El Cheapo Sunfish Dolly

Thread starter #1
When it stops raining I will test this down by the lake.
More photos later

Sunfish Dolley/Cart
1- 2x10x8' Cull piece from Home Depot (Cut to two 27" pieces and one 42" piece $01.01
6- 2x3x10" pieces cut from left overs of another project. A new 8' piece would be $02.15
Scrap 3/4" Plywood cut 9" x 12" Expected to be replaced by a longer piece. $01.00
Leftover 2-1/2" Deck Screws from other project, but if 1 box purchased $06.93
2- 5" casters (may not be large enough for rough ground or beach) $8.98 each $17.96
1- 4' Swim Noodle from Dollar Store cut in half and slit lengthwise $01.00
8- 5/16 x-18 x 2 in. Carriage Bolts with Nuts $06.80
8 - Dabs of Gorilla Glue (on hand) Maybe $1.00 worth at most. $01.00
Total Cash investment approximately $37.85
Total Time Investment = less than two hours.

PS. One of the biggest reasons I live in NH is NO SALES TAX.
This project would have cost me another $3.03 if I still lived in NY.
 

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Thread starter #2
KO, after two rainy and one very still day, I got the dolly down to the shore today.
After Six attempts to pull the boat up and lower it onto onto the dolly, I gave up and pulled the boat up on the shore, rolled it onto it's Starboard side, put dolly in place and rolled boat back down onto dolly.
These photos taken before launch.
 

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Thread starter #4
Ayup, you are my inspiration.
Challenge was getting small enough diameter wheels to get under the boat where I pull it up over the bank and onto the grass. I'm still afraid my wheels are going to prove too small for rough terrain or sandy beach.
 
#6
If you entertain the notion of another DIY option, I have had good success with my dolly I created out of mostly PVC pipe.
You can see the details and download plans here: http://my2fish.wordpress.com/2013/07/17/sunfish-pvc-dolly-plans/



I've since added a handle, also made using PVC pipe.
this is the PVC dolly with my Minifish on it.

View attachment 15661
I am looking to make this dolly and printed off your plans (thank you by the way!), but I have a question. What keeps the two bars from collapsing when you put the weight of the boat on them? It looks to me like they would pivot down unless you ran bolts through the pvc and 45 elbow joints. Is that really not necessary? Did you use glue?

Thanks!
 
#7
What keeps the two bars from collapsing when you put the weight of the boat on them? It looks to me like they would pivot down unless you ran bolts through the pvc and 45 elbow joints. Is that really not necessary? Did you use glue?
I glued every single PVC joint, so it is all pretty rigid. I don't think I've ever had any of it rotate in any way.
 
#8
I glued every single PVC joint, so it is all pretty rigid. I don't think I've ever had any of it rotate in any way.
Thanks! I bought the stuff to make it last night, although I just realized that the foam tires I bought at Tractor Supply are 5/8's so time for another trip to Lowe's to convert my hardware.
 
#10
Best of luck! I hope it works well for you.
I knew I should have trusted my gut. My 1969 sunfish probably weighs twice as much as yours. I wish I would have built in a cross bar and bolted it. I tested it out and one of the arms fell over. I went back and added some screws to the weak spots.

Now my bailer plug is broke. Will the plug work to keep the water out of the boat without the ball underneath?
 

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#11
Oh no! That sucks... I think the bailer will still bail water out, but the ball prevents water from flowing back into the boat.

Sorry I led you astray!
 
#12
Oh no! That sucks... I think the bailer will still bail water out, but the ball prevents water from flowing back into the boat.

Sorry I led you astray!
No worries! I think I might just drill some holes and ties some lines to make sure the arms don't collapse. I need to weigh this boat. Sucker is heavy.
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
#13
Now my bailer plug is broke. Will the plug work to keep the water out of the boat without the ball underneath?
I have two Sunfish with bailers broken like yours. :oops: I've eliminated the bailer on my most-used Sunfish today. I bought an $5 adjustable automobile "freeze-plug" of the size 1¼". Although I will reverse its position tomorrow so that the (bigger) adjustment side is inside the cockpit, it fit perfectly!

Regarding the dolly, I stumbled onto a "trailer dolly" at Northern Tool for $49. It's not designed to be a trailer, but if the trip to the ramp is a short one, NT's "trailer dolly" could be modified with suitable bunks to carry a Sunfish. Perhaps add a trailer hitch, and make a trailer out of it!

The not-a-trailer trailer:
http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200437627_200437627?gclid=CL7ixuO91sUCFcMSHwod7q8AnQ

Fullscreen capture 5222015 74121 PM.bmp.jpg
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
#17
Thanks for the tip! I will head to autozone tomorrow.
Regarding the 1¼" freeze-plug replacement for the bailer, I stumbled on a plastic knob that screws firmly onto the exposed ¼"x20 threads. The nut that comes with the plug takes a ½" socket, and not the expected 7/16ths. I've forgotten what object the knob came from, but I save interesting hardware from broken items I throw away—like lawnmowers and drafting tables. Sears might have them.



A nylon "acorn nut" would also protect the threaded end.
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
#19
1- 4' Swim Noodle from Dollar Store cut in half and slit lengthwise $01.00
PS. One of the biggest reasons I live in NH is NO SALES TAX.
For those who want more "air" on their suspension, Wal-Mart has a Mega Monster Noodle in red, green, or blue with a 6" diameter x 48" length foam Swim Noodle which has a whole lot of flotation. It's $5, but if bought in New Hampshire, there's no state sales tax.
 
Thread starter #20
Original dolly wheels were (as expected) too small to roll over grass or in sand.
Replaced with fully pneumatic dolly wheels with grease fittings ($42 each at Tractor Supply). Larger diameter and footprint.


 
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