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Boat Buckle Installation

Julian

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I love boat buckles, and have had a pair installed on my 2005 SX230 since 2007, with no issues to date. Some people have attached the buckles to the small "wing" bracket, but those brackets just didn't look very strong to me, so I just drilled into the frame, popped off the plastic end caps and attached them that way. Worked great. The only tricky part was getting the nuts on the inside of the frame, I just used a standard wrench (the round end) and it was pretty easy. I have long fingers and was able to get it going from there.

I was a little concerned that I didn't have an exact straight shot to the D ring on the stern, but my fears were unfounded as I've had no issues at all!

Here is a photo of the end result (and for me this is sideways and my work laptop has no sw for me to adjust this....sorry):

boat buckles2.jpg
Edited to Fix image rotation
 
Last edited:

octavio3311

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Yep - Boat Buckles are incredible. First time you use them, you wish you did them sooner.
 

duanepillar

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Love mine!
 

motorboater

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I got lazy and used the small bracket for mine. The weld is strong and I've had no problems. Its really easy to operate being mounted that way too although I doubt your install makes anything difficult.
 

Julian

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Yup...lots have just attached to the bracket with no issues. If you think about it, the only time it gets stressed is on acceleration. So those with UBBs (slippery aftermarket bunks) may put more stress on those brackets during acceleration. ....
 

motorboater

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Yup...lots have just attached to the bracket with no issues. If you think about it, the only time it gets stressed is on acceleration. So those with UBBs (slippery aftermarket bunks) may put more stress on those brackets during acceleration. ....
Good point. I dont use UBBs.
 

itsdgm

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I love our #BoatBuckles too. I also installed them directly to the factory tabs without issues. Even with the UBB's.

I did run a tiny bead of weld on the tips of the mounting bolts. Just to make sure that somebody didn't try and remove them.
 

scokill

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Yup...lots have just attached to the bracket with no issues. If you think about it, the only time it gets stressed is on acceleration. So those with UBBs (slippery aftermarket bunks) may put more stress on those brackets during acceleration. ....
I'm not sure there is too much stress if at all from acceleration or stopping due to friction, the front strap, and bow eye.
 

RightStuff

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I just installed mine last night, so I figured I would add to this post since it looks to not have details around installing them for a newer Shorland'r trailer. So here are some details around installing them on those trailers. I think most of the 24'ers came with them from the factory/dealer, but I don't think the 21' and 19' trailers come with them installed. My AR210 did not have them, so obviously I needed this mod...
  1. Test fit the buckle in a spot with the straightest shot to the transom eye. The existing strap location on the trailer was too far forward and had too hard of an angle back to the eye to work. So drilling a few new holes it is! It's kinda hard to see in the picture, but I mounted mine just in front of the last crossbar frame rail.
  2. Put masking tape over the spot on the outside and inside of the trailer, lined up the marks on both sides with a square to make sure they line up on both sides.
  3. Using a step drill bit drill a 7/16" hole on both sides of the trailer frame, lubing spray as you go. I went thru about 1/2 bottle of the lube in the picture. This might be easier with a second set of hands to spray while drilling, not the easiest of drilling.
  4. I used a 7/16" x 3" grade 8 bolt with a lock nut (and some washers) to get thru the frame since the supplied bolt/nut are not long enough.
Notes:
  • Get a blanket to lay on, you will be getting intimate with ground and the bottom of your boat/trailer for the inside holes.
  • My drill did the job (corded 3/8") but having something beefier might make for faster drilling.
  • Depending on where you are doing this, get a bucket to place under your drilling spot. Lots of lube sprayed = messy slippery spot on the ground
01_Tools.jpg 02_mark.jpg 03_install.jpg
 

sysinu

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I like boat buckle's as well, but man... the auto retracting function breaks for me every time. Fulton or Boat buckle, it's like the spring inside undoubtably gets screwed up after 5 uses. I've replaced 4 of them now.
 

MOA_Chaser

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I mounted mine on the factory tab. I figure that it's holding the same amount of weight/tension as the regular straps, and if you're going to bend it by cranking down on the boat buckle you're putting WAY too much tension on it anyways. If nothing bad happened regarding the original tabs and stock straps, I can't see how it would be any different with an auto-retracting assembly.
 

RightStuff

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I mounted mine on the factory tab. I figure that it's holding the same amount of weight/tension as the regular straps, and if you're going to bend it by cranking down on the boat buckle you're putting WAY too much tension on it anyways. If nothing bad happened regarding the original tabs and stock straps, I can't see how it would be any different with an auto-retracting assembly.
In the BB instructions it says the strap angle must be less than +/- 30 degrees, on my trailer it was way more than that. (here they are online: http://rodbuckle.com/boatbuckle/downloads/BoatBuckle_OEM_Guide.pdf)

Your trailer might be fine because the geometry is likely different. All the Shoreland'r trailers I have seen (under Yamahas, Sea Rays) have a pretty sharp angle from the factory tie down tab.
 

MOA_Chaser

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Yeah, I think it's ok... I pictured 45 degrees and then eyeballed it, haha...
 

David D

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:):)
Yeah, I think it's ok... I pictured 45 degrees and then eyeballed it, haha...
Do you have a picture? When I look at the tabs on my Shorelande it doesn't look like I can get the right angle ... plus my license plate is in the way, but I'm sure I can figure something out with it.

Edit: added @MOA_Chaser to be more clear about the picture I'm interested in.
 
Last edited:

njmr2fan

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+2 on what @David D said. I'd like to add these. I nearly got my finger caught in the mouse trap cam buckle.

Are they all 42" long or are there shorter sizes?
 

David D

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All I have seen are 42" - but they retract so I'm guessing that's no big deal. There is a Reese 2-hook version with the ratchet, but I think I prefer the installed strap.
 

njmr2fan

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Ive got a ton of Cabelas Cash so Im going to go see what they have in our store tomorrow. Does it matter if I get all Stainless or just normal stuff if i'm in all fresh water and I spray them with WD40 regularly?
 

David D

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I've heard that you don't need stainless if you're in fresh water. I wasn't going to buy the stainless ones. @Bruce just installed the Reece ones - I'm thinking he got stainless because he sometimes does salt water. Any input Bruce?

There's another thread on these - I'm not at my computer but Bruce just posted a thread on these a few weeks ago. You'll find it with a search.
 

Bruce

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I've heard that you don't need stainless if you're in fresh water. I wasn't going to buy the stainless ones. @Bruce just installed the Reece ones - I'm thinking he got stainless because he sometimes does salt water. Any input Bruce?
I did buy the stainless Reese version so they would survive salt water use. I chose Reese for a lower price and stronger product. I launched in salt water on the 5th the retrieved on the 17th. I did not apply any kind of protectant or try to clean them in any way. They still look and work just like new.
 

David D

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I will by Reese too for the price reason - as soon as I think through the configuration on my trailer.
 
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