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 Post subject: Homemade beach wheels
PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 12:53 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2011 9:13 pm
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Location: Okinawa
apologies in advance if this in in the wrong place. I adapted some designs I found here and elsewhere to make my own beach wheels. Living far from easy access to commercial wheels and also other remedies for home made wheels I had to adapt what I could find around me. The wheels are two very solid plastic fishing floats - the kind used by commercial fishermen around these parts (Okinawa, Japan). They are often washed ashore here after typhoons. The walls are almost 1cm thick. The axle is 38mm pipe (sold as ALZ pipe here some kind of steel/Aluminium alloy) with 40mm PVC plastic pipe as sleeves to space the wheels apart and also sit the hulls on. The hulls are tied on with webbing to the axles. Total cost around $25! My main worry was how they would roll (on any surface) not having any kind of bearings but have had no problems so far over grass and some very soft sands littered with lumps of coral. The axle is flexing a bit as you can see in the photo (perhaps exaggerated by the wide angle lens but it definitely flexes some) - maybe spacing the wheels slightly further apart will help this a bit. Very much v1 but so far so good.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 7:53 am 
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Location: San Diego
Nice Mc'Guyvering, I too am planing on building my own and don't want to spend more then 40$. If you cut the knobs off the fishing floats it would be much easier to move the floats further apart without something hitting the boat.

I have been keeping my a look out for something similar to your fishing floats that I can get for free. If I don't find anything I was thinking of using 6 large wheel borrow wheels, strait across the center.

Hopefully some of those same floats will wash up here in cali from your typhoon.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2013 5:14 am 
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Location: Perth West Australia
Nice work.
I agree that if you move the wheels out closer to the hull, you will get less axle flex. Even if you cut off the outer rings from the floats, you can get them closer to the hull without rubbing.

The big diameter floats also look prety ideal for soft sand.

I have used big wide wheel-barrow wheels for my TI cart and although they are quite wide, they are smaller diameter which makes for harder work over sand. Bigger Is definitely Better in this regard.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 10:16 am 
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Joined: Sun Jun 27, 2010 12:23 pm
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Location: Brooklyn, NY
Nice job on your fishing float wheels. They may slide instead of roll on sand - hard to say without trying it. Maybe you could add some tread to the floats. Silicon chalking stripes? Or gluing something on them? Dry-wall screw on some heavy (washed-up) rope?

I'm trying to design/build beach wheels or skids that I could take on the boat and use on remote beaches. Does anyone have ideas on solutions? I thought strips of slippery fabric rolled out on the sand would work, but no.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 4:48 pm 
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Frank, take a look at the "track slide" at 2:41 of the YouTube video linked below. People have made similar roll-up ladders out of PVC tubing and rope.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VIqAhV_ZEHA

Joesfk, Love your homemade wheels! I can't tell from your pictures if you've crafted some end caps, but if you're looking for ideas, PVC floor drains like the one pictured below work great. Unlike the OEM version they will never break and I believe they only cost me around $8 each at The Home Depot.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 8:38 pm 
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Location: Okinawa
Here is v2. The bend in the pipe was an issue which I remedied by inserting another pipe into the existing one. I was able to source the exact diameter pipe to fit really snugly doubling the thickness. I then removed the eyes on the floats and spaced them closer to the hulls. After a couple of months use I am really happy with them and they roll really well where I have to go through soft sand then over coral strewn beach. One thing I'll need to add are holes to drain water from the floats which fill up through the slight gap where the axle runs through them. I have end caps on the axle made of pvc pipe fittings, I'll try and add more detailed pics soon. For now though here they are in action last week, February is the coldest month here but we had a great mild spell - air temp of 24c and water temp 22c!

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 8:47 pm 
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Location: Oakland, CA
You have my envy, josefk. Well done.

As for drain holes, perhaps drilling holes and plugging the holes with either cork or rubber plugs will be your solution.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 17, 2013 3:16 pm 
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Location: Rockford, IL
I just ordered Otter dock wheels from Mill's Fleet Farm. They are 24" diameter, 9" wide with a 2" axle hole. $86 for 2 including shipping. SKU # is 006364657.
Going to use McMaster Carr shaft clamps (about $15 each) on 1.5" rigid conduit, with pipe foam insulation for padding.
I figure the total cost under $225.

*****added to post******
Ordered 4 aluminum 2" shaft clamps from McMaster Carr, $56 plus shipping, and an 8' length of 2" OD aluminum tube with .25" wall thickness from Onlinemetals.com for $107 including shipping.
So it'll be about $250 for the beach wheels.

I'm going to put a tennis ball on each end of the tubing, with a hole to pass the rope through, and knot the rope to hold the tennis balls in place. I figure if the 9" wide wheels don't have enough width, I can add another pair of them.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2013 12:22 pm 
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Location: West MI
Interesting topic. I keep my boat on a public beach locked to a post provided by the city, (with permit). With the water levels down it is now 80 feet to the water. I own Cat Trax but do not want to leave them at the beach, and can't put them in my small car. I am looking for a cheap way to move the boat around and not end up with surgery like last year from dragging the beast around. Thanks for the ideas and vendors for alternate wheels. With that said, I know that the Cat Trax are the best beach wheel around.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 4:06 am 
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Location: Tuscaloosa, AL
Rig up a locking system. Or remove the wheels and lock the shaft to the Hobie. Take wheels home w you.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 4:52 am 
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Location: Brooklyn, NY
Amazing find Brian, thanks for the link.
I wonder if there's any new-old stock of those lying around somewhere?

BrianCT wrote:
Frank, take a look at the "track slide" at 2:41 of the YouTube video linked below. People have made similar roll-up ladders out of PVC tubing and rope.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VIqAhV_ZEHA


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