Sailboat Dolly/trailer Retrieval Ideas - SailNet Community

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Old 09-22-2013
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Sailboat Dolly/trailer Retrieval Ideas

We live in Puget Sound with a gravel beach - not terribly steep but typical for this area. It isn't possible to back a truck down the beach as the conditions are gravel, barnacles, some sand, mud. We can get a vehicle to just the high tide mark without concern for getting stuck.

We have a trailered Holder 14. It is somewhat easy, a pain though, to push the trailer down the beach and to the water. Hard on me, and the trailer. Then we will attach a rope to the trailer and pull it back up which is also hard on the trailer as the front wants to bury in the gravel on the way up.

The hardest part, is getting the boat back in. The boat probably weighs 350lbs, with the trailer weighing another 2 or 3 hundred lbs. No physical way to do it on my own, so it requires either winching or simply pulling the boat and trailer back up the beach by rope attached to our pickup. This is also really hard on everything.

I've considered winching just the boat up the beach using PVC pipe, or inflatable fenders but I'm not crazy about the idea of dragging the bottom of my sailboat along the beach. There also is not a strong enough connection point on the boat to attach the line to.

Are dollys like those made by Seitech, Trailex, Aqua Cart or Wheeleez strong enough to carry a boat this heavy, maybe a PWC, and be pulled up a beach by winch or a rope connected to the pickup? Are the front wheel attachments strong enough to withstand the load of being winched up a semi steep beach through gravel?

I'm looking for some advice, comments, ideas, pictures of what others have done in similar situations that is safe and cost effective.

Much appreciated.
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Old 09-22-2013
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Re: Sailboat Dolly/trailer Retrieval Ideas

I'd look to adapt one of those fat 'beach wheels' to a drop-down off the trailer tongue.. that would make it much easier to tow off the beach, and easier generally to move the whole package around. If no highway transport is involved (ie the boat lives on a trailer near the water) you might adapt all wheels to that type.
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Old 09-22-2013
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Re: Sailboat Dolly/trailer Retrieval Ideas

I built a dolly for my MiniCup sailboats using large diameter lawnmower wheels and 3/8" steel rod for an axle. I put steel angle iron with holes cut in it to pass the axle on the ends of a piece of 2X6. You can buy bigger sand type wheels (try Mcmaster Carr) and do the same thing for your boat.
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