What trailer has proven to be best?

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I'm looking forward to a new Duckah by Jim Thayer and wonder if there has proven to be the ideal trailer? I realize Jim wrote an article on this very subject in MAIB - but I don't have old pickup axles and the like lying around! Ideally a trailer that is easy to hand launch too - so not too heavy - as many of our waterways have better launch areas away form the paved ramps. I wander the length of California for now - this will have to see me across the country to Florida at some point.

I'm hoping to use Kim Apel's slick boat cover idea from an old OWR - but I'd be grateful for any suggestions on covers - just for storage on the trailer. Thanks for any advice!

Wonder if there'd be interest in a sort of "Blackburn South", a row along the outside of the barrier island for about 20 miles then back up the inside to where you start. The water on the outside is beatutiful, clear but can be subject to contrary winds and wave action. The course on the inside is protected and scenic. My son and I rowed part of this course this past holiday and got to wondering if it would be attractive to others - in a more temperate season - around November - April? Thought of using the inlets from Ft Pierce to St Lucie or St Lucie to Jupiter. It would be a 2 day affair - 1 day on the outside, overnite, then back on the inside the next. Any interest?

-- Bruce Osborn (bosborn@mentorcorp.com), July 09, 2004


I own three small boat trailers, including one that's 45 years old but the only small boat trailer I've ever seen that was worthy of a special recommendation is owned by a friend: the all- aluminum "Trailex" http://www.trailex.com/index.cfm Light, no rust issues, appropriately soft springs, quality construction and components -- all the things that my collection lacks.

-- Kim Apel (kapel@fullerton.edu), July 09, 2004.

Dear Bruce,

I second Kim's endorsenent. For a little more than those pricey aluminum hand pulled carts that have become so popular lately, you can buy a hand pullable Trailex trailer that's DOT legal for towing your craft on the highways. Another thing that was not mentioned is that the bolt together construction of these trailers allows you to adjust the balance to perfectly match any small, lightweight boat.



-- Andre de Bardelaben (middlepath@aol.com), July 11, 2004.

Dear Bruce,

You asked a two part question. The part about the trailers has been dealt with pretty well. Until now, no one has bitten on your "Blackburn South" open water rowing race idea. This may be because those types of events require a lot more dedication, time, work, volunteers and risk than most participants realize. When an event like that works it's usually the result of months of planning and organizing by a brave and dedicated group of individuals. Work and planning are often not enough. Some events have great "hooks". The Blackburn Challenge has the legend of Howard Blackburn, fabled Gloucester, MA as a backdrop, a challenge from a famous and charismatic, local boat designer - Phil Bolger - and the Cape Ann Rowing Club whose members are willing to shoulder the load of making things happen. I have taken part in a number of similar projects, both as a participant and as an organizer. Some have been quite sucessful while others have fizzled. Sustaining an enthusiastic group of volunteers over a period years requires diplomacy, tact, rewards and luck. I'm not trying to discourage you from trying to organize an event like the one you proposed. I just want you to know that it probably won't be easy. Even if you meet with some success, the rewards may not equal the sacrifices. That being said, I wish much luck.



-- Andre de Bardelaben (middlepath@aol.com), July 12, 2004.

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