I'm going to name my boat 'Lucky'

Thread starter #1
New Sunfish sailor here, first post, etc., but I thought you guys would get a kick out of this one.

I'm not new to sailing. I used to own a Lightning and a Flying Scott, but sold both a number of years ago after moving from Lake Erie to Louisville, KY. But I've also discovered the local sailing club which has a very active Sunfish fleet on ther Ohio River and my Wife got tired of me complaining about not having a boat, so.....

I found a 1983 Sunfish about 140 miles away for a good price. I went and checked it out and it looked good and didn't feel overweight. Good enough for a starter boat. The next weekend I went to pick it up. I've towed enough stuff to know when to take spares and extras just in case, so I felt prepared to get this boat home. The trailer is way too big for the boat, but not a big deal and I'm going to modify the trailer anyway. Besides, it will make a nice multi-boat trailer eventually when I get my 14 year old Son hooked (at least that's the plan). I got it hooked up to the car, everything checked out, and away we went.

Immediately, the noise coming from the trailer was LOUD! The drumming noise was almost too painful to listen to, even with the car windows up. So I stopped at the first rest stop about 5 miles into the trip to check everything out. One of the tires was low, so I added air to it, checked out the bearings (everything was cool to the touch), and got back on the road. The drumming noise started to slowly decrease, so I figured it must have been flat spotted tires. I decided to stop again another 50 miles into the trip, and again everything checked out.

I made it home without incident. The trailer actually tows very nicely, except for the noise. I parked the boat behind my house on my walkout patio, and while I was chocking up the wheels I noticed what you see in the pic below. A chunk of tread about 2 inches wide by 6 inches long was completely missing from the tire, and the rest of the tire looks like it had about 5 miles left.

So I'm naming the boat 'Lucky'......

Dion
 

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mixmkr

Active Member
#2
Ha... I had the SAME thing happen to me with my 'free: trailer. Didn't have to go as far with mine. However I had a "friend" in mine when I got home! 0522161317bedit.jpg
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
#4
We all probably have "A Trailer Story". :rolleyes:

In my case, I'd bought a Tornado catamaran, and on the first day of our 2000-mile trip to New Hampshire, met the (Tampa) seller in central Florida (Sebring). I paid the balance, and hitched up my "new" trailer and boat. :)

We'd made it all the way through thirteen states to within an hour of our destination, and got lost on a narrow country road. :confused: Additionally, the trailer was causing the tow car to slow way down on hills. :oops: I stopped in our lane, as we'd seen no traffic for an hour.

The axle had rusted through and bent so that the right tire was rubbing on the underside of the welded-on fender! No drumming noise, but a strong odor of burned rubber :mad:. If the axle had bent during daylight hours, the smoke would have been easy to see, but it was 1-AM in the morning. :(

Asked what was wrong, I said "I need a 2x4 about 18-inches long and some tape". The answer came back that "The headlights are showing something in the other lane about 200 feet ahead". "It" turned out to be a 2x4 about 18-inches long! :eek: Earlier, on meeting the seller, he thought I might have trouble with the trailer's lighting, so he'd given me some electrical tape. So, using the 2x4 and electrical tape, I braced the boat's hull directly against the end of the axle, and five minutes after stopping, we were back to getting "unlost". :cool:
 

Webfoot1

Active Member
#6
Your tires are Weather Checked, been sitting a few years. First rule with old boat trailers is repack/replace bearings
once a year and get new tires. You can get 8 inch tires with wheels for $36 each. Make sure you have one good spare,
two if going long distance. Get some heavy duty safety chains and a hitch lock and you're good to go. I used to get Discount
Tires for my Van and they always ended up throwing rubber like your wheels did. It's one hell of a rough ride with chunks
of rubber missing, sort of like 5 miles of washboard road.
 
Thread starter #7
Thanks. I've towed more trailers than I care to remember, both boat and race car trailers, multiple axle monsters, and 5th wheel campers. All I needed to do was get this one home and I had spares, air, fix a flat, etc. I knew the tires were old, but the tread was good and the aging didn't look as bad as some tires I've had. I also checked the bearings multiple times as I was also conscious of that potential issue also. I also didn't have the luxury of changing tires and re packing bearings at the sellers house, so like I said....Lucky.
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
#8
When Fix-a-Flat first came out, I bought five—at $1 each. :cool: And used them successfully, with one still remaining in my vehicle—well, sort of successfully—Fix-a-Flat won't work on a torn valve stem. :(

Checking on my "mentally-expired" information on tires, I found a few interesting facts.

Tires are marked with their date of manufacture. Dealers may not sell a new tire that is older than six years. (I thought it was less time). There's a message here about buying used tires! :oops:

Dealers record the buyer's personal data:

"To carry out this mandate, 49 CFR Part 574, 'Tire Identification and Recordkeeping,' requires tire dealers and distributors to record the names and addresses of retail purchasers of new tires :eek: and the identification numbers(s) of the tires sold. A specific form is provided to tire dealers and distributors by tire manufacturers for recording this information. The completed forms are returned to the tire manufacturers where they are retained for not less than five years."

As for sidewall cracking, a tire that sits "loaded" will eventually have cracked sidewalls. A used tire that is off the rim (or deflated on a rim that is off the trailer) may not show cracking, but by stressing the tire—with your foot—the cracks (if any) will appear.

One tire site says that "flat spots will occur after a tire sits for 30 days". (But "the flat spot can be 'driven away' after the tire warms up").

They also warn that concrete is bad for parking a tire on; however, I've always suspected that bare ground is worse, as there are bacteria that will eat-up anything!

D_D is even luckier that his tire was a bias-ply tire and not a radial tire. I had a radial tire "part company" with its tread, and beat up the inside of my camper's metal fender! I also had a low-mileage vintage Michelin lose all its tread while mounted on the front of my 1971 VW camper. Especially shocking, as it seemed to have happened overnight! (It was the same '71 VW that towed the Tornado: good tires—bad axle!)

Sidewall cracking—enlarged:


 

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Thread starter #9
Interestingly enough, I used to have a set of race tires like that. I used to race formula Vee in SCCA, and ran both Goodyear and Hoosier slicks. My Goodyear slicks would crack around the sidewalk with only a few heat cycles and typically lost 1-3 lbs if pressure between sessions. But when they heated up, they were great tires on certain tracks.

Try losing a front tire on a Formula Car at speed. That's an interesting experience, and a good reason to wear a full face helmet! I still have black marks on top of the helmet to remind me of that one.
 
#10
You will also see a long number with no letters before it. That number when typed into the DOT system will tell you the factory the tire was made in. It may comes as a surprise to some but despite the American brand name on a motor vehicle tire radial tires are no longer made in this country however All tires sold in the U.S must comply with DOT specifications.
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
#11
Interestingly enough, I used to have a set of race tires like that. I used to race formula Vee in SCCA, and ran both Goodyear and Hoosier slicks. My Goodyear slicks would crack around the sidewalk with only a few heat cycles and typically lost 1-3 lbs if pressure between sessions. But when they heated up, they were great tires on certain tracks.

Try losing a front tire on a Formula Car at speed. That's an interesting experience, and a good reason to wear a full face helmet! I still have black marks on top of the helmet to remind me of that one.
A BF Goodrich Dot 4 came apart before I had a chance to mount it. (They cited age, and "made good" on it). A Formula Super Vee, driven by a Dr. Greenwood, struck an Armco guard rail just inches from my camera—and me! :eek: We'd raced "Showroom Stock" with Lyn St. James. Yearning for a Zink FV, I got an early start—earning my SCCA license with a VW Karmann-Ghia. I used Firestone Indys and Dunlop Green Spot tires, which I bought from Jochen Rindt's Formula Vee.
Rindt in F-V

'Guess I used Yokohama Dot 4s at one time. "Auto Racing Chat" can take up a lot of space. I posted here some details that might be of interest: http://www.sailingforums.com/threads/injection-molded-sunfish.34550/page-3#post-158325
 

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Thread starter #12
Nice 914. I definitely don't want to turn this into an auto racing discussion because i could go all day. My past sports cars, mostly track, some autocross: LynxB (FV), Autodynamics MkIV (FV), 914-4, 914-6 (3.2 powered), 944S, Neon ACR, Neon Sport, Neon RT, and my current 912 which has never seen the track and never will. It's an all-original time capsul which will remain pampered. I've even thought about putting a tow hitch on it for the sunfish. LOL
 

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L&VW

Well-Known Member
#13
Sailed on a wooden Lightning—most race-hours in Snipe—always admired Flying Scot. My scampering days across catamaran trampolines are over—I think! :rolleyes:

'Didn't want to go to Hoosier tires and have to learn a new skill. :oops:

I've even thought about putting a tow hitch on it for the sunfish. LOL
BMW wouldn't make a tow hitch for my 1991 M3, so I welded one up myself. The hitch is for sale, as I ended-up not using it, selling the M3, and "truck-topping" Sunfishes instead.

From 1972 on, all my cars were street-legal and raced. ('Last two Snell helmets were open-face for instructing). Three weekends at the Nürburgring's Nordschleife (track) told me my cars were sorted-out. My two 914-6s were the genuine articles, with the last having an 80% locking differential. (The ground-shaking noises made in parking lots turned lots of heads). Though still gathering trophies, I thought my skills were going away with age, so I sold the 914-6. The buyer towed it to Pennsylvania, where he found the front suspension was falling out, having rusted-away under the original rustproofing! (A lesson here for those trying to save Harbor Freight trailers).

I definitely don't want to turn this into an auto racing discussion because I could go all day.
Me neither. :D
 
#14
Back to boat trailer tire "incidents". In about 1963 I got the loan of a free 14' scow sailboat and homemade car frame trailer. I was towing the trailer from Acton Lake to Oxford. Ohio with my dad's 1956 Chevy station wagon (wish I had kept that vehicle!) when something whooshed by the left side of the car and severed the radio antenna right outside the driver's side door. It turns out the re-cap tire on the trailer had come unglued and a 6" x 6" piece of tread had slingshoted forward - good thing I did not have my arm out the window or I might be typing this post with one hand.

Alan Glos
Cazenovia, NY
 
Thread starter #15
That's a fantastic story Alan! You made me think of my Mom's old 1956 Chevy station wagon with the little 265 V8 in it. She had side pipes on it, and used it to deliver wedding cakes back in the mid-80's. that would be a classic boat hauler for sure!
 
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