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Old 29-09-2015, 19:45   #1
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Sunfish "trailoring"

My sister up in North Carolina (the Hampstead area- see screenshot)

has gotten a new to her sunfish. It's her first boat. It didn't come with a trailer but she and her boyfriend have been lifting it onto the top of her car and driving it down to the water about 1 mile away. Needless to say this lifting is pretty hard on her.
Any creative ideas for how to either
1. build a cheap trailer that will carry the sunfish a mile or two at a time
or
2. an easier way to use her car to transport it
or
3. other ideas?

Thanks so much. I know there are some super creative people on here so I'm looking forward to your ideas!
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Old 30-09-2015, 08:08   #2
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Re: Sunfish "trailoring"

Search Craigslist. She doesn't need a boat trailer, a utility/yard trailer of the right size would do.
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Old 30-09-2015, 11:03   #3
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Re: Sunfish "trailoring"

One of these would probably work:

Heavy Duty Utility Trailer - 870 Lb. Capacity
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Old 30-09-2015, 15:33   #4
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Re: Sunfish "trailoring"

Just modify a used jet ski trailer.
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Old 30-09-2015, 16:38   #5
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Re: Sunfish "trailoring"

Quote:
Originally Posted by denverd0n View Post
One of these would probably work:

Heavy Duty Utility Trailer - 870 Lb. Capacity

Yup, or they also sell boat version for a bit more, which comes with skids.

We have one of each, one for our 12' pram, the other with a plywood box for everything else house and garden related.

Both sets of lights have already been replaced. I extrapolate with our five year ownership that they will last another 5-7 before completely rusting away. Not sure how they even get them here from China for the price though.

Watch for them to go on sale.


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Old 30-09-2015, 21:20   #6
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Re: Sunfish "trailoring"

The 870 pound trailer has a tongue that is too short for a boat, has 8 inch wheels, would be difficult to modify and is made out of mild steel. Hampstead is salt water territory, it would be rusty/ugly after a month. I'm familiar with this trailer as people use them to tow behind Miatas.

For the price of the listed boat trailer you can buy a nearly new aluminum jet ski trailer that would probably work with little or no modification and last forever. Jet ski trailers outlast jet skis so check a repair shop/jet ski graveyard.
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Old 30-09-2015, 22:59   #7
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Re: Sunfish "trailoring"

I have the Harbor Freight boat trailer for my 10ft RIB. Works great.
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Old 01-10-2015, 12:54   #8
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Re: Sunfish "trailoring"

I have the trailer below: it sells for $900 new and $400 used in this condition. Weighs 225 pounds and carries 1275 pounds. The Harbor Freight one won't have lights, bunks and bunk hardware, a jack, straps etc. All that stuff adds up. And it's steel, cheap looking (because it is a POS) good for fresh water only unless you love rust.

The 8 inch wheels are terrible for highway use, there is a lot of heat that builds up in the bearings- 12 inch is much better.

Pay your money and take your choice, $400 for a great used aluminum trailer or $400 for a new POS that needs $100 to $200 worth of additional accessories. Look for one that has just had the bearings greased.
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Old 01-10-2015, 13:07   #9
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Re: Sunfish "trailoring"

The Harbor Freight trailer does come with lights and bunks. However, I would certainly buy a quality used aluminium trailer, if one was available. The problem is that there are always more boats than trailers, it seems, and good used trailers are at a premium.

I bought the Harbor Freight trailer because I could have it now, rather than wait a months or years for a used one.

Rust is not a problem if you simply hose the trailer down when you hose down the boat.

What's the car you're towing the trailer with made out of? Mine is steel.
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Old 01-10-2015, 13:33   #10
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Re: Sunfish "trailoring"

"Rust is not a problem if you simply hose the trailer down when you hose down the boat." I find that statement to be the complete opposite of what I have seen with my own lying eyes.

Ha, steel trailers rust sooner rather than later even if they are used only in fresh water and rinsed immediately. Salt water and dirt gets in the frame if nothing else and they rust from inside out. The comparison to cars is (fill in the blank,) and the car isn't getting dunked anyway (unless you buy the $199 trailer, the tongue is too short to launch any boat.)

The cheaper HF trailer has no accessories. The HF boat trailer is $400 and still has 8 inch wheels. Again, impractical for salt water use, and the map shows a salt water area for the OP.

Go to a boat ramp at the coast and it is rare to see a painted steel trailer, the ones you see are covered with rust or brought to the coast by "dit-dotters."

Regarding buying a used trailer, patience is a virtue. They won't be advertised, you have to know where to look for them.
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Old 01-10-2015, 13:55   #11
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Re: Sunfish "trailoring"

If nothing else, do you really want to trust a single bunk support on each side to hold your boat? What happens when that flimsy chinese steel support rusts and the bunk collapses while you are pulling your dink or boat down the highway? A sunfish has pretty good planing characteristics in air as well as water.
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