Trailer vs Roof Rack

Thread starter #1
I'm trying to decide if I should get a trailer or roof racks to transport my laser. I will be mostly sailing from a beach and have a dolly. I was originally going to go with the racks, but got to thinking it would be easier to use different vehicles with a trailer, and if I buy a new car I won't have to get new feet for the racks. Any suggestions or pros and cons? Thanks!
 
#2
Either way works just fine.

You can roofrack a laser on pretty much any car with a good quality rack (I've seen them on Mini's). My current rack has the bars worryingly close together (~2 feet) and the bars are not as wide as the boat, but it still works just fine, even with the dolly on top at 70MPH. I've come to the conclusion that people over-think roof racking.

Before that I used to trailer, and that was good too.

For maximum independence (not needing a helper to lift he boat on and off), go for trailering with the right type of trailer. In North america that would be a Kitty Hawk or Trailex with the moving bow fitting. In Europe that would be and A-Frame dolly with a road-base.

Have fun. Lasers were designed to travel!
 

torrid

Just sailing
#3
How often do you plan so sail it? If you have to load the boat up on the roof every time you sail it, that can get real old real fast. I trailer for short distances, but cartop for longer distances.

I have one set of Thule load bars, and I'm on my fourth vehicle with them. I have to buy a new set of feet each time. In fact every time I buy a new car, it's a race to get a hitch installed or the correct set of feet before a regatta.
 
#4
Are you a big burly man? Will there be people to help you lower and raise the boat where you plan to sail? Do you have room for a trailer? Can you afford cost maintenance and registration?

If you are not a huge guy, must raise and lower the boat alone, have room to store a trailer, and can afford cost maintenance and registration, why not get the trailer?

I don't have a trailer so I must cartop every time. I don't think it so much of a pain that it would keep me from sailing, but I would sure love to save the effort at the end of the day. I predict leaving the boat on the car all week during the summer.

Food for thought: most single-handed FAQ's on the net describe methods of raising the boat. I have found far fewer methods to lower the boat slowly and safely and without it crashing to the pavement. A dolly is real asset because you can choose where to raise and lower.

Think ahead- it may save you a lot of future pain (and costly repairs).
 
#11
Looks interesting. I'm curious, how susceptible is it to vibrations when fully loaded up? Even with everything secured, I would be concerned about the stresses put on the dolly. Especially at highways speeds (and extra-especially with my anitique Seitech).
I have been using one for almost 2 months now with an intensity and a Seitech dolly. It tows very well and quietly as well. It has been great.
 
Thread starter #12
Thanks for all of the helpful replies. It looks like a trailer is the way to go for me! I think it will be easy to singlehand with the trailer, especially the part when I come back home and don't feel like unloading the boat by myself. I have a pretty long commute to work and wouldn't want to leave the boat on the roof racks unless I was going sailing.
 
#15
You can roofrack a laser on pretty much any car with a good quality rack (I've seen them on Mini's). My current rack has the bars worryingly close together (~2 feet) and the bars are not as wide as the boat, but it still works just fine, even with the dolly on top at 70MPH. I've come to the conclusion that people over-think roof racking.Before that I used to trailer, and that was good too.For maximum independence (not needing a helper to lift he boat on and off), go for trailering with the right type of trailer. In North america that would be a Kitty Hawk or Trailex with the moving bow fitting. In Europe that would be and A-Frame dolly with a road-base.
 
#16
I love my Kitty Hawk. 100 lbs, freeway speeds with 12" tires, roll it in and out of the water yourself, and the bow support pivots so you can just swing the stern onto the grass if you like. You can fold your seitech and keep it in the car, or strap it to the top of the boat. Spars go in holders on the deck, under the cover. I sail alone quite often.
 

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#17
Question, I am about to build a double trailer and wondered if the lips are strong enough that the boats could be carried on them, as in laying the boat on its side leaning into the midd;e of the trailer. That way I could trailer 2 lasers and the Opti can go in the middle of the trailer I alreay own. Wish I had a pic to show you what I mean...
 
#18
I've seen it done - someone who knows about hull structure should speak up. I've seen a trailer with 4 hulls upside down in the center on racks, with 2 mounted vertically on the outside of the rack. I assume they were supported on the rails, but I would also assume lots of padding for shock.

Here are some pics I have stored of misc trailers. You can buy or build a stacker for two deck-to-deck hulls on a Kitty Hawk or similar.

You can build a deck-down from a basic garden trailer.

You can invent a multi-stacker. (oop...sideways, sorry..)

You can put it on the roof, but I think the cross bars need to be far enough apart to not stress the deck - I've watched mine rock and flex and it's on a Volvo wagon with Yakima bars.
 

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#19
Here is a new option that will be available in April;

http://www.intensitysails.com/rionrotrforl.html
Hmmm. Looks like the glass-filled plastic brackets that connect the dolly uprights to the axle tube may be taking dynamic (ie, impact) loads they were probably not designed for. I wonder about shortened dolly life. Why not just buy a $200 Harbor freight utility trailer with the boat tongue kit, ditch the rollers it comes with, and fit a couple of hull-shaped padded bunks. I have one of these that's over 20 years old that has been double-decked. It's still going strong. (I did install new springs and bearings). Note that my Laser is in the "superior" position in the pic.
 

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