Harbor Freight Sunfish Trailer

Discussion in 'Sunfish Talk' started by Alan Glos, Dec 18, 2009.

  1. Alan Glos

    Alan Glos Active Member

    Likes Received:
    26
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Next spring I was thinking about buying a Harbor Freight utility trailer frame and using it for a Sunfish trailer. I was at the Syracuse, NY HF store yesterday and saw one assembled, and was fairly impressed with how sturdy and well made they are. I also like the 12" wheels that come stock with the kits.

    Question: I assume that you need to retrofit a longer trailer tongue to make a Sunfish sit on it properly. Has anybody out there done such a retrofit and if so, how did it work? Also, any general reviews on how the HF trailers hold up and ride?

    Alan Glos
    Cazenovia, NY
     
  2. pthayn

    pthayn New Member

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    • Useful Useful x 1
  3. Wavedancer

    Wavedancer Upside down? Staff Member

    Likes Received:
    135
    Trophy Points:
    63
  4. Webfoot

    Webfoot New Member

    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    The tongue is fine as-is, trailer is for a 12'-14' boat. I got the 8" wheels, 12" wheels would help reduce the bounce. Anyway, the trailer is sort of a add you own hardware kit as in add a winch, better safety chains etc. Mine works fine but if I were to sell one of my trailers it would be the HF, I'd keep the one with the shocks and coil springs I got used for $150 bones.

    One mod needed to carry a SF. Get rid of the roller that comes as a bow snubber and use a rubber V-Block. And a couple of Eye-Bolts replacing the fender bolts to fasten a strap over the hull.
     
    • Spam Spam x 1
  5. Wayne

    Wayne Member Emeritus

    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    0
    . . . you might also consider moving the bunks out where they carry the hull closer to a point where its strongest, less flexible, and least susceptible to fatigue..., and shift the whole carrying load a little forward.

    A "V" bunk near the bow, in combination with longer, wider main bunks might also help distribute the weight over a broader area.

    . . . or use the gate-side utility model trailer. Remove the gate-sides, drop in your bunk frame, and slide on the boat. I used that method for a few years..., kept the boat hoisted to the garage ceiling when it wasn't being used.
     

    Attached Files:

  6. Nicksboat

    Nicksboat Nick

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    This is how I modified the trailer for my sunfish. I used 2x12's with the contour of the bottom of the hull cut into the top. My neighbor had just recarpeted so I got to go nuts padding it up :).
     

    Attached Files:

  7. Sailandsurf_89

    Sailandsurf_89 New Member

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
  8. SmoothSailing

    SmoothSailing Pirateer, Sunfish & Sailfish Owner

    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Very interesting, Sailandsurf_89. I'd always wondered how those incredibly inexpensive, new HF trailers would hold up. Apparently they don't.
     
  9. Light and Variable Winds

    Light and Variable Winds Well-Known Member

    Likes Received:
    138
    Trophy Points:
    63
    I'm not surprised at the criticism. :rolleyes: You don't have to Google very far to find descriptions like "crap" for Chinese-made steel. :(

    I first noticed it many years ago when I was using coat hangers for oxy-acetylene welding. The old ones were American-made and worked fine for welding, but there's so many impurities in the new foreign-made coat hangers, you really have to buy dedicated welding materials. :oops: When it comes to tools, most new tools are made in China, including Snap-on, Stanley, Husky and Craftsman. You're better off buying used American-made tools.

    That said, I don't know where American trailers get their steel. A neighbor gave me a Continental trailer, about six years old—routinely immersed in salt water. The ocean had rusted it badly, and he couldn't trust it—although it was galvanized from the factory. I sold it to a boater who needed to move his boat from the water to his back yard—a distance of about 300 feet! (A good use of that trailer, I'd say... :) ).

    Since I car-top, I probably shouldn't be offering trailer advice; however, I believe it is better to really cinch-down the Sunfish to the padded bunks. While traveling, a loose Sunfish can head south, while the trailer bunks are heading north. The hammer-effect would shake the structural foam loose, and not do the trailer any good. :confused:

    Has anyone tried using no bunks at all on the trailer, by instead using a sling, trampoline- or net- material?
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2015
  10. CW Spook

    CW Spook New Member

    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Along that line, has anyone used the Right On trailer that holds the Sunfish on it's dolly? I've been thinking that might be a nice way to go.
     

Share This Page