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Thread: Construction ideas needed.

  1. #1
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    Construction ideas needed.

    I acquired a light weight boat trailer. Not much to look at but I wanted the axle and wheels mainly. I want to build a trailer to haul kayaks on. Simple center posts with arms sticking outwards to mount the boats on.

    I never do anything simple though. I want to enclose the trailer. My idea is a simple frame work covered with aircraft nylon. The idea is simple the details are not. I am tossing around ideas for a framework. I want something cheap and lightweight as possible.

    I will probably have to weld up a metal frame and put a Pressure Treated plywood floor down so I have a solid base to start with. I am leaning toward doors on the side to make loading the boats easier since the trailer has to be 20' long inside. I am thinking bi-fold doors that fold down and against the trailer. Just a frame with nylon covering.

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    These are some sketches. I was thinking of at least covering the corners with plywood to add rigidity to the frame. Maybe a 12" wide. Some ply across the front maybe at the bottom couple of feet. Just enough to make the structure rigid.

    Lots more questions than answers. I was thinking 2x2's in the corners and 1" think framing most places. The center of the roof can be supported by the kayak racks. Those will have to be metal.

    Tossing around ideas and figured someone might have some input. This may not be worth the trouble of expense. I can build an open trailer very easy. But I love the idea of boats out of site and out of the sun. I could just park the trailer and not have to unload the boats. The trailer would protect them.
    God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
    the good fortune to run into the ones I do,
    and the eyesight to tell the difference.


    Kudzu Craft Lightweight Skin on frame Kayaks.
    Custom built boats and Kits

  2. #2
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    Jeff,

    What about door skin plywood for a sort of roof curving round over the front? Glass the ply in place on the trailer. If you crown the ply roof instead of making it flat, you would get a lot of strength that way with little underlying framework needed. Of course being a boat builder, you know that.

    I like your idea for the bifold doors but I'd be inclined to go for more ply and glass instead. More secure and not likely to rip like the fabric would.

    Could be sketched out if you want me to do it.
    Irony: The opposite of Wrinkly

  3. #3
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    Looks like an interesting project. I like the bifold door idea, but it seems you'd want to be sure they had a bulletproof latching system, to prevent them from opening accidentally while you're on the road. Or perhaps make them open up instead of down, and use a gas-filled damper (like on the back hatch of most SUVs) to help lift the doors.

    Hey Dave...do you have the Yellow Legal Pad plugin for Sketchup?
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  4. #4
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    the very last thing i would do is put plywood doors 20` long on a trailer.
    i`d suggest a plywood nose and maybe roof, aluminum sq. tubing for all structural members and heavy weight nylon or some sort of cloth for the sides, kinda like the soft sided lumber trucks.
    the idea of a plywood kite at 70mph just doesn`t sound like a wise idea to me.
    [SIZE="1"] associated with several importers and manufacturers.[/SIZE]

  5. #5
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    Just tossing around ideas. For every idea I come up with, I come up with a reason not to like that idea. As for the nylon covering, this is done in kayaks and it is MUCH tougher than you think. It's hard to put a hole in it even with a screw driver. I was skeptical at first but the more I read and saw I realize it's a lot tougher than you think. It was used for bullet proof vests.

    Dave, I was thinking door skins. Since they are out of the weather and covered they would be a good choice. And the price is right! In order the keep the weight down I want to use it just as structural members. I might do the whole roof but I don't think it's necessary. The curve at the front, thats is exactly what I was thinking of using.

    Once I get some better ideas of what I want to do I am going to put it in SU. I think it would be a huge advantage even if it was rough just to be able to visualize it and I am sure see some problem I wouldn't till I started to build it.

    The doors are my biggest problem. I could load the boats from a back door, but then you don't have access to the front of the boats to tie them down. Short boats would be up inside the trailer and harder to access. So I need side doors. Latches are an issue I have been thinking about a lot too. If I could figure out the doors I am sure I could work out the rest.

    EDIT: The doors would not be plywood. They would frames covered with nylon skin to keep weight down. Just like we build kayaks.



    I thought about swing up doors, but they need space that I wouldn't always have. Parking lots at boat ramps. Side of the road parking sometimes can be a bit crowded. The idea for the swing down came around because of the small amount of space needed to open of close. Overheads tend to fall on your head but I would prefer it open overhead. I toyed with something like a Model T hood. That would fold over on itself. But the rrailer will be pretty tall and would hard to open and close.

    Todd, aluminum frame could work but I don't have any way to weld it and I imagine the price would kill that idea too. So that is why I am leaning toward wood frame. And it's simpler for me to work with.

    Oh, I have been thinking about the cloth doors, but I think I would take a lot of straps or tie downs to keep from flapping. It would be hassle to clamp them all down and take away one of the big advantages. Speed it loading and unloading.

    The more I look the more I have my doubts but it would be so unique!
    Last edited by Jeff Horton; 08-18-2008 at 10:00 PM.
    God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
    the good fortune to run into the ones I do,
    and the eyesight to tell the difference.


    Kudzu Craft Lightweight Skin on frame Kayaks.
    Custom built boats and Kits

  6. #6
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    Jeff, I think it would be easier to continue the door skin plywood all the way to the back end of the trailer than to transition to fabric.

    You might try using Hulls to do the skin layout. It would develop the skin pieces for you. You just have to work upside down
    Irony: The opposite of Wrinkly

  7. #7
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    If I do this, I will cover the plywood and all with skin. Probably heat shrink nylon so that it will pull taunt into place.
    God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
    the good fortune to run into the ones I do,
    and the eyesight to tell the difference.


    Kudzu Craft Lightweight Skin on frame Kayaks.
    Custom built boats and Kits

  8. #8
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    What if the doors slid in on the bottom & had a lock on top & were in one piece. When you need to load or unload unlock at the top to swing down & out lift & set out of the way. You said that you'll make them light weight so I don't see any reason to make it complicated.
    Last edited by Bart Leetch; 08-19-2008 at 03:46 AM.
    "Forget the flat stuff slap something on the spinny thing and lets go, we're burning daylight" Bart Leetch
    "If it ain't round you may be a knuckle dragger""Turners drag their nuckles too, they just do it at a higher RPM"Bart

  9. #9
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    That is a about as good an idea as any I have come up with Bart.

    Last night I had to walk out to my truck for something and I realized I am talking about a door as long as my truck or close. That really put it in perspective. Even if the doors only weight 10 lbs and I don't think that is figure is out of line. It's still a huge door to have to handle. It's going to have some flex in it. So handling them even in a slight breeze would be challenging.

    I am really starting to have second thoughts on this. The doors need to be much smaller but then can't load the boats.

    It's starting to look like an open trailer is much more practical. Unless I can work out the door design.
    God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
    the good fortune to run into the ones I do,
    and the eyesight to tell the difference.


    Kudzu Craft Lightweight Skin on frame Kayaks.
    Custom built boats and Kits

  10. #10
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    Perhaps you could find a accordian type of door that would slide on a track (top and bottom). Just unlatch on the back and slide forward out of the way? or a roll up type?
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

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