Kayak Trailer from Boat Trailer

Discussion in 'Boat and Accessory Building' started by Astoriadave, Mar 26, 2016.

  1. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    Downsizing from a pickup (2005 Dodge Dakota) to a subcompact hatchback (2013 Kia Soul) mandated we transport boats on a trailer. In addition, our mutual cases of OLD disease attracted us to loading at waist height in lieu of the YOUNG disease overhead loading methods of yore.

    After stewing over alternatives, I pounced on an EZloader bunk equipped 12 to 14 ft skiff-size trailer in galvanized steel, stripped it of unneeded pieces, and developed a simple design incorporating some not in use old style gutter mount Yakima towers, bars, hully rollers and TLC cradles. The linchpin was Yakima's Side Loaders, small tempered steel fittings intended to supplant rain gutter attachment by bolting them to a canopy, toy hauler side, or RV side. The crux was to marry the side loaders to a framework firmly attached to the trailer rails. This post details the mockup I made out of wood, epoxy and glass, and lots of UHMW polyethlene sheet in quarter inch and half inch thickness. Currently I am finished fabricating the steel versions of the mockups, and awaiting my welder's good work, before birthing the finished though ungalvanized metal product.

    The most demanding boat for trailering is our 1993 Current Designs Libra double (just a Libra, not the Libra XT), so it is featured in the attached photos.
     
  2. Kayak Jim

    Kayak Jim Paddler

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    Nice job on the design Dave. I can't imagine throwing a double up on a pickup at the best of times. The trailer is in like new shape. There's also some comfort in being able to see the boat(s) during transport vs. largely out of sight on the roof.

    In case anyone missed it there's a set of bars, rollers, saddles, etc. in the Buy and Sell (not mine).
     
  3. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    Thanks, Jim. The trailer is new, all the Yakima gear old except for 4 sideloaders, aka two pair, for USD 34 total. Those bars, hullies, and saddles on Buy and Sell would be perfect for converting a boat trailer into a DIY yak hauler. A Malone runs about 2500 bucks, so a DIY trailer based on an 800 buck boat trailer seemed like a good move. Some metalworking skills needed, and a buddy who can weld, plus 50 USD in steel plate and 1 inch by 3 inch steel tube. More photos when it is finished.
     
  4. JohnAbercrombie

    JohnAbercrombie Paddler

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    Nice work!
    Will you have to put the lights on the back of the kayak somehow, or is the overhang allowed with (I assuming here) a flag?
     
  5. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    Not sure. OR regulations stipulate lights on the trailer and a flag or similar marker on the tail of any load which extends past the rear of the trailer, but are unclear how far the load can extend beyond the trailer rear, and are equivocal on the question of added tail lights. I think I may ask a buddy who is an Oregon State cop what he thinks. Prudence dictates some sort of lighting if you trailer at night ... the stern of the Libra is a full 200 cms past the trailer end! My other boats (all singles) will only extend maybe 90 cms past the trailer lights, so a flag is probably enough.

    The other problem is the blame kayak and trailer assemblage is low enough I should probably stick a bicycle flag on each aft corner so it sticks out in traffic. Kayaks on roof racks are so visible at driver eye height that other motorists stay clear.

    A steam calliope would be good, also. :wink: :roll:
     
  6. pawsplus

    pawsplus Paddler

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    What about a reflective flag attached to the kayak?

    I have magnetic lights that attach to my truck bed extender--and then the boat extends a few feet beyond that. I just put a flag on it. But I may try to find something reflective--that seems like good sense. :)
     
  7. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    Reflective stuff is a good idea. Tell me about the magnetic lights
     
  8. pawsplus

    pawsplus Paddler

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  9. Kayak Jim

    Kayak Jim Paddler

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    If mine I'd probably put a light or two on a plate attached to a piece of 1/2" pipe or conduit that extends 1-1.5 m past the back of the trailer. On the trailer itself have it slide through a couple of short pieces of larger pipe with a thumbscrew (or a through pin) so the extension could be retracted out of the way. The lights wouldn't need to be magnetic, just wire into the harness.
     
  10. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    Something like that, yeah. Like the magnetic lights as a concept, also. Good thinking you two.
     
  11. pawsplus

    pawsplus Paddler

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    Alternatively, you could ziptie them to a cam strap and just strap them onto the stern. Or maybe put them on the rudder? They would latch on there nicely!
     
  12. Roy222

    Roy222 Paddler

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    Dave,
    I think drivers will have a difficult time seeing the stern of your kayak. So I would go with both flags and lights.
    Check the law for both. You rig is somewhat like a logging truck trailer set up. Maybe the same laws will apply.
    Painting the rudder hunter orange and using it as a flag would help.

    Have a great paddling season with your new rig.


    Roy
     
  13. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    Those are good suggestions, Roy. I have found the law for log trucks with logs that extend beyond the rear set of wheels, and can sort of follow that. However, I am holding out until the thing is road ready, and plan to take it to the local State Patrol office and ask them what to do. About done with the metalwork and ready to paint. Photos when I have something to show. I am learning a lot! :cool :roll:
     
  14. Bluenose

    Bluenose Paddler

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    I've been pulling a kayak trailer for years. It's a homemade model and I pull it with a Toyota Matrix. All gear goes in the trailer and the kayaks are up higher. This way the stern of the kayaks are higher than the nose of most vehicles approaching from behind. The nose of the boats also clear my hatchback. I'll try to take some pics and post them soon.
     
  15. Kayak Jim

    Kayak Jim Paddler

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    That paint job is a sure way to get the trailer noticed! I like it. :big_thumb
     
  16. Bluenose

    Bluenose Paddler

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    Here are a couple pics of "Trailer 2.0". The zebra box started to rot away so I bought some truck boxes on sale at Canadian Tire. The boat rack was lowered by 8". I figure I lost about 250 pounds off the trailer, so it pulls easier.

    I put the boats high for a few reasons.

    1) I was afraid I would get rear ended as drivers behind me may not see the boats. It would destroy the kayak and it would drive the kayak into the car. That would be very bad.

    2) It is surprising how many stones get thrown up by the car wheels. The front of the trailer fenders lose half their paint every year. The black plastic box on the tongue of the trailer is also picked and dinged on the front face.

    3) I wanted storage underneath for kayak gear and camping stuff.

    The trailer keeps salt and sand off your car. It can also sit in the garage loaded and ready to go.
     
  17. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    I like that much better. Did you weld up the racks yourself?

    Mine will be about 15 inches lower than yours, hence the bicycle flags on the ends. Being rammed is a real concern, for sure. Also keeping the weight low. The Kia is not rated for much of a towing load.

    I assume you had a painted wooden structure on the trailer, yes? I once made a truck box of plywood that began to check and absorb water, so I glassed the top and the lid. That cured the problem, with not much added weight. Box was in good shape when I sold it after 5 years of outside exposure, 24/7.
     
  18. Bluenose

    Bluenose Paddler

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    Welded the trailer myself from scratch. I'm no welder, but it's amazing what you can accomplish with a mig welder and some you-tube videos. Construction is all 1" to 2" tube steel. Axel, fenders, and lights all from Princess Auto. The zebra box was plywood with gull wing doors and the salt water ate it alive.

    Your trailer will be super light as it's aluminum, so your vehicle will easily pull it.

    I read in another post that people were worried about parking and getting into tight spots. Parking has never been a big issue with me and the long tongue on the trailer is much easier to back up than a shorter trailer.

    Happy trailering :D
     
  19. RoyN

    RoyN Paddler

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    Stop by Harbor Freight and pick-up a tongue jack with a wheel, think they sell for around $25 US. It's much easier than bending over to pick-up the tongue when you want to attach/detach the trailer from the tow vehicle and definitely easier to move around the yard with or without the kayak on it.