Trailer Design Feedback

Discussion in 'Sunfish Talk' started by wev162, Jun 27, 2009.

  1. NightSailor

    NightSailor Captain

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    $150 would be money well spent. Just think. You can seal the sails up in there and know that they will stay clean and dry.

    I am building a trailer to carry six Sunfishes and enough 8" PVC to carry seven rigs. I know it will cost me, but I don't think anything else will work as well. I also would prefer to store all my Sunfish boats and gear on one trailer. I can then shrink wrap the whole thing or simply tarp it for the winter.

    It would be best if you had both the spar bag and the PVC tube.

    If you are looking for cheaper options, I'd definitely invest in a $50 sail and spar bag. If you can store the spar bag indoors, you could probably get buy with just this. A couple of bungee cords will hold it down on the trailer. Bungee cords will cause some wear and damage to the sails, so pad the area you bungee well.

     
  2. wev162

    wev162 New Member

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    I guess it's all a matter of perspective, I only spent $200 for the whole boat (Which is in good shape but not pristine by any stretch of the imagination) and $150 for the trailer so I've had a hard time justifying $150 for PVC.

    Are there any cheaper pipe options than PVC? I've been looking into drainage piping but haven't found a suitable alternative yet.
     
  3. BrainCorrel

    BrainCorrel Member

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    I am not sure where you are at in your design, but here are some specific suggestions.

    1. Your front support is actually a bow support. It is made to keep your boat from moving forward so you do not have to strap it as tight and you can move it forward as many have suggested. Unbolt it and move forward and rotate down so it rests on the near vertical portion of your bow without hitting the deck lip. You can use your wench to hold the boat against this support.

    2. Buy a couple bunk board supports from your local marine shop and make the bunk boards cross the length of the boat as previously recommended by 67 stang, except they need to go the full width of your boat. The strongest portion of your boat in bending are the sides.

    Here is how.
    http://www.shortypen.com/boats/holder12/bunk.htm

    3. Keep your boat upright to make it easier to launch, unless you are storing it outside over the winter. When I bought my boats they both had hull damage due to filling up with water and leaves and then not having proper support.

    4. I have not figured out the spar storage issue. It seems that more often than not I have to put my sails away wet, until I could get home to dry them out. I would not want them closed in a pvc pipe with no ventalation. Maybe someone has a half pipe idea. It seems most people use some sort of breathable spar bag and firmly attach that to the trailor.
     
  4. Wavedancer

    Wavedancer Upside down? Staff Member

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    As BrainCorrel wrote, I like my spar bag (less than $100 store bought; assuming some sowing skills, you can make one yourself as well) and tie it to the deck/trailer. If my sail is wet, I raise it on land to dry; takes ten minutes or so. I use an old towel to remove any remaining droplets from the window.

    PS: If it's raining :eek:, I take the whole wet kaboodle home and hope for some sun the next day.
     
  5. predator

    predator Fear the 'fish!

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    How about sheet metal A/C duct? A quick check online came up with "theductshop.com" with 3-foot lengths of pre-formed 8" galvanized sheet metal duct for $13.22 each. Probably want to cover the sharp edges with some hose.

    For airflow you could either use perforated pipe or cut some holes, then cover with a tarp (or shrinkwrap) for storage. Be sure there are no burrs on the inside to snag things.


    I checked my boat and don't see any cracks or damage. I don't know if the internal foam blocks were damaged, but I'm hopeful. Everything looks just as I left it.

    I have to disagree with the idea of perpendicular supports being better. The caveat "as long as they go all the way across the bottom" implies that the support needs to come mainly from the chine (the corner where the bottom meets the sides). And all the embodiments of cross supports are only a 2x4 wide which concentrates the load on a very small area and propogates any damage all the way across to the vulnerable parts we're trying to protect. Even having 3 supports is only 6" of area where you could easily have 36" bunks instead.
    It seems to me that the message is to distribute the load over as large an area possible right at the edge. That says long longitudinal boards, preferably with an "L" shape to fit the bottom edge, and another generous support at the bow tip just to hold and center. Rollers under the keel could help with loading, but should not be touching during travel.
     
  6. Memnar

    Memnar Member

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    I've towed just about every boat trailer in the world and seen just about every problem also as my dad owned a boat shop when I was in High School and I would pick up boats 200 miles away and tow them back.

    If you going to be on the highway or going out of town you might want is to ADD weight to the trailer - and maybe lower the air pressure to 18-20lbs. I have a small trailer I tow behind my Harley and I did this with no problems in 10,000 miles.
    You can buy lead or weights at a tractor farm store.

    These small lightweight trailers bounce so much anything attached may be damaged.

    -Erik
     
  7. SGT. Ervin

    SGT. Ervin New Member

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    Adding weight helps! Even when I pull my Sunfish behind my 1974 Honda 900 Motorcycle adding a little weight helps. When being pulled behind my Dodge Dakota I have a eazy-up, charcoal grill, and any other camping equiptment I can cram onto the trailer to help with fish-tailing and bounceing. If its just a day trip then I let some air out of the tires. Anyone around the central Texas area need a sailing buddy?
     
  8. texasmini

    texasmini New Member

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    i always used a jet ski trailer i picked up from a local boat shop. i just adjusted the skids in a little bit and it seems to support the boat well and pull nice.
     
  9. 73sunfish

    73sunfish New Member

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    I'm currently working on converting my jetski trailer to a Sunfish trailer.. I have a simple A frame and my plan is to use a Sunfish clone hull as a cradle for my Sunfish.

    I plan on seperating the StarFish's hull from its deck and attaching its hull to the trailer, thus giving me an almost perfect support for my sunfish while trailering..

    I'm still working on how everything will work out but I figure this should be a good idea.

    I'll post pictures as I work through it.
     
  10. SGT. Ervin

    SGT. Ervin New Member

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    Thats a pretty good idea, better protection from road hazards too. I just posted some pics of my trailer project. There on my profile. Check it out as I would love to hear some feedback on it from you all.
     
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  11. LindaP

    LindaP New Member

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    I'm new to this. Are we not supposed to have the hull resting on or touching the rubber rollers? Do the rollers damage the hull while in transit?
     
  12. Wayne

    Wayne Member Emeritus

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    Rollers..., YIKES :eek:

    Rollers tend to focus the weight of the boat at concentrated spots..., the apex of each roller's curve.

    Better to have the weight distributed over a wider area by using "bunks", long padded and carpeted boards that extend along about 50% of the boat's length.

    The other good support system is "cradles". These run perpendicular to the boat and are formed to fit its contour, again padded and carpeted.
     
  13. 67stang

    67stang Member

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    I plan on seperating the StarFish's hull from its deck and attaching its hull to the trailer, thus giving me an almost perfect support for my sunfish while trailering..



    ..I'm trying to follow you on this....are you going to install the hull of the Starfish on to the trailer permanently, and then slip the Sunfish into the Starfish hull? How is the inside of the Starfish going to be shaped to fit the outside of the Sunfish? Am I visualizing this correctly?

    Or, maybe I will just wait for the pics.
     
  14. SGT. Ervin

    SGT. Ervin New Member

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    Im following you 67stang.....some where on here is some pics of the inside of a Sunfish. Its is not a stamped pice of plastic. (Think of a trucks plastic bed liner) It looked more like layed fiberglass, which I wasnt expecting. Am I correct on this?
     
  15. LindaP

    LindaP New Member

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    The trailer does have carpeted bunks as well, but I'm not sure if 50% of the hull is being supported. I'll have to measure it. I put together a message yesterday with photos, but after I spent 43 minutes completing it, I got a message stating that the moderator needed to approve my post. I'm still waiting and we really need to know if we are doing damage to our new Sunfish by using this trailer.
     
  16. LindaP

    LindaP New Member

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    Okay, I just measured the carpeted bunks and they are only 5 feet in length. Do the bunks need to be at least 7 feet for a 14 feet boat? I think we may be looking at having to invest in a new trailer. Not sure.
     
  17. 73sunfish

    73sunfish New Member

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    Yes, My sunfish should fit inside the hull of the clone, which will be mounted onto the trailer permanently.

    The inside of my clone "starfish" has a hollow interior, it has the foam sprayed onto the inside off the hull walls unlike the Sunfish, which has styrofoam blocks on the inside..

    I might have to split the Clone down the keel since the hull's dimensions are almost identical to the Sunfish's. It should work, but I'm still kinda fuzzy on all the details. I'll post a sketch as soon as I can later tonight.

    I might use the deck of the Starfish as a flower pot out in the yard, might even make a sail for it.. just needs some spray paint..
    ;)
     
  18. 67stang

    67stang Member

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    ...5' bunks should be ok, you would just have to make sure that they are in good locations, to carry the weight. Look at some previous threads for pics.
    You will also have to carry the front as well, and again, the pics from previous threads really give a lot of ideas. Just spread the weight out on to strong structural spots on the Sunfish, not hollow fiberglass areas.

    Use the "search" button and you will find many threads on this very subject. Make a folder on your computer and the put pics ( that you find), in it for you to veiw later on, I do!
     
  19. Wayne

    Wayne Member Emeritus

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    67stang’s reply covered this well. Sorry, 50% was a ball-park figure. Maybe it would have been better put as 30% - 50%. Checkout all the pictures at the beginning of this thread. You don’t need to buy a new trailer when the bunks aren’t proper for a boat, just redesign the bunks.

    My only comment there is, some of the bunks pictured are supporting the hull in the broad flat section that fatigues most easily. See the picture of the boat under construction at the builder to understand where there is and isn’t good internal support.

    On a “hard chine” (sharp cornered) hull the strongest point on the bottom is right at the chine where the bottom turns up to form the side. Carrying the boat closest to the chine is best.



    Been there. . . your post isn’t likely to ever appear. Something about the link code you used for your pictures.

    Are your pictures being linked from a picture album on the internet or are you uploading photos from your computer?

    If you can get a picture posted, I’ll be happy to mark it up with my opinion on a design.
     
  20. Salty Sea Dog

    Salty Sea Dog New Member

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    Would two cradles be sufficient, or would you suggest three? I'm thinking about making a frame with cradles that I can secure in the back of my truck. That way I won't have to find a trailer, as long as it works properly.
     

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