Best kind of beach storage

Discussion in 'Sunfish Talk' started by Sven Junkergård, Aug 4, 2015.

  1. Sven Junkergård

    Sven Junkergård New Member

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    Hi,

    I keep my Sunfish at a private lake and we are fortunate enough to be able to store our boats 2-3 feet from the water right on the sandy beach. Super easy to get in and out. However, I don't like pushing my brand new boat along the sand and scratch up the bottom.

    What would be a good storage option for this type of situation? Buying a dolly seems overkill. Should I get a couple of pressure treated 2x4s and wrap them with carpet remnants and slide the boat up and down on those? Any other thoughts?
     
  2. sailcraftri

    sailcraftri Well-Known Member

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    You could make your own as you mentioned. 2 x 4's that run into the water and are carpeted. But the dolly is the real answer. You load it while still in the water and drag up to your storage spot. Launching the opposite way you push the dolly to deep enough water for the boat to float off.
     
  3. Light and Variable Winds

    Light and Variable Winds Well-Known Member

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    To show one of my Sunfish purchases, the seller dragged it across coral rock gravel on his beachfront. :eek: I was a bit alarmed, but the hard surface of the gel-coat appeared undamaged. Are you actually seeing any damage?

    As for carpet remnants, I would think they'd eventually get sand embedded in them. Except along the keel, don't consider rollers: rollers flex the hull bottom, and with time, could compromise the bonds that hold the structural foam in place. As for technique, consider using one end of the Sunfish as a pivot—lift the boat slightly—and swing the other end around to the water.

    BTW 1: Even on wet grass, I found dragging the Sunfish uncomfortable as the line was hurtful to my fingers. :confused: Find three feet of line that is about one inch in diameter, attach it to the existing line, and dragging will go much easier.

    BTW 2: Last weekend, a storm's wind was rocking my Sunfish in place, but I secure both ends (and the middle) to keep it from blowing away. (Wind damage could end-up more damaging than dragging :( ). On a beach, some kind of anchoring would be my first concern.
     
  4. Sven Junkergård

    Sven Junkergård New Member

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    Thanks for the tips. My boat is brand new and the other boats on the beach are all 80s or 70s boats. The dolly seems overkill to move a boat two feet up the beach and I am already paranoid about my brand new boat standing out compared to old sunfishes next to it. Adding a brand new dolly, people at our club will demand that I also start winning races :)

    I don't think much badness has happened to my hull due to dragging on the sand yet but it just feels wrong pushing it along on what effectively is sandpaper when launching it. By lifting the bow high, I can float it early / late and only drag it a few feet but still.

    I may try the 2x8 and carpeting runners to see how that works. If they prove to not be a great solution, I have not lost much time or money...
     
  5. Wavedancer

    Wavedancer Upside down? Staff Member

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    As mentioned earlier, a dolly is really the solution. A Seitech or similar dolly will last a long time and hold its value pretty well. And if you don't want to spend that kind of $, you can build your own. There are several examples on this Forum.

    As an aside, the bottom of my brand new Sunfish did get scratched by a nasty shell when a friend pulled my boat onto a sandy area during a lunch break. As a result (?), I haven't won a race in a long time...;)
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2015
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  6. beldar boathead

    beldar boathead Well-Known Member

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    The 2x4s are a good option if you don't want a dolly. Even if some sand gets in the carpet, that is better than dragging the boat on the sand. The other option is to just have someone help you carry the boat in and out so it never has to be dragged over anything. BB
     
  7. tag

    tag my2fish

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    there are a variety of DIY Sunfish dollies you can make for relatively cheap. mine is maybe $100 or so?
    [​IMG]

    if you sprung the cash for a brand new Sunfish, a dolly seems like cheap insurance to keep that hull bottom shiny and looking like new!
     
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  8. Light and Variable Winds

    Light and Variable Winds Well-Known Member

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    Looking at Hobie Mirage pedals on eBay (wouldn't that be a fun DIY installation in a Sunfish ;) ), I came across a dolly for a Jon-boat for $31.99. There was no statement regarding weight capacity.
    jonboat dolly | eBay

    Even for a Jon-boat, it looks flimsy :oops:, but maybe for a short distance may be serviceable for a Sunfish, Snark, or Sailfish. Anyone have experience with this one? upload_2015-12-16_7-33-23.png
     
  9. danpal

    danpal Active Member

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    At the very bottom of the description it states that the load capacity is 100 lbs but for that price it might be worth a shot.
     
  10. signal charlie

    signal charlie Well-Known Member Staff Member

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    How about 6-8 big pool noodles and you roll the boat over the top of them? Someone also makes inflatable boat rollers. The pool noodles would be low profile and wide enough to catch the boat if it tipped one way or another.



    You also need a good sunbrella cover to protect the boat, sun/leaves/bird poop/dirt will destroy the gelcoat before sand on the bottom. We recently bought one where you can store the spars and mast underneath, convenient and safe where we live. Or one that fits without the spars. We like SLO Canvas.

    Sunfish Shack 4.jpg
     
  11. Alan S. Glos

    Alan S. Glos Active Member

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    I keep my race 'fish on a ramp made out of a 4' X 8' sheet of 3/4" thick pressure treated plywood with a boat trailer roller on the outboard end and a single carpet padded transverse mounted bunk amidships. The edges of the plywood is stiffened with pressure treated 2" X 4" studs. The ramp is attached to my dock in about 2' of water. I have a Sailor's Taylor mast-up cover and leave the sail and spars on the boat all summer. I tie the hull down at the bow handle forward and across the hull amidships. It is easy to lift on and off the ramp, but the keel does not actually rest on the roller except when launching or pulling the hull on to the ramp. I have used this rig for 20 years with no hull damage. Sorry, no photos.

    Alan Glos
    Cazenovia, NY
     
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  12. Gregory Matous

    Gregory Matous Member

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    I've tried this one but it didn't work well with a sunfish. Its not obvious from the pic, but the v-shape is too deep and more designed for a kayak shape. Also there's no easy way to get a sunfish on it and strapped down. It would take some modification to the design that i haven't tried yet.
     
  13. Gregory Matous

    Gregory Matous Member

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    This is a sweet solution if you're already by the water. Also, spraying bunks and things with Turtle Wax makes them nice and slippy (i've found) . But maybe too slippy if you step on it by accident!
     
  14. Light and Variable Winds

    Light and Variable Winds Well-Known Member

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    I got another eBay notice of a price reduction, but it's at the same price! :rolleyes: (And "There's only 1 left" :oops: ).

    With a capacity of 100 pounds, and the Sunfish heavier by ~35 pounds, you'll have to place this dolly under the transom—only—and carry a minimum of ~35 pounds at the bow handle.

    To use this admittedly flimsy dolly, I'd secure a board (in red) in the "V", but not allow it to touch the hull. (The bottom of the V is a weak point). Put a 3/8 bolt through it at "a", so it engages the bottom gudgeon (and not allow the Sunfish to slip off). Secure the bottom axles together (b and c), so they can't spread under load. I'd suggest using a wire cable. Secure the folded "stand" to the axles permanently for strength.

    Some of that ~35 pounds can be relieved with a pipe bent into an "L" shape. Drop the short end into the 2¼" mast step, and secure the long end at the bow handle—leaving a couple of feet for a handle. The friendly people at Meineke muffler might be of assistance here with 2" pipe—maybe have a scrap for free :).

    Fullscreen capture 12192015 71245 AM.bmp.jpg
     
  15. IrishAyes

    IrishAyes New Member

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  16. IrishAyes

    IrishAyes New Member

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    I, also have used the pictured cart for moving kayaks but most kayaks weigh between 45 and 60 lbs. Loaded Hobie fishing kayaks outfitted with battery, fish finder, a bevy of poles, etc sometimes weigh in at 110 or so .... too heavy for this cart.

    The Roll-a-boat with a $135 MSRP would work well in this instance.... or build a similar using the dagger board slot approach.
     
  17. Light and Variable Winds

    Light and Variable Winds Well-Known Member

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    I agree, and thanks to the wonders of (free) Picasa, I prepared a graphic with the steel handle that moves much of the load off the flimsy dolly, and should help move "difficult" dollies.

    Microsoft Edge 12292015 64713 AM.bmp.jpg
     
  18. tmw

    tmw New Member

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    I have one of these (or very similar from Amazon http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0082365AQ) and I freely admit it's pretty crappy, but I do use it. The tires seem okay with the weight. My challenge is when the thing "folds" unintentionally while pushing. The folding design isn't good. My best use of it has been for kayaks (lighter) and when the trolley holds one end of the boat, and I'm holding the other end pushing it along. In that instance, it's really only holding half the weight (I'm holding the other side) and less likely to fold. It's also stronger than my wife or kids attempting to carry the boat. Your modification will probably make it much better.
     
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  19. Light and Variable Winds

    Light and Variable Winds Well-Known Member

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    Modified, and used at only one end of the Sunfish, I also think "it's worth a shot". :cool: Y'know, Meinecke Muffler might be able to make that handle out of stainless-steel pipe! :)

    FYI: Amazon pesters me every day with every product I've ever clicked on. :confused: Last week, there was "only one left", but today they've announced that the dolly price has gone up a dollar, but shipping is free. :rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2016
  20. signal charlie

    signal charlie Well-Known Member Staff Member

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    We used one of those small kayak dollies and the strap stitching was not strong enough, so the straps pulled loose and the dolly collapsed. So 100 pounds would be max unless you reinforced the stitching. It was also very tippy and not convenient to get under the boat. That said if you have a smooth surface and a helper and a sewing machine, it might be the answer.

    As for Sven, your idea is a good one, foam noodles may work for cushion as well.
     

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