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Maybe this will be my Sunfish

L&VW

Well-Known Member
Taking a page from my BIL's 22' MacGregor trailer, his trailer had only two bunks, but arranged lengthwise. Welding ability will be needed to accommodate the Sunfish.

The two 2x6s readily bent to support the hull—and strongly. :cool: For a Sunfish, two 5/4ths decking lumber (1¼" in Canada) would work. Even Trex, Azek, or other artificial lumber should be considered. Wet or Dry, the Trex/Azek surface is slick, so the Sunfish will readily launch or recover. I'm using one Trex board at the "bitter" edge of my Sunfish ramp.

I would have used more, but there weren't enough remaining of the right length in the dumpster. ;)

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Weston

Member
I'm thinking about rebuilding my little trailer so that it will become more easier to launch my Sunfish in the water. Can you guys share some pics of the trailers you use for your Sunfishes? I need some good examples of contruction and how many rollers I'll need. Many thanks in advance.
I'm thinking about rebuilding my little trailer so that it will become more easier to launch my Sunfish in the water. Can you guys share some pics of the trailers you use for your Sunfishes? I need some good examples of contruction and how many rollers I'll need. Many thanks in advance.
Here’s a picture of my trailer. It was built in the 60s. Very heavy duty. Far more robust than is needed to carry my light little sunfish. It was designed for a power boat. I have modified it to give more support on the sides. The Green things are actually foam rubber kneepads used in gardening. I strapped them to the wood support rails to provide some extra shock absorbency while on the road.

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Weston

Member
Taking a page from my BIL's 22' MacGregor trailer, his trailer had only two bunks, but arranged lengthwise. Welding ability will be needed to accommodate the Sunfish.

The two 2x6s readily bent to support the hull—and strongly. :cool: For a Sunfish, two 5/4ths decking lumber (1¼" in Canada) would work. Even Trex, Azek, or other artificial lumber should be considered. Wet or Dry, the Trex/Azek surface is slick, so the Sunfish will readily launch or recover. I'm using one Trex board at the "bitter" edge of my Sunfish ramp.

I would have used more, but there weren't enough remaining of the right length in the dumpster. ;)

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I would love to see a photo of your trailer, L&VW.
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
Trailer went with the boat. :oops:

I had occasion to see another MacGregor trailer. Same design. :)
 

Mr. Dabolina

New Member
Thank you very much, Weston. This really helps me a lot. I think I'm going to copy your trailer and I'll post the pictures when I'm finished.

Here’s a picture of my trailer. It was built in the 60s. Very heavy duty. Far more robust than is needed to carry my light little sunfish. It was designed for a power boat. I have modified it to give more support on the sides. The Green things are actually foam rubber kneepads used in gardening. I strapped them to the wood support rails to provide some extra shock absorbency while on the road.

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Mr. Dabolina

New Member
I have started to demolish my trailer and I took the big box off. I now want to keep the the boat shaped support at the point and I'm thinking how to support the rest of the boat. I have some kids bike with hard plastic wheels but I'm thinking of buying two air filled wheels with red centre to build on the trailer. I think this is the best option because they never press hard in the boat because they are air filled. What do you guys think?
 

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L&VW

Well-Known Member
Even on powerboats, rollers aren't recommended. :(

You'll see each roller will press against the hull, causing it to bend unhappily. If you are very unlucky, you'll hear crackling "protests" from the hull. :eek:

Padded "bunks" are recommended. :cool:
 

Mr. Dabolina

New Member
Ok thanks I didn't know that but sounds very plausible. I don't understand what padded bunks are. Can you share an example of those?
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
I put small rollers on my Sunfish ramp. The hull's bottom bent audibly to extreme angles. Plus, this ramp is a lakeside platform that never hits bumps (on roadways).

While large rollers may be better, long planks of wood (or Trex) are preferable. Covering the wood with carpet or artificial grass is even better. Rollers along the sides, working as guides, are OK.
 

Coastal Redneck

Active Member
I'm with L&VW on this, go with padded bunks OR a padded wooden cradle designed specifically for your boat hull... you might have to weld or bolt some additional metal support for the bunks or cradle, but once you're done, your boat hull will thank you. Besides, sliding a lightweight hull on and off such a trailer is easy, particularly when the hull is wet, so no rollers are required. A wooden cradle is easy to make, and you can paint it for added protection once you're done with the carpentry. I used to scrounge clean lumber scraps out of construction site dumpsters to make cradles, most construction crews won't mind so long as you ask first. Metal hardware from a home improvement store will bolster strength. You can copy the exact curve or shape of your hull through a technique called "spiling"---your boat will rest more securely that way with maximum support. Making bunks would be somewhat easier, but a good cradle which exactly matches your boat hull is superior. A cradle could be used to elevate your boat slightly so that bow support can be put to good use. Just my $.02, you're definitely on the right track with the box removed from the trailer, LOL. CHEERS!!! :cool:
 

Mr. Dabolina

New Member
Hi guys thank you for sharing your ideas and information. I share some pictures of my little project. I've removed the big and heavy box and I've now welded two pieces of alluminium with big lack rubbers for supporting the Sunfish. I've relocated the front nose support. What do you all think? The thing that still needs to be done, is a proper paintjob.
 

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Coastal Redneck

Active Member
Progress! But I'd probably add more support between the bow and the recently-added bunks... two more bunks on some sort of welded or bolted crossbar or cross-brace, or at the very least some sort of support under the centerline of the hull. Is that the spare tire you have jammed under the hull in one photo? Maybe you can use that to your advantage, mounting it in a strategic location and throwing a cover on the tire so you don't scuff up your hull. Moi, I'd probably go with additional bunks on a crossbar or cross-brace, or some sort of simple padded cradle on a crossbar or cross-brace... you could cut the exact curve of the hull into a beam, say a 2" x 10" of appropriate length, then mount this athwart the trailer between the existing bow support and the bunks you recently added, using a metal crossbar or cross-brace under the padded beam, or using metal hardware to bolt the beam into place. Cut a notch at the bottom of the beam to fit the metal stock of that trailer. My greatest concern, in looking at your latest photos, would be hull deformation if the boat sits on the trailer for extended periods of time in hot weather, or hull damage if the trailer hits a particularly nasty pothole in the road and the support you have so far is not enough to prevent the damage. You want the boat to rest securely on that trailer during transport, and to my eye (as a former long-haul truck driver) it looks as if more support is needed. Just my $.02, nice job on the welds, those look perfectly suited to what you're trying to accomplish. You're definitely on the right track... save the paint for last after you've figured out the best way to add support. I have faith in ya, you're doing a great job!!! CHEERS!!! :cool:
 

Coastal Redneck

Active Member
Looking at your photos again, perhaps you could rig pool noodles on lines between the bunks you added and the bow support, that may be another way to add support. You can't rig the noodles athwartships (or under the hull from side to side) without adding brackets of some sort, but you might be able to figure out another way to use line & pool noodles. Probably have to tie the lines pretty tight for real support, but it's worth considering. CHEERS!!! :rolleyes:
 

Mr. Dabolina

New Member
Thank you Coastl Redneck for your thoughts. Could this be a good idea? One or two rollers upon the centre bar to support the centerline of the hull?

 

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Coastal Redneck

Active Member
That would certainly offer more support... maybe try the pool noodles as well and you'd have the problem solved. You'd have to position the roller(s) just right, I'd mark the mounting location(s) with the boat resting all the way forward in the bow support, centered properly and resting on the bunks. Rollers would help you to load and unload when you're solo, but I'm also thinking you might be able to tack or bolt a metal eye onto each strut just below the bunks, then run a line up to the bow support, or further forward along the trailer to the strut which once held the bow support. That strut farthest forward on the trailer looks to be a suitable height. Tie the line to one bunk strut eye, slide one pool noodle in place over the line, take a round turn or tie a clove hitch with the line on the strut up forward, then slide the other pool noodle in place and run the line back to the other bunk strut and tie it off... maybe install or tack an eye on that forward strut, if you follow me, preferably stainless steel if you're simply drilling & bolting hardware. Pool noodles cut to proper length beforehand and slid into place over the line as you take each step in sequence. Pool noodles & line would be permanently tied off, their sole function would be to offer more hull support. With a roller or two under the center of the boat and neatly tied-off pool noodles to either side (in a wedge shape with the point forward), I reckon you'd have enough support... UNLESS you were about to tackle the Baja 1000 while towing the boat, LOL. :eek:

This all may sound confusing at first, just read it again and look at your trailer, I think it would work if it were done right, aye? Of course, you'd still have to secure the boat before towing, particularly the bow... I'd make sure the bow handle was bulletproof, or add another eye on deck for the purpose of tying off. Figure out a bombproof way to secure the boat aft as well, maybe using those eyes added to the bunk struts. Your priority would be to keep the boat from sliding out of that bow support up forward, since it's NOT that large and doesn't offer all that much support UNLESS the boat is snugged right up into it... might have to add some padding to that bow support too, I thought one photo showed some wear & tear on the existing padding. One of those inexpensive closed-cell foam sleeping pads found at Walmart would work, just cut off what you need, trim it to fit, and glue it into place using decent two-part epoxy glue. Thick neoprene from an old diving wetsuit also works for this purpose, I've used both in the past with good results when building boat cradles... sheet rubber or vinyl too, when it's wet a boat hull slides easily across these materials. Providing protection for the boat hull is the main objective. Sometimes one has to use unconventional methods when dealing with small craft and small boat trailers, but as long as the end results serve one's purpose, who cares? Oh, yeah, you want everything legal too so ya don't get cited on your way to the boat ramp, LOL. :confused:

AGAIN, THESE ARE JUST MY OBSERVATIONS, BUT THEY MAY HELP YOU FIND A GOOD WORKING SOLUTION... I THINK YOU'RE DEFINITELY ON THE RIGHT TRACK. CHEERS!!! :rolleyes:
 
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Coastal Redneck

Active Member
Wait, I just looked at those bunk photos more closely, here's another idea which will be easier: see that bolt which holds each bunk in place, right up under each bunk and directly over the struts you welded into place? Use those bolts as tie-off points for your pool noodle lines, and if the metal sides of the bunk supports interfere with the lines, just trim the metal sides a bit where the lines might chafe. The bolts may be low enough for the pool noodle lines NOT to chafe, yet high enough to offer good tie-off points for the pool noodle line, especially if you use that strut farthest forward on the trailer as your intermediate tie-off point, tacking or bolting an eye to it if necessary. Okay, I think THAT is the solution, and it'll save you time... wouldn't hurt to check it out. I'm done beating this dead horse, folks are gonna think I'm high on crack, LOL. :eek:
 

Mr. Dabolina

New Member
Haha thank you very much again Coastal Redneck for your ideas and thinking with me how to make this trailer work I'll investigate the pool noodel idea as soon a sthe weather gets any better over here. Have a great day!
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
The trailer is lightweight, which is good. Is the suspension-type a big piece of rubber?

Is the roadway to the launching ramp close-by and a smooth ride?

I ask, because the existing small amount of [rubber matting] contact area will result in the hull taking "punches" from those small bunks. (Which can cause internal Styrofoam blocks getting loose).

Therefore, the suggestions of pool noodles—an inexpensive source for closed-cell foam. You do have pool (swim) noodles in Holland? They cost one dollar each here. ;)
 

Coastal Redneck

Active Member
Save the pool noodles & noodle lines for last, AFTER you install the mounts for the roller(s), you want all the solid support in place first before you snug up the pool noodle lines. I think that strut farthest forward on the trailer is the solution, an eye bolted or tacked high enough on that strut would probably give you the ideal height for snugging up the pool lines, if you use those bolts under the bunks for the other tie-off points. Even if you had to tack or bolt the eye to the very top of that forward strut, I reckon it would work. First you have to place the roller(s) just right under the boat, you don't want the roller(s) to interfere with the way the boat rests on the bunks... those bunks aren't very large, you see, but I think they'll still work in conjunction with the roller(s) and the pool noodles to offer enough support all around, yeah? It's definitely worth trying... uh-oh, after beating this dead horse a bit longer, it's starting to look like dog food, LOL. :confused:

Edit: Wait, let's get a second opinion from L&VW, the only other option I see here is to install the noodles & noodle lines first, then snug the roller(s) into position, mark each roller location, remove the boat hull and bolt down or weld the roller mounts. Whaddya think, L&VW? Those bunks have a little play in them, but it's important that the boat rests fully on the bunks, since they're not very large. Either way one did it, noodles first or roller(s) first, Mr. D would have to inspect those bunks to make sure there's full contact between bunks and hull, agreed? :rolleyes:

P.S. Dead horse now looks as if someone tossed it off the Empire State Building, LOL. :eek:
 
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L&VW

Well-Known Member
Are you describing a pool noodle travois?

If the trailer has a totally rubber suspension, we may be over-engineering this trailer!
 

Coastal Redneck

Active Member
Not quite, just adding support where it can be used... those bunks look mighty small, aye? With at least one centrally-positioned roller and two pool noodle lines rigged for support, I think Mr. D would be good to go... unless he's gonna run the Baja 1000 while towing the trailer. :eek:
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
By "Travois", I meant a wooden triangular "trailer" used by American Indians to move their tents across the plains.

Run a vinyl-coated cable around front and rear supports (making a triangle) but first, slide the cable through the closed-foam pool noodles. Tighten to acceptable tension (or use a heavy spring), secure hull to trailer.

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Weston

Member
By "Travois", I meant a wooden triangular "trailer" used by American Indians to move their tents across the plains.
I highly discourage using your horse to haul the sunfish, whether using a traditional trailer or the fancy travois that you describe above. The last time I tried it, she pooped in the mast step and I didn’t notice until I tried to get the mast out and found that it had cemented itself to the hull.
 

Coastal Redneck

Active Member
Seems like overkill... I can still remember when the Laser 2 appeared on the scene (some folks called it a "Taser" at the time), and I thought THAT was overkill, though I must confess I wanted to try one, LOL. However, the beauty of the original Laser & Sunfish lies in their simplicity... sometimes less is more, aye? I always considered the Laser to be the perfect small craft for solo sailing: stripped down to the bare essentials, no excuse for p!ss-poor handling, everything one ever needed to enjoy a harmonious voyage right down on the surface of the ocean. Later, when I bought my Minifish, I came to appreciate that bad little girl as well, particularly during Salton Expeditions I & II, but in my heart I'll always be a diehard Laser man. Too many good memories, I reckon, stretched out over decades of my life... 76 square feet of mainsail, enough to power my boat and take me clear to Los Coronados in Mexican waters during some of the finest adventures in my life. What more does a dedicated small craft sailor need? I'm sure diehard Sunfish sailors feel the same way about their craft, and why not? Just how far the boat will take ya is entirely up to you... which reminds me, where's the hand who completed that 58-mile voyage a while ago? He can tell any sailor just how well that little boat performed. :cool:
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
Seems like overkill... I can still remember when the Laser 2 appeared on the scene (some folks called it a "Taser" at the time), and I thought THAT was overkill, though I must confess I wanted to try one, LOL.
Not really overkill - slapping a foresail on a una-rig boat simply won't work unless the centreboard is moved forward, the mast aft, or both.

But the Laser 2 is NOT a Laser with a jib and spinnaker, it's a fundamentally different boat, although they share similarities on the detail level because of the common manufacturers.

The Tasar (yes it has two a's) is yet another boat that shares only the designer (Frank Bethwaite) with the Laser 2, and the idea which Performance Sailcraft had at the time, that is, to do to doublehanded sailing the same that the Laser had done to singlehanding. Didn't quite work out, though. Sadly, because both are very cool boats.

Sorry about going far off topic but some misconceptions simply have to be corrected :D

_
 
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Coastal Redneck

Active Member
I never did get a close-up look at the Laser 2, but I get your drift... and it is a cool boat, judging by appearance in the article I read so long ago, but I already had my Laser so there was never any reason for me to seriously consider buying another boat. Call me an old rogue dinosaur, I'm still using a flip-phone, LOL. :confused:

P.S. Some kid at the club called the Laser 2 a "Taser" and the name stuck somewhere in my memory, LOL. :rolleyes:
 
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Weston

Member
... Too many good memories, I reckon, stretched out over decades of my life... 76 square feet of mainsail, enough to power my boat and take me clear to Los Coronados in Mexican waters during some of the finest adventures in my life. What more does a dedicated small craft sailor need? ...
Just read your travelogues on the Los Coronados trips. Cool stuff.
 

Mr. Dabolina

New Member
Hey guys, finally an update of the rebuild of my trailer. Here's where I am. Bunk supports in the back, the nose support in the front and a roller midways underneath the centerline of my Sunfish. As you can see at the close up of the wheel, there's suspension there and the roads are very smooth overhere in The Netherlands
 

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