Here we have a perfect application for the inappropriate use of PVC sewer pipe!! Thanks to those on the Hobie forum for the great ideas.
This is a small boat trailer that I bought a couple years ago to haul around the Chameleon pedal catamaran. Since it will not be on the water this year I added a frame to carry two Hobie Adventure Island boats as well as two conventional sea kayaks on the top bar. I am still working on mounting kayak saddles to the top bar as well as a 12 x 16 x 72 aluminum gear box that will be mounted just above the fender on the passenger side. The box will have a locking lid and will hold and store and transport all the gear when it is not actually in use. Mounting on the passenger side will hopefully reduce the chances of someone getting clipped while searching for the other half of a paddle or granola bar.
The frame is 2 x 2 x .12 wall aluminum except for the cross bars on the trailer frame which are 3/16 wall. I shortened the tongue to make it behave better and added a support roller under the bow of the lower boat. This made a huge difference to the manners on the road but also made it a bit more difficult to back up…!
I am using 10 foot lengths of 4″ PVC sewer pipe as the bed for the boats to sit on and it seems to work quite well. I used a 1″ hole saw to cut access holes so I could screw the pipes directly to the wood saddles. I find that when loading or unloading the bow wants to drop between the pipes and it is a challenge to get the hull far enough forward that one feels safe to go around the the back to raise the stern and slide it forward.
So this weekend I made a roller from 2″ ABS pipe glued into end caps with a 1/2″ hole drilled through. Then I drilled a half inch hole through both pipes close to the stern and inserted a piece of 1/2″ threaded rod with locking nuts on both ends. Eventually this will wear into plastic but that is a long way down the road.
One problem with the roller design is that the rod and nut extend out to where the ama will rub when it is folded for transport. I initially thought of just cutting the rod shorter and keeping the nuts inside the tubes but I was concerned about how the load would be transferred to the tube. This may still be the best way but will need to check. I’ll post more pictures as things progress.