boat trailers made from wood/ no weld metal trailers

Discussion in 'Boatbuilding' started by blackdaisies, Oct 13, 2008.

  1. blackdaisies
    Joined: Sep 2008
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    blackdaisies Senior Member

    Is it legal to make boat trailers from wood? What about metal no weld designs? Are there no weld designs for larger boats?

    I'm planning for a small one, but I would just like to know the limitations on them.
     
  2. alan white
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    alan white Senior Member

    Woodenboat magazine had an article once on a wooden trailer. I doubt most states would specifically disallow wood.
    It doesn't matter if a trailer is welded, in any case. Kind of a strange question. Why do you ask?

    Alan
     
  3. blackdaisies
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    blackdaisies Senior Member

    I was looking to buy plans for some on line and most required welding. I read up on a Chasiss type wooden frame for camper trailers and thought their must be some for boats.

    Can any type of trailer do for a Bilge keeler about 14 feet? If I were to use a plan for a camping trailer made from wood, do you think it would matter? Methods of putting a boat onto a trailer from the ground? I've heard they slide them on by pulling with a winch on one end and putting a rug underneath them, so they will slide easy.
     
  4. alan white
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    alan white Senior Member

    I'm sure any flatbed trailer would do for a light 14 footer. Ideally, the bed is low and it has a dropped axle, but in reality, you can launch and load a light boat onto practically anything. Especially if it has something like bilge keels to keep it upright.
     
  5. fcfc
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    fcfc Senior Member

    Look at european trailers. Most are metal NO weld design, because welding make the certification for trailers next to impossible. Welded parts do not handle well vibrations. See assembling parts
    http://www.knott-anhaenger-shop.de/...7/klemmschalen/klemmschalensatz_schrauben.htm
    http://www.knott-anhaenger-shop.de/index.php/cPath/19/category/auflageboecke.htm
    http://www.mecanorem.fr/pieces-detachees/pieces-d-assemblage/
     
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  6. blackdaisies
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    blackdaisies Senior Member

    I'll just use the trailer plans for the campers then. There are tons for free on the internet. A flat bed trailer can hold up to 2000 pounds you think? I hope.

    Thanks fcfc for the urls. I know what kind of pieces I'm looking for. I found one non welded trailer plans for a camper up to 8 foot, but I can use these parts and probably buy them from Ace hardware or the local hardware in town.

    They'll tell me if they carry them or not. If not I can translate the urls and order from them. Germany is lots more postage to the US, so buying local might be better. At least I can find them, if I can't find them here.

    Thanks a lot.
     
  7. fcfc
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    fcfc Senior Member

    It is of course better to buy locally than to import. This was just to show you how other do. By the way, trailers made non welded go up to 3.5 tons, maximum Europe limit for non truck trailers.

    But another problem, you can find a bunch of europe online shops that sell hardware for building your own trailer, you can even find ebay shops. But you cannot find trailer plans for sale. I suspect a huge liability problem.
     
  8. blackdaisies
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    blackdaisies Senior Member

    There's one at Glen L boat plans and one at Hartely, but they don't exactly say they don't require welding. They say you can save yourself a lot of money in the directions if you weld or know a welder, but is it because you will have to buy welded parts or because it doesn't require welding.

    Those gadgets can create any size trailer and will do the job perfectly. I'm glad you put those websites because I'm sure my hardware store will have them.

    3.5 tons is 7000 pounds I think and that is definitely not a problem for what I'm doing. It will weight less than 2000 or 1 ton.
     
  9. blackdaisies
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    blackdaisies Senior Member

    I don't see the part in the US in the name the website has it. It translates to "Clamping bowl set complete with screws". I did find the brides though that are on anther page you gave an url to. Those don't look nearly as good as the clamping bowl sets. Is there another name for clamping bowl sets?
     
  10. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    I cant think of anything worse for a boat trailer than a wooden one. Constant immersion, weathering outdoors, vibration etc would make it a nightmare. Falling apart on the road and the ramp!

    And what about the rubbish about welding not suiting vibration!!!!

    What do you think 80% of the worlds commercial boats are made of.?, not to mention 70% of the worlds boat trailers !

    Why on earth anyone would want a wooden trailer unless it was some crazy idea to save a few lousy dollars is beyond me.

    Spend a few nights at a local trade school and get some instructions, buy a $200 welding unit and the gear - and start making your trailer. Either that have a local handyman run you up one in a couple of days.
     
  11. Dane Allen
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    Dane Allen Junior Member

    From the DIY perspective I think you should try welding. Read up on-line and see if you can rent or borrow the equipment. I used to weld with stick/rod but I think mig/tig has taken over. If you are using steel and not aluminum, I think that if you can build a boat then you can weld a joint.

    Get some metal scrap and practice the techniques to see if you can do it. There are charts that tell you the welder settings and rod type based on the thickness of the metal. Just my $.02.
     
  12. blackdaisies
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    blackdaisies Senior Member

    I know some welders, but the line outside their door for projects for friends outnumbers the time has to spend on them. The boat trailer won't be used that often. Once the boat is in the water, it will probably be a garbage tote to our local dump or to haul other things. Besides it can be painted with epoxy or paint. If that were true, wooden boats would not be sailing across the ocean. Wood can be waterproofed for sure.

    As far as buying my own gear, I don't have room to keep that type of equipment. Hammers nails, normal tools like screwdrivers, that is fine, but an entire welding unit would catch dust most of the time.

    Both top and bottom would be sealed, but the thing I was studying on was the keel rollers I found. How many on one boat trailer do you need per keel? A bad weld is less steady than any held together by nut and bolt. That is what the websites say.
     
  13. rasorinc
    Joined: Nov 2007
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    rasorinc Senior Member

    wood boat trailers

    I'm just starting two wood boats which will have stained wood trailers encapsulated in epoxy and glassed over finishing bright. I make my own Glu Lam Beams out of 2x6 or 2x8s. I laminate 4 of them together after I create the 18 degree turn to the tongue. I back that up with designer bolts and large square washers. I use 3/16" angle with bolts for the cross pieces. Axyls and other pieces are held by bolts clear thru the beams. Looks great--go for it. Stan
     
  14. blackdaisies
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    blackdaisies Senior Member

    That sounds nice and simple. They have been hauling boats on wood trailers for centuries. I know there has to be some simpler ways to build them than welding. I really wouldn't trust me with a torch!
     

  15. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    I dont think you need a torch. A small hired or purchased Arc Welder ($150 secondhand), a cheap angle grinder with a cutoff wheel and $150 of self darkening faceplate, and you are set for life. Just plug in into the power point - and instant metal shop.

    The big appeal, is the ease at whcih small bits of steel become easily made into strong, robust structures.

    When you get to fastening tow hitches, spring plates, and a myriad other bits and pieces, honestly, its just a breeze. You can cater for major changes in angles, awkward fitting components, future modifications in about one tenth of the time it takes to join timber, wait for the glue to dry, chisel the join etc.

    I am an avid woodworker, and the challenge of building a trailer may appeal, but having done so much trailer work - I wouldnt bother with timber.

    Its true, a bad weld is worse than a nut/bolt combination, but an average amateur weld will be 3 times as fast as drilling and fastening timber, and many times stronger than nut, bolt or timber join. It doesnt have to be pretty to be robust.

    Look at it as a handy skill for life too. You dont regret the practice to build in wood - once you can master arc welding, its it soooo handy for the rest of your life. Even on boats - a small bracket, fittings etc can be assembled easily and either galvanised or painted.

    Since my 6 evening arc welding course I have built three boat trailers, and my current one is always undergoing modifications. The thing about steel is it is re-usable - more so than wood. You only have to have a few scraps of metal around, and you can weld a new bracket to store some other equipment. Short bits of metal can be re-joined to form lengths stronger than the orginal. Wood just gets shorter and shorter until you burn or junk it.

    And dont forget - steel is always valuable as scrap.

    Dive in mate! The welding is fine :)

    (come over to the "spark" side)
     
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