If you haven’t had a leaf spring break on your boat trailer yet, from my perspective you’re lucky. I’ve had 2 of them break on me in the 17 years I’ve been hauling the boat around. The first was only at a year old. It was a single leaf design, that even the manufacturer admitted was a poor choice. They stepped up and sent me 4 new multiple leaf springs. That was great, but it didn’t solve the problem I had and the white knuckle 80 mile trip I had on the way that evening and the same nervous ride I had a few years later when one of the replacement springs broke!
Both times I was very fortunate to have concerned people with the items I need to rig the trailer up and limp the boat home. I used a come-along the first time, compressed the spring and cinched down the cable as tight as I could and limped it through bay area traffic at night in a rain storm! The second time there were some great folks that had had the same experience in the parking lot. They gave up their emergency kit which consisted of a 4X4 block of wood and a ratcheting strap. Using the block as support and the strap tightened down, another limp the boat home journey. Every pot hole is possibility of witnessing a major malfunction. I didn’t want to see the axle(s) torn out from under the trailer dragging down the highway!
A couple weeks a go I read of another fellow Fisherman having the same experience. I was going to carry some blocks and straps in my truck just in case I have a third experience. I thought about it but came up with this. Instead of just a band aid and the white knuckle trip home, why not carry a spare leaf and bolts to make the fix on the spot? It’s just bout the same amount of time to replace the spring, than apply the band aid. After my second spring broke I replaced all 4 of the springs with the beefiest springs available and had 3 of the previous springs just sitting in the yard. I would replace the spare spring with an upgraded spring if needed.
The hardware store had these metal straps for joining lumber together. They are plenty strong enough for this application. I had to heat them up as I bent them to the desired shape to sit on the trailer cross member and then to cradle the spare leaf.
I mounted them so that the step of the leafs would not allow for any side to side movement.
I screwed the brackets in place, put a few coats of paint on everything added a piece of foam to help damper the viration, and then secured the leaf with a heavy duty Velcro strap.
I really want to make sure this cannot move or worse fall off. I work in the auto collision industry and have seen some awful things happen be cause of others negligence or mechanical failure. I don’t want to be the cause of someone else bad day…
I hope I never have to use this, but if so the remainder of my drive home will be a little less stressful. I hope this helps, or if you have a busted leaf and I’m nearby, hit me up, I’ll be glad to help out!
See you out there and have fun!