View Full Version : Boat Trailer Selection
I am looking for a trailer for the "Little Moby" runabout that I have built. This is a semi-V boat that is 14'6" long with a maximum beam of 5'6".
I think the type of trailer needed is pretty clear, i.e., adjustable wooden bunks to fit the "v" hull shape and capable of carrying a boat of that length.
However, I am really unclear as to the proper width of the trailer.
One trailer I am looking at can contain the hull between the fenders. The other one would have the boat extending about 1" beyond the outside of (and of course, over) the fenders. The trailer dealer says he thinks the narrower trailer would be okay, but I am not sure.
Any opinions on boat trailer sizing?
07-24-2007, 01:31 PM
What is the depth of the hull below the waterline on the boat? What sort of waters do you launch in == tidal or lakes or rivers? Ever launch off the beach or funky ramps? Willing to get your tow vehicle into salt water?
Overall the wider trailer should allow you to carry (and launch/retrieve) the boat lower than the narrower one -=- which makes launching in tidal or river ramps much easier, and the boat more stable on the trailer in case of road hazards or rapid turns.
Also beware the modern tendency to build trailers with suspension rated for the average battleship -- WAY too stiff for wooden boats. So in many cases you want to 'under-buy' the trailer when based on the dimensions of the boat, and focus on a soft ride for your baby based on boat weight.
07-24-2007, 02:20 PM
The narrower trailer would be fine. But, the wider trailer would allow the boat to sit lower, so it would be easier to launch and retrieve, especially from shallow ramps, and especially if you have a rear-wheel drive vehicle. Once the wheels go in the water, it can be hard to get back up the ramp, even with a relatively light trailer.
The wider trailer will likely be more expensive.
I've got a wider trailer for our boat and it is very convenient.
As Thorne said, be sure the trailer is right for the weight of the boat. A trailer with too high a load rating would be too stiff for the boat to ride comfortably and transmit too much shock to the boat.
07-24-2007, 04:49 PM
Alan, I built a 20' Whitehall, and there were no trailers available to handle it. It is a light boat, and a trailer for a boat that long is rated by supposed weight, and they thought I needed a tripple axel trailer.
My solution was to buy and have added a extra long tongue at the factory. It is a standard Shor'lander trailer. It would have fit your boat perfectly in its stock size. I cost me with the long tongue $750 new.
As you can see in the pictures, I added some cross members that a welder friend made for me and elongated my bunks and covred them with boat carpet.
Here is the link for the trailer itself. Look around and you will see pics of the boat loaded on it too.
07-24-2007, 05:39 PM
Here's a brand specifically for long, narrow lightweight boats: http://www.castlecraft.com/canoe_trailer.htm
08-08-2007, 07:28 AM
I have a 14' day sailor. I purchased a trailex SUT-500 from Castlecraft. It ships UPS and took a few hours to assemble. Made out of aluminum, it is infinitely adjustable. Rated for 500 lbs, it is perfect for my boat which is probably 300lbs. Operates smoothly at all speeds, with no bouncing, even after hitting unforeseen speed bumps. The only thing that makes me nervous is that the tungue seems very flexy to me. I've convinced myself that that is the nature of a light-weight aluminum tungue when compared to 3 inch steel tube.
08-08-2007, 07:29 AM
One other comment: It doesn't seem to me that an aluminum trailer like this would be easy to customize with welded additions, etc. That might be an arguement to go with steel and just plan to take a spring or two off the suspension.
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