DIY $30 portable strap-on trailer for hand-moving a dinghy - SailNet Community

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Old 07-19-2013
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DIY $30 portable strap-on trailer for hand-moving a dinghy

I have an 8ft El Toro dinghy that fits perfectly in my van (look!, so I don't have a need for a traditional trainer. Not to mention the inspection, licencing, and storage of it. However, the boat is heavy enough to where it can be a drag to carry with two people (no pun intended), and the padded red wagon I tried to make work just didn't do, so I made the perfect middle-ground!

What I used to make it
  • 2 x Solid polyurethane caster:
  • 2 x 12" x 8" x 1/2" wood blocks
  • Shelf liner:
  • Tie-down straps:
  • A handful of wood screws and large washers

First, I used a metal right-angle ruler to find the right size for the shelf liner. I cut it so that when it's folded over, it'll have about 1 1/2" of extra material to fasten to the wood with screws.

Then, I measured everything, attached the liner, and mounted the wheels to the center of the board.

Now to create a rigid cross pattern with straps. I used excess material from the tie-down straps by cutting it with scissors and melting the frayed ends with a heat gun. I pushed a soldering iron through the straps while pancaked with washers to make accurate, sturdy holes in the straps. For my boat, I used 19" for the long cross straps and 18.5" for the short straight straps.

Then, I attached some long pieces of strap to both ends of the "trailer" using two screws for strength. I wrapped it around the boat in the area I intended to strap it to, centered it, and pulled it tight. I temporarily tied one strap to a ratchet and used it to hold the "trailer" to the boat. I marked the areas on the strap that folded around the top of the boat with a Sharpie. This will aid in attaching the "trailer" to the center of the boat in the future.

After solidifying where the ratchet should go, I cut the strap with scissors and a heat gun, then ran the loop under a sewing machine. I stiched three runs of a slow, wide pattern using polyester thread.

Done! Thanks to the non-slip liner, it doesn't take much tension at all for the wheels to be glued to the bottom of the boat. Since the mass of the "trailer" is strap, it can get thrown in a bag and tossed in the boat after it gets in the water. When approaching land, the "trailer" can be strapped to the boat while in the water after the rudder is removed.

Hope this helps someone
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Old 07-19-2013
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Re: DIY $30 portable strap-on trailer for hand-moving a dinghy

Can you add this to the Low Buc Projects thread.

Great minds discuss ideas;
Average minds discuss events;
Small minds discuss people.
The best minds discuss sailing. I don't know why. It's a mystery!
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dinghy , strap , trailer , wheels

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