Trailer/trolley for handling a heavy kayak^

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nickcrowhurst
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Trailer/trolley for handling a heavy kayak^

Post by nickcrowhurst » Fri Oct 09, 2009 3:10 pm

We paddle a heavy plastic double for its resilience when rock-hopping and for when it has to be dragged across beaches and oyster beds. No glass or skin boat could take the awful punishment. However, at nearly 100 pounds, the kayak has caused us wrist and shoulder injuries when loading it on the Land Rover roof, even with a Thule Hullavator. A trailer would avoid a high lift, but transferring from the ground to trailer height could still be awkward. Also, a standard width trailer is heavy, and takes up valuable storage space in a garage. I have therefore designed and built a very narrow aluminium trailer/trolley to fit our double, an 18 ft 6 inch long Wilderness Systems Northstar. The kayak slides onto the trailer while remaining on its launching trolley, and the trolley and kayak stay strapped together in transit and in storage, ready for the next outing. The (off-the-shelf) trolley is secured to the kayak with two straps, and the kayak and trolley are held down on the trailer with three retired seat belts from cars. The rear number plate assembly is held to the trailer with a drop-nose pin, as is the rear light and reflector assembly, which is secured through a hole drilled in the rudder blade. This extra rear light/reflector assembly is only required at night as the rear overhang is greater than one metre. The kayak (with trolley) is launched by realeasing the rear plate board and the three seat belts. When the bow of the kayak is lifted about one foot, the wheels of the trolley touch the ground, and the kayak is wheeled backwards to the water. My wife can now launch and retrieve the kayak with one hand.
The trailer is constructed from aluminium box sections and stainless steel fastenings from local stockists. The tools used were an electric drill, a socket set, and a 4.5 inch angle grinder with a 1mm thick blade for cutting the aluminium to length. The short axle raises stability concerns, and I calculated that on a bend of 10 metre radius of curvature (e.g a small roundabout), speed should be kept below 19 mph. We have now used the trailer for trips of over 100 miles, with speeds up to the legal limit of 60 mph. I submit this in case others who struggle with a heavy kayak might be interested. Nick.

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MikeB
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Re: Trailer/trolley for handling a heavy kayak^

Post by MikeB » Fri Oct 09, 2009 3:50 pm

Neat - nice - Almanac'd!

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chris-uk
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Re: Trailer/trolley for handling a heavy kayak^

Post by chris-uk » Fri Oct 09, 2009 4:43 pm

That is bloody brilliant!!!

Chris

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soundoftheseagull
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Re: Trailer/trolley for handling a heavy kayak^

Post by soundoftheseagull » Fri Oct 09, 2009 8:23 pm

Get ready for the orders!!!!
Dave

Rockpool GT

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Douglas Wilcox
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Re: Trailer/trolley for handling a heavy kayak^

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Fri Oct 09, 2009 9:26 pm

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Never mind a heavy or multiple kayaks, there will come a time when you might not be able to lift even a single kayak on to a roof. Despite having a car with low suspension and a low roof height I can't lift my kayak on to the roof at the moment unassisted. At least I have my trusty trailer! (This has also carried an Aleut Sea II.) Since this photo was taken, I now have Kari-tek mudguards with neat footplates on top which help when stuffing wet stuff into the top kayaks' cockpits.

Nice Job Nick!

Douglas

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