View Full Version : Trailer for light boat?
In the next several months I will be looking for a trailer for my Rangeley boat. The boat is just under 16' long and will weigh about 130-150lbs. It seems like most of the trailers designed for light boats are intended for 12' or less, and the trailers for 16' boats are designed and sprung for much heavier boats than mine.
Trailex makes a line of lightweight trailers that could fit the need http://www.trailex.com/viewprod.cfm?id=63&mcat=85&cat_id=85 Abe has one, and I think Roy Moreford does too. The 350 pound capacity trailer would do the job.
Is anyone aware of any other similar product or have any alternatives to suggest?
09-23-2008, 11:27 PM
I use a little 16 ft galvanized trailer for a small pulling boat and I removed all the leaves from the springs except the main leaf.
It worked out pretty well.
09-23-2008, 11:40 PM
Ditto -- taking out a leaf or two is the cheapest way to do it. You can also buy a shorter trailer built for a light boat and then extend the tongue. All those parts are available and bolt together, and it's easy to adjust the axle position on most trailers if you need to -- but you probably won't need to.
I've bought stuff here, good prices and they have everything:
So there's the Harbor Freight trailer. And Northern Tool and Equipment sells one that appears nearly identical. I think I remember complaints those trailers not using standard hardware (replacement parts).
Any other mail order options?
09-24-2008, 12:19 PM
Nooooooooo! Don't go for the HF or NT trailers -- they are rated for 1300+ lbs, and in my experience pulling the smaller leafsprings only results in more slop, bounce, and is still too stiffly sprung for light boats.
I can't get anyone to work on the trailer (bearing replacement), the average response being "Ah, a disposable chinese trailer -- won't touch it". Also none of the Bearing Buddy sizes will fit my non-standard Chinese hub, but other HF trailers will take them sometimes.
The quality of the steel hubs, spindles, and bearings is very poor. "Don't ask me how I know this..." (I had to buy a second HF trailer to replace the axle on my first). One of the fenders broke and fell off on the highway, lucky it didn't kill anyone...
The Trailex models (SUT 200, 500, etc) are highly regarded for canoe and small boat transport, plus are very lightweight which makes storage and handling nicer. And aluminum doesn't rust if you do saltwater stuff.
Thanks Thorne. I think there was a discussion of your trailer on the forum a few months ago. That's what I referred to in my last post. Couldn't think of who, or find it in the search though.
I guess the options are find a better base to build from or spend a few hundred more for the trailex.
09-24-2008, 01:11 PM
You can always get a used US-made boat trailer, then have the axle / spindles / hubs / bearings replaced as needed.
EZloader makes a sweet one that I saw up in Oregon last weekend -- oil-bath bearings, all galvanized, nice soft suspension. Suspect it costs as much or more than the pricey Trailex models but would be better for long hauls.
09-24-2008, 03:00 PM
Whats the outfit with plans for a small trailer in wood?
I saw one last summer pulling a Whitehall and the guy had varnished it with its laminated post. They look good and probably perfect for a small boat.
09-24-2008, 05:21 PM
The lightest Trailex looks very nice indeed, but I think that at $870 I'd try used on-line and want ads first.
The HF junk sound like good money after bad.
09-24-2008, 05:44 PM
Hmm - I've modified two of the cheap bolt-together Chinese trailers over the years and never had any trouble; the bearings in mine are standard sizes, and it's easy to work on them yourself. The fenders are crap, I agree. Thorne, I think your boat may be heavier - I've never put more than 300# on mine. I think they come in several different variations. Or perhaps fresh water is easier on them.
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