Trailers: Are they worth it? : LUSENET : Open-water rowing : One Thread

To avoid wrestling my 18 foot Annapolis Wherry on and off my car, I tried a trailer. The trouble with trailers is that they are hardly worth it for such a long and light weight boat or canoe. Most steel trailers that are long enough for an 18 foot boat weigh a ton and can hardly be lifted off the hitch without a jack! Because of that, I turned my nose up at trailers and went 35 years busting my gut, wrestling boats on and off the tops of my vehicles. Being older now, I ordered a lightweight trailer from Trail-X, sized for my 18 foot boat. It is nothing more that a very long aluminum beam with cradles and an axle. It is so light that I can lift both wheels off the ground with one hand. It is so light that I can use it for a dolly even on steep slopes and sand. I have towed it 500 miles at 70 miles an hour with no problem. It takes the work out of transporting and launching a light rowing boat or canoe. However, it could even be better if it had rollers. Regular trailer rollers are much too heavy to use on an ultra light trailer. I am thinking of making some out of light weight boat bumpers. Does anyone have any sugestions for light weight rollers?

-- Dick Hamly (, February 17, 2000


Dick, I'm afraid that this will not be exactly an answer to your question about bumpers and rollers.

I'm looking at a page of information from Trailex that shows "Roll-A- Line Roll Assemblies". No weights are given.

This page is one of several sent to me by Trailex when I was making inquiries about their trailers because we were about to buy a fiberglass 17' Whitehall made by Whitehall Reproductions in Victoria, British Columbia.

Because I couldn't get enough information about the Trailex trailers that would be suitable for our Whitehall (which we bought), we wound up buying an EZ Loader 14-17 1250 trailer with roller bunks. The problem is, as you note, that the trailer weighs as much (or more) than the boat (which weighs about 300 pounds). The trailer weighs 320 pounds. One advantage of the EZ Loader was that we could actually look at one before buying it. Trailexes were only available by mail order.

On the other hand, the roller bunks do work very well for launching and recovery--we don't usually have to emmerse the axels for either operation. (We often launch in salt water--we live in Seattle.)

I'd be interested to know what model of Trailex you bought? Down the line, I could imagine buying a different trailer, but not soon--we bought our boat and trailer just last summer.

Using a trailer as a dolly sounds very appealing, indeed.

-- Bob Dunshee (, March 21, 2000.

Dear Bob,

Nobody hates towing trailers more than I do. For years I did everything I could to avoid getting one, but being a professional boatbuilder time and circumstances conspired to force my hand. I now have a heavy duty semi-custom trailer that I use to transport boats to shows. I'll admit it's a useful item, but I still don't like being followed around by that monster. At a show I saw the Trailex TX-200 aluminum trailer. Not only could this device save me from the strain of lifting my boats on to the roof of my truck, but it could also serve as a hand pulled cart at the destination. While your boat is too heavy for the TX-200, Trailex makes a number of other lightweight trailers that are only slightly heavier and can be towed behind the smallest cars. For instance, the UT-350 weighs only 120 lbs. Its capacity is 350 lbs. I don't see the big deal about rollers on these trailers as they are submersible to the point that your boat can be floated on and off. If anyone desires rollers I wouldn't be surprised if Trailex can fix you up with some. Trailex can be reached at P.O. Box 553, 60 Industrial Drive, Canfield, OH 44406-0553, phone 800-282-5042. Happy trailering.



-- Andre de Bardelaben (, March 22, 2000.

Trying to put an 18-foot Alden Double on a small trailer, I thought of just replicating the car-top carry by turning the two carpet- covered longitudional runners 90 degrees. It was an easy unbolt/bolt- on job. If you center the hull on what are now 'crossbars', all you need to do is support the bow somehow, mainly to keep it from turning left and right. A small wooden "V" block attached to the adjustable winch support (with the winch removed) did this for me. For shorter or longer hulls, I just move that winch support. The stern of the hull extends quite a bit past the trailer, so I put a flag on it. By the way, changing the longitudional runners to crossbars created space for the hull, one oarmaster and a set of oars.

-- Michael Kaspareck (, August 11, 2000.

trailers? I tried trailers and don't like them due to problems with driving, parking, and added tolls. I also tried roof racks with thier loading unloading problems. I found an unusual solution, I bought a reciever hitch ($100) and a bed extender ($30). I own a short-bed (6') Ranger pickup and this has allowed me to easily move a 15' canoe and a 19' stretched-gull dory. the low height allows easy loading and since the boat goes in upright all the gear can easily be carried in the boat. I also like being able to leave my truck cap on. Just an Idea, Josh withe,

-- joshua withe (, December 31, 2001.

Due to the many e-mails asking what a reciever hitch and a bed extender were and where they could be found I'll post the information here. A reciever hitch bolts to your trucks frame (cars don't usualy have frames anymore)and has a 2"x2" reciever tube that a trailer hitch ball mount would usualy go into. A load-extender (bed extender is now a different products name) is a 2"x2" steel tube bracket made in two pieces. The first piece is a "L" shape on its back with the long end inserted into the reciever hitch and locked with a pin. the second piece is a "T" with its base stuck into the short end of the "L" and its top forming a cross piece to support your load. "L" pieces come in different lengths from 3-8', some are ajustable in lenght, the cheapest are not(unless modified)."T" peices are adjustable in height and more expensive models do other tricks. Reciever hitches come in different class ratings for this you need a class 3 or higher, class 1 has a flat bar insert and class 2 has a 1 1/4" square insert. they are availible at any walmart type store, catalogs(ie., or any truck accesory seller) and installed at U-haul type places. Any one mechanical can install them, if you can build a boat you can do it. Load extenders are sold mostly in catalogs and range in price from 30$ to over 125$. I got mine from it is cheap and short, 3' long and supports 350pounds, and only the "T" bar is adjustable, but it works. VIP Auto Parts sells an 8' extender that does all kinds of ticks for over 125$.

-- josh withe (, April 19, 2002.

You can find all your problems solved with the Handyman Load Extender. Visit

-- Thomas Saccuci (, February 23, 2004.

Try the HandyMan Load Extender it has worked for me for everything from canoes to sheet rock and two atv's, it is the most versetile unit that I found, you can haul out of the bed of your truck or off of the roof rack of an suv or what ever. You can find a store near you by going to their web site and click on find retail location near you, if there isn't any then email them and they will tell you how to buy one. Happy hauling, Larry Greer

-- Larry Greer (, May 11, 2004.

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