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Thread: Working on trailer setup for SOF rowboat

  1. #1
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    Default Working on trailer setup for SOF rowboat

    Like the title says, I'm working on setting up a trailer so that I can actually use my boat. Right now it's kind of in the prototype phase; I'm looking for critiques or suggestions to make thinks easier and protect the boat. As you can see, I've got a keel support (which will get some wedges to deal with the rocker) and two sort-of cradles, which will get padding and carpet. I'm going to concoct something safer for the stem to rest against than the original rubber roller. Probably the left rear cradle half, visible in the first picture, will get longer so that I can put the keel on it as I shove the boat onto the trailer.

    Thoughts?






  2. #2
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    Default Re: Working on trailer setup for SOF rowboat

    Suspend it in a soft fabric cradle ?
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Working on trailer setup for SOF rowboat

    Is it light enough to lift it on to the trailer?
    If not there could be an issue while loading, if you try to slide the boat over the rear cradle the broader central section of the boat will only be supported by the top of the cradle so putting a point load on the skin as it passes.
    You could make the rear cradle removable then fit it after loading.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Working on trailer setup for SOF rowboat

    Yes, the boat is easily light enough to slide onto the trailer. I can even carry it for short distances if I get really desperate and lose my sense of self preservation.

    I had the idea of making one side (left) of the rear cradle wide enough that I could slid the boat over the flat of it. It might or might not be wide enough right now, but I can add some extra 4x6 as unobtrusively as possible. Point loads would not be great, especially if the boat has stuff in it.

    Quote Originally Posted by oldcodger View Post
    Is it light enough to lift it on to the trailer?
    If not there could be an issue while loading, if you try to slide the boat over the rear cradle the broader central section of the boat will only be supported by the top of the cradle so putting a point load on the skin as it passes.
    You could make the rear cradle removable then fit it after loading.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Working on trailer setup for SOF rowboat

    With my SOF rowboat, I trailer it upside down and use the gunnels to brace it and padded straps over the top(bottom) at those same points (usually just two points). I've notched the cross members so the gunnel sits nicely and it distributes the load.

    It seems happy to travel this way and I haven't had any incidents.
    This also keeps it from filling with water on the fly.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Working on trailer setup for SOF rowboat

    Bill, i agree w/ oldcodger's concern

    ponderment, what if you reversed() the cradles you have ?

    a bow cradle similar to the one pictured as the rear

    and one amidships at the widest/deepest point in the hull

    AND a walkboard all the way to the rear of the trailer w/ a wide roller at the end

    let the weight of the hull rest on her keel on the walkboard w/ the 2 cradles being made from 4 pieces (2-pieces separated in the center to simply maintain balance for each cradle)

    sw
    "we are the people, our parents warned us about" (jb)

    steve

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Working on trailer setup for SOF rowboat

    The beauty of these boats is that there is very little keel weight to worry about. I don't want to say you are over thinking this, but in my experience I have been successful trailering and car topping a number of different ways.
    Here is my solution for my Ruth design for a local outing. Not elegant, but it got the job done. I do the "lift" in two stages if it is by myself, but it rides easily. I would be more worried about chafing had I been going any distance, but this was a test trip prior to final bottom paint anyway.


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Working on trailer setup for SOF rowboat

    This boat has a lot of sheer--I think I'd have to raise it fifteen inches above trailer level to carry it upside down. That would simplify a lot of other things though.


    Quote Originally Posted by jtdums View Post
    The beauty of these boats is that there is very little keel weight to worry about. I don't want to say you are over thinking this, but in my experience I have been successful trailering and car topping a number of different ways.
    Here is my solution for my Ruth design for a local outing. Not elegant, but it got the job done. I do the "lift" in two stages if it is by myself, but it rides easily. I would be more worried about chafing had I been going any distance, but this was a test trip prior to final bottom paint anyway.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Working on trailer setup for SOF rowboat

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterSibley View Post
    Suspend it in a soft fabric cradle ?
    This.

    Make a flat bed with sides so that it can be slid on easily. Then use some webbing straps with winches hanging from the box sides to lift and cradle it.

    My Grandfathers launching rig suspended the boat in a sling from an axle that went over the boat on a pair of big cart wheels, so a sling is a perfectly good way to carry a boat.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Working on trailer setup for SOF rowboat

    Any chance of selling that trailer and getting a 'canoe trailer'? My fear is that it is sprung for a 1200 lb boat and yours is 80-ish, and the suspension will be of no help in softening jolts from the road. It might beat the boat to death, even though it is light enough to have little inertia on its own.

    If replacement isn't in the cards, I'd look into removing most of the leaves in the springs, and running tires at the low end of their inflation range, especially if you're not on the highway. Basically, if a trailer is designed for 1200 lbs (for example) it's only going to ride well with about 1200 lbs on it.

    Or get a jet ski and lash it on there for ballast...

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Working on trailer setup for SOF rowboat

    I carry my SOF row boat upside down like this:



    To load I just position the boat alongside the trailer and roll it over until one of the gunwales is resting on the ends of the bunks. I then pick up the other side then slide it sideways until it's supported on both gunwales. Foam blocks help to cushion the ride and prevent the gunwales from getting abraded by the bunks. The boat is kept in position by wooden pegs that fit in holes at the ends of the bunks. It is tied down with straps that pass through the gaps between the inwales and outwales. This avoids putting any stress on the frame or the skin.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Working on trailer setup for SOF rowboat

    Well, if I could afford a canoe trailer I'd have gotten one. Unfortunately there are no used ones available in my part of the country and new ones are ~$1200 which is a bit steep for me. I did remove most of the spring leaves, so the spring rate is at least in the neighborhood of what it should be.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chip Chester View Post
    Any chance of selling that trailer and getting a 'canoe trailer'? My fear is that it is sprung for a 1200 lb boat and yours is 80-ish, and the suspension will be of no help in softening jolts from the road. It might beat the boat to death, even though it is light enough to have little inertia on its own.

    If replacement isn't in the cards, I'd look into removing most of the leaves in the springs, and running tires at the low end of their inflation range, especially if you're not on the highway. Basically, if a trailer is designed for 1200 lbs (for example) it's only going to ride well with about 1200 lbs on it.

    Or get a jet ski and lash it on there for ballast...

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Working on trailer setup for SOF rowboat

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Mercer View Post
    Well, if I could afford a canoe trailer I'd have gotten one. Unfortunately there are no used ones available in my part of the country and new ones are ~$1200 which is a bit steep for me. I did remove most of the spring leaves, so the spring rate is at least in the neighborhood of what it should be.
    Sounds good. The wood framework is pretty substantial for such a light load, but does add some mass to the trailer. The curved wooden blocks under the boat could be made from minicell foam for a little more cushioning. https://www.nrs.com/product/2076/minicell-foam

    If you do decide to carry it upside down, this type of gunnel block work well. I have been considering getting a similar trailer for my guideboat and making a plywood storage box. I would use foam blocks to support the boat upside down on top of the box. If it rains, the boat won't have to be emptied.
    Management is the art of counting beans. Leadership is the art of making every being count. --Joe Finch

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Working on trailer setup for SOF rowboat

    I have removed all the spring leaves except the one with the locating bolt. This for my 20 ft wood and canvas Old Town
    " freighter" and even that is not soft enough. But it is a huge improvement.

    The least spring available for trailers is 2 leaves x 1-3/4 wide #750 each. Removing the extra leaf probably make a trailer good for about #1000
    I have always admired the light plane landing gear suspension that used bungy cord!


    https://www.easternmarine.com/Hook-E...-Leaf-Springs/

    Maybe you could sling the boat on the trailer using bungy cord?

    Last edited by Canoeyawl; 08-20-2018 at 08:30 PM.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Working on trailer setup for SOF rowboat

    I must have much softer leaves--when I tried to go down to one leaf it was frighteningly easy to bottom out the suspension and I quickly went back to two leaves.

    I've switched to the idea of carrying the boat upside down--when I get some work done on the system I'll post pictures.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Working on trailer setup for SOF rowboat

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Mercer View Post
    I must have much softer leaves--when I tried to go down to one leaf it was frighteningly easy to bottom out the suspension and I quickly went back to two leaves.

    I've switched to the idea of carrying the boat upside down--when I get some work done on the system I'll post pictures.
    Sometimes you just have to leaf well enough alone.
    Management is the art of counting beans. Leadership is the art of making every being count. --Joe Finch

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Working on trailer setup for SOF rowboat

    You can always ballast your trailer with a bit of lead to get it weighted correctly. If you build a chunky enough flatbed that'll help too.

    I'm skeptical of hard cradles. I like the idea of a flatbed trailer along with using big fenders shoved under the boat's bilges. Then I'd strap it down with the help of thwarts/spreaders that index on the rails (so the boat doesn't oil can when you tighten up the straps). Finally, I'd lash it down fore and aft. I'd relax all the straps and lines while storing it.

    It's really nice to be able to walk out on to a flatbed when retrieving the boat at the launch.

    Upside down on stretchers like BarryA shows above is a really nice solution too. Probably superior, overall. A little fussier for launching, but perfect for long term storage.

    BTW, NICE BOAT!
    Last edited by Yeadon; 08-24-2018 at 03:07 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by James McMullen View Post
    Yeadon is right, of course.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Working on trailer setup for SOF rowboat

    Well, since I work at an airport maybe I could borrow a set from somebody's Cub.

    Quote Originally Posted by Canoeyawl View Post
    I have removed all the spring leaves except the one with the locating bolt. This for my 20 ft wood and canvas Old Town
    " freighter" and even that is not soft enough. But it is a huge improvement.

    The least spring available for trailers is 2 leaves x 1-3/4 wide #750 each. Removing the extra leaf probably make a trailer good for about #1000
    I have always admired the light plane landing gear suspension that used bungy cord!


    https://www.easternmarine.com/Hook-E...-Leaf-Springs/

    Maybe you could sling the boat on the trailer using bungy cord?


  19. #19
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    Default Re: Working on trailer setup for SOF rowboat

    OK, I've changed course and am going for the upside-down look. Anybody think that this will create problems? The only thing I need to add is some support for the front of the longitudinals--will probable connect a cross beam to the trailer frame with some U-bolts I have--and padded gunwale support to keep the sides from spreading. And then paint it, if some short trips are successful.

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