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Got A Trailer, Prepping For A Sunfish.

L&VW

Well-Known Member
Were you going to load the dolly on? Not much needed except straps or rope.

If you transport it right-side up, I'd use a plane or spoke-shave to shape the bunks closer to the hull shape. In a hurry? Use a reciprocating saw (Harbor Freight—$19) or a chainsaw... ;)

If transported upside-down, the bunks should be moved to approximate the outer edges of the boat, and formed as above. (Only a little needed). Bolt on conventional carpeting or indoor-outdoor carpeting, which is slippery when wet. (Aiding in sliding the boat on the trailer).

Check on the condition of the rollers, pins, and their brackets. "Punch" damage to the keel can result from those parts failing. :(

It appears the winch will draw the bow to rusty steel brackets. :eek: I'd insulate them with rubber blocks, or not allow the bow to touch them—especially in transit.

The Tractor Supply chain has stores with a comprehensive inventory of such things. (And bird seed). :)
 

Guybrush3pwood

Active Member
Were you going to load the dolly on? Not much needed except straps or rope.

If you transport it right-side up, I'd use a plane or spoke-shave to shape the bunks closer to the hull shape. In a hurry? Use a reciprocating saw (Harbor Freight—$19) or a chainsaw... ;)

If transported upside-down, the bunks should be moved to approximate the outer edges of the boat, and formed as above. (Only a little needed). Bolt on conventional carpeting or indoor-outdoor carpeting, which is slippery when wet. (Aiding in sliding the boat on the trailer).

Check on the condition of the rollers, pins, and their brackets. "Punch" damage to the keel can result from those parts failing. :(

It appears the winch will draw the bow to rusty steel brackets. :eek: I'd insulate them with rubber blocks, or not allow the bow to touch them—especially in transit.

The Tractor Supply chain has stores with a comprehensive inventory of such things. (And bird seed). :)
I hadn’t planned on loading it dolly and all, but that’s mostly because I didn’t think it was an option.
What if I just covered the bunks with soft foam? Like pool noodle type stuff. I’m not sure I have the skills to measure the curved shape of a hull and carve it out of wood.
As for the rusty part at the front there, I’m down with replacing it with something better if you have something in mind. Just let me know what!
While you do that, I’ll try and figure out the mystery of the lights. Worked when hooked up to the sellers truck, but not to mine, even though my multimeter shows that my wiring on my vehicle is working as expected.
 

wjejr

Active Member
So I got a trailer. I think it’ll work for my sunfish, but I’m guessing I’ll need to outfit it to best support a sunfish. What recommendations do you guys have with this in mind? Which areas of the boat need support when transporting?
Hi, I would look to move the bunks outboard and forward so that the boat is supported close to the chines where the boat is strongest. The ends of the bunks want to be past where the cubby and footwell meet, however. I would also shape the bunks so that they fit the hull properly and round over the bunk corners at the back, so that when pulling the boat onto the trailer, you won’t be putting all the weight on two sharp corners. Take care that there is clearance for the bailer.

If you follow those suggestions, you may find that the bunks need to be taller. You don’t want the boat to ride on the rollers. Rollers create pressure points, and pressure points are bad for thin fiberglass hulls. The simple way to make them taller is to fasten 2x4s to them. That would create more surface area besides, and that’s good.

Ideally, the boat won’t need support other than the bunks, but if the boat wants to tip forward, you might need something to support it there as well. In that case, I would want to support the boat under the mast step. The forward roller in the photo might work, cannot tell if it moves, but again I would swap the roller with something that added a little more surface area, or at least pad the roller. If needed, you want that support to be high enough so that the boat will not/ cannot pivot on the forward corners of the bunks. Just to be safe, I would round the bunks’ front corners as well.

All the above are just my opinions of course, but I hope they are helpful.

Good luck!
 
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Guybrush3pwood

Active Member
Hi, I would look to move the bunks outboard and forward so that the boat is supported close to the chines where the boat is strongest. The ends of the bunks want to be past where the cubby and footwell meet, however. I would also shape the bunks so that they fit the hull properly and round over the bunk corners at the back, so that when pulling the boat onto the trailer, you won’t be putting all the weight on two sharp corners. Take care that there is clearance for the bailer.

If you follow those suggestions, you may find that the bunks need to be taller. You don’t want the boat to ride on the rollers. Rollers create pressure points, and pressure points are bad for thin fiberglass hulls. The simple way to make them taller is to fasten 2x4s to them. That would create more surface area besides, and that’s good.

Ideally, the boat won’t need support other than the bunks, but if the boat wants to tip forward, you might need something to support it there as well. In that case, I would want to support the boat under the mast step. The forward roller in the photo might work, cannot tell if it moves, but again I would swap the roller with something that added a little more surface area, or at least pad the roller. If needed, you want that support to be high enough so that the boat will not/ cannot pivot on the forward corners of the bunks. Just to be safe, I would round the bunks’ front corners as well.

All the above are just my opinions of course, but I hope they are helpful.

Good luck!
Great info! Not really sure how to "shape" the bunks. If it involves carving wood I can tell you right now, I probably won't be able to do that.

When you say "move the bunks outboard and forward," do you mean closer to the vehicle and out towards the sides more? Should I angle the bunks so it's more of a "cupping" type setup?

I am awful at describing this stuff. That probably makes zero sense.

Oh, got the lights figured out. Bad ground.
 

wjejr

Active Member
Great info! Not really sure how to "shape" the bunks. If it involves carving wood I can tell you right now, I probably won't be able to do that.

When you say "move the bunks outboard and forward," do you mean closer to the vehicle and out towards the sides more? Should I angle the bunks so it's more of a "cupping" type setup?

I am awful at describing this stuff. That probably makes zero sense.

Oh, got the lights figured out. Bad ground.
Yes, i would move the bunks close to the trapier tongue and out more to the sides. To cut the curve, I would scribe a line using the hull of the boat as a guide. Use a saber saw to cut the wood.

Hope that helps.

Good luck!
 

Guybrush3pwood

Active Member
Unfortunately, that's beyond my set of skills. "Scribe a line" is Greek to me! I can try longer bunks that sit more forward and out with some pool noodles on them though.
 

Guybrush3pwood

Active Member
Front keel support under the mast step. Bunks under the outer edge of the cockpit. Don't strap too tight with ratchets.
Noice. What would you suggest for front keel support? One of those V shaped rubber guys?

I think I'm thinking of a bow stop. Is that not the same thing?
 
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signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
We use rollers as keel supports only in the sense that they keep the boat from tipping, they do not support the hull. A roller on the rear of the trailer is handy to guide the bow before the boat slides up onto the bunks.

Do you have a dolly? It can ride on the trailer bunks and centerline rollers. Boat gets strapped to the dolly and olly gets strapped to the trailers. Thros a few lines over the whole boat/dolly and hit the road.

dolly on trailer.jpg

Same idea on a bigger scale.

IMG_5668.jpg

IMG_6602.jpg

If you hook the winch hook to the bow handle, do not crank the winch tight, it will pop the bow handle right off. Same with ratchet straps on a hull, they can crush deck edges as they can exert 2000 pounds plus. Don't strap anything tighter than you'd want to be strapped.

We buy a strip of outdoor carpet at Lowes from the big rolls in the back, usually a steel blue color. Ask for a one foot wide strip and that should be enough to cover the 2 bunks plus some. We tack it on with Grip Rite #12 x 1 in. Plastic Round Cap Roofing Nail, the nail is galvanized.

Grip Rite plastic washer nails.png

Paint the trailer Rustoleum Red to match the boat, and hide the rust :)

Check those tires. If the MMYY (Month Year) manufacture date code on the side is more than 6 years old, they need to be replaced. If there is no code, check the inner sidewall as well, if no code found there then they need to be replaced. And do some research on the new tires, not all are made alike. I would look for 8 inch Load Range D, Walmart usually sells Load Range B. Load Range D has more plies and will run cooler, very important with 8 inch tires. You might have to order them from Etrailer or check your local tire store.

I'd recommend a trailer jack also, save your back.

Good looking trailer overall.
 

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Guybrush3pwood

Active Member
Awesome info! Yeah, if I can put the dolly right up on top, I'd love to do that. How did you get the dolly up there? Seems impossible to just grip and lift but I haven't tried it yet so I'm not positive.

I'm hoping to get the boat out a few times and see how I feel about the hobby before I do any major overhauls to the trailer. If it turns out I love it, then I plan to do a complete restore on the trailer. If not, it'll be something fun for the next owner to do. :p

But yeah, tires definitely need changing. I can tell by all the dry-rot. I'll check out those tires you recommended. Thanks!
 

Guybrush3pwood

Active Member
A little something like this?D3F34D10-9684-4A23-BBD9-DA474375C5A7.jpeg

I did have some pool noodles on the bunks but they didn’t last one load. $15 in pool noodles down the drain! There’s a sentence I never imagined I’d utter.

RIP

5F0DA1DC-81E5-427B-A946-5AC34D26AD46.jpeg
 
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