Latest News: Forums Technical Taking Wayfarer off a trolley

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  • #4332

    I need to do some urgent repair work to launching trolley which will need a trip to the workshop. How does one get a Wayfarer off (possibly the easier bit) and back on a trolley on land. I don’t think I can leave her floating in the local club pond! What is the best thing to rest her on and is there a way to make returning her to trolley easier?


    There are a few descriptions floating around on the forum about how to do this.
    The moral of the story is you need a few helpers. Build up a support to take the back of the boat (tyres, palletes, fish boxes, whatever you have so long as it is stable) then get two people to take the weight of the bow whilst a third pulls the trolley out.
    I have, in the past, attempted to separate the boat and trolley on my own and it is not worth it!


    As No Disgrace says, it is best done with friends and the way I did it was to first put a piece of timber 3 x2 about 2.5metres long (ie wider than the track of the trolley wheels) under the bows, between the trolley and the boat then packed up the support under the transom; I used a folding Workmate with a couple of bags of compost (John Innes No 1 is best, I find) either side of the keel. The transverse piece of wood under the bows was supported on axle stands at either end.

    I then used a longer piece of 3×2 as a lever with bricks to form the fulcrum to progressively lift each side, with a mate sliding in bricks under the axle stands as she came up. It was surprisingly easy to lift the boat in this way, demonstrating the power of levers. Once she was high enough I could roll out the trolley. If you are going to leave the boat suspended while the trolley is away being fixed, then some stable means of support shouild replace the axle stands, I have seen on this forum people using big bags of peat for this.

    The most difficult part in my view is turning the boat upside down to do work on the bottom without damaging the deck edges, but you don’t seem to need to do that, yet…


    Lift the bow and trolley up in the air until the transom hits the floor. Then rest the transom on something soft (a lawn, a blanket, some fenders, etc.) Have your wife pull the trolley forward while you push the bow up. Do it in three steps. In between steps rest the boat on the trolley while you step over the supports or the axle.

    The procedure to get the boat back on is the same but in reverse order. The trick is to move the trolley, not the boat and use the leverage given by the trolleys roller once the roller passes the middle of the boat. It can be done by one strong person and his wife but lifting the bow by two persons is much easier. The person moving the trolley does not have to be strong.

    The hardest part is when the boat is already resting on the trolley and there is one more foot to go to slide it in to the rubber bow rest. This needs a good strong pull with someone blocking the trolley from moving forward. I do this by putting a part of a railway sleeper in front of the jockey wheel and putting my foot against the sleeper while I pull. The (partial) railway sleeper is otherwise used to put the jokey wheel on to put the boat level and allow it to fully drain through the self bailers while it is parked.

    I have seen a road base with a winch on its draw bar to pull the trolley on. Maybe such a winch can also be used too to get the boat back on, provided the trolley is mounted to the road base?

    The American way
    Another method is to tie the boat to a tree and pull the trolley with a car (rope – tow-hook). Here too the transom needs to rest on something soft before you start pulling. Again this is done easiest by pushing the bow up. In this case you don’t need to lift the boat of the roller but you can let it slide over it while a car pulls the trolley. Good communication with the driver is paramount because the bow pushers will have to step over supports and the axle. This is why I prefer the manual method, it has less chance of someone ending up in hospital.

    To get the boat back on you could pull it with a car while the trolley is tied to a tree but this has the big disadvantage that the boat moves and not the trolley giving a greater chance on hull damage. Maybe if you can tie the bow to a tree and pull the trolley in reverse under the boat?
    See: WIT

    What ever you do don’t use piled up stuff to support the boat more or less horizontal. These piles trend to topple over once the weight of the boat rests on them. Just put it directly on a lawn without a circus act.

    Colin Parkstone

    Dont forget to lift your self bailers up into the boat before you pull the trolley from under the boat.!!!!!!!!


    Many thanks to all for some excellent ideas! Bags of peat I would never had thought of. Clearly I shall need to recruit a team which sounds like I may need appropriate incentivisation/fuel (Grolsch). Having read the advice I will await the winter overhaul so I only do this once. In the interim I will venture forth with that stalwart of the sailors toolbox – duck tape – to effect emergency temporary repairs to said trailer. Another victory for empowerment through shared knowledge. Thanks.


    Fab. Boat in garage on bags of peat. Very easy, just tied boat to rear wall of garage, employed small boy to stack bags of peat then pulled trolley out with car. Now the work begins. Trolley refurb, rudder and dagger board epoxy coating, Bailers replace (severe corrosion even though stainless) etc. I am in need of Grolsch washers if anybody has any. Unfortunately I am banned from sourcing these myself on health grounds. Thanks for the tips.


    From Richard Johnson of the US: a good material for cb gaskets is the material used in computer mouse pads. This worked great when Richard helped me replace the cb after he also helped me remove and fair it. The problem was that we had to search for the old style (neoprene?) pads that were nice and thick. The newer style doesn’t work as well. You will have to cut the washers out of the pad to suit.


    Dear Folks

    thanks for all this: great moral support when I had to detrolley W6330 yesterday for a trip to the trailer-men. Whilst doing this we removed the centreboard.

    For the record, the clearance between the aft end of the centreboard slot and floor to remove the centreboard is 12 inches (30.5cm) – I’ve not seen this information given anywhere else, so thought it might be useful for anyone wondering how high to jack their boat to do this job. my son told me from his vantage point that this allowed an inch or so of clearance for the board tip.

    tootle pip



    Love the tip about the mouse pad. I bought some centreboard washers but might yet switch…
    I have also found that once in double garage it is possible to turn a wayfarer over quite easily with a winch tied to ceiling. Just lay a carpet of peat bags on the floor and winch her onto one side. A bit of wiggle may be required to enable lowering to an ideal position but my 12 year old and I managed quite easily. He did the hard work hanging onto a safety line, all I did was winch up then down. He is a dab hand with a sander and paint brush too.

    Paint job complete, epoxy first coat on foils, just need to get finished and back in the water. oh yes and renaming required..

    Boat in fine form, helmsman needs some work.

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