looking for the right boat

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by minno, Sep 2, 2015.

  1. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
    Posts: 19,133
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    A motored hand truck of sorts can be rigged on a small boat dolly. A cordless drill is an option, though I'd opt for something more durable. A simple, 3 wheel dolly, with an axle powered isn't a major engineering accomplishment, in fact, if it works well, you might consider marketing it. I'm thinking polypropylene wheels, an aluminum centerline brace the axle is attached to (no springs, just a couple of tabs), an enclosed sprocket and a drive motor, with on/off, forward and reverse button at the bow end, where the third wheel lives. Wouldn't be suitable for over the road, but beach launch only. Maybe better if it was "front wheel drive", with a the single wheel aft and the power axle forward, to get the drive wheels out of the surf quickly. This would also shorten up the wires, controls and tend to keep the motor out of the wet stuff too.
  2. Jammer Six

    Jammer Six Previous Member

  3. minno
    Joined: Aug 2014
    Posts: 88
    Likes: 0, Points: 6, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Canada

    minno Junior Member

    Hi All

    Well, land life has reared it's ugly head and the cash I had earmarked for a boat has gone the way of the dodo :(

    the ultra light boats on the GAB site look pretty cool

    I Hadn't thought of using aluminium, I've used wood for carts up till now so if the boat flips the cart will float, worked out well a couple days ago :)

    The Idea behind using the variable speed cordless drill as a power supply is that I could use it for other things, like powering a small pump to fill water ballast or a bilge pump, or a crab trap puller, and when I'm done I can throw it in a locker or dry bag.

    I had planned on using aluminium sheaves and belts rather than chain, they're a bit lighter, less expensive, and it doesn't matter if they get wet, I'll have to give it a bit more thought.

    Thanks again for all your help and ideas


  4. peterAustralia
    Joined: Mar 2006
    Posts: 352
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    Location: Melbourne Australia

    peterAustralia Senior Member

    I have moved several boats around via trolleys, before I got my car.

    Firstly, forget the drill, you dont need it, it will only get wet, and its a waste of time.

    My suggestion is a sound boat around 13ft long, and a beam a little over 4ft. You might be able to find something second hand. SOF might be very doable, definatinetly worth considering.

    For bilge pump, use a bucket. Tie the bucket to the boat with a thin line, bailing fast you can bail out heaps of water very quickly.

    For a trolley, use 2 bicycle wheels. Get 4 lenghts of timber, 2x 1 (50mm x 19mm) about 2.5 feet long. Use a lenght of timber either side of each wheel.

    Then you need a few acrosswise bits, does not have to be super strong, maybe 4 acrosswise bits 50mm x 19mm

    Next to attach the wheels to the frame, get some steel with 3 holes in it. They sell this at the hardware store. Using an angle grinder, make one hole into a U shape. You will need 4 of these steel bits. The top two holes you use to bolt the steel to the wood. The U shape accepts the axle of the bicycle wheel

    Here is a photo of my first boat that I trolleyed around

    The weight was too much, well over 150kg, I got the wheel stuck and it buckled. The trolley was way way way way too complex and over engineered, much simpler and much lighter would have been better. The outrigger weighed 40kg, way way too heavy. The main hull was 70kg, then add motor, crossbeams, rigging, supplies etc. So pushing 150kg is possible, but hard work on a slope. On flat ground it was fine. I could push a 70kg rowboat with 1 finger easily, as the friction was so low, super easy.

    Having built 3 trolleys, here is something that I would go with
    the diagram at the bottom

    However make it simple and lighter than shown.
    Trolley at 3ft long is plenty, 4ft is silly.
    bmx wheels are preferable to racing bike wheels, but racing bike wheels are OK, very very low friction.

    Where I show 3x2, I would go with 1x2, 1 inch wide and 2 inches deep, use cheap softwood and paint it with cheap water based paint. (the trolley I am talking about)

    That tiny trolley you see with the small wheels, I used that heaps of times, with a 70kg rowboat. Worked very well except when I had to go over a disused railway track, the wheels were too small, bmx wheels would be better.

    I hope this gives you some idea of what a trolley should look like

    I could draw up a new diagram of the perfect trolley.

    Another option instead of 4 metal plates, is to find an axle. I dont know if the axles come out of bicycle wheels. I know this method works very well with $25 removalist trolleys. Getting the steel rod for the axle is a little difficult, I had to go to a specialist steel supplier and get solid steel rod.

    Here is a photo of my present boat

    Please note that the last photo shows a hollow aluminium axle. This broke and I replaced it with a solid steel axle which cost under $20. I folded over metal strips to keep the axle attached to the transom
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