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  • #3812

    This posting is intended to be of help to anyone looking for a trailer for their Wayfarer.

    My old trailer was of unknown age, but well in excess of the 10 years that I had owned it, and needed replacement. Though solid, it used 8” wheels, not 10” and I found that this had two problems: a round trip from Gloucestershire to Argyll in Scotland would consume a set of tyres and the incidence of punctures seemed quite high. I also wanted more “give” in the tyres, so larger tyres seemed a good idea. A return trip to the west coast of Ireland involved some very poor road surfaces and the suspension units had fatigue fractures on some of the bolt holes. (They were 10 year old Indespension units).

    I looked at Dixon Bate ( or ) and Mersea Trailers ( ). I had professional and helpful responses to enquiries, but settled on the Mersea Trailers heavy duty trailer, based on price and technical details.

    I have taken Mersea Trailers trailer to the Golfe de Morbihan in Brittany and the trailer performed well. However, I have had a number of problems which are listed below:


    When I placed the order on 14th August 2007, I was told that they would try to deliver on 23rd August, but this might not be possible. In the end, delivery was not until 21st October. In fact, delivery on 23rd August was probably never a possibility.

    Jockey Wheel

    When delivered, the jocket wheel stem had been cut too short. A replacement, although slow (weeks) to arrive, was supplied free of charge.

    Jockey Wheel Distortion

    The new jockey wheel was used at the start of the season in April 2008, but very soon the jockey wheel frame twisted. The only load at this stage was a Wayfarer for racing – ie light – but being pulled up a shingle launching beach. The initial response was unhelpful, but in a conversation it was accepted that the design had room for improvement and a modified version was promised. This arrived 4 months later, free of charge, with useful improvements. It is too soon to say how successful this has been, but it looks more promising than the original design.

    Trolley Distortion

    The new jockey twisted the trolley frame. This is because the locating tube is welded to the outside of one of the trolley A-frame members, near the front of the trolley. The result is that the frame element is splayed and the trolley wheel runs awkwardly, at an angle. In fairness to Mersea Trailers, this does not seem to be an unusual arrangement, but in this particular design it is a serious weakness. A location of the jockey wheel that puts it on the centre line of the trolley would seem better – and is the arrangement that my old trolley used. After a discussion with Mersea Trailers, a new clamp-on jockey wheel tube was supplied after a wait of several weeks, free-of-charge, but the clamps to the trolley frame bend on tightening, without gripping the frame tightly.


    The trolley/trailer separation system includes a roller that makes loading/unloading the trolley from the trailer easy. It works well, except that a manufacturing tolerance means the boat and trolley have to be lifted a couple of millimeters to complete the last 10mm of the loading process. This is a pity, as the system, otherwise, is good and a real improvement on my old trailer.


    A heavy duty trailer with 10” wheels is important if you want to trail a Wayfarer any distance (100+ miles). This is true for our boat when loaded with cruising kit, but nothing else, when being trailed. Our experience of the Mersea Trailer heavy duty Wayfarer trailer has been mixed. Most dissatisfaction has been with the trolley; time will tell if the trailer is good, but so far it has performed without significant problems. It would be useful to hear of experiences of other trailers.


    Very interesting comments – that does seem to be a fair few problems with a new unit. Here are my experiences –

    I bought a new Bramber combi early ’07 as it was available locally and I needed one urgently. (I had previously dealt with Bramber very satisfactorily as they had built a custom trailer for my Nacra 6 cat a few years back which I had been very impressed with).

    I had originally wanted 10” wheels but it came with 8”. I was advised that they could easily be upgraded but I have not pursued this as, unless there’s anything going on that I’m not aware of, they seem to be performing ok and are completely comfortable at normal motorway speeds. One of the tyres has just worn down, but we have covered a good few thousand miles (we do trail with minimum weight in the boat – one return trip from Gloucester to Argyll consuming a set of tyres does seem a bit extreme). We have not had any punctures with the 8” wheels.

    I bought a castor wheel for the launching trolley, which has proved totally invaluable, and added a winch to the trailer. I bought a jockey wheel but have never fitted it as I really cant see it is needed.

    All in all I am very satisfied with both the trailer and the trolley and in particular how they work together. Both are reliable and perform their respective roles without any hassle and I cant ask for more than that. I may one day upgrade to 10” wheels but at the moment it isn’t top of the priority list.

    Interested to hear of anyone else’s experiences.



    I bought a trailer from Sovern. It has one major fault,the boat does not sit forward enough on the launching trolley causing two problems.When you try to pull the launching trolley on to the trailer the keel rollers (which are on the trailer)stop the boat comming on with the trolley,when you finally get it on there is not enough nose weight. When in the drive not strapped down at the front I awoke to find the back of the boat on my car ,rainwater in the cover was all it took. Steer clear of sovern.
    Jim. Byers.


    PS: In response to the postings above, here are a couple more links. Please note that they don’t necessarily relate to the trailers described above, but might be helpful:

    Dave Barker


    My trailer/trolley combo has a similar-sounding problem (although in my case it’s because the road wheels have been changed for some larger ones).

    I find it helps a lot to lift the front of the trolley as far as possible – a couple of volunteers sitting on the stern of the boat makes this easier – before inserting the trailer under the trolley, with the trailer at a similar angle of elevation. By doing this the two parts of the combination are much more overlapped when they finally come together than they would normally be. This technique was passed onto me by Simon McEvoy, and endorsed by Dave Kirk.

    This is also possible without outside assistance by resting the trailer’s towbar up on a fence or similar, and pulling the laden trolley onto the inclined trailer, but I admit that this is not as straightforward.


    I note your advice but I normally sail single handed and have no assistance. I made an aluminium two part pole with an old rollock on top.
    This under the trolley handle holds it up till I position the trailer but the boat still slides back when I lower the trailer and trolley even with the boat tied to the trolley at the front.


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