Quaddie Trailer

Discussion in 'Sunfish Talk' started by NightSailor, Aug 24, 2011.

  1. NightSailor

    NightSailor Captain

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    I want a trailer that will haul four Sunfishes, or more. I settled on four, although I might be able to add more on later, that is good enough for now. I want it for a number of reason. One is a good way to store these boats full time. I can shrink wrap the whole thing in the fall and forget about it until summer. And, of course I'd like to be able to move that many boats without headaches. So this is the story of the trailer I call Quaddie after the Larry Niven story.

    I bought the trailer before I had a pickup truck it was a landscape trailer that someone extended. I used it to haul things to the dump. Once I had a pickup, I used it to haul just one Sunfish, laying to three pieces of Dock foam. Ugly but it worked. One issue was the axle was in the wrong position so the tongue weight was very heavy.

    I started out by moving the axle forward to the mid point of the trailer box. I figured the metal up forward would be enough for tongue weight. My buddy Mike welded it up for me. I used a new hanger and Mike cut the old hanger off and welded the pieces back on up forward to secure the front jack. The two fenders were cut off and discarded. I was left with a mess that looked like this.
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    The old fold up ramp is laying inside it. I need to take that in for scrap. So this is my starting point this year. Some of the inside square tubing was rotten. Another friend Eric did the welding this year. He put in a few pieces to replace some rotten stuff. He also straightened out the tongue which was crooked. I wanted the trailer to track straight. Here are a few shots after Phase I was completed this year.

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    I was originally going to paint the whole thing black. But later I decided I like the Brown Primer color better. I will keep the fenders black, for contrast.
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    I ordered a new coupler last year, and it was good to get it welded on and out of my workshop. By the way, the tent garage is new. We put it up in the spring and are glad with didn't put it up in the fall as the snow loads destroyed dozens of these in town. No tax on temporary structures. I've been using this to store boat stuff. I'm starting to ebay all my surplus gear. I'm either installing it or selling it, I don't want to store it. So here is the style coupler I like best.
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    I've sanded the top and sides of the trailer and primed them. I still need to do the bottom. This just before a test cruise around the block. It pulled nice.

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    So now the frame has been reinforced with 3" angle iron down both sides, three pieces of 2" cross-members, the 3" tongue is reinforced with a flat plate underneath, and the tilt mechanism is welded up and a short piece was added to tie the tongue to the frame at the front--seen in the above photo.

    I've removed all the wiring and lights.

    PHASE II. The Cage.

    This is where I am right now. The unpainted part can be lifted off. I plan to cut off the front rail of the trailer so a Sunfish can fit on the bottom level. I also need a vertical piece to secure the bows of the four boats. I have some angle iron to tie that to the frame.

    It is hard to tell here bit the middle level is missing fore and aft cross members. I will need those to secure that level, but ran out of steel.

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    To get an idea how big this is relative to a SUNFISH. The bows will extend to about the back edge of the handle behind the coupler. The boats will extend past the back edge of the trailer by about a foot.
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    So, I'm getting ready to order some bunk rollers. I need to decide how many rollers to order and I'll need a mount to install and adjust them. That will make it easy to slide the boats in and out.

    My other idea was to put straps across the frame to support the boats.

    Another idea was to make fiberglass molded supports to support each boat by the edges where they are strongest.

    Since I don't have enough experience with "Google Sketch Up" to fully plan the design by computer, I'm going by feel.

    In any case, I'd welcome ideas. I'll probably order some rollers next and load a boat in place to see what works. I like the strap idea because it is fast and probably easy to implement. I like the fiberglass support idea because I won't have to work about damage to any of the boats.

    Suggestions are welcome.
     
  2. NightSailor

    NightSailor Captain

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    I forgot to mention I plan to build boxes to store all the extra gear. I'll be adding five 14" long PVC tubes to store rigs, Or I might have fewer bigger ones with more rigs in each. I'd like to carry at least one extra full rig as a spare. A box to store dagger boards would be compact. One for rudders and tiller would need to be larger. Life Jackets and miscellaneous stuff can fit anywhere.
     

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