**** This is a continuation of Phase 1. ****
I’ve completed the trailer. I had to make a few changes along the way, but that always seems to happen. The pictures here were taken after my first trip to (and from) a launch point about three miles away. The route included a few hundred feet of vertical climbing as well.The trailer performed flawlessly during the trip. I got a lot of double-takes, (friendly) horn toots, and general comments. My favorite was the Prius owner who, while unloading his kayaks, said, “Now, THAT’s carbon neutral!”
The top kayak attachment bolts to the flat bed using four 1/4″ holes. Bolts are passed through from the top, with a fender washer, lock washer, and wingnut on the bottom to hold the assembly together. The boat hangs on two webbing straps that run across the trailer and the stern end rests on a cross member by the hitch. The boat sits backwards since the stern is much heavier, allowing me to place the wheels further forward (for maneuverability), while still having an acceptable tongue weight. The majority of my time was spent finding an acceptable balance between tongue weight and trailer position. I didn’t want too much tongue weight since it’d break my hitch, or mess up the handling of the bike.
The boat is wider than the trailer, so it has to rest high enough up that it clears the tires, which causes the bow (rear when loaded) to sit much higher in the air than the stern, but that’s probably a more stable configuration anyhow.
The overall assembly is probably heavier than it needs to be. Making it out of aluminum would probably reduce the overall weight, though compared to the 85 lbs of the boat, it’s probably insignificant. My original plans called for the boat to support itself and for the hitch to attach to a front section that strapped to the boat. Unfortunately, it moved around far too much, so I ended up using the 8′ 2×4 seen in the picture to support the length of the boat and to attach the hitch. This added a few pounds, but made the trailer easier to pull. A side benefit that I didn’t consider until much later is that the trailer can be pulled without a boat attached, which my original design wouldn’t have allowed.