New John Howard style SF bunks

Thread starter #1
Hi all, it's been a while but I'd like to share some pics of new bunks I built for the SF. At bottom.

For cushioning, I used 2 layers of a dense flooring material used in gyms, etc.. It seems pretty good, plus it was free! Also, rather than buy a sheet of plywood for just a couple of 6" strips, I used 6" x 3/4" (it's actually a bit less) pressure-treated wood for the top of the "T." To reduce the chance of the wood splitting down the middle, I reinforced the ends with a few short lengths of wood. The covering is a metal-look rubbery material, which looks like it should shed water pretty good. Hopefully it holds up well outdoors. The trailer looks pretty badass with it!

New wiring and lights installed. Bearings repacked.

Bunks are not yet bolted down. Very next thing to do is put fish on trailer and determine the correct fore/aft position of the bunks and how it syncs up with the hardware up front (winch, etc.). I hope to do that correctly, and hopefully y'all can give me some tips with that. You guys are always great with advice! When I get help putting boat on trailer, I'll take a few pics.

Trailer will not go into the water, so I have to look up plans for a collapsible dolly.

Thanks for viewing, and your input. Cheers!
 

Attachments

norcalsail

Active Member
#2
Hi all, it's been a while but I'd like to share some pics of new bunks I built for the SF. At bottom.

For cushioning, I used 2 layers of a dense flooring material used in gyms, etc.. It seems pretty good, plus it was free! Also, rather than buy a sheet of plywood for just a couple of 6" strips, I used 6" x 3/4" (it's actually a bit less) pressure-treated wood for the top of the "T." To reduce the chance of the wood splitting down the middle, I reinforced the ends with a few short lengths of wood. The covering is a metal-look rubbery material, which looks like it should shed water pretty good. Hopefully it holds up well outdoors. The trailer looks pretty badass with it!

New wiring and lights installed. Bearings repacked.

Bunks are not yet bolted down. Very next thing to do is put fish on trailer and determine the correct fore/aft position of the bunks and how it syncs up with the hardware up front (winch, etc.). I hope to do that correctly, and hopefully y'all can give me some tips with that. You guys are always great with advice! When I get help putting boat on trailer, I'll take a few pics.

Trailer will not go into the water, so I have to look up plans for a collapsible dolly.

Thanks for viewing, and your input. Cheers!
Wow, nice work and nice boat... you shouldn't have much trouble loading your boat solo I wouldn't think.
 
Thread starter #3
Thanks! I'm not sure how I'd be able to load it on there solo; space is tight in my garage, and I don't want to risk damaging the boat with the trailer.

I forgot to mention that on the crossbars where the bunks attach, I put a strip of the cushioning and kept it in place by wrapping it with duct tape. So there's actually 3 layers of cushioning between boat and trailer.
 

norcalsail

Active Member
#4
Hey Stollie, how did you figure how much to curve the bunks to account for the camber of the hull? I want to make a lightweight trailer for the bed of my truck for transport and have it be removable for storage. I was thinking of making a frame with tie downs perpendicular to the length of the boat that could be tightened to raise the hull and act as a swing(?). Not sure if my idea will work but.... Going to try and finish my PVC dolly today.
 
#5
Very nice work. Should support the hull well.

I have an old trailer, going to be stripping off the hull supports and go in this direction as I already have a dolly. Was at a regatta and saw several variations on this design. Most carried the sail on the boat under a cover. Their setup time was quick as the only thing they had to put on was the centerboard, rudder and raise the sail

1536520200565.png
 
Thread starter #6
Hey norcalsail, to answer your question: I laid the 2 uprights into the bunk brackets, nailed a piece of wood at both ends to hold them together temporarily, then laid that onto the hull of the face-down SF. I then used a compass to trace the shape, per the John Howard instructions, and eyeball-angled the jigsaw per the gentleman's info. So I could go right back to that spot after I took the pieces apart to make my cuts and subsequent fitting, I marked the positioning with a marker. So easy.

Sailflow, I saw that Right-On trailer at a local lake. If I didn't already have a trailer, I would have bought that setup. Yet, I find it very satisfying to get hands-on and do what I did. I look forward to building a dolly that I can take apart and transport in my car trunk.
 

norcalsail

Active Member
#7
In my previous message, I meant to say I wanted to make a "cradle" for the bed of my truck not a "trailer". Thanks for the info Stollie, that support would make a great storage cradle. I will probably try to get a setup as per Sailflow's post eventually but building your own is a lot of fun.
 

norcalsail

Active Member
#9
Really nice job! I’m beginning to wonder if rollers are even necessary or if they are even a hazard to these lightweight boats.
Yeah, how much is too much. I was able to load my Fish without too much trouble but don't want to mess it up either. I'm taking my Sunfish to Lake Spaulding on Wednesday and plan on camping two nights and sailing. There's a fire south of there but it seems to be almost out. California is burning up; so many fires near many of our lakes (reservoirs). If the air is clear, I'll get some good photos. A closer place I keep mentioning is Tomales Bay. There's a private campground at the northern mouth to the bay, no fires and will likely be a "go to" place for me.
 

mixmkr

Active Member
#10
I find an aft roller helps to keep the boat centered, until its on the bunks decently. Sometimes I can't back the trailer in too far (get my tow vehicle stuck in the shoreline gravel or mud) and either pull or winch it up completely onto the trailer and that's when the roller helps best. Otherwise, I think the full length bunks are pretty sufficient, although a roller on the keel line isn't going to hurt if it takes a slight amount of the weight too.
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
#11
Very nice work. Should support the hull well.
I have an old trailer, going to be stripping off the hull supports and go in this direction as I already have a dolly. Was at a regatta and saw several variations on this design. Most carried the sail on the boat under a cover. Their setup time was quick as the only thing they had to put on was the centerboard, rudder and raise the sail

View attachment 28301

Yes, those materials should support the Sunfish well, but I'm always concerned about the Styrofoam blocks hiding inside the Sunfish. :( (Seein's, I've one or more loose blocks within my five Sunfish). :confused:

Even as a solo-cartopper, I'd still like to see a video of one of these Sunfish trailers crossing a parking lot speed-bump—at say, 3-MPH. :oops: (Thinking, spring rate is super-important, and more-so than padding).

Betcha ;) at normal parking lot speeds, the trailer's wheels will leave the ground. :eek:

SpeedBumps_lg[1].jpg
 
Last edited:

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#13
1. Nice job with the scribing. IMHO having really long bunks aft of the cockpit offers minimal support and complicates loading, you have to lift the boat higher to get it over the peak.

2. One or two keel rollers are okay but be careful to not overtighten straps, they create a focused point load and the roller can crush the keel in that area

3. Norcalsail, have you thought about just sliding boat on top of dolly into pickup bed?

4. Spring rate is important. Also consider with the Right On trailer that the boat is suspended from the bow and resting in a strap strung between two support arms that flex a bit, plus the dolly is on two pneumatic tires. The trailer is steel, so not a good mesh with our saltwater coast and we like an uprated 5.70x8 or 12 inch tire if longer distance highway trips are planned.

We experimented with a Dynamic Dolly on our Daysailer trailer and the 180 pound Penobscot 14 rode great, like a baby in a cradle. So if we decide to tow it somewhere we don't need a dedicated trailer. The tongue of the dolly rode up the roller and then I picked up the whole rig by myself to put the axle over the bunks. It was heavy, but not unmanageable.

IMG_6602.jpg

IMG_6598.jpg
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#14
I like your bow roller setup, I'd put some cushioning material on there and call it done, or leave it alone, looks like the bow should nestler right in there.
 
Thread starter #15
IMHO having really long bunks aft of the cockpit offers minimal support and complicates loading, you have to lift the boat higher to get it over the peak.
Position ain't fixed yet (front end setup needs working out) but as it sits right now, 25" of boat hang off the back of the bunks, and 57" of the boat goes past the back of the trailer. I hope that's alright. When the weather clears, I'll take a few more pics.
 
Thread starter #17
Hey signal charlie, your comment made me take another look at the bow roller and sho nuff, it fits like a glove! The more I look at it now, the more I like it. Thanks man! Do you think it would be okay without any cushioning material? There's a big heavy clip that's grabbin' the bow handle. I imagine that with the winch tightened up (not too tight) the clip shouldn't bang against the deck. I kinda like it as-is.
 

Attachments

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#18
Looks perfect, as long as no metal touches the gelcoat no need for cushion. They should all be designed like that, looks like vertical movement is restrained. And the winch strap only tight enough to keep strap from flapping, you could easily pull that bow handle off or break it.

Cheers
Insert random boat pics
IMG_0003.JPG

IMG_5181.JPG
 
Thread starter #19
Good to know, thanks. So the boat is not being held down at the bow at all by the winch. So really it'll only be straps across the deck (not over-tightened) that will keep the boat on the trailer as I'm whipping down the highway, eh? Yikes!

That there's a nice boat! Looks a bit like a Wherry. Is that home built?
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#20
Yep. We use 3 straps, one across where the halyard cleat is, one through the swivel cam cleat fairlead and one across the stern close to the bridle.

The boat is the 1880s river skiff BARBASHELA from the Beauvoir Museum, severely damaged in Hurricane Katrina. We resurrected her in 2016 and returned her to the Museum. She was built in the 1880s by Captain T. P. Leathers of the steamboat NATCHEZ for his friend Winnie Davis, daughter of Jefferson Davis.

You can see we used 3 straps for her triumphant return road trip, plus one on the bow because we didn't have a cool bow stop like yours.

Barbashela road trip.JPG

Took a few more straps to get her to our house, as she was in a few bits.

Barbashela bits.jpg

Wrapped up like a burrito.

Barbashela burrito.jpg

Please visit out blog for the full restoration story.

Oh wait, which boat? The green boat is our Penobscot 14 ST. JACQUES, and yes we built her from 2013-2017 with a little sprit rig.

IMG_2951.JPG


Cheers!
 
Top