Converting a trailer for 2 fish?

thieuster

Active Member
#21
Just showing my trailers-trough-time. Perhaps it can help you get inspired...

Fist up: a smallish trailer with a lid, originally to hold an optimist on top - exactly the width and length of an optimist. When my son changed to a Splash (80cm shorter than a Laser) it just fitted... Since a little too small, I sold it.

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So we went to the next level: a bespoke 3-layer trailer for Splashes, quickly turned into a two-story + box version...

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Enter the Laser... and my wish for a fitting trailer and box under for stability. So I went back to the builder of trailer #1 who made me this:

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Last year in Plymouth (UK). It's brilliant, but... it can be improved. So it's currently at a friend's carpentry workshop for... box-long drawers! Inspired by YT videos of big American Trucks with 'bed organizors'

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So... with that trailer in the wood workshop, it's back to my 3-layer trailer - now slightly adapted to the Laser. Mind you: the 'scaffolding' is attached to the chassis with U-bolts. I can lift the whole uprise off and have a single trailer. It's a zinc plated steel trailer, no alloy. Here: on our way to Kiel - Schilksee, carrying a boat another sailor as well.

Why did I remove the box like shown on pic 2? My son has his drivers license and he goes out on his own. He wants to be able to (un)load the boat himself.

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thieuster

Active Member
#22
... added to that: we (nearly all trailer owners) use 13" wheels for the trailer. Why? First: 13" tires are easily found when they need replacing. 10" isn't easy to find. Secondly: 13" can handle higher speed easier. Speed limits when towing here in Europe differ from country to country...

  • Netherlands: 90 km/hr - 56 mls/hr. But you won't get fined when you're 10 km over the limit. Don't go over it though.
  • Germany: 100 km/hr - 62 mls/hr. Pretty heavy control on that!
  • GB: 100 km/hr - 62 mls/hr. Lots of speeding cameras next to the roads.
  • France: 130 km/hr. / 80 mls/hr. No-one bothers, but don't exceed the 130/80 mark. (btw: French Autoroutes are a gift to motorists! Brilliant!
I suppose it's higher than the US limits when towing. I've been visiting the US since the mid-90s and have driven on US roads for miles and miles. But not with a trailer, so I have no idea!

Trailers here (loaded) under 750 kg do not need a separate license plate and a special driver's license. Most dinghy trailers are under 750 kg.
 
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#23
Most of the time, autos with trailers are required to go 55 mph in the U.S. Most of the time they go much faster. Your trailers are really cool. I remember liking them in a previous post.
 

thieuster

Active Member
#24


This must be one of the nicest around. Built by Heudra, 50 miles from my house. Lightweight alloy box and a 2 or 3 layer scaffolding. Most attach plumbing material (grey or black pipes) for the upper and lower masts as well.
 

mixmkr

Active Member
#25
I sold an old style Trailex trailer, that didn't have the suspension leaves...just the rubber pads. But, that wasn't the problems, the support bunks would bend going around corners with the trailer...or maybe the metal had become fatigued...idk....? Any rate, great for a beach dolly for sure. I sold it to a guy who wanted something for his plastic kayak...easily half the weight of a Sunfish and it should be perfect for that. I got the trailer with a Puffer purchase and tried it with the Sunfish. After several times of use, I decided one day, the fish may just do the trailer in. All this said, I know people have trailer 1000s of miles with these trailers, so maybe I'm missing something. Lastly, those trailers aren't inexpensive, comparatively. I think the new single trailers go for over $1200. You can easily lift them too, as they are so light weight. I'd fear the accidental "pot hole" too. They seem to me, little more than a Seitech dolly with a trailer ball coupling.
 

mixmkr

Active Member
#26
That Heudra trailer looks great. Definitely a multi person job to get a boat on the top racks. I'm not a maniac driver by any means, but it sure seems more top heavy than I'd be comfortable with. Not sure I'd be comfortable in the same lane in another car, just behind it either. Must be paranoid in my older age.
 
#27
Absolutely a multi-person job. But with 3 boats there's always someone to help... I've seen two young lads putting the boat on the top shelf with no other aid. I must admit that it looked like it wasn't their first attempt raising and 'parking' the boat.

I'm not a fan of trailering a 3-story building like that for the same reasons you mention. And fuel consumption is beyond anything you can imagine. Quality-wise, the Heudra is capable of holding the load. It's heavier than the prementioned 750 kg. So it's mandatory (by law) that it needs heavier underpinnings and its own brakes. That comes with beefier springs and shock absorbers. It's a pretty expensive trailer as well. Around 2000 euros. The one here belongs to a family with 3 good Laser sailors; two boys and a girl. (Go figure what their annual sailing budget is...).

I think that this is the nicest one: two-story trailer, easily adaptable for smaller boats. Note that there's a winch on the top shelf that makes hoisting the boat upon the top shelf a lot easier; you can winch it in position. German-made, so it's checked for roadworthiness before it's on the roads.


(More pics at Dinghy Racing Centre - Yes, the people who will also sell you those eye-watering expensive Finn masts...)


It is not as if you should buy that one. I only show this as an example you could have made at your local ironmonger. All you need for the start is a trailer axle, tons of U-bolts and brackets and that nose-hook (dunno the name in English...) that attaches to the tow bar.
 
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Thread starter #28
It's been 4 years since I built mine and the whole rig is holding up really well. I used heavy aircraft grade aluminum with lots of support and high quality titanium rivets. It does flex some but I've never had any issues. A couple of years ago I modified the bottom bunks to hold the boat on a sietech dolly. That was a big improvement.
 
#29
It's been 4 years since I built mine and the whole rig is holding up really well. I used heavy aircraft grade aluminum with lots of support and high quality titanium rivets. It does flex some but I've never had any issues. A couple of years ago I modified the bottom bunks to hold the boat on a sietech dolly. That was a big improvement.
Pics? How did you weigh the balance, making sure that it 'leans' on the tow bar? Both my trailers have a pretty heavy nose weight. It makes them very stable at high speed. When in the US, I spot those U-haul trailers that are idiot-proof: the wheels are so far back that it's nearly impossible to get any load behind the wheels. All weight is directed to the nose.

 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
#31
Welded or riveted, aluminum is poorly suited to the flexing it would receive as a rack. While I personally don't have a need for such double-trailers, I'd suggest a look—from the side—as someone else drives the trailer slowly over a speed bump. :oops:.
I'm actually a big fan of aluminum, especially when it's used with curved surfaces.

Although very off-topic :oops: this FeatherCraft runabout is an example of that construction (from 1957) which will be auctioned off in 5 days. Riveted, using the natural curves limited to aluminum, it's even stronger than their legendary rowboats. ( FeatherCraft "folded" in 1969). The only right angles are at the transom.

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The engine is a "Mark 55", with a claimed horsepower of about 35—but I suspect more. :eek: (This is a 13½-foot boat!)

On this steel trailer, the fenders are antique Mercury outboard cowls (side panels)—a very clever addition on the part of this trailer's builder. :cool:

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