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PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2014 6:33 pm 
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Location: Jacksonville, Florida
I have been convinced by the good ppl here on the forum that the trailer option is better than the mounting-this-big-heavy-boat-on-top-of-your-SUV option....now it's a matter of narrowing down the many, many choices out there.

Before you say it.... :!: yes :!: , there are many threads on trailer mods and trailer options for carrying an AI, and the problem is condensing all those good ideas into a single source to draw from, such as this thread (hopefully). I have been banging my brain looking at some fantastic ideas that come very close to the exact solution but often end up being still a little too expensive in the long run, or they require some welding/modding skills that are outside of my skill set, which is basically PVC, and I can't unlock myself from deciding amongst the very good ideas.

Also, I want to start a new thread here that will focus on carrying an AI plus one or more Kayaks/AI's (and maybe some of the peripheral gear as well), and can fit in a 18' storage area without taking up all the room, and without spending $2K on the Hobie model.

Who out there has solved this problem by spending less than $600?

Pics are very, very welcome, not to mention DIY instructions.

I want to thank those who take the time to respond very, very much in advance. I eagerly await the brilliant ideas that are peppered all throughout this forum.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2014 7:42 am 
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Joined: Sun Apr 20, 2008 6:18 am
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Location: Sarasota,Key West FL
It all boils down to your own expectations, and expected reliability, for example if you want to trailer hundreds of miles often at highways speeds, it's probably a good idea to spend a little extra for a quality trailer, I'm just sayin.
However if you just want to get your boat from your garage to the water every weekend (we live 10 minutes from the water), then something like I did might work.
I went to Harbor Freight and bought the cheapest utility trailer I could find ( Harbor Freight $140 bucks). The beauty of this is is the trailer is street legal and comes with Certificate of origin, (basically ready to get a title and plates), in Florida no inspection is needed as long as it's a commercial utility trailer. Next I just went to Lowes and picked up some aluminum to extend the trailer so it will fit my TI. You can also buy specifically a boat trailer from them but they are much ore expensive. The extra aluminum and hardware was around $100 to $150 bucks. Basically I just put it together with a drill and hack saw in my garage in a couple afternoons. Mine is a little special because I made mine in two pieces so the front and back can be separated (the front half breaks down and can be stuffed into the back of our SUV), the back half can also be used as a beach cart to walk the boat over beaches.
Here are a few pics of my setup

Front half
Image

Back half
Image

whole trailer
Image

here it is on the car ready to launch
Image

Yea it rusts out, so once a year you need to wire brush it off and repaint with truck bed paint, If you never put it in the water, and make sure to rinse everything as soon as you get home, it lasts for a few years anyway. My plan is as it rusts away just replace the steel with aluminum as needed over the next 5-10 yrs. I've been using it over a yr and a half every single weekend in salt water now and it's still going strong, with no issues or problems.

On my setup the boat itself is part of the structure, so you can't really haul anything else on the trailer, and driving the empty trailer is limited to just short distances. Actually if I were to do it again I would probably can the two part construction (not worth the effort, I have yet to use that feature, as it's just as easy to just roll the whole trailer to the water).

I just strap my boat down to 2 pieces of 1 1/2 PVC tubing mounted on 11" centers (about 8 ft long), it keeps the hull well supported, and is easy to load and unload the boat. I would forego the Hobie cradles, first they are very expensive, and second I think the $10 dollars worth of PVC tubing works much better. (the AMA's sit on the trailer frame).

Hope this helps
Bob

edit:
On long distance trips like our monthly trip to our other house in Key West (about 350 miles), I just replace the 8 inch tires with my good 12 inch Carlyle tires, and make sure to tie everything down well, we travel 75 to 80 mph. I carry the 8" tires along as spares, then when we get back home I put them back on (it's really nicer when the boat is very low)


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2014 6:17 pm 
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Location: Jacksonville, Florida
Bob, this is truly genius. Fantastic work.

I DO plan to take mine on various road trips, so I may just shell out the extra clams if need be, which also brings me to another question....

You said you use 12" tires for the long trips..... is this something you would recommend as a minimum for long distance? I was curious about the minimum safety/reliability requirements for a trailer that is intended for longer trips.

===================================================================


Thanks again for your reply.....I have had 79 views on this thread and yours was the only reply thus far(and a very informative, high-quality one at that). Kinda makes me a little sad, like I am the only Hobie owner and mod enthusiast/admirer that get a kid-like stupigoofy grin on his face even when I am just talking about mod-related creative genius.

Had I the opportunity, I would be PROUDLY showing off my skills (if I had any skills)!


Thanks again.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2014 5:47 am 
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Joined: Sun Apr 20, 2008 6:18 am
Posts: 1311
Location: Sarasota,Key West FL
All commercially sold trailers have the same bearing types, and hitch receiver types, as well as dot approved bolts and screws, this is all highly regulated by the DOT. Same with tires, there are strict standards that everything must comply to. My opinion is the weakest link in the system is the tires (btw all trailer tires are certified to 65 mph if inflated to the correct pressure (very important) and within the labeled load range. We are campers and have hauled our campers a couple hundred thousand miles all over the country over the last ten yrs or so. You figure out fast that having a blow out in death valley is not a fun experience. So we try to buy the best tires we can find (the weakest link). 12 inch tires rotate slower and dissipate the heat better on long trips, we used to have a popup with 8 inch tires and never successfully made our monthly trip from our houses in Chicago to our house in Florida without loosing a tire. I came to the conclusion that 8" tires suck for any long distance, buts that's just my experience.
Higher end boat trailers are usually safe to dunk in the water, cheap ones are not, that and the weight and design quality are the main differences. If you opt for a cheaper trailer I advise not to ever dunk it in the water, and always rinse off after every use (especially in salt water), add bearing buddy's and put quality tires on it.
Bob


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2014 9:56 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 05, 2011 1:58 am
Posts: 1502
Location: Forster, NSW, Australia
lboiv001 wrote:
I have been convinced by the good ppl here on the forum that the trailer option is better than the mounting-this-big-heavy-boat-on-top-of-your-SUV option....now it's a matter of narrowing down the many, many choices out there.

Before you say it.... :!: yes :!: , there are many threads on trailer mods and trailer options for carrying an AI, and the problem is condensing all those good ideas into a single source to draw from, such as this thread (hopefully). I have been banging my brain looking at some fantastic ideas that come very close to the exact solution but often end up being still a little too expensive in the long run, or they require some welding/modding skills that are outside of my skill set, which is basically PVC, and I can't unlock myself from deciding amongst the very good ideas.

Also, I want to start a new thread here that will focus on carrying an AI plus one or more Kayaks/AI's (and maybe some of the peripheral gear as well), and can fit in a 18' storage area without taking up all the room, and without spending $2K on the Hobie model.

Who out there has solved this problem by spending less than $600?

Pics are very, very welcome, not to mention DIY instructions.

I want to thank those who take the time to respond very, very much in advance. I eagerly await the brilliant ideas that are peppered all throughout this forum.

While I see you are disappointed at the scarcity of replies, maybe, as you have obviously read many other posts regarding trailers, you could take the time to collect the posts into this thread, rather than ask people to possibly repeat themselves? I know this is a lot of work, but when you see other threads like the "haka" or "expedition" threads, you see they tend to take on a life of their own.

As I live down under, my own experience might not directly translate to options for you, however here goes anyway.

I have a TI, and my trailer is galvanised. It has been dunked in salt water over 400 times in the two years I have had it, with a fresh water hose down after every trip. So far, there are minimal signs of rust

My trailer guy supplied 13 inch wheels, instead of the 12s which were standard.

I have a short garage (well the junk makes it so :)) so he went to a lot of trouble to minimise the front overhang (the trailers supplied by Hobie here in Australia have about 24 inches of empty space between bow and hitch).
Image

I have a roller placed midway between the cradle and each end of the hull, and despite my TI staying permanently on the trailer when not in use, have not seen any signs of hull distortion.

To minimise friction between the hulls, I got a freebie torn wetsuit from the local dive shop, and cut a section of thigh area , adding a pvc spreader pipe, and clipping these on to the padeye on the akas, so the double thickness neoprene sits between the hull and akas. So far, no signs of abrasion.

I added a rudder cover sewn from a hi-viz jacket, and because the standard trailer lights were a long way forward from the stern, I made up support for a "light board" which sits in the rear cargo area, and the lightboard goes into the back of the wagon for launching. This bracket also supports the mast in travel mode.
Image

_________________
Tony Stott
2012 Tandem Island "SIC EM"
www.scenefromabove.com.au


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 8:46 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2011 3:33 pm
Posts: 175
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Many of us would help if we could but we use alternative methods of transport. such as

Image

which will not help you much.

Also, not many of us can match Bob and Tony, we just have to admire their work like you.

_________________
Cheers, Brian in South Australia
Image


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 10:24 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 27, 2008 4:16 pm
Posts: 88
Location: Chicago Area
I grabbed a cheap Harbor Freight foldable trailer for around $300, and had a local welder add on a long tongue. Bought the TI cradles from hobie and attached them with a wood frame.

It has made it from Chicago to San Antonio, and the 45 minute drives to the lake and back for 2 years. I don't dunk it though, and take it to a fresh water lake. Not sure how long it would survive in salt water.

Word of warning though, you get what you pay for. The original axle was not true and the bearings on one wheel were getting very hot. After re packing them a few times I had to get them to send me new bearings/ axle and hub, since we weren't sure what the culprit was. Since then I haven't had an issue.

I'll try to remember to grab a few photos next time the boat is off the trailer.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 7:08 am 
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Seems that cost is your largest concern. $600 is going to be tight unless you go with the Harbor Freight option. Most decent Galvanized Steel and Aluminum trailers are going to start around $600-$1,000 without any modifications.

Used Jet Ski trailers are a great option, but it takes time to find one in good shape

I've had 3 main configurations:

1. $250 4x8 Harbor freight trailer with 12" tires. Added plywood deck ($15) and removable PVC ($15) bunks for my Outback. Cant say anything negative about it- CHEAP, easy to set up, still folded, worked great. You could easily add crossbars and or a top rack to it. Uni-Strut from your local hardware store works well. I could see rust being a long term issue pending where you live, however a new paint job during set up should help.

I then added an AI into the mix and wanted something larger/more professional looking :) No reason I couldn't modify the HF trailer to accommodate both.

2. $550 16ft Loadrite trailer with 12" tires. Included Tags and Tax. I added a TracRack ($150 off craigslist) and purchased AI cradles($200). Then found a Thule Cargo basket ($100 off craigslist-with locks & keys). - For $800 (without cradles), This set up worked great as the Outback was easy to load up top and I had plenty of storage with the Thule cargo basket. Truck racks are easy to fit onto any trailer and look nice. Very professional looking!

I then added another AI into the mix.... Added 2 pairs Yakima Landshark saddles ($40 off craigslist) and had one AI up top. After a few times I thought it was too difficult to load the AI (fully assembled) up top and wanted to change to a side by side configuration. (note: I did purchase Yakima rollers and gave them a try- made it much easier, however, I leave the AI on the trailer- my concerns were for the hull denting)

3. I went to a local steel seller and purchased 4 sections of 2"x2" Aluminum tube. ~6.5ft long. (~$85). 3 acted as my crossbars (~76" wide), went with 2" PVC bunks ($30) and then I configured a center top rack about 26" high similar to the Yakima sky tower/trailex sky tower, added the Thule cargo basket. Bolted it together with Uni-strut hardware.($~30). Very pleased after one full season.

Lessons:

1. I thought that the width of two assembled AIs would be a problem, but it really isn't. When I take off/un bungee the outer AMAS on each, I am only ~76"/78" wide. Plenty of room left over to go through an 8ft/96" garage door. (note: both AIs assembled are right at/slightly wider than 8ft.). For travel, I pull the trailer out of the garage and bungee them back on.

2. I am happy with my current configuration. Without mistakes/configurations/etc, I could be in it for around $900

3. [b]With all of the money and time I have spent I could have purchased and modified my Dream Yakima trailer :)
[/
b]


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 6:38 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 21, 2009 11:00 pm
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Location: Jacksonville, Florida
I applaud the patience and time it took on these very detailed replies, and I thank you greatly for them.

The recurring theme seems to be that you get what you pay for....that being said, it appears logical that, since I live in apartments and have very few options/time as far a modifying anything I buy (unless I spend some long hours in a very hot storage facility here in Florida), I may be better off just saving up a little longer and get the manufacturer's finished product vs. the modded upgrade of a cheaper trailer.

....and you guys are right... I should perhaps repost a good idea that was previously posted rather than ask someone to repeat themselves....I had though to do that, but felt like it might not be too cool a thing to do without explicit permission from the original author (copyright paranoia, maybe?), and thus shied back from doing so...

All in all, thank you guys for your efforts, ideas and fantastic finished product pics.....they are absolute motivation for ppl like myself to get off the char and just DO IT! Your time spent here is very, very much appreciated!


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 8:38 pm 
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Rust for the most part is a cosmetic problem and not a structural one with these light trailers. The area to maintain is the wheel bearings and for this installing Bearing Buddy or similar products is a good way to go. By the time you reach the water the bearings can be quite hot and then when they are immersed in cold water a vacuum is created and water is sucked inside. With a small trailer I carry around a grease gun with marine bearing grease and add it to the wheels before backing down into the water.

The lights are a potential problem area and with my last trailer I replaced the entire assembly with ones that used LED lamps and were 100% sealed everywhere. LED taillights that are not watertight will have a very short life, especially in salt water where things can corrode with electricity literally in seconds.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 8:49 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2007 6:14 pm
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Location: South Florida
Wintersun wrote:
Rust for the most part is a cosmetic problem and not a structural one with these light trailers.

???

I know rust can be a "cosmetic problem" with stainless steel. I've never heard the term "cosmetic problem" used in connection with "rust" of ordinary steel trailers of any kind, large or small. Please explain. Maybe I will have to ditch my Trailex aluminum trailer for a cheap Harbor Freight trailer.

Keith

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I sail: Biscayne Bay, Everglades to Cape Romano, Ft Desoto, Cedar Key

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex ... It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." A. Einstein


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 12:51 pm 
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Wintersun wrote:
Rust for the most part is a cosmetic problem and not a structural one with these light trailers..
:lol: We got a kick out of that one, out here in Hawaii, where rust eats trailers faster than a Boston Whaler eats gas.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 3:19 pm 
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Location: Sarasota,Key West FL
Actually I'm kind of agreeing with wintersun. The reason being when i built my original motor mount for my TI I used two 3/8 dia mild steel rods for the main bracing bars, I used the motor mounts every weekend for over 4 years until I added my second engine, so I just put the single mount aside (it still works fine) and built the new mount for the twin engines (they cost about $15 bucks and a couple hrs to make).
When I originally made the mount I painted it, but after a few weeks it began to rust badly, after that I did nothing at all to try to protect it from rusting, it of course looks like crap and is all scaly with rust but structurally still seems fine, it got to the point a couple years ago I even stopped trying to rinse the salt water off (why bother). So my conclusion is if you don't care what it looks like and the metal is fairly thick to start with, chances are it will last a good 3-5 years if you do nothing care wise, longer of course if you treat it and paint it periodically (like they do with ships). Another example is the safety chains on my trailer, they are solid rust after 1 1/2 yrs, but I'm not concerned about them failing anytime within the next 5 yrs. it seems once steel forms a rust petina, the rust itself helps protect the steel underneath. That's my theory anyway, so I do agree that rust is more of a cosmetic issue than a structural issue for around 5 yrs (all I care about is 5 yrs).
That's my story and I'm sticking with it.
Bob


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 4:25 pm 
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Stick with it, Bob, but given time, the thickest steel will fail due to rust--just ask the engineers who manage the bridges in Miami, FL. I rusted out everything on my galvanized trailer--some of it (springs) twice--the galvanized trailer frame is rusty in spots but still going after 20 yrs. The steel axel rusted and broke--I replaced it with a stronger one. Finally, the heavy tongue rusted through and broke--it might have been the 2nd tongue--it was not galvanized. I'm not sure how much washing with fresh water helps--I just don't know. If things don't rust out for you, you haven't kept them long enough.

If the steel is thin, like your car body, it is going to go in a few years--that is, it is going to begin showing through the paint. Give it 15 yrs, and you may be able to put your foot through the floor board.

It is a matter of degree. If you are only going to use your steel trailer for a few years, it probably will hold up. If, like me, you use a car for 10-12 yrs, and you car-top your AI/TI after its been in salt water, your car is going to be a pile of rust--but, your engine will still be running and your axels will likely not have rusted thru.

Of course, you can sell or otherwise get rid of your rust problems--an honest person will inform the buyer.

Yes, it is always our choice.

Keith

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I sail: Biscayne Bay, Everglades to Cape Romano, Ft Desoto, Cedar Key

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex ... It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." A. Einstein


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 8:44 pm 
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IMHNEO, (in my humble, non engineer opinion), there's no such thing as cosmetic rust on a load bearing part. :wink:


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