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PostPosted: 17 Aug 2016, 10:30 

Joined: 17 Aug 2016, 10:11
Posts: 7
Location: LeRoy, Michigan
Hello everyone! This is my first post to the forum but it looks to be a wealth of great information. I am a new aluminum boat owner and have been searching around for information on the components that are with it. We were given a 12' Starcraft Super Star boat with a 4 horse 1971 Mercury and a Gator trailer that I also believe to be from 1971. The whole rig has sat for quite a while outside (except motor) and is in pretty rough shape. I'd like to try and rehab the setup so it'll be good to go for years to come. Anyway, that leads me to the trailer forum to try and learn a little about this Gator Trailer. I should also add that this is my first boat (aside from a kayak) and as such I know very little about proper terminology for some of the parts so bear with me.

I haven't looked real close for model or serial numbers yet so I can't provide that at this moment, but I did see the date, 1971 on a metal tag leading me to believe that's the year of the trailer. It's a tilt trailer and it looks to be complete though very rusty. I have scoured the internet for information on the trailers in general and the specific year. I can't find much and what I do find is generally about the older 1950's Gator trailers. I see that the color scheme on those was a bright yellow and red. When I go to redo this trailer I'd like to restore it back to its original colors even if that means the loud red/yellow color combination. I see red on the trailer wheels and on the winch. The rest of the frame appears to have been yellow and very badly faded or white. Do any of you happen to know what color options were offered in 1971? The clicker on the winch also isn't working. It doesn't spring into place on its own so I'm assuming a spring is broken or missing. Is that a part that is easily found and replaced? I appreciate any information you can give me. I love to learn about the history of all this stuff and any suggestions you have for me. If I effed up any of the forum etiquette feel free to call me out. I look forward to becoming a part of the discussion here.


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PostPosted: 17 Aug 2016, 13:55 
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Joined: 27 Nov 2010, 09:36
Posts: 4600
Location: Houston, TX & Crossville, TN
The clicker on the winch is a far more important piece than many people understand. The strap of the winch is, ultimately, held by a "pawl". (small piece of metal that engages with the gears on the winch barrel). That "pawl" is kept pressed down into the gear by the spring that you mention.

If you can get the spring pieces out, or even find them, then you can just go to a hardware store and try to match the original. DON'T put a too small or too light spring in place of the original spring. It has an important function.

I doubt if you can simply order a replacement spring for a 20+ year old trailer. Try E-trailer or Overton's on line to see if they have what you want.

There are boaters who don't bother with a safety chain. Unbeknowing to them, their entire ## thousand pound boat is only supported by that tiny little pawl.

If the entire winch looks tired, rusty and old, a new one doesn't cost too much. The strap might easily be dry-rotted, which makes the entire spring/pawl discussion moot.

Hope this helps.. regards, richg99



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PostPosted: 18 Aug 2016, 13:01 

Joined: 17 Aug 2016, 10:11
Posts: 7
Location: LeRoy, Michigan
Great, thanks a lot for the help! I appreciate learning the proper terms, it makes parts much easier to look for. I see how the pawl properly engaging is so important. I will also be sure to add a safety chain when I get to redoing the trailer. I towed the thing home and it was a rough ride, that trailer will not be on the road again for a while until I can take care of these safety features. There is rope in place of a strap which the previous owner replaced prior to us hauling it, but I will likely replace that with a new strap anyway when I go through the whole thing. Anyways, your post was very helpful. Thanks! You've given me some good things to think on and keep in mind when I refurbish the thing.


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PostPosted: 18 Aug 2016, 21:32 
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Joined: 27 Nov 2010, 09:36
Posts: 4600
Location: Houston, TX & Crossville, TN
Since you are obviously not going to fish in salt water, also check Harbor Freight and Northern Tool for trailer winches and or other parts. Not very high quality, but IMHO, OK for light use.

richg99



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PostPosted: 20 Aug 2016, 22:29 

Joined: 17 Aug 2016, 10:11
Posts: 7
Location: LeRoy, Michigan
I started taking apart the winch to see if it was salvageable. It looks like it will be. The spring is actually still there and not rusted. It was just popped out of place. I got it back in place and I believe the winch will work again how it was intended. I'm having a hell of a time finding any pictures of 1970's Gator trailers. They seem to be pretty well regarded though, so I'm excited to get it back in shape. I'll post pictures once I get going on it.


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PostPosted: 20 Aug 2016, 23:56 
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Joined: 27 Nov 2010, 09:36
Posts: 4600
Location: Houston, TX & Crossville, TN
Good for you. It's great when just disassembling something winds up fixing it.
Rich



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PostPosted: 29 Sep 2016, 14:46 

Joined: 17 Aug 2016, 10:11
Posts: 7
Location: LeRoy, Michigan
Sorry to bump this thread, I just had another question that I'm hoping someone could shed light on. It's the same question as my original one, but I figured i'd try again. Anyway, I took off the winch and found just about the only place on the trailer that still may have some fresh original paint that hasn't faded or been covered in rust. It looks to be more of an almond color rather than the yellow seen on the older Gator trailers. Does anybody have any clue as to what colors these came in in the 1970's?

I'm working on basically doing a complete rebuild on it and would really enjoy being able to keep it as original as possible. I've got the hubcaps, original wheels, original winch, all that stuff, but the paint color has me stumped. Thanks!


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PostPosted: 29 Sep 2016, 20:28 
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Joined: 28 Jan 2014, 17:22
Posts: 104
Location: Way Up Northern NY
I just googled it and the company is still in business. Why not get a hold of them and see if they can shoot you some historical information. Long standing companies like that are quite often glad to help someone out with information like that. There's no pictures of old ones on Google picture search to go by.



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PostPosted: 30 Sep 2016, 14:01 

Joined: 17 Aug 2016, 10:11
Posts: 7
Location: LeRoy, Michigan
Awesome, thank you! That's a great idea. Would you mind sharing a link when you get a chance? I've searched the web and couldn't find the company which led me here. A lot of different things come up and it's possible I'm just missing it. Anyway, I appreciate you looking into it!


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PostPosted: 30 Sep 2016, 14:33 
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Joined: 02 Mar 2014, 19:52
Posts: 3193
Location: Central FLORIDA - The Sunshine State -
I know that you have googled the Gator, this is how it should look
after all is said and done . . . . mine is a 1959 model just like this one.
good luck !!!
Gator Trailer.jpg

Trailer Wheel.jpg

When it comes time for paint, I am just going to go all Rust-Oleum.
Brushed on caution yellow and stop sign red. = Keep it Simple.








.



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All about Primers = http://www.tinboats.net/primer-and-paint-basics/
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