a center lift trailer would often balk at the price. Today a number of manufacturers are building lighter duty use center lift trailers. The price is lower, but you need to pay attention to what you’re buying. If you have a small pontoon with a small engine almost anything will probably work. But modern boats with four stroke engines place a lot of stress on lightly built trailers.
 
center lift pontoon trailer bracing pontoon trailer bracing pontoon trailer bracing
 
Will the trailer lift your pontoon?
Besides not tipping the next consideration is whether or not the lifting system is strong enough to lift your boat. This should be a given but it’s best not to assume anything with pontoon trailers. If you have a 20’ pontoon with a 40 HP engine, you can probably use any trailer. If you have a modern 22’-24’ pontoon with an engine larger than 60 HP, you need to pay attention to the lifting system.

The lifting system on center lift pontoon trailers usually consists of a cable system working through pulleys to raise the top frame, lifting the pontoon boat. The winch is important. You will want at least a 1500 lb. heavy duty winch and generally the more pulleys the better.
 
heavy duty prontoon trailer winch


This is a good system. A 1500 lb. heavy duty self braking winch, lifting in the front with all pulleys and cables in sight. The lifting system utilizes three 3” diameter pulleys.
 
center lift pontoon trailer winch system

This system uses a 1500 lb. winch through five 2 1/2” pulley, lifting system, but the cables run almost 20’ to the back of the trailer. The lifting energy is reduced by the length of the cables. If anything goes wrong or a pulley should bind up, the lifting system is under the pontoon boat. You will have to get the boat off the trailer to fix a bind.
 
slide tube systempontoon slide tube lift systemThis slide pipe system has a unique benefit. It raises and lowers the boat straight up and down. This trailer has been a favorite with boat dealers who store boats. Unfortunately the slide pipe system was developed in 1957 when pontoon boats weighed 1000 lb.

Modern pontoon boats with large horsepower engines have all of the weight in the stern. The weight will bend the slide pipes. The manufacturer of this trailer does not warranty it for boats with engines over 40 HP and most modern boats have larger engines. But if you’re moving smaller boats and operate in close quarters, this design has its benefits.
 
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