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DIY unistrut dolly build

kevink16

New Member
I just finished my DIY dolly build. I tried to duplicate the design of the Seitech Dollys at my club and used Unistrut channel which I was surprised I haven't seen anyone else make use of in other DIY builds. In total it cost me about $130 to make. I have a welder so I welded on the axles and the handle bar but it'd definitely be possible to come up with alternative attachment ideas for someone without access to a welder. I still need to fabricate a bow support bracket but then she'll be good to go.

My favorite part about it is that in a less than a minute I can break it down into pieces and throw it in the truck bed with the boat for transport since I don't have a trailer.

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Cactus Cowboy

Well-Known Member
Nice job, should be fine with the weight you're moving around... and a dolly can be a real back saver, LOL. One of these days I'm gonna post a pic of my primitive wooden dolly (which worked great), just so you can see how much more advanced your model is, LOL. :eek:

Oh, yeah, that wooden dolly only cost me a few bucks to build, since I already had the lumber scraps and a pair of wheels from an old handcart. Had to buy the steel rod for the axle, and the large stainless eyescrews I used for line securement. Photo to follow at some point in the future... ;)

It wasn't a bad dolly at all, it allowed me to wheel my Minifish from the car (parked in the street) to the water's edge in Glorietta Bay Park, all by myself and no worries... plus the dolly fit in the trunk of 'The Mighty Camry' when I wasn't using it. Hey, whatever works, right? And the dolly worked just fine... :cool:
 

kevink16

New Member
@bigken here are some photos with the strut channel dimensions added and a photo of the bow support I made.

A few additional comments on this dolly build; to be honest the unistrut isn't nearly as rigid as I was expecting it to be before building it. The open C-channel of the unistrut allows for a fair bit of torsional twisting in the main channel length that runs front to back. So it's nowhere near as solid as Seitech dolly but still works fine for my needs. Just something to be aware of if you go this route.

Another thing I would change if I did it again would be to add few more inches in overall length to the dolly or change my mounting bracket for the handle strut so that it attaches at the very end of the main strut channel. With my current setup, and the way I build my bow support bracket, I find that the boat is sitting dead on it center of mass in the sling. With even weigh front to back the hull becomes a seesaw and wants to tip back, up off bow support easily so I have to secure the bow down to the dolly handle with the bow line at all times to keep the hull stable. I'll like remake a new bracket for my handle strut mount to fix this in the future.

I also changed over all of the unistrut brackets from the two hole to the 4 hole brackets. I found that the 2 hole bracket (1 bolt in each joining channel) allowed the uprights channels holding the hull sling to rotate no matter how much I tightened them down. Changing to the 4 hole brackets helped solidify the assembly a lot or these uprights could just be welded in place instead of bolted.

These are the wheels I used from harbor freight. I went with the widest tire available since I'll be launch on a sandy beach mostly. The "axel" for these is just a 5/8" bar stock from home depot.
https://www.harborfreight.com/13-inch-x-5-inch-heavy-duty-pneumatic-tire-37767.html
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