This is where we'll post photos of the trailer construction. Rob Kasdorf, the R&D manager at Crestline is helping out with the trailer construction. Not only is he helping us get the right aluminum in at a decent price, he's going to be the welder, too. (Note that we ran out of money, so ended up just repurposing a boat trailer my Dad built.)

Days 27 & 28 ( Mar 2, 2006): The first step to getting the bunks figured out

Cradle Stringers

It doesn't look like much, but this was an important step. Not only did we get a good start on a way to set the boat on the trailer, we did a good enough job on this to make up for last week-end's fiasco. We didn't actually make up any time--I'm not sure that's even possible--but we did get done what I had hoped we'd get done. Even though you only see 2 of the stringers, they are actually all cut and ready to assemble. I couldn't get more than two to sit there by themselves because they kept sliding off at the bow end. That epoxy is slippery stuff!

Anyway, between now and Saturday, I have to decide which stringers to use. We cut six: 2 to fit at the chine (the sides) and 4 to fit at the battens (2 battens between the chine and the keel). Even though I'd like to forget about the chine stringers (they're an awkward fit), I think that they are an important part of a stable ride. I think we really need the ones that fit the battens nearest the keel for good support and weight distribution. I'm not sure about the other stringers (between the two shown above and the matching one on the other side). Leaving them out would simplify construction and save weight. However, now that they're cut, it seems pointless to worry about 60 pounds of trailer weight. And I don't think that the construction will be that much simpler. I guess maybe I just talked myself into using all the stringers!

This coming week-end is painting. We're planning to give it two coats of paint. I can't see it taking more than about an hour per coat, so that leaves lots of time to finish off the boat cradle for the trailer.

I also have to finalize arrangements for the turning party. I've already got permission from work to have a few friends in to help turn the boat over onto the trailer, but I really should confirm that. I'd also like to see if there is a problem having a case of beer to split after the work is done! Oh, and I should set a time and date so that anybody who can come help knows when to show up.


 Day 29 ( Mar 8, 2006): The boat cradle is ready to mount on the trailer.

Under construction

The boat cradle turned out to be a bit more time-consuming to assemble than I had anticipated. Not difficult, just time-consuming.


Test fit

Once we had it put together, it actually fit the trailer pretty good. As you can see, I elected to use only four of the six stringers I had cut. These should provide ample support for the boat for the kind of use it'll get. We'll finish the boat while it's on the trailer, then tow it to the lake. After that the only time it'll be on the trailer will be for storage. By the time we get around to wanting to take it anywhere, I'll have taken a stab at building a different trailer; I have a few ideas I'd like to try out.

Days 35 & 36 ( Mar 29, 2006): Well, the trailer is a trailer again.

Port side on trailer

There isn't a lot to show for our work this week-end. The interior of the hull has a coat of epoxy now, making everything fully encapsulated. That turned out to be a tougher job than I expected due to the fact that it's not really a good idea to just stand up and walk around. Quite frankly, it would be nice to have the boat at least get wet before I start putting holes in it!

I also finished up the towing hardware. The coupler is installed as are the safety chains and the trailer jack. It's quite clear that I have plenty of room to move the boat forward on the trailer. That's nice, because as happy as I am about the theoretical capability of my axle mount to allow adjustments for balance, the boat cradle is far easier to move. There is currently not more than 50 pounds of tongue weight and I need to have closer to 100 after a motor is hung off the back. Another advantage of moving the boat forward is that the overhang at the back can be pretty much eliminated. Not that I don't trust the wood overhang I built, but it would be nice to get everything over top of the steel frame.

As you might recall, this trailer is an old trailer that is being adapted as a temporary solution to the budget problems cause by a troublesome car. Not even I think this is really a good idea, but if I have choice between a boat on a crummy trailer and half a boat on a good trailer...Need I say more?

Anyway, the next step is to work out the winch stand and tie downs. I'll probably sort those out over the next couple of weeks in between floatation installs and other boat construction tasks.

Port bow on trailer

Day 62 ( Jul 16, 2006): Transporting the boat to the lake

Things started off nicely enough. Our little car was able to pull the rig out of the shop.

Hooked up


And we're ready to go!

and ready to go


Unfortunately, about 30 minutes out of Dinsmore, we had a slight mishap. The right-hand tire on the trailer blew up! I thought that this was just simple stupidity--a flat with no spare on hand (a long and boring story about a spare tire that was frozen to the ground when we picked up the trailer and then no more thought given it).  I managed to get everything stopped safely and sent Devy off to pick up the spare--I figured that with a blazing sun and 32C the spare should be unfrozen from it's home at the lake.

punctured tire


While she was gone, I started to pull the flat off. When it refused to come off, I crawled under the trailer (yes, it was blocked both from rolling and from falling!) to take a look. The new leaf spring decided that each leaf should be sent on its own way. They turned sideways and gouged into the inside sidewall of the tire. That not only let the air out, but locked things up. I should have known something was up just from the fact that there was a nice 100 ft skid mark on the road and melting at the contact patch. In any case, now that I knew what was really going on, I was able to get the flat off the trailer. The bigger issue was how to deal with the screwed up spring. There are no pictures of the un-leaf spring, because Devy had the camera with her in the car. How was I to know that there was going to be something worth photographing--it was just a stupid flat, right?


spare tire


As you can see, I did figure things out. By adjusting the jack height and the blocking, I was able to get the un-spring to a 'neutral' weight, which allowed me to rotate the leaves back into position with some judicious 'tapping'. (Don't force it, get a bigger hammer!) Then I pulled apart one of the paint rollers for some heavy wire to strap around the leaves to keep them from twisting apart again.

spring clip


I wasn't completely satisfied with that repair. I wanted to restrict the spring travel, thus reducing the strain on that poor little wire--it turns out that these wires aren't that strong; I broke two of them before I got one that seemed to do the job. Given the unreliability of the wire clamp, I also wanted to put something sturdy between the spring and the tire that Devy was picking up. Fortunately, the boat wasn't finished yet, so I had all kinds of lumber and stuff along. I grabbed a chuck of 1X4 oak, a monster C-clamp, and some rope. I clamped the oak to the axle. I then tied off the clamp to keep it from rotating and also tied off the oak for some additional protection against rotation.

front view of roadside repair


I had the field repair complete by the time Devy got back with the spare (about an hour). We then limped the rest of the way to the lake at 20 kph. There were also a few inspection stops. At one of the inspections stops, I realized that it might have been better to put the clamp on the rear side of the axle so that any rotation would drag a trailing edge instead of a leading edge, but everything seemed to be stable, so I just left well-enough alone. We got to the lake safe and sound 8 hours after leaving Saskatoon. It normally takes us about 2.5 hours.

rear view of roadside repair