Opinions on a trailer - please comment with your experiences

Discussion in 'Sunfish Talk' started by Sprocket, Mar 28, 2016.

  1. Sprocket

    Sprocket New Member

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    I recently acquired two sunfish and we are in the process of getting them ready for the water. One is a 1960-66 model and the other from around 1977. Anyway we got them home in the back of two station wagons, but want a trailer so we can pull them behind the car or our motorhome.

    So I've seen alot of different ideas on a multi boat trailer. I was leaning toward getting a harbor frieght trailer and building an A frame on it so the two boats could lean in, and I'd have space in the middle for masts, etc.

    Then I saw a stacked scenario where they were on top of one another. My wife is only 5'1" so I'm thinking that may not be a good option unless you sunk the trailer and floated them on...

    Also how about side by side jet ski trailers? Width is a consideration for my side yard though where we want to keep them...

    In the idea stage right now, so any input is welcome...thanks
     
  2. tag

    tag my2fish

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    I currently have my setup with the stacked boats. Sunfish on the bottom, pool noodles or similar on the deck, and then a Minifish flipped upside down on the top. my home-made PVC dolly sits on top of the Minifish.

    it works. but.... I think I'd prefer to set it up as the A-frame style, so it is easier to pull a single boat off at a time (specifically the bottom one!). the open space of the "A" would also give me better storage area for life jackets, coolers, camp chairs, etc if we are going on a camping trip.
     
  3. signal charlie

    signal charlie Active Member Staff Member

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    A frame it. Stacking is too hard, why lift the boat any more than necessary (which I did). Next one I build will be A frame.

    Side by side would be 8 feet wide, pushing the limit.
     
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  4. Light and Variable Winds

    Light and Variable Winds Well-Known Member

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    A trailer sits unused a lot and is a nuisance to store; however, as long as you're going to buy two tires, four wheel bearings, metal frame, fenders, reflectors, wiring and a light-kit, why not go for a multi-purpose rig?
    trailer for kayaks, and tent - Google Search

    [​IMG]


    I would buy a trailer that sags a bit under its load. Jet-Skis are relatively heavy, so that Jet-Ski trailer won't give the ride a Sunfish (or two) needs for its foam support blocks.
     
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  5. Sprocket

    Sprocket New Member

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    All good info. I was kinda leaning (no pun intending) toward the A-frame type and possibly putting a T on the top for kayaks....and maybe some bikes, lol. Maybe I need a 20' encolsed toy hauler ha ha ha.
     
  6. gd_nc

    gd_nc Member

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  7. signal charlie

    signal charlie Active Member Staff Member

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    Here is a link to pictures of many trailers at the Sunfish Masters 2014. I liked the ones that were built on utility trailers, lots of space for other toys like bikes, kayaks, coolers... Small Boat Restoration Sunfish Trailers

    Here is the double stack we made by adding two sets of trailer guides with aluminum crossbeams to a jetski trailer. It served us well but I don't like loading the top rack.

    Audrey Zip Neptune.jpg


    Cheers
    Kent
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2016
  8. Sprocket

    Sprocket New Member

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    trailer.jpg

    I saw this one in a CL ad for the whole lot and I think I like it the best so far (except no room for bikes, etc).
    EZ to build and use. My buddy welds so I could make it out of metal and add a t rack on top for our two kayaks as well.

    It's going to have a wait a little while though as some big bills just rolled in :(
     
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  9. T. W. Nelson

    T. W. Nelson Member

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    The Trailex alum.trailers looked interesting. Anybody tried them ?
     
  10. Wavedancer

    Wavedancer Upside down? Staff Member

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    Please put Trailex in the Search box (upper right) and you will find several relevant threads.
    Note that the (current) 220-S version is significantly different (suspension) from the earlier 200-S version.
     
  11. T. W. Nelson

    T. W. Nelson Member

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    Thank you, will do.
     
  12. wjejr

    wjejr Member

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    Hello,

    I have a Trailex 220-S trailer, which I bought last year. The reason I decided on this trailer was that it was designed to carry light loads (220lbs), and it would carry the boat right side up. The low capacity means the boat rides more smoothly, and carrying the boat right side up means I can go sailing by myself. I also decided on this trailer because I have an older boat which does not have rolled chines.

    Before buying this trailer, I used a Right On trailer and carried the boat upside down. That was OK, but flipping the boat by myself was a bear.

    This trailer unlike its predecessor (200-S) uses conventional leaf springs for the suspension. Apparently the older version has some sort of rubberized suspension. I don't think I would have bought that one.

    The trailer has some "interesting" peculiarities which I will try and list for you.

    1. If you have a look at the fore and aft bunks they look different. The aft bunk is wider, BUT the holes don't go to the end of the aft bunk, so effectively they are exactly the same. Why it was done this way is a mystery. After calling the Trailex people, I drilled another set of holes outboard. I did this because I wanted the bunks to be under the chines where it is stronger. I placed the forward bunks likewise so that they are under the chines.

    2. If you set the aft bunks like I did and balance the boat with the proper amount of tongue weight, then you are likely to find quite a bit of the center "spar" past the aft bunks. That part has a roller, but I find it is in the way more than helpful. I cringe every time the keel slips off the roller when I am hauling it, and it will due to cross wind, waves, and other acts of man and God. The roller is sort of v shaped and besides marking the boat with black rubber, it's generates a tremendous amount of force on the hull. When the boat slips off it is also dangerously close to the metal. I have been thinking that I might cut the spar back some so that the boat more or less goes right on the bunks rather than the roller when I haul it. Sunfish just don't weigh that much and the roller isn't really needed.

    3. Because the license plate is mounted on the lights at the end of the spar, you don't have to lift the tongue very far before the plate drags along the ground and bends it in half.. I am going to move the lights back to the square frame where the suspension is mounted. That will also keep the lights out of the water which is a good thing.

    4. The drain hole in the axle is not drilled at the bottom of the axle but half way up. So if water got in by submerging the axle it could not find its way out again. I called the Trailex people, and there response was that they don't build the axle. I tried to kindly point out as they are selling it to me they should of course take some responsibility, but that remark was met by indifference.

    5. The Sunfish has quite of bit of "rocker" in it so that when the bunks are set the way I have them, the bottom of the boat is quite closed to the frame. Once the boat is on the trailer, it isn't going to hit, but when you launch and haul you should be award of it. I am going to attach a piece of pool noodle there just in case I get sloppy.

    6. The trailer comes unassembled, and one of the pieces was marked incorrectly. The result was that I ended up rebuilding on section which probably added another 45 minutes to the process.


    On the road, the boat trailers very well and there is a minimum of sounds that make me think my boat is jarring itself to pieces. The ride is in fact very quiet. Some people have reported trouble with aluminum fatigue on the previous 200-S trailer, but I have not had problems with the 220-S, and I wouldn't think twice about driving long distances with it. Because the trailer is aluminum, it isn't going to rust and it is light enough to move around easily. It also very easy to take apart and store in the off season. It is not however light enough to qualify as a dolly. Even if it were light enough, the wheels are not wide or soft enough to use it for that purpose.

    I've typed a bunch, but the bottom line is that for a single Sunfish, without rolled gunwales this trailer is a good choice, and I would purchase it again. As I mentioned earlier, the ride is very smooth because it was designed for light boats like the Sunfish. Having a trailer sprung for 400lbs of cargo isn't what you want. The suspension won't do its job properly, and all of that force gets transmitted directly to the hull. That ain't good, and that's why so many people trailer their boat upside down.

    If your boat does have the rolled gunwales, then I would go with the Kitty Hawk trailer. I have one for my Laser and cannot say enough good things about it. Although I wouldn't dunk it in salt water, I have used it many time as a dolly when sailing in fresh water lakes and left the Seitech dolly home.

    If anyone wants pictures of what I am talking about just let me know, and I will post them once I get the trailer down from the loft and put back together.
     
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  13. torrid

    torrid Just sailing

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    Just be careful to not wind up with a 1000 lb. trailer you use to haul around 300 lbs. of boats.
     
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  14. Sprocket

    Sprocket New Member

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    Well I ended up buying a Harbor freight folding trailer that is 4x8ft deck area, as I had an immediate need to haul some things about 200 miles. My load was bulky but weighed less than two sunfish. It trailered nice and didn't seem too bouncy, so I think with the extra weight of a wooden frame I'll build to lean the boats on, it should be fine. Once I get to building the frame, I'll post up a thread.
     
  15. Sprocket

    Sprocket New Member

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    Thanks for all the input and ideas
     

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  16. Light and Variable Winds

    Light and Variable Winds Well-Known Member

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    Not even for a moment forget you're towing a trailer and remember that backing-up is a skill. :oops:

    [​IMG]

    Incidentally, that's my maroon Rustoleum®-painted hood in the foreground. I brushed it on the hood and top, as the sun-damaged, faded, clear-coat was bothering me. My local hardware store tinted it perfectly. :)

    With the remainder, I touched up the stripes on the house's aluminum awnings. (But drew the line when it came to having my Sunfish match house and car!) ;)
     
  17. fhhuber

    fhhuber Member

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    looks like that guy forgot his tailgate was down and raked it across the tongue jack too.
     
  18. danpal

    danpal Active Member

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    What a maroon!! :rolleyes:
     
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  19. T. W. Nelson

    T. W. Nelson Member

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    Yes, please post some pic's of your improvements to the trailer. I'd like to see the bunk changes.
    Thank you
     
  20. jaas75

    jaas75 Member

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    can you please advice what kind of paperwork you had to do?

    the reason i ask is because i live in PA and according to my research i have to build the trailer then take the trailer for inspection and apply for paperwork (registration) and according to what i have read. this endeavor is long and costly ( more than just buying new or used one already registered)

    thxs in advance
    jose
     

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