Double Sunfish Trailer

Thread starter #1
I just purchased my second sunfish, and I want to modify my trailer to carry both of them. I am considering several alternative designs and would love any feedback or ideas.

1 An "A" frame design that would have the hulls leaning up on their side.
2 A stacked design one on top of the other.
3 A side by side design like a dual personal watercraft trailer.

I am leaning toward the side by side design, but the other two design were my first thoughts on the subject. I would also love any pictures of existing double trailers that anyone has that I can give to my welder. My trailer is large enough to hold any of the above designs.

Thanks,

Tom Harrison
tom@thomasvillecpa.com
 
#2
Tom,
The side by side design, while feasable and allowing one person to load/unload, may get you in trouble with DOT unless you are careful in your design. Any trailer over 80" wide requires extra lighting and usually can be no wider than 102". Two Sunfish side by side are about 98". Parking a wide trailer can be a pain also. In the Tips and Tricks section of the Class Home page are some suggestions for multible trailers. Also the last article under Bishops FAQs has info reguarding cradles for a SF. Another sailor used garage door track mounted on the center line to slide his two SF (hanging from the track) in and out. It was posted in the old SF Forum a long time ago and I will e-mail you the the picture (can't get it to upload here). Trailex Trailers (http://www.trailex.com/) also has pictures of dble rigs on their web site. Tall trailers, with high center of gravities, can also turn over pretty easy. Tails of woe can be found on the Laser sites and also some ideas. Do a web search for Lasers (Dr. Laser and Rooster are two).
 
#4
Tom. Tim,

Pictures sent. I believe the track used is the square (or round) kind with the trolly's commonly used for sliding doors on Pole Barns. The round style is available with nylon rollers. The way I see the set up on the trailer: you hook up the bow eye and slide the boat into the carry position (lifting the rear), then adjust the support straps to take the pressure off the bow handle and then strap down for travel. Good Luck guys.
 
#6
Brad,
The picture has been sent. I do not see why it would not work with a lumber rack on a Pick Up. Maybe a bolt on extention to the lumber rack to support more of the rail would work. A full size truck (8’ bed) would work best. A bunk type rack in the bed extending over the tail gate would hold the lower boat with out using a rail. The upper boat would use the rail (14' +/-) and webbing for support, although the rear strap (at the rear lumber rack supports) would leave a bunch of the rear hanging out unsupported. To help stabilize the rear, use a 6"x 3/8" eyebolt inserted through the rudder mount (new style) and hooked to the rear trolly. Make sure there is little or zero weight on the eyebolt or bow handle while traveling (would hate to have either mount rip out). Also would need to have a positive stop on the upper to keep it from breaking out the rear window. This adaptation may take a little more thought (would help if I still had my pick up). Feel free to bounce ideas off me. Good luck.
 
Thread starter #7
Thanks, that design is awesome! I am going to run this by my welder and see if it is also affordable. This is a great forum, and I appreciate everyone's input. I can wait for warmer weather to sail again.

Tom
 
#8
Tom,
Glad I could help with the picture. I liked the idea also, thats why I kept a copy of the picture. Maybe the original owner/designer has seen this post and could post a message or e-mail me. You may be able to move the Sail/Boom/Mast Storage containers to the lower outer corners inside the frame (a slight width adjustment may have to be made for clearence). This would narrow the trailer quite a bit above the wheels. I also notice that the builder appears to be using bungee cords across the deck (as hold downs?). Suggest regular ratchet straps as hold down straps and maybe a pair of V-Block bow stops attached to the forward verticle.
 
#9
I am rigging up an ATV trailer to haul two sunfish also. I am going to do the side by side config to I can easily launch both with a bit of help from my two smallerist sailing partners. Does anyone know the diameter of a PVC pipe that would be needed to slide the spars, mast and gooseneck into all at the same time?
 
#10
Steve,
Look at the Dickson Mk II Trailer under "Tips and Tricks" on the SF Class Home Page. The original used an 8" tube, the Mk II uses 6" tubes (cheaper and lighter). The gooseneck measures about 6-1/2", requireing a slot in the tube or disassembly of the gooseneck (I do not recommend). A single 8" tube may be able to hold both sets of spars, mast and sails, I am not sure because I haven't tried it (only have one set). Anybody know if it will work? You may want to bundle you sets together and try and slide a 8" ring (cut from a paper plate or use a cross stitch hoop) over the bundle to see if it will fit. If it does, mount the tube down the centerline of the trailer with the sides of the Sunfish over the tube. Remember to allow for ventaltion and secure attachment of the cap(s). Also keep in mind the 102" DOT restriction. Good Luck.
 
#13
I made a big change to my trailering method last summer - I used to just stack them together with some foam noodles or similar padding in between the 2 hulls. so last summer, before we took a big road trip around Michigan, I built a 4’x8′ base and A-frame out of 2x lumber, with custom bunks to support the side of each boat. the lower "box" portion of the trailer can then be used for storage for several totes with beach and sailing gear.
scalloped piece of 1/2" plywood on the forward and back A-frame supports the sail bag that holds both rigs.

I took my old boat trailer and removed the bunks. bottom layer is 2x6's.
then the sides are 2x10's to make the "box" that is approx 4'x8' in plan view.
the A-frames are 2x6's, with a 2nd longer 2x6 horizontal at each frame to support the bunks. a 2x6 strut is longitudinal at the top of the A-frame to tie them together.
the bunks are 1x6 cedar - I wrapped one with bunk carpet, but ran out of it before I could do the 2nd bunk. the 1x6 cedar flexes nicely to follow the shape of the hull when I place the boat onto it. eye bolts at each frame to use ratchet straps to hold them in place.
various metal plate straps anchor it down to the trailer frame.
my diy dolly built out of PVC is tucked into the back there, with some bungees to keep it in place.

my only complaint - it's a bit of a pain to get the storage totes and coolers out - pretty much have to loosen the straps on one of the boats to get it from the side, so future plans might be to tweak one of the A-frame ends to have a wider opening to fit the totes/coolers through the back end. that, and maybe it could have been shifted a bit further back to balance the load on the axle a bit better... but it trailers fine.

IMG_1636.jpg

IMG_1638.jpg

IMG_1639.jpg

Minifish on the left, Sunfish on the right. trailered probably 1,500+ miles on the one trip last summer, sailed on Lake Michigan and Lake Superior!
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#15
Makes sense! Looks right. Check the dates on those trailer tires, no older than 6 years. Our trailer guy recommends bumping up on the load rating too, they'll run cooler.
Great job on the rig, have fun this Summer and thanks for the photos.
 
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