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  • #4364

    I damaged my Mk2 towing it up and down the country, the bearers under the sole cracked across where the turnbuckle is screwed to them, just about over the supports on the trolley and coincidentally where three large holes are drilled for drainage of water that gets into the bearers. The cracks looked superficial but on investigation they were right into the laminate and needed some surgery to fix.

    I have now ground away the lay-up and repaired them with glass cloth and epoxy; they are probably stronger than before and I have not drilled new drainage holes in my repair as it seems wrong to introduce a weakness right where the hull needs strength. Yes Sweibertje I did allow a litle play side to side, the main load of the boat was being taken on the keel roller, but I think the wheels hitting manholes and potholes transmitted the bang onto the bilge runners rather than the keel. I have fitted new Indespension units each rated at 250kg.

    So I am wondering about either extending the trolley by about 300mm to reduce the length of the boat that overhangs the supports and transfer more weight on the forward support or making up a new longer trolley to fit on my road base and even include some springs between the trolley and the boat. I started a previous thread before this damage occured and I return to the idea that some additional suspension of the hull on the trolley would perhaps have saved me a lot of time effort and mess repairing the damage.

    Has anyone else had any grief like this and what solutions do you suggest?

    Colin Parkstone

    Mike, will you not put to much weight on the car tow ball if you move the boat forward and how will you lift the boat around the park ??

    I have seen on a Fireball trailer, a support for the rear of the boat that is extended aft from the main base to just forward of the transom. This holds the overhanging boat up.

    Would the uprated units make the ride harder or are they the type that are softer but able to take the weight of the Wayfarer. If they are harder, will this not make for more problems transmited to the hull.

    Are you also loading the boat with to much gear, that works against the hull as well. If you have an engine in the back tank when trailing , that must not help the unsupported rear end of the boat.


    Hi Colin, thanks for your reply. Some of the weight when on the trolley will be tranferred forwards but only a small amount. As it is I find I can lift the bows very easily so the support under the hull must be very near the centre of gravity. Because the hull will not physically move forward, the tow-ball weight will remain the same and I use a jockey wheel in the boat park.

    The new Indespension units are quite hard but at least they have some give in them, unlike the 40 year-old units thay replaced.

    One of my several ideas does include a spar extending aft to support the keel well aft as you describe and if I could introduce some spring in it, it may help to solve the problem which may be exacerbated by the fact the old girl is getting on for 40 years old and no longer quite as stiff as she was in the first flush of youth, it comes to us all :cry:.

    I was not carrying any weight in the rear box or elsewhere in the boat, just the sails, so that was not the cause. My mate who was driving may have been a bit rough (it’s hard to see the potholes driving down country lanes after dark).


    This sort of damage is very common and the perceived wisdom at our club is that it can be avoided/minimised by ensuring that the keel is the primary support point.
    The suggestion is that with the boat on the trolley/trailer the side bearers should not both be in contact with the boat at the same time but should allow for a small amount of rocking from left to right.
    In the event of the trailer hitting a bump then most of the shock load is transferred to the keel allowing only minimal distortion of the hull.
    I only trail 30 miles home and back once in year but, so far, it’s worked for me.


    What has been written and: Don’t strap the boat down hard, allow some movement. A boat on a well set-up trailer/trolley will stay on it even without straps. Straps are only there to provide a final security for the extreme cases like that unseen pothole.

    Suppose for a minute that the boat is tied down hard with several straps and you drive at speed through a hole, then something has to give. First the suspension but when it hits its maximum travel, forces are transferred directly to the hull. The “soft” hull is going to give in way faster then the “hard” steel of the trailer/trolley. Strap your boat down just enough to keep it safe, but do allow it to move a little. Also check your suspension annually and check the tire pressure before each journey.

    Here is how I do it:

    I have a my painter loosely tied to the trolley to prevent the boat from sliding off backwards. The painter is really slack, it allows the boat to slide back at least a foot before it gets taut.
    Then I use a main strap straight above the trailers axle and main keel roller, the rocking point of the hull. No other strap keeps her down so she can “see-saw” over the keel roller.
    Though the boat is allowed to “see-saw”over the keel roller the main strap prevents her from “dancing” backwards and the painter limits the “see-saw-ing”.

    Sideways my boat is supported by the keel and the chines. As stated by others, she is allowed to rock about sideways to ensure the weight stays on the keel. There is no support under the bilge keels for it is common knowledge amongst Wayfarer that supporting the bilge keels will tear the floor supports from the inside of the hull. The hull is strongest at its chines anyway so why support it anywhere else? I use a plank with the shape of the gunwales carved in to ensure the main strap only pushes the hull down, it does not compress it side to side. The plank also keeps the strap clear from the chines where it otherwise would scratch the hull.

    An under cover protects the hull from road dirt and chippings. A trailer cover saves me 10% to 15% on fuel and allows me to throw in the sails, gear and what not without having to secure everything from windage.

    I have travelled thousands of miles with my boat and hit many holes and (speed) bumps and I have driven 130 kmh on the German Autobahn and never sustained any damage. Yet my trolley has no more then a single keel roller and a rubber keel support near the bow.



    Good advice, thanks guys. I have about 40mm under one bilge runner when the other is in contact with the trailer, but I might be guilty of strapping her down tighter than Sweibertje suggests and I certainly tie the painter tight. The beam across the boat solves a couple of problems; ensuring the pull is downwards and not squeezing the gunwhales inwards, also spacing the ratchet attachment out and away from the hull. I will make one.

    As a point of interest what sort of pressure in the tyres do you use Sweibertje? I have been advised to pump them up hard (50psi, about 4 Bar) and it occurs to me that at that sort of pressure there is not much give in them. I have 8 inch wheels and will be changing to 10 inch over the winter. I have found when they were at around 2 Bar the tyres were getting hot.


    My trailer too has 10″ tires and I keep them at 2 Bar. Actually they are car tires rated for 140 kmh.

    The pressure depends on the type of tire and the weight of the trailer and cargo. Too much pressure ant the tire wears in the middle, to little pressure and the tire wears on the sides. Only the correct tire pressure exposes the maximum amount of rubber to the road. Unfortunately it means the tires get warm, specially in summer on a dry road. This is nothing to worry about, it is normal. As long as you can keep your hand flat on the tire for a few seconds without pain they are not too hot. You can spot the correct pressure also by looking at the tires from a distance, too much pressure and they look like a ball only touching the road in the middle. Too little pressure and they look like the sides are pouring out. But it is easier to look up your tires on the manufacturers web-site. There you will find tables that give the weight to pressure ratio for your type of tires. To estimate the trailer’s weight take half the weight of your trailer and boat. (The other half of the weight is on the other wheel). A Wayfarer weighs, or is supposed to weigh, 186 kg less the mast, boom sails and rigging. Add those and some weight for the trailer itself and you’ll find that 300 to 350 kg is a well educated guess. Putting her on the nearest lorry scale gives you an exact answer of course.

    On motorways (British or German) I would prefer tires that are rated well above the highest speed I ever expect to drive (lawful or otherwise). New trailers in the UK seem to be fitted standard with a sort of wheelbarrow tires, rated for max. 20 mph or so it seems. These tires are OK to drive down the road from the garage to the local sailing club I suppose but you wouldn’t be the first to blow both tires on your first trip to Denmark with your brand new trailer……..

    Anyway, I don’t worry too much about tires. A far bigger problem IMHO are the hubs or rather the bearings of those hubs. Do keep them well greased. The seals of the bearings wear and need to be replaced every so many miles or years. Bad seals allow grease to ooze out and just as bad, (sea) water to get in. I have never allowed the axle of my trailer to submerge just to be safe rather then sorry. Now that I own a combi-trailer I never need to any more. A trolley has no bearings other then the nylon the wheels are made of and can be submerged without having to worry if the trailer will make it back home all the way from Copenhagen.

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