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Trailer Trailex or Kitty Hawk

nacra780

New Member
I cannot pull my trailer over 60 mph without large vibrations. I have replaced tires, hubs, and bearings. If it did work, it is still a rusted piece of junk.

Now I am looking to get a new trailer. Which of these is better and why? Can they be pulled at 75-80 mph without vibrating the vehicle?
Thanks
 

jon

Member
I've had a Trailex trailer since '97 and take my boat everywhere I go with it. With regular maintenance (add greece to the bearing buddies every ~500 mi (3-4 trips), and repack the bearings every 3-5 years (I've done it twice thus far) and it's done just fine for me. I make a point not to go over 70mph though, as the wheels are small and the last thing I want is for something to break while I'm on a trip. No vibrations at all.

Be sure to use a bottom cover for either of these trailers, and be sure not to over-greece the bearings or it will spew greece all over the trailer and possibly on the boat.

-Jon
 

TheBoathouse

New Member
We have been using and selling Kitty Hawks for 15 years. Never any troubles and anyone that knows me knows I tow boats "slightly" over the speed limit :>).....
 

capt_capsize

New Member
We went trailer shopping last year and, from what we heard, both Trailex and Kitty Hawk produce fine products. We went with a customized Trailex which was built to take two boats (Laser and Zuma) and a bunch of sailboards. So far, it has been terrific. It's unbelieveable how light the thing is. And so far (knock on aluminum), it's held up very, very well.
 

terraslaser

New Member
Hey
over here in england we have combination trainers were you simply slide the trolly on to the trailer and secure it with a strap. i find this very easy and can be done single handed and very quickly. well i was jst woundering do you have the same thing over in the US.
 

49208

Tentmaker
terraslaser said:
Hey
over here in england we have combination trainers were you simply slide the trolly on to the trailer and secure it with a strap. i find this very easy and can be done single handed and very quickly. well i was jst woundering do you have the same thing over in the US.
Seitech ( A US builder of dolly/trolly and rack systems) used to offer something like that, it had a couple of "skids" (that were bolted onto your trailer) that you pulled your dolly/trolly up on and then held the dolly firmly by the axle... The hull was supported by the dolly
 

144679

New Member
thats basically what we have, my combi trolly is "bramber" its got a roller at the back of the trailor base and your launching trolly/dolly simply slides up on top of the base with your boat on top of that, a very very good system.
 

Mike Eichwald

New Member
Has anyone tried modifying the Trailex to FACILITATE LOADING/UNLOADING? I just put one together, but find it hard to get the boat on and off by myself (we ramp into the lake). I'm thinking some kind of sliding roller on the back cross-bar....

Mike Eichwald
 

Jack

Member
dolly trolley questions

I have a couple old sailboat trailers and was hoping to fabricate a "dolly trolley" of my own. Does anyone have pictures of how the Seitech product worked?
A friend of mine simply built his sailboat trailer into a flat bed using 4x4s and deck planks. I was hoping to creat something a little lighter than that.
 

vtgent49

Member
Hi,

I have modified an old bunk trailer so the dolly rolls on/off singlehanded. I did my own skids, but Seitech will make some. You need to call them, as they are not stock.

Also, soften the ride, by removing leafs from the springs.

Al Russell 138888
 

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Laserite

New Member
vtgent49 said:
Hi,

I have modified an old bunk trailer so the dolly rolls on/off singlehanded. I did my own skids, but Seitech will make some. You need to call them, as they are not stock.

Also, soften the ride, by removing leafs from the springs.

Al Russell 138888
Out of interest, how many leafs do you have on, two or just a single? I have a bit of trailer bounce that I want to get rid of. I have two leafs. I think that the bounce is coming form my drawbar as it could be a little long and seems to have a little bit of flex.
 

vtgent49

Member
Hi,

RE: Trailer springs

I would definately try removing all but the main (full) spring. Most small bunk trailers are rated from 850-1000 lbs, thus are way too stiff. Try standing on the frame, and seeing if the springs flex. On mine, one leaf is plenty, as my weight only moves the frame an inch or two.

If it's older, you may break a few rusty bolts, and have to replace them. C'est la vie.

Al Russell 138888
 

Braecrest

Member
I've always had a trailex trailer and I have no complaints about it. I used to have a nice old Chevy long bed truck, which could pull anything no problem, but now I have a BMW 318 which I have to watch my tougne weight with. Yes i do trailer a laser behind a sports car!, the roof rack is reseved for my surfboards.
 

MDsailor170758

New Member
I love my Kitty Hawk. I put two lasers (deck to deck) on it and travel 80mph easy behind my little Acura Integra. No vibrations at all. As opposed to other trailers, you really don't need to mess with the leaf springs.
Trailex is a little expensive (especially after buying a new boat). Best thing with kitty hawk is that is so lightweight.
I kinda wished I had a double trailer instead, but still works fine. Though I haven't had any problems yet, I would recommend the stainless steel. (didn't fit my budget at the time).
 

dchays

New Member
Do you regularly put your trailer in the water? I recently bought a new Trailex but am a little leary of using as a dolly. It trailers nicely, but I'm wondering if it is a good idea to purchase a dolly to avoid putting strain on the electrical system and the bearings of the trailer. How do your lights hold up?


jon said:
I've had a Trailex trailer since '97 and take my boat everywhere I go with it. With regular maintenance (add greece to the bearing buddies every ~500 mi (3-4 trips), and repack the bearings every 3-5 years (I've done it twice thus far) and it's done just fine for me. I make a point not to go over 70mph though, as the wheels are small and the last thing I want is for something to break while I'm on a trip. No vibrations at all.

Be sure to use a bottom cover for either of these trailers, and be sure not to over-greece the bearings or it will spew greece all over the trailer and possibly on the boat.

-Jon
 

WestCoast

New Member
Kitty Hawks are nice kit.

One leaf spring is plenty too, very light boats. Not lots of experience with much else, people like the Kitty Hawk too much around here =)
 

MDsailor170758

New Member
dchays said:
Do you regularly put your trailer in the water? I recently bought a new Trailex but am a little leary of using as a dolly. It trailers nicely, but I'm wondering if it is a good idea to purchase a dolly to avoid putting strain on the electrical system and the bearings of the trailer. How do your lights hold up?

I too was wrestling with the idea of submerging my trailor (I have a Kitty Hawk) when launching. Since the Kitty Hawk has a swivel-bow, I just enter the water bow first and submerge the tongue of the trailer. I can then just lift the back of the boat and walk it into the water. Fully rigged, this does take a little muscle, but works for when I don't have any friends around. For regattas I just borrow someone's dolly who has launched already. (just don't be first to launch or last to finish) :rolleyes:

Not sure if Trailex has a swivel-bow though.
Dollies aren't all that expensive anyway if you can afford a Trailex trailer.
 

MDsailor170758

New Member
vtgent49 said:
Hi,

I have modified an old bunk trailer so the dolly rolls on/off singlehanded. I did my own skids, but Seitech will make some. You need to call them, as they are not stock.

Also, soften the ride, by removing leafs from the springs.

Al Russell 138888

Man! What an engineer. That's nice work. Do you travel with the boat resting on the gunnels or on the seitech's fabric?

Does anyone have any pics of an A-frame trailer? I heard that a lot of people are modifying old bunk trailers into A-frames to carry multiple boats. I need to carry at least 2.

-C
 

dchays

New Member
I like your idea of going in bow first. That at least saves the bearings and most of the lights. Trailex does make a swivel-bow, so I'm told, but I don't know how much they want for it. When I bought the Trailex, I thought I was killing two birds with one stone and splurged a bit. Coughing up additional cash for a dolly would make my throat sore. Seitech sells skids to accomodate their dolly on a standard utility trailer, they recommended one available from Harbor Freight Tools for about $250, but they want $550 for them!!! Are they out of their minds? That would be $1,150 for a dolly, skids, and the cheapest utility trailer on the market. You can get a Trailex or Kitty Hawk trailer plus a dolly for less money. Anybody have a used Laser dolly they'd like to sell?



MDsailor170758 said:
I too was wrestling with the idea of submerging my trailor (I have a Kitty Hawk) when launching. Since the Kitty Hawk has a swivel-bow, I just enter the water bow first and submerge the tongue of the trailer. I can then just lift the back of the boat and walk it into the water. Fully rigged, this does take a little muscle, but works for when I don't have any friends around. For regattas I just borrow someone's dolly who has launched already. (just don't be first to launch or last to finish) :rolleyes:

Not sure if Trailex has a swivel-bow though.
Dollies aren't all that expensive anyway if you can afford a Trailex trailer.
 

jon

Member
I have the Trailex with the swivel bow and even with a dolly that really comes in handy getting the boat from the trailer to the dolly. I've only submerged my trailer once or twice (pre-dolly) and with probably > 10,000 miles on it, it's still going fine after 9 years.
 

MDsailor170758

New Member
You should be fine on submerging trailers as long as the lights are disconnected (which is pretty much always) and they are dry when you connect them again. Bearings are another issue, but regular maintenance should take care of that.
 

MDsailor170758

New Member
capt_capsize said:
We went trailer shopping last year and, from what we heard, both Trailex and Kitty Hawk produce fine products. We went with a customized Trailex which was built to take two boats (Laser and Zuma) and a bunch of sailboards. So far, it has been terrific. It's unbelieveable how light the thing is. And so far (knock on aluminum), it's held up very, very well.

If you don't mind, how much did you pay for this setup?
I looked at the trailex site and most of the double trailers were pretty pricey!
 

gald

New Member
Is your dolly from seitech. How do you hold the dolly from sliding off the back?
Thanks
Dennis
You can email me at gald@aol.com with more pics if you have them
 

RustyRudder

New Member
Several years ago I purchased a new Trailex and had a vibration around 50 MPH. I found that the wheels needed to be balanced. That solved the problem.
 
MDsailor170758 said:
I love my Kitty Hawk. I put two lasers (deck to deck) on it and travel 80mph easy behind my little Acura Integra. No vibrations at all. As opposed to other trailers, you really don't need to mess with the leaf springs.
Trailex is a little expensive (especially after buying a new boat). Best thing with kitty hawk is that is so lightweight.
I kinda wished I had a double trailer instead, but still works fine. Though I haven't had any problems yet, I would recommend the stainless steel. (didn't fit my budget at the time).
New Member chiming in - Hello!
I am buying a used boat with a pivoting Kitty Hawk. Can you give me some information on how you stack two boats deck to deck on yours?

Thanks.
 

49208

Tentmaker
MasterMike said:
New Member chiming in - Hello!
I am buying a used boat with a pivoting Kitty Hawk. Can you give me some information on how you stack two boats deck to deck on yours?

Thanks.
You can buy a "pre-made" setup from APS (and possibly others that sell the Kitty Hawk trailer)
http://www.apsltd.com/Tree/d9000/e7314.asp

You can also make your own, start with a 2x6 on edge and contour to fit the deck profile. (you'll need a 2x10 if you want to have room for the spars between the boats)
 
Hey Mike and whomever else is interested... This is what I do when I trail my two Laser's on one trailer... First boat on the trailer deck-up.... bunk supports at trailing edge of cockpit and directly under the mast step... I use 1" racheting straps... on the bottom boat I use one just forward the trail edge of the cockpit, And the second one just forward of the mast step and tie the bow eye off to the winch hook with rope... Flip the second boat on top and stagger it slighty back so the cunningham and outhaul cleats are not resting against the bottom boats cleats or rubbing against the bottom boats block fittings... I use 4" dia. water noodles cut into sections for padding and thread it through the tie down straps...
This gives enough padding so you can tighten down the other two rachet straps (same location on the top boat) firmly without putting too much pressure on the boat it self... I also tie in the bow eye to the winch hook....
Good luck and happy trailering,
Fishingmickey
150087/181157
 
49208 said:
You can buy a "pre-made" setup from APS (and possibly others that sell the Kitty Hawk trailer)
http://www.apsltd.com/Tree/d9000/e7314.asp

You can also make your own, start with a 2x6 on edge and contour to fit the deck profile. (you'll need a 2x10 if you want to have room for the spars between the boats)
49208 - Thanks. That APS design looks good, and so simple it seems like you could make your own, matching the profile like you mention. I like the idea too of fitting the spars of both boats into the spacer pieces, which would raise it up higher. In their plywood design, what keeps the forward-aft loads of the upper boat from flopping over your divider plywood or 2x10 pieces? Just the strap pressure? You wouldn't want to crank it down too tight.
 

49208

Tentmaker
Ausute observation. In the design from APS, it calls for a 2x4 spacer between the two pieces of plywood - That 3.5 inches should be enough to keep them from flopping the divider. I made my own from 2x6 and they flopped until I put some "feet" on the bottom. I just added some 1/4"ply about 6" wide and that did the trick.
 

gald

New Member
vtgent49 said:
Hi,

I have modified an old bunk trailer so the dolly rolls on/off singlehanded. I did my own skids, but Seitech will make some. You need to call them, as they are not stock.

Also, soften the ride, by removing leafs from the springs.

Al Russell 138888

Al, From the picture, looks like the dolly slides off the ramp? How did you make the slides to pull up the dolly and how do you hold down the dolly from sliding off the old bunk.
Def want to learn more. You can write me at gald@aol.com
Thanks
Den
 

vtgent49

Member
Dennis et al.

The white trailer pictured in my other response didn't have nice bunks, so I made steel rails out of 1/4x1.5" bar, bent them in a vice, using Big hammer, then bolted them on. They were shaped to lift the dolly to the right height, so that the middle rollers took some weight. The shape also helped loading/unloading which I can do alone.

My newest (old) trailer was even easier, as it had good bunks and rollers. I just adjusted them to fit the dolly, then tweaked them to also fit just a hull. So, now I can use it either with or without a dolly. The boat rides in the sling, but Peter Seidenberg has his ride on the flip-ups, on which he has extra padding. Pics below. I can also carry an inflatable or other boat, without re-adjusting. I do tie a line over the hull to hold the dolly in place, then I can easily slide the dolly/boat on and off. This is called "The Geezer Rig" by the big kids who can get theirs on the car roof by themselves.

The key to Laser directly on a bunk trailers is to adjust them so most of the load in on the centerline of the hull. The centerline of a Laser is very strong from the mast to the back of the cockpit. The off center bunks should be just tight enough to steady the hull, but not carry any weight.

Like I said before, this is a 200. solution, even with new tires, coupler, lights and paint, if you start with a beater trailer frame. The ride is nice, and it's tall enough to see out the back window, when you are trying to back it up! I would NOT put two boats on the dolly however. And yes, I do use covers, and only one spring leaf.

Also note the 3/16" "fast pins" to hold the wheels on. Available at a Farm supply or Home Depot.

Al Russell 182797
 

Attachments

49208 said:
You can buy a "pre-made" setup from APS (and possibly others that sell the Kitty Hawk trailer)
http://www.apsltd.com/Tree/d9000/e7314.asp

You can also make your own, start with a 2x6 on edge and contour to fit the deck profile. (you'll need a 2x10 if you want to have room for the spars between the boats)
I have another question related to stacking deck to deck on a Kitty Hawk or similar...

The weight of the boat hangs from the supports below the gunnel, which is the strongest part of the boat. It bounces along year after year suspended that way. You put another boat on top with it's weight now supported by the bottom boat's gunnel.

Is there any danger of damage to the bottom boat with two supported that way, plus spars, sail tubes, etc.? How long have people transported their boats this way? Any problems?
Thanks,
Mike
 

Rob B

Well-Known Member
Do you know where can I get a sunfish kit for the kitty hawk trailer?
Thank You
That was never made. My understanding is Kitty Hawk is no longer in production?

I've had both trailers. Like how light the Trailex is, but felt the Kitty Hawk was a little more beefy and could handle a "double stack" better than the Trailex. I actually would not trust the Trailex to do that. Driven both on long road trips at 80mph w/no issues. When I was younger and dumber the kitty hawk hit 100+ briefly behind a Nissan 300ZX. Would not recommend that at all! Keep your bearings maintained and you'll be fine with either model. Get the swivel bow fitting. You'll be out of the boat park much faster.
 
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