Ok, so the week of assessment came to an end on Saturday when I decided the first step to restoring my project would be to replace the trailer upon which my fail lady sits. It is badly rusted (yikes! ) , had been cobbled together in several places , no lights, and it was ugly ! The first improvement I made to it when I picked the boat up was to tear off one floppy fender so I wouldnít bounce against the tire on the four hour ride home.
Iím no stranger to metal fabrication and have a well equipped shop, so building a new trailer was a no brainer. The old trailer was factory, so there wasnít a lot of re-invention that had to occur, just copy it. I make a coupled of adjustments however. I extended the tongue another 18 inches forward, just to give a little more space between the bow of my boat and the back of the shell on my truck. This way if I go through a dip, the two wonít kiss. I also added conduit for the light wiring and a couple of struts at the back tail skid to support that cross-member if the back of the trailer drags hard.
By Saturday night it was all but done. Just needed paint and the axle hung on the hangers. The next trick will be to lift the boat off the old trailer, pull it out, and put the new trailer under her. I have a good overhead pick point and the plan is to make a cradle with 2 inch straps to lift her with. Just need to go up 2-3 inches to clear the trailer.
If anyone has any ideas on such a maneuver, I would graciously accept any tips. Iíll need to do a similar thing when I paint her hull.