Dolly or harbor freight trailer

Thread starter #1
I currently use a large trailer from my Macgregor 22 to transport my wife's sunfish, but that trailer is large and heavy. This summer the boat will stay at the lake in dry dock, so it would be nice to just roll it to the water by hand. Since my wife and my younger son will be doing this by themselves it needs to be on the lighter side. I am between a full size dolly that goes all the way to the front of the boat like the one intensity sails sells and a boat trailer from harbor freight which is small as it only goes to the wheels. they are about the same price. I am leaning to the trailer, but how heavy is that trailer? The negatives of the dolly seem to me that they might be a bit flimsy, keep in mind the boat will live on the dolly while not in the water, also I am not so sure how secure the boat is on the dolly , again my younger son or wife will be pulling it, up and down a boat ramp.
Ideas?
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
#2
How far does the Sunfish need to be moved? Storing the Sunfish atop a dolly isn't going to work too well, if you're located where the wind can get to it. :eek: Indoors would be a different matter, entirely. :)

I've got a ramp with rollers that works just fine for me. I run a pair of blocks—one single-sheave, one double-sheave—to pull my main 'Fish out of the water. In the off-season, they're secured upside-down on a separate dock. Small-diameter stainless steel tie-down cables—made into a simple loop—are permanently in place. They drop down between the dock boards when not in use. :cool:
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#3
Dolly with big tires if you can get one, I use the Seitech and it is awesome. The harbor freight trailer but it is much heavier and you will need to add a trailer jack to make it manageable, BUT it is only around $375 shipped to most places. It was not good on sand :(
As for winds I store mine on dollys ooutside and if a big blow was coming, like Hurricane Lee, I tied them off to the shed. We commonly get gusts up to 40 and no problems so far.
 
#4
I use a Seitech dolly, along with nearly everyone who travels and races their Sunfish. It is easy, light and stable. During the frostbite season many of store our boats on our dollies, and there has never been a problem with wind. We only have to worry if the parking lot floods. I tie my boat to the dolly, and then tie the dolly to something heavier in the lot.
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#5
Seitech dolly vs harbor freight trailer. There's more trailer there than you think. That picture of the trailer is the day we rescued our Sunfish Madison from the junk pile and rats, she was stacked by the hot tub.
 

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Thread starter #6
Is that trailer the harbor freight one? there are the little wheel things to pull a trailer at my dry dock. all the other sunfish are on trailers and they just use the wheel thing to pull the trailer to and from the water. But again how heavy is the harbor freight trailer?
 
#8
I currently use a large trailer from my Macgregor 22 to transport my wife's sunfish, but that trailer is large and heavy. This summer the boat will stay at the lake in dry dock, so it would be nice to just roll it to the water by hand. Since my wife and my younger son will be doing this by themselves it needs to be on the lighter side. I am between a full size dolly that goes all the way to the front of the boat like the one intensity sails sells and a boat trailer from harbor freight which is small as it only goes to the wheels. they are about the same price. I am leaning to the trailer, but how heavy is that trailer? The negatives of the dolly seem to me that they might be a bit flimsy, keep in mind the boat will live on the dolly while not in the water, also I am not so sure how secure the boat is on the dolly , again my younger son or wife will be pulling it, up and down a boat ramp.
Ideas?
A home-made dolly is good low budget approach. It is all about the tires. The design all depends upon what surface it is rolled over. Bike tires would work for pavement, but if you are rolling over sand you have to use really wide tires like the ones in the recent post from Signal Charlie. Seitech dollies are rugged and work great on sand due to the balloon tires.
 

Wavedancer

Upside down?
Staff member
#10
I am with Signal Charlie, Andy David and the other dolly afficionados. Laser folks store their hulls on dollies (mostly Seitech) all the time, year long. Very convenient to get the boat in and out of the water.
I also second the fact that the tires are an issue. On beaches (soft sand) your body will really thank you for a set of bigger tires (more expensive, unfortunately).
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#11
...or about 100 bucks of parts at Home Depot/lowes

On a totally unrelated note, how do you like our fence? Steel posts and backer rails, 2x6 pickets. I think it would hold up to a tornado, my wife called it the zombie fence...

Are there sailing zombies?
 

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#12
We have a foldable HF trailer for our two 'fish (we call it Frankentrailer, because it serves us several purposes), and I would be concerned about using it as a dolly, especially because ramps can be slick. This trailer is over 200lbs, NOT the small boat trailer, and so we are considering building a dolly to make it easier at some of the lakes that have awkwardly placed boat ramps. If you are wanting to downsize your trailer in general, HF isn't too bad, though I'd recommend definitely doing the boat trailer and doing some mods than buying the foldable we have, simply because the weight and bouncing issue we have with ours (but folding trailers were pretty much our only option, we don't have a place to store it unfolded in the winter).

We've only launched our trailer on the ramp with the card. It's fairly easy to maneuver when you're not on a slick ramp, but I have a feeling we'd lose it to the lake if we didn't have the car as our anchor. Also, the tires aren't made for sand, as many have pointed out. But this is the heavier trailer, so YMMV.

Signal Charlie, do you have a sketched plan of your dolly?
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#13
No sketch but that frame has a 3 foot rod sandwiched between 2x6s. Put together with deck screws. Cotter pins and washers to hold lawn tractor tires in place. Notch cut for 2x3 tongue. And you'll need York's
Peppermint Patties also...
 
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