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Thread: Trailer for my sailing canoe

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    Portstewart, Northern Ireland
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    529

    Default Trailer for my sailing canoe

    I sail a Valkyrie Craft Erne Tourer which is 3 inches wider than most canoes for greater stability and correspondingly heavier. As I wanted to be able to go sailing on my own (living dangerously or what ), I converted a trailer to carry the canoe, mast, sail and outriggers, so I didn't have to break my back getting it on and off the roof rack.

    I bought a Daxara 107 trailer (same as an Erde 102) which is the smallest lightest trailer you can get, on special offer for 140. The shaft was only 1 metre long but was made of standard mild steel box section, so I got a 3 metre length of box section fitted instead. This what it looks like.



    The tow hitch unbolts from the original bar and bolts on to the new bar which is bolted onto the underneath of the trailer. I got a bicycle holder lightbar to hang from the back. Initially I tried hanging it from the canoe, but the ropes kept coming undone, so I just attached it to the back of the trailer with cable ties.



    The canoe is strapped on to two 2x1 wood crossbars held onto the sides of the trailer by one screw at each side down throught the rim. The wood bars are covered with pipe insulation for padding, held on with gaffer tape. The rope goes round underneath the trailer to hold the supports on if the screws give way (so far they haven't given way after around a year's use - 51 voyages)

    This is the view of the front




    The straps are standard canoe roofrack straps



    The mast is held onto the wood crosspieces with rubber bungeys



    The bow of the boat sticks out along the towbar, with the centre of gravity over the wheels



    The towbar looks long in this picture because it's slightly wide-angle



    To get the canoe on and off, I seesaw it from side to side to get one gunwhale resting on the end of the crossbars, and the other held by me. I lower the gunwhale down onto the ground like this



    and then just roll it over upright. Here is another view



    Then I unstrap the outriggers and supports from under the seats and put them together



    The trailer is very light and you can easily wheel it by hand up and down slopes with the canoe on top, to get to the waterside.

    It tows really stably (at speeds which are illegal) over long distances (to Lake Windermere and back by ferry across the Irish Sea. Also a few other long trips of several hundred miles). The suspension absorbs bumps well, although you need to travel very slowly on a non-tarred road.

    I'll do another thread about my sailing rig and outriggers.

    Best Wishes

    Frank
    Last edited by Windblown; 27th-April-2009 at 05:02 PM. Reason: typing errors
    The impossible we do at once - miracles take a little longer!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Ulverston, Cumbria
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    525

    Default

    That's brilliant. Thanks for showing us the trailer.

    I would have thought that with the canoe sticking out so far back you would need something to make it more visible - like a fluorescent rag or something. Also is it legal having the number plate so far from the back?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Edinburgh
    Posts
    471

    Default

    Looks good.

    My only reservation would be that the light board should (maybe?) be at the end of the load, so you may need to look at modding that.
    Or have you checked that out?


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Lochwinnoch, Scotland
    Posts
    17,244

    Default

    I saw a picture of your trailer set up on one of your bloggs and it strikes me as a brilliant solution and very economical as well. Could this be the road equivalent of the B & Q trolley? Looks to me like a possibility.
    John

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Warwick
    Posts
    39

    Default Overhang !!!!!!!!!

    Hi Frank,

    Nice looking conversion on the trailer, but keep your eyes open for the boys in blue !!
    The law says something along the lines of you are allowed up to 1 metre of overhang unmarked and anything over that needs to be marked ( read illuminated )
    Might be worth making a little red light on an extension wire to clamp onto the end of the boat, you never know it might be just enough to keep plod happy

    All the best Dave
    If you don't understand, you'll need to ask.
    If you have to ask, I'll need to explain.
    If I have to explain, you won't understand.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Portstewart, Northern Ireland
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    529

    Default

    I have streamers hanging out of the back and the end of the mast. That should be okay for the daytime.

    I must get a cycle rear lamp for night.

    My original plan was to hang the light bar (designed for hanging over a bicycle carrier) from the back of the canoe. The rope kept undoing however as there is severe turbulence if you're driving fast, so the edges of the light bar are rather rubbed.

    Thanks for the suggestions.

    Best Wishes

    Frank
    The impossible we do at once - miracles take a little longer!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Portstewart, Northern Ireland
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    Default

    The legal situation is apparently as follows:
    "Between a one and two metre overhang, you must ensure the end is clearly visible, between two and 3 1/2m , a marker board must be fitted and illuminated at night (overhanging load triangle red with white stripes as seen on steel RSJ delivery lorries) More than that, and an attendant must be carried and police must be notified two days prior,"

    according to a post on a hot air ballooning site here:
    http://www.flyingadverts.co.uk/fantray.htm

    My overhang is approximately 2 metres beyond the back of the trailer, so I am probably just legal as I am at present.

    Best Wishes

    Frank
    The impossible we do at once - miracles take a little longer!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    God's Own Country - Cymru am Byth
    Posts
    115

    Default

    Hi guys,

    After spending the last 6 years dragging all manner of boats around our fair Isle and spending a great deal of time dealing with the DVLA, VOSA and our ever present police force we use this rule of thumb...

    Maximum overall overhang, front and back, in total, of 1.5 metres. Therefore the front of the trailer connected to the car is okay BUT 2 metres at the back would be a no, no. I suppose, that because we do it commercially, we are a little more careful, or have to be! However, if you get a jobsworth, you could have to leave your trailer on the side of the road, if stopped. I heard from one of the guys in the trade about 6 weeks ago and that is what happened. They were stopped, the officer wasn't happy with the trailer set up and they were not allowed to proceed. There then followed a 250 mile round trip to rescue the load and the trailer was "condemned". I will add that the trailer was perfectly road legal. The main issue here is that the DVLA and VOSA rules are soooooo open to interpretation that it leads to terrible confusion. You should have seen the hoops we have jumped through to make a commercially saleable 2 canoe trailer!!!

    Put it this way, I wouldn't tow yours through West Mercia or the South West...without a predetermined rescue package...seriously.

    Mark

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    A, A
    Posts
    632

    Default

    I know this is not the solution to the trailer issue but it's my way of dealing with a very heavy boat.





    Once strapped on I lift and slide the boat onto the roof - Easy Peasy. I Strap the mast to the handle of the roof rack.



    Roofrack from Kari Tech

    http://www.kari-tek.co.uk/ELRRIntroMulti.html

    Regards

    Steve C

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Ulverston, Cumbria
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    525

    Default

    One idea I had was to add a bar suspended above the drawbar - this would then be the first bar for the canoe and the front of the trailer would be the second bar. This would bring the canoe forward by say 1m. Obviously the drawbar would need to be strong enough and long enough.

    Another option is one that I saw on the rowing club trailer from Uni. They had a bar like the drawbar but coming from the back, the lights and number plate were mounted to that.
    Without looking at the trailer I don't know where you could put one but there is probably somewhere you could put either a single bar or a double.
    Failing that some sort of bracket for the light bar that mounted to the canoe - maybe a bar from the trailer to the tip of the boat and strapped on at each end.

    Of course if the police in your area are fine with it (51 previous journeys might indicate they either haven't noticed or don't care) then it's fine.



    Just to confirm the issue that people have is the distance from the light bar to the canoe, not the overhang from the trailer itself to the canoe?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Bangor, Co Down.
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    4,680

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Windblown View Post
    The rope kept undoing however as there is severe turbulence if you're driving fast,
    Maybe you should read up on your knots.

    But seriously, I like the cycle lamp idea, I might copy that as my canoe overhangs a bit at the back of the car. Its belt and braces technology, but if it stops an accident, then who cares.
    Big Al.

    Only when the last tree has died
    and the last river been poisoned
    and the last fish been caught
    will we realise we cannot eat money.
    ~Cree Indian Proverb

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Portstewart, Northern Ireland
    Posts
    529

    Default

    I'd say the police over here have more to think about than trailer overhangs


    The trailer itself looks balanced and safe, so it probably doesn't attract attention to itself. Traffic is much less here in Northern Ireland (so less cops about too). I can't remember seeing a police car on my 51 trips to date.

    Best Wishes

    Frank
    The impossible we do at once - miracles take a little longer!

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