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So I built a trailer!

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  • So I built a trailer!

    After checking the prices for "ready made" trailers, I decided to build my own! A few months back I bought a Harbor Freight trailer kit for $249.95. It was fairly easy to put together even without power tools. I spent a leisurely 2 days putting it together and heeded the advice from many builders on YouTube to follow the pictures in the instructions rather than words. Modifying it to fit the new inflatable I have in mind was easy. A few pressure-treated two-by-fours for the base, and two 2x10" x10' as bunks did the trick. I had a weld shop add a 6' extension to the hitch as I'm planning on a 12'.6" inflatable and didn't want it right behind the car. Total cost for everything was $425.00 and it was a fun project to boot. Now all I need is a boat. 😀

  • #2
    keep in mind the Harbor Freight trailers rust if kept in the garage and dont see rain. they rust really fast if being used as a boat trailer.
    Cheesehead boating the Gulf Coast of FLA 27.51° N, 82.53° W

    1988 Cruisers Rogue 2420 -VP 290 DP now powered by custom 468 - https://forums.iboats.com/forum/owner...988-rogue-2420

    Past Boats
    1970 Wooster Hellion - Merc 9.8
    2002 SeaRay 190BR - 5.0 - A1G2 - "Cheeseheads in Paradise"
    1984 Avanti 170DLI -3.0 stringer- "Ship Happens"

    What’s behind you doesn’t matter.Enzo Ferrari

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    • #3
      From what I read, they last about 10 years with reasonable care. For what I paid I'd be happy with 5 years, and count everything after as a bonus, plus it was a fun project. It's been sitting outside in the back yard for two months and a ton of rain with no signs of rust so far... We'll see. 😏

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      • #4
        I built my jon boat trailer from a HF trailer kit, added a 16' stick of steel for the tongue, but the rest of it is HF. It was bolted together, but I welded all the joints, the tongue is welded down the center. Been working fine since 2008. Not rusted in the least, but I painted it white with Rustoleum.

        If the back lights have incandescent bults, the light housings are crap, and will rust out and fail in short order. I replaced them with encapsulated LED lights, which have worked great. The side marker lights have been fine.

        The axle seals are not rated for dunking in water, so re-pack the bearings each year and replace the seals. Bearings and seals are hard to find, but available on Ebay. I RTV'ed the dust cap and seal into the hub, since greasing through the zerk fitting can push the inboard seal out of the hub, not that tight of a fit on the seal into the hub....
        2001 Crestliner SuperHawk 1800, Mercruiser 140HP
        2007 Tracker 1436 jon boat, 7.5HP Force

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        • #5
          Hey fisherdan, thanks for the advice! I ordered a set of hubs kits already. The hubs were $19.95 each complete with new hub, bearings, seals, and cotter pin. And yes, repacking at LEAST once a year is a must. Surprised that the cost of the bearings and seals cost more than the kits were. Go figure. 😏

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          • #6
            If you guys plan permanently sit the motor attached to transom while inflatable rests on trailer, trailer is towed through all kinds of terrain from flat to bumpy ones need to add a horizontal support frame right where the transom will rest like in pics.

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            No one keeps or trailers their inflatables with attached motor inflated to it's working pressure of at least 3.0 PSI, with time transom will be extremely stressed due to weight and will eventually could become unglued, worse with 4 strokes motors....

            Happy Boating


            Sea Rider 320, 380 Sibs, 450 Rib, 2 Strokes Tohatsu 5,18 & 30 HP Proud Smokers

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            • #7
              I bought new seals and bearings off Ebay, seller from China, where this stuff is made anyway.... Something like $20 for 4 sets of bearings and seals. I neglected re-packing the bearings for a couple of years and they were trashed, now a yearly thing.

              Probably better that you got the hub kits, since the dust caps are as hard to find as hens teeth.
              2001 Crestliner SuperHawk 1800, Mercruiser 140HP
              2007 Tracker 1436 jon boat, 7.5HP Force

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              • #8
                Hey, Sea Rider, thanks for the tip. Yes, I'm going to add transom support as soon as I get the boat. I want to trailer short distances with the Tohatsu 6hp all set up and ready to go. It only weighs 57lbs. Do you think I should get a "transom saver" or just leave the engine straight up and down? The Sea Eagle 12.6 transom is rated for 150lbs.

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                • #9
                  In your case being that motor a light feather champ won't need to install a horizontal bar, just inflate sib well for overall better rigidity. For transportation could lock trim pin farthest out for lower leg to gain more road clearance if necessary or trailer the combo with motor locked sitting fully vertical if clearance suffice.

                  Happy Boating


                  Sea Rider 320, 380 Sibs, 450 Rib, 2 Strokes Tohatsu 5,18 & 30 HP Proud Smokers

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                  • #10
                    Hey fishrdan, can you post a link to the ebay seller just in case and for others on the forum?
                    thanks, Mark

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                    • #11
                      Here are the bearing and seal descriptions, posting those instead of the link as the auction links are now dead.

                      Bearing: 30205 Taper Roller Wheel Bearing Metric Taper Bearings 25x50x15mm

                      Seal: Oil Resistant Water Cooling Pump Mechanical Seal 30x52x10mm, Black G6I9

                      4 bearings were $14.76 and 4 seals were $3.88
                      2001 Crestliner SuperHawk 1800, Mercruiser 140HP
                      2007 Tracker 1436 jon boat, 7.5HP Force

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                      • #12
                        Sign up today
                        Thanks so much! You guys are the best, and I like being part of the forum. Ordering my new boat in a week or so. Will post it as soon as I get it and do a review! 😀

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