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Old 10-10-2012, 04:35 PM   #1
 
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Default Boat Buddy Install
After I bought a slick kit from Cabelas 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 Cabelas.

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. Basically 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 since 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 are the first 3 pics of the original roller and winch setup.





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Old 10-10-2012, 04:36 PM   #2
 
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Here is a pic of the Boat Buddy device top and bottom. The 2 bottom shots show the pin in the locked and open positions. Note in the last pic the lever on the pin is in the slot with the locking tab, that is the position 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.





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Old 10-10-2012, 04:37 PM   #3
 
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Top photo shows the lever moved to the "set" position. This is the position 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.





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Old 10-10-2012, 04:37 PM   #4
 
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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.






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Old 10-10-2012, 04:41 PM   #5
 
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Another mounted shot....






Now the time I have gotten all excited and waited for, the test!!!




That's nice, winch strap is useless.....






I got it, this will work!






Nope.






So I had to break down, and tear the front deck apart and barely had enough room to install the included longer U-Bolt in the bow to engage the device and the orginal bow eye is for the winch strap when trailering. But it was worth the work this thing works great now!!! That's all folks........



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Old 12-11-2012, 03:25 AM   #6
 
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so, hows it working?
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Old 12-13-2012, 08:23 PM   #7
 
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That's pretty cool. I'd imagine it makes life a bit easier for you.
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Old 12-17-2012, 06:21 PM   #8
 
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Holding up well, I must say I am surprised. I use it about every day of the year, including below freezing temps, for over a year now, highly recommend this product. Only con is it is hard plastic so if you are worried about the finish on a fiberglass boat I would put a plate on the boat to protect that area, they sell them stick on.
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Old 01-31-2013, 01:50 AM   #9
 
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id ask you how it was doing, but i know you are frozen over now..... go ice fishing instead......





aaron is my bitch

Last edited by nosbusa; 07-06-2013 at 01:45 AM.
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Old 10-27-2013, 09:37 AM   #10
 
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Well I got almost 2 years out of these. About half of them are starting to fall apart. I got no gripes, they a good product. Figure at least 1200 launch and retrieves in temps down into the mid 20's during the winter. For the average Joe Schmoe fair weather boater they would last quite a while longer. I approve and recommend this product.
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Old 10-27-2013, 09:40 AM   #11
 
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Forgot to mention when one of them finally wore through and broke I didn't realize one of the screws backed out just a tad and started grooving the hull a little. So the Phillips slot in the head of the screw got packed in with aluminum and I couldn't dig that shit out for the life of me.
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Old 10-27-2013, 09:46 AM   #12
 
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I'll be updating this thread soon. This past summer I removed this and went back to the regular roller. Seems like after I did a makeover on the boat and it was twice as light I was having problems with the alignment of the device.

Once I get those new plastic bunks on I will decide if I need to reinstall and adjust this device. I do have to say it takes quite a beating and is holding up well with no maintenance at all. I did notice it wearing down a divot where the ubolt contacts the trip. Couple of tack welds and smoothed out should take care of that.
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