Harbor Freight boat trailer?

Discussion in 'Sunfish Talk' started by cmcd, Jul 24, 2007.

  1. cmcd

    cmcd New Member

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    I am thinking about buying this boat trailer for my SF.

    http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=5002

    I have seen others post about their experiences with using/converting HF utility trailers, but haven't seen anything about this particular trailer. From its specs, it looks like it would be a good match for a SF.

    Anyone have any experience with this?

    Thanks
     
  2. Mark P

    Mark P New Member

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    I went with the smaller $150.00 HF trailer. It did take some modification though. It works great for the 10 miles to the river or 300+ miles to the beach. I believe that the one that you are looking at, since it is made for a boat, would be even better.

    All that being said, if you want no worries and no fuss, go with something like this http://www.apsltd.com/Tree/d90000/e89132.asp Costs more, but lasts longer and holds the boat better and safer than the HF one will.
     
  3. imported_Jennifer

    imported_Jennifer New Member

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    I just ordered one two days ago and I'm waiting for it to arrive. I'll be transporting my Sunfish no more than 100 miles (at the most) - mostly 25-50 miles to area lakes.

    It was $299 plus about $12 shipping to NY.

    If you're willing to wait a week or two, I can let you know!

    P.S. If you're going to order from Harbor Freight, do a web search under "Harbor Freight Coupon" to get a coupon code. Most are $5 off your order, or I got a $10 gift card.
     
  4. mike4947

    mike4947 Member

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    You will need to replace that front keel roller with something else as the keel actually has little or no support where the roller will contact the hull. I've seen way to many fish hulls with major damage do to those small keel rollers.
    We commonly take a piece of 2 X 8 about 3 foot long and form the top to the hull shape, carpet it and bolt it where the roller was. That spreads out the load over a much largr area.
     
  5. edboat

    edboat Member

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    It is much better for your fish to carry them deck down on the trailer. It will add a lot of years to the life of your boat.
     
  6. cmcd

    cmcd New Member

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    Thanks for all the tips!

    Mike4947 - when you say "bolt it where the roller was" do you mean running along the keel of the boat or across it?

    cmcd
     
  7. mike4947

    mike4947 Member

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    across it, so it's perpendicular to the trailer main bar. And we actually relieve the center a little deeper just to make sure no weight gets put on the keel.
     
  8. trophy

    trophy New Member

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    Jennifer, I was thinking of getting this trailer too. I also live in NY. Do you know what the deal is with registering/inspecting it?
     
  9. mike4947

    mike4947 Member

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    You take it to an garage/service center that does inspections and In most cases they simply hand you a sticker after looking at the trailer lights if there are no brakes. Oh and of course you have to pay for the inspection.
     
  10. imported_mitch

    imported_mitch Mitch

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    I have that trailer and have used it for the past three seasons. I live in Northeast Ohio and have made trips to Michigan, New York and Maine. The trailer was easy to build and came with everything you need. After three years in the weather it does not have any rust and I have not had any problems.
    I did remove the roller and attached to bunk boards on the front. These are similar to the boards that are on the rear of the trailer. I used wing nuts on the bolts so they can be removed. I agree with previous posts to trail the boat with the deck down. For this purpose I built a cradle that attaches to the trailer. I also have a tube for the sail that fits into the cradle that secures nicely to the front bow support of the trailer.
    I used to tow the boat with a pick up truck, but because of rising gas prices I have replaced with a small SUV. I just built a platform with sides ( similar to a truck bed ) that mounts to the trailer. I have used it to haul lumber and even a sofa for my mother in law. Having the ability to use the trailer for other items than the boat is a bonus for those of us whom have spouses that think we spend to much on the wonderful sport of sailing. I know I am not the only one out there.
    I would not hesitate to buy the trailer. I know there is not a better deal out on the market.
     
  11. cmcd

    cmcd New Member

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    Thanks everyone for your input! I have placed the order. Unfortunately, it is currently backordered and won't arrive for a month.

    cmcd
     
  12. StarsandStripes

    StarsandStripes New Member

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    Another option for a similar trailer for the 'fish is to use a 4' x 8' trailer from Home Depot (built by the same Taiwan outift that Harbor Freight sells).

    Install a sheet of pressure treated plywood as a base (so that you can also use it as a utilty trailer). Build and install frames or perpendicular bunk boards and fit them into the brackets along the trailer meant for the 2x4's for the uprights.

    Works great, and let's you bring home the bulky stuff too.

    let me know if you need more detilas/photos.

    Happy sailing
     
  13. jakeeper

    jakeeper jakeeper

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    Be careful about the NON waterproof lights that come with this trailer! I have burnt out many bulbs putting my boat in the water!!! Now investigating waterproof housing!
     
  14. altair

    altair Member

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    Mitch, do you have a picture of your set up?
     
  15. aa.aunins

    aa.aunins New Member

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    It's also a good idea to unplug your trailer lights from your car/truck before you back into the water. That will avoid the chance of shorting out the tail light wiring, or blowing the fuse in your tow vehicle. Not something that happens often but when it does you'll wish you had unplugged!
     
  16. imported_Jennifer

    imported_Jennifer New Member

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    I ordered this on 7/22. I received a card that it was shipped on 7/24. It's now 8/11 and I *still* have yet to receive it! I know it's shipped "parcel post" but damn... I just came back from spending a week at the lake sans my Sunfish!

    I'll be making a call today but I highly doubt that they can trace it. :( :confused:
     
  17. imported_Jennifer

    imported_Jennifer New Member

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    I called HF yesterday. Apparently, my trailer has not been shipped as it is on backorder and they have no clue when it will become available. (The card I received apparently was for the "gift card" that I had a coupon code for - although the postcard didn't specify that.)

    In any event, I cancelled my order. I'm going to look at a used trailer locally.

    If you're still interested in this trailer and don't want to wait, there is someone on eBay who has them and is selling them under the "buy it now" option for $249 + $100 shipping. It ends up costing about 30 or so dollars more, but you should get it with plenty of time still in the sailing season. Who knows when the HF company will have them available. (There's someone else selling them for $549 on eBay, too, but keep looking and you'll find the ones for $249.)
     
  18. DanB

    DanB Crabber

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  19. imported_Jennifer

    imported_Jennifer New Member

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    Thanks, Dan. Before I went the online order route, I called two stores that were within an hour's drive from my home. They told me it's not an item that is carried in the store, rather you have to go into the store and then they order it. Therefore, I think it would yield the same results.

    Northern Tool has the same trailer, but the price is almost double what HF is asking for it.
     
  20. ewagman

    ewagman New Member

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    I have used this trailer for a variety of things, including hauling my Sunfish, since I sold my boat trailer with a boat earlier this year. The shortcomings are a very low tongue weight, and significant rear overhang. I mounted Thule "artificial rain gutters" onto the trailer bed, as far back as I could, and still have bike racks fit on the Thule roof racks. In the picture is my canoe, but the Sunfish works similiarly. I should add some removeable weight to the tongue area of the trailer, but since I also haul 800 pounds of motorcycle, ramp, wheel rail, and wood trailer sides, which is somewhat front heavy on the trailer, I need to keep the set up flexible, so I don't end up with even more tongue weight when hauling the motorcyle on the trailer with my car or the RV.

    If you support the boat and boat frame as described, the weight is all on the supports designed only for holding on the trailer sides, I feel this might cause a problem if the rather thin metal bracket fails while holding up your boat. Plus the back of the boat would not be supported. With my set up the rear roof rack is at the rear of the cockpit, the front roof rack clears the splash rail and the front of the boat is within a few inches of the coupler tip of the trailer. The weight is all on the trailer bed. The Sunfish support points are not much different than when on the roof of my car.

    It is nice folding up the trailer and storing it out of the way, but if your use is only for the Sunfish, I'd get a longer, balanced boat trailer.
     

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