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PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2010 7:18 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 7:18 pm
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Location: Long Island, NY
Last weekend I mounted PA cradles onto my old boat trailer. The conversion was pretty simple. A bit of a crude job, maybe, but I think it will work.
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The only modification needed for the trailer concerned the supports for the bunks, or runners. They were angled towards the center. I needed them to be vertical. A little work with a file on one side of each top hole let me re-mount the brackets vertically.
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I used treated 2x4s for the frame. Galvanized lag bolts were used to attach the cross pieces to the new bunks. Total cost minus the cradles was only about $30
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Ready to go.
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The only tricky part was angling the cradles properly to match the curvature of the hull from bow to stern. For some reason the cradles are engineered with only a slight angle, not nearly enough to contact the hull evenly. I used plastic shims to solve the problem. By looking at the degree of compression to the carpeting on the cradles after a few days, I would say I've got the angle fairly close, good enough, at least, until I find a better solution.
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Hope these pics are helpful to some of you PA owners whose boats need a safe place to rest!


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PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2010 8:16 pm 
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Location: Michigan
Nice work Damfisher, it looks like you have that one pretty well worked out. One thing you might want to keep an eye out for is splitting near the end grain of the cross members from the lag bolts outward. Even though you've used treated lumber, expansion and contraction will still occur with changing moisture conditions. You could considerably lessen the effects by sealing the end grain with wood sealer which can be found at your local hardware store. If you want to take it one step further, just to be sure, you can cap the ends with aluminum/metal "shoes" so if there is any splitting the caps will act as clamps keeping the board ends contained.
It's great to see more posts regarding use of the cradles. Let us know how they work out and thanks for sharing!

GR8 Laker


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PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2010 8:50 pm 
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Thanks for the tips, GR8. I trimmed the cross pieces a little long on purpose to try and avoid the ends' splitting, but more protection certainly would'nt hurt. I also considered using that recycled plastic "lumber". I'll see how this works. Now that i've done it once, doing it again will be a cinch. The measuring was by far the worst part of it.


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PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2010 7:36 am 
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that is pretty cool! where did you buy the PA cradles? I would like to look into that more to see if I can make them work on my 1/4 ton Bantam "Jeep" trailer to replace the Yakima Mako saddles I am presently using.
just curious but could you have mounted the cradles directly to the trailer instead of using all the treated lumber? looks like you could back into the water and launch without any lifting at all.


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PostPosted: Thu May 13, 2010 7:03 pm 
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Location: Long Island, NY
I ordered the cradles from my local dealer, Captain Kayak, when I bought my PA. As for mounting the cradles directly onto the trailer, I don't think that's possible as the spacing would be way off. For both of the cradles there is only a tolerance of a few inches at most where each cradle conforms to the hull shape properly.
As it is now no heavy lifting is required to launch, as the boat is plenty close to the water already. If I want to use the trax cart, I just push the boat back a few feet until the scupper holes clear the rear cradle. At that point, the boat is nowhere near tipping backwards.


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PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2010 8:57 pm 
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thanks for the reply, I will have to see if I can find those in the Hobie catalog.


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PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2010 12:45 am 
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Location: New South Wales, Australia
Good job Damfisher, nice to get it done and mobile. I do like the colour of your yak :wink: :wink:

I see you had the same issue as I did with having to tip the cradle on the fore/aft axis to fit the hull.

Well done mate.


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PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2010 10:09 am 
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What is the original size of the trailer you used.


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PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2010 9:53 am 
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The trailer is rated for 500lbs. It's been working great so far. Launching and cleanup has been easy. The hull looks good. The weather has yet to turn really hot, though. I'll be keeeping an eye on it.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2010 8:45 pm 
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Thought it was time to give an update on how my rig is working out. My PA has been sitting on the trailer-mounted cradles in my detached garage for about 3 months now. We just finished the 2nd hottest July on record. Temps. over 90 degrees day after day, with a record high of 102.
Flipped the PA today and inspected the hull. I'm happy to report there was not a trace of distortion of the hull in the area of contact with the cradles. Some of the mounting hardware that was bolted into wood needed tightening, but that was all. Looks like things are working out fine. :D


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 1:15 pm 
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Location: Orlando, Florida
Great posts on the Cradles!

I have ordered my PA! I bought my Cradles and Trailer. My PA will be here in about a week. I was going to wait until my PA arrived before building my frame to mount the Cradles to. Any other advise before starting the build-out. I have read all the post(s) I can get my hands/eyes on for the Cradles!

Thanks,
Tom "Flash" Shriver

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2010 1:22 pm 
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very nice job on the trailer conversion!
Did you need to get an extended tongue on your trailer?
What size did you cut the 2x4s for the length and width?
Thanks ! :)


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2010 7:53 pm 
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Location: Long Island, NY
The 2x4s are 73" and 36", cut a bit long to guard against the ends splitting. The cradles are spaced 67" apart, bolt to bolt. Exact spacing may vary from hull to hull. Tip your PA over and see where they fit best. On my rig, when the PA is seated all the way forward on the trailer, 3 1/8" of the front cradle is visible through the mirage scupper.

I didn't have to extend the tongue on the trailer. Just had to re-adjust everything. Got to love ratchets!

Most of the time I trailer my PA all of 1/4 mile down the road from my house. Today I took the PA on its first long-range trip, about 110 miles total. Held the PA down witha single strap behind the handrails. Everthing worked fine. Nothing loosened up. I have had the lag bolts holding the cross-pieces loosen up occasionally. I might re-intsall the someday with adhesive added.

Look up another post about cradles on a trailer from last spring, March or April, I think, by Cracka. He did a reallly nice job.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2010 10:17 pm 
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It is nice that your PA cradles successfully converted onto your old boat trailer. As I was seen on the pictures, your job done easily. And I assure you that your trailer will work well.

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PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2011 3:32 pm 
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Location: Long Island, NY
Update: After one year the setup looks good. The hull shows no distortion from sitting full-time on the cradles. During the last year the temp has ranged from a low near 0F to a high of 102F. I have had the rig in my detached garage the whole time.


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