Building the Trailer

Page 5

The trailer is getting closer to being complete but there are still a couple of items that need to be addressed.  The first is fabricating the bow support.  I had given this a lot of thought.  Building it would be easy IF the boat was sitting on the trailer. I could just make a fixed support welded in place at the right height. I would like to wait but I am really going to need the wench to help pull the boat on to the trailer so it needs to be done.

Because of this it needs to be adjustable both fore and aft as well as up and down. This complicates things but will assure that it will fit.  As you can see from the photo I used two sections of square tubing to make a sliding arm for the wench and bow roller. The arm itself is made from a scrap piece of 3" channel.  Two bolts on the back of the outer tube are tightened to "jam" the assembly and hold the arm in place.  The whole thing is mounted on a 3"x16"x3/8" plate held in place by "U" bolts.  This will allow the fore & aft adjustment.  The 1100 lb. wench is bolted to the arm and will have a 20 ft wench strap installed. 

The next item is the loading guides. I am actually not sure if these are needed.  I have always owned "deep V" boats and have never had these on a trailer. Experience has taught me that if the trailer is properly placed in the water (the common mistake is to put it in too deep) the "V" bottom will self center with out any guides.  But the Cabin Skiff is a shallower "V" than  the other boats I have experience with loading.  I am concerned that it will not center as easily.  I hate pulling out of the water only to find the boat sitting off to one side of the trailer and then trying to "bounce" it into the correct position. 

So needed or not I decided to add loading guides.  I looked around the shop  and found some 1" square tubing I had salvaged from some commercial display racks that a local store was junking out and decided it would work .  When I had made the forms of the bottom of the hull to place the bunks I also marked the location and angle of the sides.  By screwing on a couple scraps of plywood they now gave me a profile of the sides as well as the bottom. I used these as guides to position the vertical supports.  I welded the square tubing in place leaving space for the carpet covered 2x4s that will serve as the actual guides AND about an inch extra on each side. 

I was concerned about having just the end of the square tube butt welded to the frame.  I was afraid that with the weight of the 2x4 bolted to the top the the normal bouncing of the trailer while being towed would cause these to eventually break just above the weld.  To prevent this I added a gusset fabricated from 1/16" flat stock.  Hopefully it will support it enough to prevent any fatigue.

Usually the loading guides are mounted at the very back of the trailer but with the Cabin Skiff this presented a problem.  The hull is actually wider a few feet forward of the transom than it is at the transom.  And with my "stretched" version the widest point is about 5 to 6 foot in front of the transom. Because of this I had to move the guides forward to make them function properly.