trailer size?

Discussion in 'Sunfish Talk' started by greenskeeper, Aug 25, 2012.

  1. greenskeeper

    greenskeeper Member

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    what is a good size trailer for a sunfish? I am going to look at a trailer that holds 12-14' boats. I think that is the correct size to look for.
     
  2. dryer

    dryer New Member

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  3. AQBill

    AQBill Member

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    I'd go for the small utility-type trailer. It's less expensive and offers a variety of customized mounting capabilities. Your boat spends 99% of it's life sitting on a trailer so a good support system is well worth the effort. I'd keep the Sunfish on it's deck (upside down) and get a good hull cover to protect it! I have also seen jet ski trailers used but they are heavily sprung. Might be able to remove leaf from leaf springs to make it more cushioned. I use a Trailex and it's pretty good, too, but much more expensive. Cheers!
     
  4. emilikins

    emilikins Maniac

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    AQBill, thanks for the tip on the small utility trailers. Anything specific we should look for with those in regards to Sunfish? I could see us newbies missing something important. Do you use any sort of cushioning or support when you flip it deck down on the trailer? I'd think at least a blanket to keep from scratching, but that really wouldn't protect against bumps.
     
  5. AQBill

    AQBill Member

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    emilikins, , indeed you'd have to mount fitted supports on the utility trailer as well. I'd get some 4 ft 2x6s and scribe them with the shape of the hull - if you want the SF to sit on its hull - or with the shape of the deck - if you want the SF to sit on its deck. I'd mount the 2x6s transversely to the front most and rear most of the utility trailer cross members to get the widest spacing possible and do the transcribing for the hull or deck where the 2x6s make contact with the hull or deck. The greater the contact/surface area touching the boat the better and the 2x6s should be padded with waterproof carpeting - at least. It's a good idea to have the SF balanced a little to the front of the trailer so the pressure on the trailer hitch is at least 10% of the combined weight of the trailer and the SF. In other words, if the whole shebang weighs 500 pounds, you'll want at least 50 pounds of pressure on the trailer hitch to prevent road wobbling.
    Finally, read everything you can about SF trailers in this forum. You'll find a lot of real good ideas and perhaps some pictures, as well. Cheers. AQBill
    :D
     
  6. dryer

    dryer New Member

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    I have a 5x8 utility trailer I sometimes use for hauling kayaks. I simply clamp two 2x4's across the side rails. The 2x4's are covered in "roll bar foam" which is similar to pool noodles but are much thicker and tougher. The boats settle in and form the foam to their hull shapes. This would work perfectly with a sunfish. The 2x4's provide some springiness to cushion the yaks against road shock. Utility trailors are usually heavily sprung, since they are designed to haul a substantial load.
    If you go the Harbor Freight cheap utility trailer route, you'll need to build carpet covered bunks to secure the boat. I like my Sunfish hull down because I have to use boat ramps to launch. Building trailer bunks is super easy to do and there are a gazillion ways to do it. A Sunfish likes to be cradled at several points to keep the hull from taking a 'form'. Foam kayak roof blocks on those 2x6's would do it nicely. If you want to get fancy, draft the hull profile onto some 2x6's and cut some custom carpet covered bunks. I've used pool noodles, roll bar foam, and carpet for light boats, all good. The little boat trailer I referenced above is pretty much good to go. It's similar to what I have for my Sunfish and Vagabond 14.
    Foam blocks:
    http://www.prolineracks.com/kayak-foam-blocks.html
     
  7. signal charlie

    signal charlie Active Member Staff Member

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    Options:
    1. Check craigslist for a small galvanized trailer and have your father in law add some bunks.
    2. Rent a Uhaul and put your boats and trailers in the back!
    3. Buy a trailex trailer
    4. Convert a motorcycle trailer.
    5. Buy the Harbor Freight trailer and put it together. Might not last long in a salt water environment.
    6. Find a jetski trailer. The one we found rides the best of any we've had, it is heavy enough that it does not bounce around.

    The foam padding works great. I also like the outdoor carpet sold at Lowes or Home Depot, it is inexpensive and holds up well outdoors

    You need to get at least 7 feet of your Sunfish ahead of the axle, and have a foot or two of room to spare from the hitch to the bow.

    A trailer hitch is not essential but it sure makes moving the boat around easier and helps prevent back injuries when hooking up/unhooking the trailer.
     

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  8. greenskeeper

    greenskeeper Member

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    found a sunfish w/trailer for under $1k, going to look at it this weekend so maybe the trailer search will take care of itself
     
  9. signal charlie

    signal charlie Active Member Staff Member

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  10. Lafayette Mike

    Lafayette Mike Member

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    Would you be so kind as too upload a picture when you are done? I'd like to do the same.

    Thanks
     
  11. greenskeeper

    greenskeeper Member

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    no deal, so I am going back to looking at trailers.

    What size utility trailer is good to put brackets on to hold a sunfish.

    I am thinking that if I can have a utility trailer to use for hauiling AND be able to throw the sunfish on there, that would be best. A boat trailer can only haul a boat afterall!
     
  12. emilikins

    emilikins Maniac

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    What about canoe trailers? The ones I've seen on some trailer sites look a lot like the ones our instructors have used for hauling the lesson SFs.
     
  13. AQBill

    AQBill Member

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    Most canoe trailers I've seen are more expensive and less appropriate for sailboats than either utility type or personal watercraft trailers. Check Craig's List and I'll bet you'll find what you're looking for. Good Luck!
    ;)
     
  14. signal charlie

    signal charlie Active Member Staff Member

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    I saw someone using a utility trailer, it looked like it worked well. They had about 2 feet hanging of the fron and about four off the back, so my math tells me the traile bed was probably 8 feet. They had the trailer padded and the boat hull side up. Spars were lashed to the trailer. They were pulling it behind a small RV and had bikes in there also.
     
  15. greenskeeper

    greenskeeper Member

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    picked up a sunfish AND trailer today! extremely light, the lightest sunfish I have ever been around. No fiberglass damage.

    Going to try to decode the hull # and see what year it is, I think it is an older sunfish.
     
  16. emilikins

    emilikins Maniac

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    Everyone seems to have a better CL market than us. Sigh.

    Is there such a thing as collapsible trailers or something that can tow the boat AND go through walkabout basement sliding doors? The real kicker right now is figuring out what trailer can hold the boat AND go through the walkout basement doors for storage. We only have a two-car garage and ridiculously strict and not pragmatic neighborhood covenants, so we can't store the boat and trailer outside and we can't build a shed in our large, empty backyard to store it.

    We're wondering if we would be able to tip the trailer on its side to get it through the sliding doors OR store it sideways in our garage (which has little room on either side of the cars to walk, but there is a little bit more room in the back). Is this just asking for disaster? I think the weight of the trailer would make it difficult for carrying sideways into the basement. We're small, and I'm definitely not one of those "stronger than I look" types :oops:

    The other option the hubby is thinking about is building a trailer mostly out of wood that could "collapse" fairly easily. I'll be Googling about collapsible trailers, since I'm worried about us getting the specs wrong and having a towing disaster. Are folding trailers safe?
     
  17. jsimmons248

    jsimmons248 Member

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    Buying a Harbor Freight trailer is a good way to go. You can modify it to trailer a Sunfish and somewhere out there are instructions on how to do just that!
    Regardless, remember that if you are going to trailer the Sunfish right side up make sure the boat rests on the rails toward the outside of the bottom where the hull is strongest. If the rails are farther toward the center the bouncing of the boat on the trailer will pound the heck out of the hull taking the stiffness out and possibly damaging the styrofoam blocks inside.
     
  18. Light and Variable Winds

    Light and Variable Winds Well-Known Member

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    "Harbor Freight" offers a small collapsible trailer that would be ideal. As one would expect, the axle doesn't fold—the trailer folds over the axle. It comes with four casters to move it around. Instead of a plywood floor, bunks for the hull would need installing.

    http://i1025.photobucket.com/albums/y318/Patent1/ZX6R Pictures/FoldingTrailer0001.jpg
     
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  19. emilikins

    emilikins Maniac

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    I've been looking at the modifications done on this site as well as the Yahoo group. If we go look at a SF w/ a trailer that doesn't have those mods, how detrimental is it to the boat? I'm definitely going to flip the thing over and check the underside to make sure there aren't dings and punctures and plan to modify the trailer if it isn't already done, but is the SF already damned on a non-modded, upright boat trailer?

    If we wind up with a boat that has a trailer with it, we'll probably try the "tip it sideways" to get it in the door. I looked at trailer weights, and they don't seem to be much heavier than the boat but with better gripping areas, so I don't think it'll be too terrible hauling it in. Hopefully we can squeeze a spot at the club lot, but we do want a boat home over winter to work on it.
     
  20. Sailkb

    Sailkb Member

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    Maybe this is a way to store your boat outside and get around those pesky subdivision rules :)

    View attachment 10129
     

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