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    Hi all,

    I would really like some detailed and precise instruction on how exactly to tie down and secure a Wayfarer onto a trolley and A trailer combi for towing please? Diagrams would be even more helpful. Everything I have read to date seems to assume too much previous knowledge. Keep it sweet and simple please.

    Bardzo dziekuje


    My simple answer is (providing it is on a trailer for a Wayfarer) tie down the bow to the trolley handle and a single strap/rope goes over the width of the boat from a fixing point on the trailer next to the wheel axle on each side. It should be lightly tensioned to avoid crushing the boat, and some sort of padding goes under the contact points with the boat to prevent the strap/rope causing friction damage.


    Thank you Dave Mac

    I have 2 of those wide straps with rachet buckles, so will make sure I don’t overtighten. Now all I have to do is sort out the squeaks on the wheels so the wife doesn’t hear me pulling away from the house.


    You need:
    – something to stop it moving back under acceleration and wind resistence (tie the bow tightly forward).
    – something to stop it moving forward under braking (a strap forward of the widest point).
    – something to stop it moving side to side (a strap around the boat at the widest point: anchored to the trailer at the axle).
    – enough padding (old squares of carpet upside down) to stop the ropes and straps rubbing.
    – everything tightly tied so it doesn’t move
    – an undercover to protect the hull from stone chips
    – an over cover to stop it getting heavier when it rains.

    – and of course a nice tow car to act as the support vehicle, as detailed here: http://www.yachtsandyachting.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=5162&PN=1


    Thanks JordanChris,

    Any tips on securing the mast? I know that there is a limit to how much can protrude from the rear, about 1.5m I believe?

    Colin Parkstone

    Your wide ratchet straps are a good item to use but check the tension on them about ten minutes into the journey for movement.

    I like to tie the bow to the trailer base, not the trolley so that if for any reason your boat and trolley become separated from the base you have that added security.

    Try not to tow with a boom up cover,so much windage and if the wind gets under the cover it will rip it to shreds.

    I have some time ago invested in a flat cover with shroud openings ect so as to trail with that on and still have a useable cover for the away meetings,ie just one cover!

    I also open the bailers when trailing the boat so as to keep it drained!

    Dont forget the spare wheel for the trailer and a good brace to undo the nuts!!!

    I have and you can also buy a board that screws to the lighting board that will support the mast at the rear end. You screw rudder fitings to it and the whole thing just drops onto the boat.

    I have a rope that goes from that board,through the fittings on the boat and back to a cleat on the board again for security.

    C P 🙂



    Careful not to overtighten the ratchets – they are so powerful it is all too easy to do!

    Maximum overhang of mast is 1m (give or take!), and a flag of some kind at the end would be advisable.



    and we have a board which is about 1 inch wider than the width of the boat above the axle with a groove for a strap at each end and carpet fitted to sit on the decks. The strap then lays along the board and because it is slightly wider no tension is on the boat. It also gives you something to a) fix the lighting board to for security, b) fix the spreaders down to (with bungies to the strap) and c) the forward end of the boom is fixed to it. (again with bungies)

    I didn’t know you could buy the lighting board fixture – we made ours


    May I add the following to the already high quality responses:

    The weight must be, as with all boats, on the keel. Obviously you need some support to prevent the boat falling sideways. but on a well adjusted trailer the boat can rock ever so slightly sideways. Make sure the straps don’t “push” the boat in to both the side supports, thus changing the weight distribution.

    Make sure the side supports push at the chines where the hull is strongest. Never support your boat under the bilge keels, it is a sure recipe for breaking the floorboard supports inside your boat.

    Don’t over tighten the straps, the boat must be allowed to move a little. If the package is too rigid something has to break when you hit that unseen pot hole. Basically the boat will stay in its cradle without straps. The straps are for security only and don’t need to be very tight. They should only prevent the boat from jumping off the trailer/trolley (main strap) and from sliding backward (bow strap).

    I have not seen anyone mention a trailer plank? A wooden plank across the hull with the shape of the gunwales carved in the ends. The ends are coated with some carpet to protect the gel coat. The plank is a few inches wider then the boat so that the ends extend beyond the gunwales. The main strap, that runs over the top of the plank, is kept well away from the hull by the overhang. As an added bonus the hull cannot be compressed sideways, it is only pushed straight down.

    For mast support I made a plywood board with a pintle and gudgeon that fit over the pintle and gudgeon of the boat. The lighting board is screwed to it and at the top there is a mast support that holds the mast well clear of the top of the hull and the trailer cover. In front of the boat there is a mast support that came with the trailer. It holds the mast well above my car and nothing needs to stick out the end, well, it does stick out a little, but just enough to tie the mast to the plywood support. The support board has two small T-shaped blocks at the sides to keep it steady in fixed position parallel to the transom. The T-shape allows me to store the lighting wire if the board is not in use. The lighting wire is run through the boat. This is much easier then underneath it, for it does not need to be fixed to anything inside the boat. I did need to change the cable though, most standard lighting wires are not long enough to run through the boat.

    Like Colin I use a flat (trailer) top cover. On a trip to Copenhagen and back (1000 miles) it saved me between 10% and 20% fuel. In other words this one trip paid for the cover. Less fuel is not only good for my wallet but it also means there is more power available for accelerating and speed. Especially on the German ‘Autobahn’ that is a very nice thing to have. I know this because I did the exact same trip once with the over boom cover blown up like a big balloon, just like Collin described, and I have a habit of logging my mileage and fuel consumption on long trips.


    Many thanks to all for the detailed advice and about the use of the cover, I have the confidence to have a go and broaden my sailing horizons now.


    Coming over all health and safety for a second my priority would be to focus on the condition of the wheel bearings and tyres, that is your biggest safety issue. As for the type of cover I trail with a heavy over-boom cover which has never shown any signs of flogging so I wouldn’t buy a trailing cover just for the purpose unless I was doing a lot of mileage. (I would admit there is often so much camping gear in there it couldn’t flog) (obviously all light stuff……. 😈 )


    Make sure the spare wheel is the last thing in the car, also check that you have a wheel brace that fits the trailer wheels and a jack that fits the trailer.( quite a few cars have jacks that are specific to the car)


    As regards the overhanging mast to rear…

    Up to 1m is fine
    1m to 2m needs a white flag on the end
    2m to 3.05m needs a marker board (illuminated at night)

    (Reference here)

    Not usually an issue when towing with a car, where a properly arranged trailer will put the mast over the roof at the front instead, but it you have a van or a camper or whatever then you might need to rig the mast further back, as above.

    Agree with advice re bearings and spare wheels, one further note to add is not to launch the road trailer immediately after towing any distance, especially in salt water. If the bearings are warm then quenching them in cold water will cause them to cool and suck water in, which the seals won’t resist (as they are designed to keep grease in, not water out). Let them cool first. Ideally, have hubs with a grease nipple and put a SMALL squirt in with a grease gun from time to time to keep the bearings fresh, but don’t put loads in as this causes more bearing failures than anything else!

    (Another good plan is to keep the spare wheel bolted onto the chassis of the trailer on a suitable frame).

    Colin Parkstone

    Never knew you can over fill with wheel grease,i put it in till it comes out the over fill whole in the middle of the wheel, Many Thanks for that info!!

    I have from my sailmaker a mast end bag,this is a bag that goes on the mast end when trailing as it says on the label!!!

    Keeps all the ropes together in one place and is a warning to cars behind.

    C P


    @Colin Parkstone wrote:

    Never knew you can over fill with wheel grease,i put it in till it comes out the over fill whole in the middle of the wheel…

    Bearings need a bit of room to move in. If they are too tightly packed with grease then they tend to overheat.

    This isn’t a major problem with trailer hubs as they usually have a tiny weep hole in the hub cap, so if they do get hot they can spit a bit of grease out until the situation resolves itself; it’s more an issue where the bearings have a tight seal either side so they get very hot and either burn out or burst a seal – then paradoxically fail due to losing all the grease!

    One squirt with a grease gun just before trailing the boat anywhere is a good rule of thumb.

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