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Thread: Trailer for new rowboat

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
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    Default Trailer for new rowboat

    I am completing a new 15' by 43" double-ended row boat, based on the guide boat design. Just big enough that a trailer will be necessary to conveniently carry it. The weight will be about 90-100 pounds. Looking for suggestions for a proper trailer. Here in Colorado water is not near at hand, thus the trailer must be sturdy enough for high speed highway use.

    DSC03604.jpg

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Trailer for new rowboat

    As far as I know, trailers for light weight wooden boats are not readily available. Most commercial trailers for 15-18 foot boats are sprung for a couple thousand pounds or more and will beat the heck out of your 100 pound beauty. A custom-built trailer may be your best option.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Trailer for new rowboat

    My first choice would be Trailex. They have several models for different weight ranges. I expect that this one would suit:

    https://www.trailex.com/products/pc/...-220-S-p39.htm



    My second, third, fourth and, well tenth choice would be Trailex too. I used to use a converted PWC trailer and that was ok but too heavily sprung and really too large for the purpose. Definitely sturdy enough for highway use although I might not take one down a long, bumpy fire road so I guess it depends on where the water is and the quality of the roads leading to it.
    - Chris

    Life is short. Go boating now!

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Trailer for new rowboat

    Great link, thanks.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Trailer for new rowboat

    Nice boat, looks a bit like a Herreshoff. Here's my now standard rant on trailers for little boats: Most are sprung too strong for our light boats. Some folks cut springs down on PWC type trailers, but for your 100 lbs they might still be too much. Trailex has the right springs, they are aluminum for light weight and corrosion resistance and work pretty well. Mine is an SUT-500-S, used for a 250 lb skiff.

    The problems I had with my Trailex started with the wheels and tires. The 12" set as supplied did not handle extended highway towing, they were unbalanced, vibrated and wore out on one trip up the coast. Trailex offered to replace the tires, but said replacements would be the same type tire. I bought replacement highway rated wheels and tires from another supplier, those have been fine for 8 years.

    The lights on Trailex are barely minimal, close spaced and down under the boat. If you want your boat seen at night, put a light bar on the transom (or on yours strapped across the gunnels).

    Finally, the roller brackets are sharp edged aluminum. Smooth off or cover the lead-in bracket to avoid boat damage.

    -Rick

  6. #6
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    Sep 2015
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    Viroqua, Wisconsin
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    Default Re: Trailer for new rowboat

    Good post Rick, thanks. I’m approaching the time I need to assemble the Trailex 220-S I bought earlier this year to get my soon-completed CLC Waterlust expedition canoe to its natural element. I’ll take your comments to heart once I get everything together & onto the road.

    Had a ShoreLander 40+ years ago for a 14’ stripper scow I’d built straight out of college. Trailer lasted longer than the scow, finally cut up & sold for scrap about 2003 when I couldn’t get the bearings off the axles for yet another replacement set. Besides I didn’t have a boat anymore & it was a PITA to have around to trip over.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
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    Charleston, SC USA
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    155

    Default Re: Trailer for new rowboat

    I faced that same issue with a 16’ sailboat. I ended up getting a new ez-loader john boat trailer for $1000 and modified the bunks to fit the sailboat hull. Works well. Used trailers: my experience trying to find one is if they are in good condition the seller wants about as much as new trailer. Any other used trailer I found would cost more to fix and replace parts that a new trailer. fabricating a custom trailer for that size boat is uneconomical vs a new factory built one.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Trailer for new rowboat

    Trailex, al lthe way.
    Clinton B. Chase
    Portland, Maine

    http://tinyurl.com/myboats

  9. #9
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    Mar 2009
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    Texas
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    Default Re: Trailer for new rowboat

    I like the idea of a small utility trailer that could be used to haul the boat around but that could be used for other things. There used to be a company called something like Redtrailer.com that sold a better version of the little 4x8 harbor freight trailer. Looks like they are gone.

    btw-nice boat!

  10. #10
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    Mar 2017
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    Loon Lake, Washington
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    Default Re: Trailer for new rowboat

    Ironton trailers are sold on Amazon and Northern Tool. Their "personal Watercraft and boat trailer kit" would work, and it's less than 600 bucks.

    I have no idea about the quality though -











    https://www.amazon.com/Ironton-Perso...s%2C258&sr=8-2

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Trailer for new rowboat

    The harbor freight trailer I’ve got (around 1000 lbs capacity) has metric bearings. And some of the dimensions on the races and spindle have changed since I bought it 100 years ago. Royal pita.

    Right or wrong, “standard” trailer bearings, races, etc are everywhere. I’d avoid metric if I had to do it again.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Trailer for new rowboat

    Harbor Freight trailers have metric bearings?!?!

    I was thinking about getting one of their trailers and making a boat trailer out of it. I was warned away from 'em because of the 12" wheels.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Trailer for new rowboat

    Quote Originally Posted by Etdbob View Post
    Harbor Freight trailers have metric bearings?!?!

    I was thinking about getting one of their trailers and making a boat trailer out of it. I was warned away from 'em because of the 12" wheels.
    In fairness, the trailer has held up for a long time.

    And I think they have standardized the hub/bearing/race/spindle/grease seal/grease cap dimensions.

    And I think they are now available on Amazon.

    But, they are not the same in one of the dimensions as the original old trailer and hubs I bought. I’ve been round and round trying to rebuild my original hubs. I think the change was only a couple of mm but that’s enough to screw everything up.

    I’ve got a thread on it somewhere but can’t locate it.

    One other thing, I’m pretty sure I put 14” tires on with the the original hubs and fender with no issue.

    edit-they were 4.80x12 wheel with 20.5” tire

    https://www.etrailer.com/Trailer-Tir...S12B4WMHP.html

    edit 2: Here it is. More than I wanted to know:

    http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...hlight=bearing
    Last edited by bluedog225; 08-05-2020 at 09:38 PM.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Trailer for new rowboat

    As above, Trailex is the way to go, using Rick's mods to the tires and possibly wheels. He and others have reported issues with the hull-support aluminum "L" brackets sometimes cracking, so you might consider looking at glavanized steel replacements after a while.

    Harbor Freight trailers are junk -- I've owned two. Parts are made in different areas of China and may not match in size or design. You don't drive a junk car with parts falling off, so don't put a junk trailer under your lovely boat! And like the Northern Tool trailers, they're all sprung for 2000 lbs, which is way too heavy and stiff for light wooden boats. The rating on the leaf springs is what matters, not the overall carrying capacity numbers which are much lower -- because lawyers.

    I own several galvanized boat trailers and have owned quite a few more, and was surprised that my small Shorelander apparently has non-standard bearings that the local trailer repair place couldn't find replacements for. You expect that with Chinese junk trailers but not name-brand US trailers.
    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
    Doctor Jacquin to Lieutenant D'Hubert, in Ridley Scott's first major film _The Duellists_.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Trailer for new rowboat

    I appreciate the advice given and have checked out the Trailex website. I also came across a trailer, which looks like it would work, at Malonetrailer.com; does anyone have experience with this company? Unlike Trailex, they have dealers nearby.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Trailer for new rowboat

    The Malone trailers are interesting but do not seem oriented towards the trailers we use.
    I think the Trailex trailers are a better fit.
    Clinton B. Chase
    Portland, Maine

    http://tinyurl.com/myboats

  17. #17
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    Sep 2015
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    Viroqua, Wisconsin
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    Default Re: Trailer for new rowboat

    Postings here convinced me I should have opted for the 12" wheels & tires when I ordered my 220-S last April.

    Here's hoping Trailex is willing to swap my set of three not-yet-ever-used 8"-ers for a set of 12's.

    I want to start putting my kit together maybe this w/e, but wheels aren't really needed for that. Putting the boat on it'll have to wait of course... maybe the whole kit too until I hear back from them.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Trailer for new rowboat

    Quote Originally Posted by Thorne View Post
    ...surprised that my small Shorelander apparently has non-standard bearings that the local trailer repair place couldn't find replacements for. You expect that with Chinese junk trailers but not name-brand US trailers.
    Seems I recall that with the one I had back in the early '70's. Made for frustrating moments when I wanted to get the trailer ready for a season after finding the bearings had packed up. Finally why I scrapped the thing too, the axles were shot, the whole thing was rusty.

    When I went to replace the spindle bearings on my Craftsman drill press dating from the same era a couple of months ago I was surprised to find they were METRIC, readily available from WW Grainger for not much $$.

    USA really should have gone METRIC back in the '50's... we'd be in a better place trade-wise for it by now I think.

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