Page 2 of 6 FirstFirst 123 ... LastLast
Results 36 to 70 of 191

Thread: Small boat trailer design w/light suspension, folding, good support?

  1. #36
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Western Washington
    Posts
    2,889

    Default Re: Small boat trailer design w/light suspension, folding, good support?

    Thorne, in addition to your original requirements you've further clarified that:
    1.You do high milage trailering on rough roads.
    2. You've already done the Harbor Freight / Northern tool cheapy trailer route at least twice, and you've extensively rebuilt these trailers and note that they are not for you.
    3. You've owned an old style Holsclaw trailer which you liked, and which you feel provides suitable suspension.
    4. You're considering building some sort of trailer if you can find a suitable design.
    5. You own an EZ Loader galvanized trailer which you like, but you want additional shock absorbtion for a light boat.

    Seems to me any commercial trailer, or trailer parts that you buy or build up, are going in be in the 1000 pound load category or heavier. Essentially you have said you need that sort of rolling stock for durability and reliability, and it's too expensive to get any sort of "quality" trailer with a "lighter" rating.

    Seems to me that you probably recognize that building a "Holsclaw" style trailer from scratch involves a lot of additional details and work compared to a leaf spring style trailer.

    Why not try taking your 1000 pound capacity EZ Loader trailer and adding foam planks to the bunks and see if this provides the cushioning you want for your lightest boat? The foam I was thinking about is Dow Ethafoam. You might have seen this in the past on some aluminum canoes, I forget the canoe brand, but they came with a big thick black plank of Ethafoam along the gunnels, and I recall that it was tough as heck and seemed to hold up very well under abuse. I'm thinking of the densest Ethafoam variety, Ethafoam 900 at 9.5 pounds per cubic foot:

    http://www.qualityfoam.com/docs/ethafoam-900.pdf

    Perhaps the lesser densities would work too, I'm just not sure of their durability. I've never tried to buy it, priced it, or looked for it, but it might be worth a try.

    If this gives you improvements but is still not the cats's meow you can further experiment with altering the leaf springs on your EZ Loader per mcdenny's post.

    Or, you might reflect further on how a modified bunk system or other support system can provide further cushioning on a standard trailer - without being specific and without actually doing the design, I have to think that the two big springs and three shock absorbers on the old Holsclaw trailer might switch on some mental light bulbs for a not too complex bunk suspension arrangement. Providing additional suspension at the bunks might appeal to you in that it would not alter or compromise the road worthiness of the conventional EZ Loader or other trailer. Or, require you to feel resposible for the road worthiness of an all up trailer design that you do from scratch

  2. #37
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Location
    Cushing, Maine
    Posts
    3,036

    Default Re: Small boat trailer design w/light suspension, folding, good support?

    There are some bunk things I do to provide boat support. I pull the rollers and put in a padded wide full length keel support, then am real careful adusting the side bunks so that they stabilize but don't significantly support the boat. Then I cinch the boat down pretty hard; becoming one with the trailer and no point loading is the goal. I also take anything out of the boat which is hard... including oarlocks, rudders, loose seats, dagger boards etc. That goes in the back of the car, truck, or on the second deck which I can rig. Seems to have worked pretty well with the ducker at about 150 lbs. After 30 plus years she leaks a little but its not because of the trailer. I think the trailer I have is rated under 1000 lbs, but I would have to go look. It is a conventional leaf spring affair, which has a break back frame, real handy for shallow launches. I bought the smallest galvanized I could find many years ago and special ordered it with an extended tongue.

    If you decide to respring your trailer, lightening the springing, a custom trailer fabricator could figure out what would be needed.
    Ben Fuller
    Ran Tan, Liten Kuhling, Vernon Langille, Josef W., Merry Mouth, Imp, Macavity and a quiver of unamed 'yaks.
    "Bound fast is boatless man."

  3. #38
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Madison Wisconsin
    Posts
    8,427

    Default Re: Small boat trailer design w/light suspension, folding, good support?

    Unless it only gets temporary, short-term compression, ethafoam probably isn't a great choice. If you leave it weighted down for extended periods it tends to go flat and stay that way. It's great stuff for certain applications, but not for those where it's continually being squashed by something sitting on it.

  4. #39
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Location
    Cushing, Maine
    Posts
    3,036

    Default Re: Small boat trailer design w/light suspension, folding, good support?

    Ethafoam is a bit rigid. I like that tough closed cell foam used in back packing applications but it is not very thick.
    Ben Fuller
    Ran Tan, Liten Kuhling, Vernon Langille, Josef W., Merry Mouth, Imp, Macavity and a quiver of unamed 'yaks.
    "Bound fast is boatless man."

  5. #40
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Western Washington
    Posts
    2,889

    Default Re: Small boat trailer design w/light suspension, folding, good support?

    Quote Originally Posted by Todd Bradshaw View Post
    Unless it only gets temporary, short-term compression, ethafoam probably isn't a great choice. If you leave it weighted down for extended periods it tends to go flat and stay that way. It's great stuff for certain applications, but not for those where it's continually being squashed by something sitting on it.
    See page two of the Dow spec I provided for the foam I mentioned, Ethafoam 900. Note compressibility of Ethafoam 900, where average loadings are given for 10%, 25%, and 50% deflection. I think the specified boat weight by Thorne was 350 to 550 pounds. I assume his bunks would be at least 5 feet long by 4 inches wide and he'd use 2" thick foam. His worst loading for these two bunks is roughly one psi worst case.

    Per the spec, 84 psi gives 10% deflection. You have to guess what one psi loading gives.

    Note too, compressive creep per the spec.: Less than 10% at 20 psi for 1000 hours at 73 degrees F. Again, you have to guess what one psi loading gives.

    But, as I said, it's just something to try in lieu of building another trailer. It may or may not be satisfactory. I would hope that one could get enough foam for two bunks for around $30 or $40.

  6. #41
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Sound Beach, NY
    Posts
    3,120

    Default Re: Small boat trailer design w/light suspension, folding, good support?

    Quote Originally Posted by Thorne View Post
    Interesting stuff - thanks again!

    Johngs - have you considered making the tongue removable? As I mentioned in an earlier post, you can cut the backbone/tongue, fit a 3'-4' sleeve over it bolted to one end, and use strong SS bolts and locking/double nuts to attach the other end tor trailering. Depending on how much melonseed hangs over the back of the trailer, that might let you put it in the garage without the hoisting system.
    Thanks Thorne, My method works well, no cutting or additional parts. I think the boat hull weighs less than 150lbs, so it hoists easily.

  7. #42
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    SF Bay Area- Richmond
    Posts
    15,161

    Default Re: Small boat trailer design w/light suspension, folding, good support?

    I've repaired boats that were dropped in storage, so I'm a bit sensitive to that issue. And of course hoisting my 350lb dory is a much larger project, so I don't do it unless absolutely necessary...
    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
    Doctor Jacquin to Lieutenant D'Hubert, in Ridley Scott's first major film _The Duellists_.

  8. #43
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    40,234

    Default Re: Small boat trailer design w/light suspension, folding, good support?

    Twin,

    I'm perpetually on the same quest. My two little boats are only 150# & 70#. I was hoping your inquiry would unearth the perfect solution. King Trailers - up here in Ore-Gone - make an all-galvy, oil-bath trailer that has 12" tires, & is rated for 700#. They are willing to fit it with an extended tongue, or one can use the usual growth tricks on your own.

    http://www.kingtrailers.com/trailers...l?catId=158082

    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    http://www.harborwoodworking.com/boat.html

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  9. #44
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Chestertown, Md./Brooklin, Me.
    Posts
    319

    Default Re: Small boat trailer design w/light suspension, folding, good support?

    Dinghy trailers in the UK typically use a rubber torsion suspension system that is tuned to lower weight boats. They appear very similar to what is used in the expensive Trailex aluminum trailers. IMO it might be possible to buy just the axel/suspension system in the UK (at a reasonable price) and find the rest of the materials to complete it here in the US. That is my plan for a Shellback/rowing dinghy trailer.

    Frank

  10. #45
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Norwich,United Kingdom
    Posts
    4,727

    Default Re: Small boat trailer design w/light suspension, folding, good support?

    This is the sort of thing Frank refers to http://www.indespension.co.uk/b2c/ap...N35=006&slnk=1 .I suspect the cost of shiping might be a bit steep.

  11. #46
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    4,992

    Default Re: Small boat trailer design w/light suspension, folding, good support?

    John Beatty was unable to buy an off the shelf trailer in Fiji, so he designed and built one, buying the road wheels, suspension units and ball-hitch from the UK. He kindly wrote upthe build and supplied the drawings for the design which was for a Welsford Truant. The files are posted on the Welsford Yahoo Group so any one can join the group, many probably are members already, and download the files.

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/jwbuil...0for%20Truant/

    I think it's the first time I have seen a design available for home build of a trailer trolley combination.

    Possibly John might allow the files to be loaded on Google Docs so everyone can see them.

  12. #47
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Western Washington
    Posts
    2,889

    Default Re: Small boat trailer design w/light suspension, folding, good support?

    Quote Originally Posted by Thorne View Post
    .....Not willing to consider torsion axles, or suspension systems rated for 1000+lbs, both of which seem to be the only lightweight ones readily available from Northern Tool and other major retailers....
    Does this rule out torsion axles all together, or does it just rule out torsion axles rated over 1000 lbs?

  13. #48
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Brunswick, Maine
    Posts
    1,183

    Default Re: Small boat trailer design w/light suspension, folding, good support?

    An aside: My boat, a Coquina, overhangs the end of its trailer by enough that the trailer's tail lights are hard to see, so I've been thinking about copying Thorne's rig and making a stern bracket to carry the lights and license plate up where they are visible. This would also allow me to remove the lights and store them in the car before launching the boat, thereby keeping them dry. Has anyone (besides Thorne) done this before? And is it even vaguely legal?

  14. #49
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    40,234

    Default Re: Small boat trailer design w/light suspension, folding, good support?

    Rob,

    Perfectly legal in the states I travel in.

    I have a similar light bar, and have used it for several boats
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    http://www.harborwoodworking.com/boat.html

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  15. #50
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    SF Bay Area- Richmond
    Posts
    15,161

    Default Re: Small boat trailer design w/light suspension, folding, good support?

    The only non-legal bit of using a light bar is the side-lights part. I don't worry about the yellow side-lights not being part of the light bar setup, as the vastly greater visiblilty of the light bar (I have various reflectors and reflector tape plus the lights on mine) seems more important than any side lighting -- particularly when the hull is painted white.

    I suppose there is some very slight legal risk in the light bar without the side lights, but suspect it would be a very small part of any overall legal fallout from an accident. Worth it in my book!

    Last edited by Thorne; 01-17-2011 at 11:08 PM.
    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
    Doctor Jacquin to Lieutenant D'Hubert, in Ridley Scott's first major film _The Duellists_.

  16. #51
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    London SE23
    Posts
    662

    Default Re: Small boat trailer design w/light suspension, folding, good support?

    Make sure the wheel assembly is not simply attached to the end of a transverse leaf spring. My first canoe yawl once adopted an alarming and noisy list at 50 mph, and it took me a good 10 minutes to find where that wheel went. The spring had rusted through behind one of its attachment straps.

  17. #52
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    SF Bay Area- Richmond
    Posts
    15,161

    Default Re: Small boat trailer design w/light suspension, folding, good support?

    (grin) Yeah, I once lost an entire wheel off my little utility trailer on the M5 south of Worcester. Luckily it was the offside wheel, so when I pulled over to the side of the road, it passed me doing about 20' hops into the fields -- rather than into opposing traffic.

    Again, this trailer design question isn't for my immediate needs -- I have two that should work OK for my boats. But for my next trailer, and for folks posting here looking for trailers, I wanted to open a dialog to see what the options are to purchasing a commercial boat trailer.
    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
    Doctor Jacquin to Lieutenant D'Hubert, in Ridley Scott's first major film _The Duellists_.

  18. #53
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Central Coast, Ca
    Posts
    16,864

    Default Re: Small boat trailer design w/light suspension, folding, good support?

    These light assembly's have sidelights on them, or are they just reflectors?



    "An under 80"" combination tail light. Includes the following functions: stop,
    turn, tail, rear reflex, side marker, side reflex and license light (""L"" suffix only)."

    Starting At: $5.50

  19. #54
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    St. Mary's County, MD
    Posts
    884

    Default Re: Small boat trailer design w/light suspension, folding, good support?

    The sidelights that Thorne is refering to are the ones up nearer the front of the trailer. Given the numbers of trailers I see on the road all the time with no lights, broken lights, etc, I agree that you would be in very little danger of being ticketed for the lack of them as long as you had good side reflectors and a well working taillight/light bar set-up.

    It's interesting that many light kits advertised as "complete" don't include those sidelights.

    Bob

  20. #55
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Placerville, CA
    Posts
    806

    Default Re: Small boat trailer design w/light suspension, folding, good support?

    A few years ago, I read an article about building a wooden trailer, maybe designed by LF Herreshoff? It may have been in an old issue of Woodboat, but I couldn't find the reference using the back-issue search tool.

    Ed

  21. #56
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    SF Bay Area- Richmond
    Posts
    15,161

    Default Re: Small boat trailer design w/light suspension, folding, good support?

    Here's an interesting thread on the side/clearance lights, requirements for which of course vary state-to-state
    http://continuouswave.com/ubb/Forum6/HTML/001528.html

    The lights -
    http://www.iboats.com/Boat-Trailer-C...view_id.217593

    And of course if you are concerned about these you can set up a wiring run to clearance lights on either side of the wiring harness for the light board. The lights themselves would attach to the sides of the boat (oarlocks?) or with magnets or ties to the sides of the trailer.
    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
    Doctor Jacquin to Lieutenant D'Hubert, in Ridley Scott's first major film _The Duellists_.

  22. #57
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Central Coast, Ca
    Posts
    16,864

    Default Re: Small boat trailer design w/light suspension, folding, good support?

    Conspicuity tape is most excellent.
    Although not DOT required, it provides high visibility. If you value your boat this stuff is worth every penny.
    I use it all the way down both sides of my trailers.


  23. #58
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Brunswick, Maine
    Posts
    1,183

    Default Re: Small boat trailer design w/light suspension, folding, good support?

    I did a little google search on trailer lights and found that, according to the BoatUS website's info, federal regs require that lights be permanently fastened to the trailer itself, and the rules on side/clearance lights vary from state to state. I am still inclined to go with the light bar and just hope I never run into a (ahem) law officer with an inclination toward strict compliance.

  24. #59
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Central Coast, Ca
    Posts
    16,864

    Default Re: Small boat trailer design w/light suspension, folding, good support?

    Have you eer seen a federal police officer? Let alone been stopped by one?
    Those federal regs are for manfacturers. Look at your state laws (the one on the license plate) those can get you in trouble.

  25. #60
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Placerville, CA
    Posts
    806

    Default Re: Small boat trailer design w/light suspension, folding, good support?

    Found the article on the wooden trailer: Woodenboat #101 p82-85 "The Buckboard Trailer" by Richard Jagels with drawings by Arch Davis. Includes plans.

  26. #61
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Western Washington
    Posts
    2,889

    Default Re: Small boat trailer design w/light suspension, folding, good support?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Armstrong View Post
    Found the article on the wooden trailer: Woodenboat #101 p82-85 "The Buckboard Trailer" by Richard Jagels with drawings by Arch Davis. Includes plans.
    You can get the plans and article on line for free, Google Books:

    http://books.google.com/books?id=O7x...ler%22&f=false

  27. #62
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    40,234

    Default Re: Small boat trailer design w/light suspension, folding, good support?

    Quite interesting.

    Twin, if you decide to build one of these, I wanna look at it.
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    http://www.harborwoodworking.com/boat.html

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  28. #63
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    SF Bay Area- Richmond
    Posts
    15,161

    Default Re: Small boat trailer design w/light suspension, folding, good support?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Armstrong View Post
    Found the article on the wooden trailer: Woodenboat #101 p82-85 "The Buckboard Trailer" by Richard Jagels with drawings by Arch Davis. Includes plans.
    Gosh -- I'll run right out and start taking apart the nearest buckboard! Where is the nearest museum that would have one...hmmmm.

    An interesting design, but I'd modify it to take a commercial boat trailer axle and the lightest leafsprings possible. You wouldn't want to lend this to anyone, as a single slow jack-knifing (and I've seen a number of these on tricky reverses and beach launches) could crack the wood tongue and you might not know about it until (far) too late.

    And as I mentioned earlier, ya gotta get whatever you build past the DMV inspectors. I've (re)registered a number of boats and trailers, including two home-build/modified trailers, without a problem -- but everything was close to a commercial design and the trailers all metal.

    TRAILER **TOO LIGHTWEIGHT** ISSUES?

    I wanted to raise another issue at this point, which is that boat trailers can be too lightweight for some trailering conditions. Last year I came very close to losing my Cosine Wherry on my HF mod trailer -- all due to very high winds. It was handling an extremely windy tow along the California Delta bottom land quite well and not showing any of the usual signs of instability or excessive speed.

    But when the road ran up onto the top of the levee along the Sacramento River, the wind was blowing across the river with gusts over 70mph, and the boat and trailer were blown up onto one wheel at around 30 degrees -- the maximum that the towball would allow. I immediately slowed down and the rig slammed back down onto the windward tire, and was able to pull over and head slowly home.

    I suspect that this would not have happened had I been towing my dory skiff (350lbs or so) on the galvanized EZLoader trailer (200lbs or so). But the Cosine Wherry is under 100lbs, and the HF trailer under 150lbs -- light enough to be flipped up by the gusts.
    Last edited by Thorne; 01-20-2011 at 08:31 AM.
    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
    Doctor Jacquin to Lieutenant D'Hubert, in Ridley Scott's first major film _The Duellists_.

  29. #64
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Sioux City, Iowa (Idiot Out Walking Around)
    Posts
    2,101

    Default Re: Small boat trailer design w/light suspension, folding, good support?

    Why not look into ATV spring/shock combos...they arent the heaviest things in the world and the suspension is designed for quite a bit of travel. Getting the standard duty ones and possibly using a fulcrum to increase the force on the spring by the load should provide quite a cushy ride for not all that much dinero
    Steve Lewis
    Formerly Lewisboats (don't try to change your email address!)

    http://angelfire.com/ego/lewisboatworks

  30. #65
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Placerville, CA
    Posts
    806

    Default Re: Small boat trailer design w/light suspension, folding, good support?

    They left off a few pages in that Google Books preview, unless I'm missing something. The WB article had dimensions and a detail for constructing the axle/spring support (you don't have to find one off of an old wagon ). I have not attempted to register a home-built trailer with DMV, though, and I can imagine they wouldn't be eager to allow a wood-frame structure on the road.

    Ed

  31. #66
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Western Washington
    Posts
    2,889

    Default Re: Small boat trailer design w/light suspension, folding, good support?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Armstrong View Post
    They left off a few pages in that Google Books preview,,,,,,Ed
    That's really interesting! Just last night you could see more pages, including a dimensioned profile and a cross section looking forward at the axle. I'm not a conspiracy theory type, but I wonder if Google books has a little built in program that limits page access based on number of views in the hope of selling a few more books????

  32. #67
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Western Washington
    Posts
    2,889

    Default Re: Small boat trailer design w/light suspension, folding, good support?


  33. #68
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Location
    Cushing, Maine
    Posts
    3,036

    Default Re: Small boat trailer design w/light suspension, folding, good support?

    You can download articles from Wooden Boat for very little money, dimes I think, so it would be easy to get a copy of the full article if you have no archive. The Google version was from WB's project book.
    Ben Fuller
    Ran Tan, Liten Kuhling, Vernon Langille, Josef W., Merry Mouth, Imp, Macavity and a quiver of unamed 'yaks.
    "Bound fast is boatless man."

  34. #69
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    Deale Maryland USA
    Posts
    839

    Default Re: Small boat trailer design w/light suspension, folding, good support?

    thorne, dont know how far you want to go on the subject, But I do remember in 2002 a french friend had brought 2 sailboats to raid finland on 2 trailors, the following year he came with a van, and a double trailer, he dis-assembled both trailers and stowed them in the van, and the boats went on the double trailer, I do recall the trailers were fully galvanized, completly adjustable on axle location and hull supports and as mentioned very easily disassembled and reassembled.
    There's one rich man onboard and there's twentyfive poor men and they enjoy it more then the rich man does -Jim Kilroy when asked if yacht racing is a rich mans sport.

  35. #70
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Newburgh, NY USA
    Posts
    1,635

    Default Re: Small boat trailer design w/light suspension, folding, good support?

    i just found a used holsclaw trailer. the price is very right. would it be a good alternative for either my chestnut freighter or penguin?
    i plan on fitting cradles/bunks for either and maybe even carry both at the same time. i guess i'm wondering what people who have used the
    holsclaw think about trailering with them.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •