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Purchase of Trailer/Dolly Combination

Postby Nic Gellie on Mon Feb 06, 2006 5:59 am

Does anyone know how much a new trailer/dolly combination? I am looking for either a second hand or new version.

I would appreciate what manufacturers and models that people would recommend for a sabre.

If anyone in the meantime has a good quality trailer for sale, let me know. Phone number is 02 6247 0959.


Nic Gellie
Nic Gellie

Dolly trailer combo

Postby Fiona on Mon Feb 06, 2006 9:55 am


In Vic there is a trailer company called "McKay" who build a pair to suit a Sabre. They have developed this over many years to suit our specific requirements. I think they cost about $1500-$2000 for the pair. But give them a ring to confirm

Fiona (Vic President)

Postby Mike Simpson on Mon Feb 06, 2006 4:10 pm


Be aware that, if you buy the McKay setup, do not tow your boat too far on the dolly as produced as, while it is OK for a beach dolly,
(a) the boat supports are not well matched to the Sabre hull shape, resulting in point loads at the keel.
(b) the "padding" (coarse hairy stuff) will abrade your paint.

I recommend very careful shaping to match the hull at the support points and use of a heavy industrial felt to pad the boat. (You have to be careful about the felt holding sand as problem (b) can occur if the sand is not washed off before trailing. Others use all sorts of padding from closed-cell-foam camp mattress material to shade cloth and old woollen carpet.
Many use combinations to give padding with a smooth surface.

Mike S
Mike Simpson
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Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2005 9:51 am
Location: Melbourne

Trailer/Dolly Combination

Postby nicgel on Wed Feb 08, 2006 9:25 pm

Thanks for that tip regarding the dolly supporting the boat at the right points. I was wondering if one built the supports for the dolly to match those for the wooden cradle would you be supporting the boat at the right places.

I have made some inquiries with Boeing trailers in Sydney to make me a trailer /dolly combination later this year. I will incorporate your ideas into the design of the beach dolly to ensure that the boat is properly supported.


Nic Gellie
Nic Gellie
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Feb 07, 2006 8:09 pm
Location: Stanley, VIC

Postby Mike Simpson on Wed Feb 08, 2006 9:55 pm

The cradle shape is a start, but each boat is, in my somewhat limited experience, slightly different and I spend a good deal of time fitting the supports to the boat with a spokeshave and a flap-wheel in my angle grinder, including cutting the supports to the angle at which the bottom intersects the bow support especially.
I try to trim them so there is no more than about 3mm variation between the boat and the support: this tolerance should be tighter if you use thin or hard padding.

If you are handy with FRP, its probably easier to put the padding on the hull, back it up with a thin ply strip about 100mm wide then glass this onto the roughly shaped support. This system also facilitates fitting vertical(ish) risers up the sides of the hull which will hold the hull nicely in place.

Mike S
Mike Simpson
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Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2005 9:51 am
Location: Melbourne

Postby swearly on Wed Mar 08, 2006 10:06 am

I have built both my current dolly and my daughters dolly out of aluminium and believe I wrote an article in one of the old rattles about this. I doubt I still have it. The process for getting the dolly to match the boat (as they are all different) is simple. First I do not have any padding to start with. I shape the timber (in my case 19mm ply) to the shape of the boat where the boat will sit. I finish this with an angle grinder and have found that even if it is not perfect (a few mm out) it will not be a problem. Next I place a plastic sheet over the bottom of the upturned boat. I then sit the craddle on the boat. I cut strips of 4mm marine ply about 100mm wide and slide them between the cradle and the boat. The weight of thew cradle will make certain that these conform to the shape of the boat. I then use fibregalss tape to fix the 4mm ply to the main shapped support and put on a few coats of resin. The plastic sheet is to catch drops. I then remove the craddle and clean up any mess. Finally I use foam cut from a camping bed roll cut into strips about 150mm wide and attach this to the 4mm ply with contacty cement. Job Finished.

Stephen Early
Posts: 40
Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2005 3:06 pm

Postby A Trace of Blue - 1666 on Tue Jun 20, 2006 2:32 am

I built a Dolly for my Wifes Heron, then had a Trailer custom built for the Dolly.

On completion of the Sabre, I built its Dolly to the same design as the heron Dolly and just did the supports to suit the Sabre. Either boat now uses the same trailer.

The Dolly is a Triangle of 32mm square Stainless tube, cut and welded to form a sealed triangle. The supports are fibreglassed directly to the upright legs on the Dolly. The position of the supports was predetermined in the design phase, and the uprights made longer than required.

To make the supports, I place the boat upside down, and then place a strip of marine carpet the size I want for my support, exactly where I want it on the boat, and Tape in place. I then place a strip of the blue foam rubber the same size over the carpet, then cover the lot in heavy duty plastic or polythene.

At this point, I place the dolly upside down on the boat, with the uprights for the supports in their correct place, and mark the correct angles and lengths to get best fit. Dolly off, Cut / Grind the legs, Dolly back on to check fit. When Happy, I weld a flat plate to each upright to hold the supports.

I then glass over the plastic about 25mm larger all round than the carpet to allow for trimming. 3 layers of glass (chopped strand) a layer of core mat, then two more of chopped strand, and when it is cured off enough, the dolly goes on and the uprights are glassed in place. Once it has all cured off, the Dolly is pulled off, the supports trimmmed and the foam and then carpet glued in place.

You then have a Dolly that fits your hull perfectly.

I am happy to take some photos and email them if anyone is interested.

All up cost of the Trailer and Dolly was under $1400, and the Stainless Dolly is happy to go in the water and float the boat off and back on.
Peter Wilcox
1666 - A Trace of Blue

God Still Sails a Payne-Mortlock Sailing Canoe!
A Trace of Blue - 1666
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Joined: Wed Nov 30, 2005 10:16 pm
Location: Bittern - Victoria

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