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How to transport a sunfish

invisiblelemur

New Member
Hey all!

I'm heading up to Maine next weekend and would like to bring my sunfish up there with me. Gonna get a hitch installed on my car... then I need to figure out what sort of trailer I can get to do this. Looks like Load Rite has some that would work, but they're pretty expensive. I'm wondering... does anyone have suggestions for where I could find a trailer that would be good enough to carry a sunfish for less than $500? I'm alright buying a used one. Hope this is the right place to post a question like this... Also, I didn't see anything about this in the FAQ so i figured it was alright to ask here.

Thanks!
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
Go back to sailingforums.com, and try the Sunfish-Wanted forum.

With such short notice, you may have to "cartop".

Shop later, using trailer selection advice found on this page.

Try a Craigslist "WTB" ad. Used Jet-Ski trailers are a popular choice, but should be modified with wooden "bunks".
 

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
Agree with LV - but I would also go to the search function here and type in Sunfish Trailer. You will have to wade thru some posts, but there are a lot of posts on options for trailers.
 

Alan S. Glos

Well-Known Member
Harbor Freight used to sell a very decent trailer for under $500. They were Chinsa built but had to meet US DOT standards. Don't know if they still sell them.

Alan Glos
Cazenovia, NY
 

nhsusan57

Member
Next weekend?....finding....buying... registrating one...in 7 days.

Perhaps reaching out to this forum about renting/ borrowing a Sunfish for your vacation might be a quicker solution.
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
You might be surprised and find a new 12 foot Jon Boat trailer at a local sports and outdoors place


Other wise look for a trailer that hauled the bigger two person jetski. You need at least 7 feet from the bow stop to the axle.

Or you might consider a new utility trailer from Lowes, an 8 footer would work with a couple of carpeted crosswise bunks. Then you have a lot of space to carry other fun gear.
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
I'll add that a cheap trailer most likely will require a lot of new parts to repair it to safe condition. Tires $50 each x 2 and if you buy one make sure you know how old the tires are, otherwise replace them. Lights run around $50 and what is the condition of the bearings, axle, ubolts, hubs?

We tried to find trailers to repair when we flipped boats, and not once did we make any money on them. A $200 trailer turned into a $450 trailer real fast, because it had to be right to resell. Meanwhile our buddy Eddie sells a brand new beautiful galvanized trailer with 12 inch wheels, sealed LED lights, already set up for Sunfish, bow stop, winch etc for $695.
 

Fremont

Active Member
A $200 trailer turned into a $450 trailer real fast
AIn't THAT the truth? I spend more time and money maintaining trailers than I do on boats or cars! I have a 2 year old utility trailer that I had to rewire, because the insulation for the lighting wire embrittled, and the copper wire turned to powder. Wheel bearings need greasing every couple of years (When was the last time you greased your car's wheel bearings?), lights get corroded and burn out (again, I've driven cars for 10 years without replacing a bulb!).
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Some good news, the new LED lights are more affordable and sealed, so bulbs don't have to be replaced, no more crusty Sylvania bulbs hidden everywhere as spares.

If you have to redo an axle, check out PosiLube spindles, we have them on all our trailers now, the grease gets pumped into the spindle and out through the bearings, so they tend to get less water intrusion.
 

pehare

Member
All good points above w/good advice. I've been thru the repair mill w/trailers for my current jon boat and previous center console fishing boat which are all stored outside w/covers. Here's a good tip if you have this problem. My major problem was wood rats infesting the boats and chewing up the trailer wiring. Cut small sections of panty hose, knot one end and put a few moth balls in and then knot the other end. Then shove them in the ends of the hollow rails on the galvanized trailer or simply lie them on the frame of the aluminum trailer. Before taking to the road store the little moth ball bags in a mason jar. The moth balls do disintegrate in time - in my case 6 mos. or so. No more rats!
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
For your once-a-year vacation, an enclosed trailer could substitute for a Sunfish trailer/movable storage shed. Spend some extra bucks.

(You'll need a tarp). ;)
 

nhsusan57

Member
I’d like to know more about the wireless unit. Do you have a link to the product? Thanks
I bought it at Tractor Supply Store. $150.
Two lights with wire between them
Super heavy duty magnetic keeps it on the trailer wheel wells ( or wherever).

Sending unit has a magnet to stick to the back of my truck and has a connection to the trucks wiring plug.

I would take the lights off while launching.
I don't remember them being waterproof.

I'll try to find the link.
 

valerylots

New Member
it is important to rely on the dimensions of what you want to transport, I know for sure that this can be easily arranged, since my brother did the same, but it is important that you know the weight and dimensions
 

Breeze Bender

Breeze Bender
Great advice above. I too have refurbished many trailers and have lost money on almost all of them. If you buy from craigslist, etc make sure you have a previous owner’s registration and VIN clearly identifiable. If not, assume a nightmare at motor vehicles.
Found, purchased and registered in a week will be tough. Consider renting a UHaul for now or renting a Sunfish in Maine!
 

emh56

New Member
I have also been spending my summer getting a 1980s trailer that came with a 15' catboat able to pass inspection in NYS so I know more than I want to about trailer wiring lighting and component replacement. I was looking for a trailer for my new sailfish and looked into some of the inexpensive trailer options. I found that some of them are only rated by DOT to 45 MPH. That's fine if you only need the trailer to get the boat around town, but if you are planning to trailer it on the interstate or any major 55MPH+ roads I would definitely buy up.
 

Weston

Well-Known Member
<snip>
I found that some of them are only rated by DOT to 45 MPH. That's fine if you only need the trailer to get the boat around town, but if you are planning to trailer it on the interstate or any major 55MPH+ roads I would definitely buy up.
That definitely is true. I bought an older Trailex aluminum double deck trailer to haul my Sunfish and minifish and was shocked when I got on the highway and it started oscillating back-and-forth to the point where I thought it was going to tear itself apart when I got above 45 miles an hour. I added a pair of stainless steel tensioning wires from the tongue back to both sides of the box and that helped tremendously.

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