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

  1. #51
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    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.

  2. #52
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    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."
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    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?



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    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

  5. #55
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    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

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    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_.

  7. #57
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    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.


  8. #58
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    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.

  9. #59
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    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.

  10. #60
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    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.

  11. #61
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    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

  12. #62
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    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)

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    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 09:31 AM.
    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
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    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
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    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

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    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????

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


  18. #68
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    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
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    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.

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    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.

  21. #71
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    Default Re: Small boat trailer design w/light suspension, folding, good support?

    How about something like this Thorne?

    http://sfbay.craigslist.org/eby/boa/2178029486.html

    I'm not sure what those pwc weigh, but seems they would be in your range.

  22. #72
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    Default Re: Small boat trailer design w/light suspension, folding, good support?

    John L - the Holsclaw is a wonderful trailer, so if you can get yours fixed up it will be well worth the money. Check for rust, and remember that on some of the smaller models you have to pull the hub and bearings to change wheels.

    Juniper - While the PWC trailers might be OK for adding a longer tongue for heavier wooden boats, I don't see any rated for less than 1200 lbs, and many higher -- which probably indicates the use of 2000lb leaf springs. WAY too stiff for our small lightweight wooden boats!

    http://www.shorelandr.com/pages/t_mo....aspx?type=pwc
    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
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    Default Re: Small boat trailer design w/light suspension, folding, good support?

    I went to their site and you are correct...2100gvwr. Sorry for the lack of due diligence on my part.

    Here's a link to someone's page with similar ideas on trailers:

    http://www.shortypen.com/essays/trailer2/

    One idea was to remove a leaf or two to make the suspension less rigid...makes sense to me. Four-wheel drive fanatics often add leafs to beef up suspension so it should also work in reverse.
    Last edited by JuniperHeartPine; 01-25-2011 at 01:04 PM.

  24. #74
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    Default Re: Small boat trailer design w/light suspension, folding, good support?

    Quote Originally Posted by JuniperHeartPine View Post
    One idea was to remove a leaf or two to make the suspension less rigid...makes sense to me. Four-wheel drive fanatics often add leafs to beef up suspension so it should also work in reverse.
    Been there, done that, have loud banging noises every time the HF trailer hits a bump. Not a good idea!

    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
    Doctor Jacquin to Lieutenant D'Hubert, in Ridley Scott's first major film _The Duellists_.

  25. #75
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    Default Re: Small boat trailer design w/light suspension, folding, good support?

    Quote Originally Posted by JuniperHeartPine View Post
    ....Here's a link to someone's page with similar ideas on trailers:

    http://www.shortypen.com/essays/trailer2/
    That's an interesting site. I followed the link to the Castle Craft trailer site and noticed the 95 pound Trailex single canoe trailer (unfortunately just 200 pound capacity). So does anyone know the details of Trailex's "unique rubberized steel" suspension that "virtually eliminates road bounce? I'd love to have a 100 pound trailer with a 600 pound capacity.

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

    [QUOTE=Thorne;2857546]Been there, done that, have loud banging noises every time the HF trailer hits a bump. Not a good idea!

    Thorne, stick a piece of oak in that space under the spring, it will quiet it right down

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

    Jake - will do that. I've been holding out for a rubber spacer but never remember when I'm at the store...

    Dave W - we'd probably all like that, as the Trailex trailers seem to be the only commercial ones easily available with a suspension rated at less than 1000lbs. But as my post earlier mentioned, there is one downside if the boat and trailer are uber-lightweight: the trailer and boat may be blown sideways/upwards and tipped over, or just blown into opposing traffic -- so you'd need to take greater care on windy days.
    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
    Doctor Jacquin to Lieutenant D'Hubert, in Ridley Scott's first major film _The Duellists_.

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

    If your wanting to reduce the bounce on a generic trailer or one customized to work with boats under 600 lbs then what about using small motorcycle or moped shocks on the axle. They run from $13 and up and come in all shapes and sizes.
    http://www.scooterparts4less.com/ALL_Shocks.htm

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

    Rkler - read some of the earlier posts in this thread about the Holsclaw coil spring and shock suspension. It is fairly complex for a number of good reasons, all of which have to do with stability and a soft ride. As I've said several times here, I really don't want to risk either the boats or lives by experimenting with trailer suspension designs! And getting the DMV to approve one might be impossible anyway.
    Last edited by Thorne; 01-26-2011 at 12:51 AM.
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    Default Re: Small boat trailer design w/light suspension, folding, good support?

    Thorne,

    It seems to me that the affordable solution has to be based on a "standard" galvanised or aluminum trailer. So it will be sprung heavier than what you would like. I think that the way to deal with that is going to be with a secondary support system, that is a dolly, cradle, or other structure supporting the boat, which is padded, suspended, slung, sprung, or in some way partially isolated from the direct shocks of the primary suspension. It seems that any craft lightweight and fragile enough to require such special handling would be light enough to coble up some such little individual frame or cradle. I'm envisioning say a standard utility trailer with a simple rectangular flat bed and extendable tongue, and a little roll on roll off dolly customized for each boat with maybe some of those fat low pressure beach wheels that would help to absorb some of the shock.

    Bob

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

    The problem with that is that it doesn't solve the bouncing on bumps, constant rattle and clang and jerking on your bumper that comes with towing an underloaded trailer. I remember once crossing a set of railroad tracks, pulling a Hobie 14 (250 lbs) on the standard-issue, leaf spring trailer. I looked in the mirror and watched the whole thing jumping straight up and down about 8". I've never tried taking apart leaf springs and can't comment on the process, but that one probably could have used it. Of course, this is all easy for me to say, since I own the old Holsclaw that rides perfectly with three kayaks on it, but if you've never tried something similar you wouldn't believe the difference. Cushioning the boat on an overly stiff trailer certainly might be a good idea, but it's treating the symptoms of the problem, not addressing the cause.

  32. #82
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    Default Re: Small boat trailer design w/light suspension, folding, good support?

    Rack and Roll is the currently produced trailer with that sort of suspension, but kind of pricey at 2000 bucks or more.

    Bob

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

    Isn't one possible solution to a light boat on a heavily rated trailer to load the trailer? For example, I have a trailer rated at a thousand pounds and my boat probably weighs about 160 pounds. I disrecall who, but on a thread once a Washington boat builder said he solves this problem by putting weighted plywood platforms on supports on the trailer to make the load heavier. He had tried just plywood but the trailer started floating...

    One of my brothers mentioned putting steel heavy steel bars on my trailer to bring the load closer to the rating. I would rather have a lighter load myself but I can certainly see the sense in doing this.

  34. #84
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    Default Re: Small boat trailer design w/light suspension, folding, good support?

    That is a possible solution, but certainly not optimal as you may reach a point in an emergency stop or turn where the additional weight (no matter how low on the trailer frame) could cause serious problems. Ditto with beach-launching or slippery ramps and 2-wheel-drive vehicles...
    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
    Doctor Jacquin to Lieutenant D'Hubert, in Ridley Scott's first major film _The Duellists_.

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

    There is a problem of using excessive padding or cushioning between the trailer and the boat. Whenever the padding absorbs a shock, the boat is loose on the trailer and will likely shift.

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

    Thorne, you sure seem impressed with the old Holsclaw trailers. For nostalgia's sake have you seen this 1962 brochure:

    http://www.fiberglassics.com/library/Holsclaw

    I'd still like to hear what your objection to torsion axles is.

  37. #87
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    Default Re: Small boat trailer design w/light suspension, folding, good support?

    Quote Originally Posted by Canoeyawl View Post
    There is a problem of using excessive padding or cushioning between the trailer and the boat. Whenever the padding absorbs a shock, the boat is loose on the trailer and will likely shift.
    Yes and No. In the scheme I am thinking of, the boat is securely/rigidly lashed to its cradle or dolly, and the movement is between the cradle/dolly and the trailer. The padding or suspension should absorb shock but damp out oscillation quickly.

    Bob

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

    Quote Originally Posted by dredbob View Post
    Yes and No. In the scheme I am thinking of, the boat is securely/rigidly lashed to its cradle or dolly, and the movement is between the cradle/dolly and the trailer. The padding or suspension should absorb shock but damp out oscillation quickly.

    Bob
    I think you're on a viable track Bob.

    As I previously posted:

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Wright View Post
    ...Or, you might reflect further on how a modified bunk system or other support system can provide further cushioning on a standard trailer - ...
    Commonly trailer trailer bunks are secured with one bolt forward and one bolt aft, and that is where additional cushioning coud easily be provided, especially for a light load. Just one simple way pictured below. More cushioning / movement could be provided with other arrangements. These shock mounts are from Stock Drive Products https://sdp-si.com/estore/Direct.asp...upID=896#40519



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

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Wright View Post
    I'd still like to hear what your objection to torsion axles is.
    What about 3' hops into the air at 55mph don't you think objectionable? Any good investigation into torsion axles will tell you that they are best used for vehicles with a fixed weight near the limit of the torsion axle -- portable generators, pump engines on trailers, etc.

    For something like a boat trailer that may be moved empty, and in most cases when loaded with small wooden boats doesn't come within 50% of the weight limit of the torsion axle, it could be disastrous -- which is why you don't see any of the commercial boat trailers with those axles.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thorne View Post
    -- same problem with torsion suspension, as I can attest that it is VERY bad about hopping unless loaded within 60-80% of max weight.

    My Aeroflow trailer has torsion suspension, and is scary to tow empty as it will do repeated 3' vertical hops on bad freeway sections. It but handles a near-max load very nicely.
    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
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    Default Re: Small boat trailer design w/light suspension, folding, good support?

    Twin,

    I am but an egg when it comes to trailer expertise. But I notice that the King trailers that I linked to back a ways all seem to have torsion axles. Not having used one, I'm not sure if they suffer from the same jackrabbit demeanor you've experienced... if not loaded fully enough.
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    http://www.harborwoodworking.com/boat.html

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Gray View Post
    Isn't one possible solution to a light boat on a heavily rated trailer to load the trailer? For example, I have a trailer rated at a thousand pounds and my boat probably weighs about 160 pounds. I disrecall who, but on a thread once a Washington boat builder said he solves this problem by putting weighted plywood platforms on supports on the trailer to make the load heavier. He had tried just plywood but the trailer started floating...

    One of my brothers mentioned putting steel heavy steel bars on my trailer to bring the load closer to the rating. I would rather have a lighter load myself but I can certainly see the sense in doing this.
    Eric Hvalsoe does this. Its not a lot of weight, maybe 100lbs I think, Steel or lead bolted to the frame of the trailer. I seem to recall he uses a fairly light weight flat bed trailer and props the boat up with fenders.


    It seems that we are coming to a point: Every trailer is a compromise, much the same as the boats themselves. A light duty trailer is going to be light weight and potentially unstable in cross winds, and a heavy(er) trailer is going to be too stiff for our little boats. And the ideal suspension is more complicated than one of us could manage without some metal fabrication equipment, and the simple suspension doesn't reverse engineer down to our load level very well.

    Im starting to like the intermediary cradle idea. It would even make it possible to use one trailer with multiple boats, and ease a launch on a shallow beach or ramp. Might even make storage simpler too, and the cradles probably fit closer together than multiple trailers. plus less tax, wear and tear, lights....
    Ben Sebens, LPN

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

    The Brits have small trailers that ride on larger trailers, and I think this is to deal with the big tidal range and/or beach launching. But it is a very expensive and complex solution for the overall issue of most modern trailers being sprung for 4x the average boat weight.
    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
    Doctor Jacquin to Lieutenant D'Hubert, in Ridley Scott's first major film _The Duellists_.

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

    surplus center (www.surpluscenter.com) offers a coil over shock absorber that is made for go cart suspensions. the support 100 lb per inch of travel. a pair of these, or two if your boat requires, on an axle would provide all the suspension needed. So you would have to build a swing arm axle mounting like those used on the back of many cars. If you are a fabricator type it should not be that hard. you can buy a swinging tongue hinge.

    jerry

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Wright View Post
    That's an interesting site. I followed the link to the Castle Craft trailer site and noticed the 95 pound Trailex single canoe trailer (unfortunately just 200 pound capacity). So does anyone know the details of Trailex's "unique rubberized steel" suspension that "virtually eliminates road bounce? I'd love to have a 100 pound trailer with a 600 pound capacity.
    Dave--

    I have this trailer. It a Trailex sh-200. I use it to trail my 17' Adirondack Guideboat and just finished a 1600 mile pull. The trailer works well and there was little bounce. Of course, it does bounce, but not because of the suspension. The trailer weighs less than 100 lbs and my boat 75. No amount of suspension or low tire pressure will prevent it from jumping out of a pothole some. However, the whole thing is so light that it flies around as a single, light unit and there's no mass to strain the boat. I installed keel pads to take the load and the boat seems happy enough. It was much happier on NY roads than I was!

    The suspension is a simple, short fiber-reinforced strap the axle rides on. The strap (about 4" long) spans a gap in the trailer bracket and the axle is attached to the strap. There is a little give, but not much. Again, the "suspension" in this trailer is based on a bit of strap give, the tire flex, and the lack of punishing mass of the trailer itself.

    The Yakama system is a real suspension for a light boat, ut it is priicey and complex. It looks great, but the Trailex works really well for my needs.

  45. #95
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    Default Re: Small boat trailer design w/light suspension, folding, good support?

    Quote Originally Posted by Thorne View Post
    The Brits have small trailers that ride on larger trailers, and I think this is to deal with the big tidal range and/or beach launching. But it is a very expensive and complex solution for the overall issue of most modern trailers being sprung for 4x the average boat weight.
    The main reason for the launching trolley combined with a road trailer is to eliminate the risk of damage to wheel bearings when launching the boat.I have to say that to European eyes the layout of American trailers is a bit strange;there seems to be a lot of trailer ahead of the boat and supports a very long way aft.The excess length can get expensive if you use ferries that charge by length so we tend not to use more length at the bow than we have to and the aft end is no longer than it needs to be because it would dig in when unloading.I would certainly agree that torsion based suspension systems can be of variable quality and I miss the old Flexitors which were replaced by the less sophisticated versions you seem familiar with.

  46. #96
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    Default Re: Small boat trailer design w/light suspension, folding, good support?

    You might be able to get the suspension parts (replacement) for these and build your own. This one is rated for 250 lbs.

    http://www.discount-trailers.com/small-boat-trailer.htm

    and

    http://www.discount-trailers.com/fis...t_trailers.htm

    Steve Lewis
    Formerly Lewisboats (don't try to change your email address!)

    http://angelfire.com/ego/lewisboatworks

  47. #97
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    Default Re: Small boat trailer design w/light suspension, folding, good support?

    Maybe something in between the Harbor Freight Models and the Trailex is this Northern Tool trailer kit: 610 lbs capacity, 190 lbs shipping weight, 600 bucks including shipping (In contrast the 500 pound Trailex weighs 180 lbs, has 500 lb capacity, and costs $1170 plus $50 shipping)


    http://www.northerntool.com/shop/too...5329_200365329


  48. #98
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    Default Re: Small boat trailer design w/light suspension, folding, good support?

    Interesting suggestion, Dave! I can't find the rating for the leaf springs even in the pdf file/manual, which are often much stiffer than the load rating would indicate. For example I believe the springs on the HF utility trailers are rated for 2000lb, but the trailer load rating (recently revised downward from 1350) is 1090lbs.
    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
    Doctor Jacquin to Lieutenant D'Hubert, in Ridley Scott's first major film _The Duellists_.

  49. #99
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    Default Re: Small boat trailer design w/light suspension, folding, good support?

    What I don't like about the trailex trailers is that it is hard to build in padded full length keel support. Point loading on traditional and lightly built boats is the killer. With full length support and nice long padded bunks that are just set to stabilize but not take significant weight you can cinch the boat down pretty hard so that even if the trailer bounces, the boat goes with it without bouncing on the trailer.

    The dolly system has an additional benefit besides the ability to make nice custom bunks and supports: it lets you launch on real shallow beaches where you can't get the trailer in deeply enough. Last year at the Small Reach Regatta we had made an extension to deal with this.

    Since I have dollys I think my next trailer might be a flat bed.

    To the point of trailer length, for traditional boats you may need to adjust the axle. Most commercial trailers assume that you have an engine and the axle is back further than is desirable for an oar/sail boat, so when you pull the boat forward your tongue load can be too high. I recall 10% as the magic number.
    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."

  50. #100
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    Default Re: Small boat trailer design w/light suspension, folding, good support?

    For dories and other boats with flat bottoms, I usually just attach a 2x12 covered with carpet to the backbone of the trailer For trailers like the Trailex you can use blocks to brace the plank.

    As for tongue weight, I go with 10-15%, but often have to position the boat further aft on the trailer than the stock supports cover. So I'll extend the 2x12 aft and mount a skeg/keel roller to support that end of the boat.
    Last edited by Thorne; 01-27-2011 at 10:55 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_.

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