Newbie wondering about buying this 2001 fish


Well-Known Member
The Harbor Freight trailer (600# capacity) is the cheapest, but even it is delivered as a kit. My philosophy is that a trailer's capacity should approximate its loading, so that the springs are slightly depressed under its loading. Otherwise, I like the suggestions of gd_nc, above. (Craigslist "wanted" or "orphan" Jet-Ski trailer). Buying a kayak trailer will keep the trailer on the narrow side—handy when storing it.

A posting example of "Craigslist small trailer wanted":

Starting at "lead thrower", I see how the poster got around one of Craigslist's rules. :D

Thread starter #22
This PWC trailer (link below) is 12' LOA according to the seller; is that size inappropriate for a 14' fish?

I asked for the model number and other details, including more pics. Also,
- condition of tires
- condition of lights
- winch included?
- any damage or issues?
- title available?

Did I miss anything? Width, for example?

I'm also looking into a trailer hitch for my 2000 Camry, which I'll buy new.

Thanks again, y'all.


Well-Known Member
Many states don't require a title on a trailer under 2000 pounds. The serial number will appear on a laminated sticker. Check on the trailer hitch ball size. The seller might give you what you need—but you'll have to ask. That's about $8 you won't have to spend. (More for a stainless steel ball). The Craigslist picture doesn't show the required safety chain.

Check on the cost of replacement wheels and tires. They're not that expensive, and they'll come from China already on the rims. The last trailer I sold, the buyer insisted on new tires, so I recall paying less than $40 each. The buyer came at night, and left the new tires! Press firmly on the tires' rubber to see if you can form surface cracking—it's a crude way to determine the age and condition of the rubber. (On auto tires, the date of manufacture is molded into the sidewall. Dealers aren't allowed to sell new tires that are older than two years. 'Don't know about dating trailer tires).

You'll be better off totally replacing the trailer lights, especially as they're already described as "bad". Make sure that the plug on the car accommodates the plug on the trailer. Check on 12v electrical wiring that is designated "marine", as corrosion is much reduced. Factor costs of tires, wire, winch and lights into your offer. As bulbs can break when immersed, carry a spare bulb.

As a Jet-Ski is much heavier than a Sunfish, check with a specialty trailer shop about the advisability of removing one (or more) of the smaller leaves from the springs. (Some are linked together with a heavy pin, so they can't be removed). Bunks would need to be made longer. Try to support the (upright) Sunfish along the chines as much as possible. Outdoor (gray) PVC pipe is slippery when wet, and can ease launching and loading. You really don't need the winch that is missing. Check YouTube videos for modifications of Jet-Ski PWC trailers being converted to kayak trailers (using PVC pipe).

That's all this morning's coffee will allow. :D
Thread starter #24
L&VW (and everyone else), thanks so much for your time and patience.

I guess question #1 for me about the trailer (link re-copied below) is knowing if the 12' LOA would work well for the fish; would it? Are there particular measurements that I should take to verify? I'm trying not to buy an ill-sized trailer, and as you can see, my greenhorn status is evident.

BTW, I'm going to see the boat in the AM... hopefully the guy will be able to deliver soon, though probably not tomorrow. I'll pay upon delivery.

Thanks, and please let me know your thoughts about the trailer size.


Well-Known Member
Hitch for Camry self install:

Can get car wiring as well.

The jet ski trailer should work for the Sunfish. You may have to adjust the bunks. I would add a winch post to tie off the bow. You don't need the winch. etrailer will sell those as well. Looks like 8" tires with 4 lugs on this trailer. I would buy new tires and a spare. Just be sure to get the tires that will work for your use. Highway driving will require the higher rated tires.
Regarding the trailer size - I'd shoot for something in the 12' to 14' range. 14' is ideal. Sprung for 600-800lbs.

This is the one I have. It's 14' long and available in a 600 or 800lb version with a few different bunk configurations. These are just under $1K new. I got mine used for about half that and it was only 18 mo. old. I bought it from a guy that just bought a 2nd Seadoo and moved to a double trailer.

I added a rack and it look like this now...

Kevin Mc

Active Member
I don't know what the the law is in NJ, but in Texas a trailer has to be registered and in order for it to be registered it has to have a title. So here, if the seller doesn't have the trailer's title, getting one for it can be nigh on impossible. Check your state's law before purchasing!
I don't know what the the law is in NJ, but in Texas a trailer has to be registered and in order for it to be registered it has to have a title. So here, if the seller doesn't have the trailer's title, getting one for it can be nigh on impossible. Check your state's law before purchasing!
YES! Great point Kevin. This is a big deal in NC too. Everyone on CL will tell you it's fine, but when you get to the DMV you'll learn it's a very difficult and expensive problem to resolve. If your state requires a Title, don't buy a trailer w/o one. In most cases it's easiest if it's already titled in your state.
Thread starter #29
Thanks y'all.

YAY, the boat mine, to be delivered 2 Sundays from today!!!

His trailer is a 12' and seemed fine for my needs, so the jet let trailer (at 12' as well) will work fine, if the seller will only return my attempts at reaching him.

I'll keep you posted as things progress, especially when/if I need help fixing it up.

Thanks again... you guys are really teriffic!!!


Well-Known Member
The trailer's 8-inch wheels turn a lot of RPMs on the highway. Consider attaching a spare tire and an aluminum jack of this kind:

No moving parts. Loosen the lug nuts, then place the above under the axle, and as you pull the trailer forward, it raises the selected wheel. I'll place mine for sale ($15+postage) in the "Sunfish for sale" forum, but it'll have to wait two weeks until I get settled for the summer.
Load Rite trailers has a nice galvanized 14 foot trailer that works perfectly for my Sunfish. I found it at a local trailer dealer for $750 plus tax brand new. It was the most expensive part of my Sunfish restoration but also one of the most important. Like you I am not comfortable towing my "baby" on a wobbly trailer. I also looked at the Harbor Freight trailers but once you include assembly time, buying larger tires, the winch and the quality of the parts the Load Rite is a better deal and it will last a lot longer. 11206537_10101691388985102_1191819997327969582_o.jpg