DIY trailer, multiple boats?

I’ve been searching the archives for over a half hour and can’t find what I KNOW is there.

Someone here has done a fair amount of experimenting with modifications to a utility trailer. Last I remember, they had used webbing slings in a setup to carry more than two boats.

We’ve got a 4x8 and my husband has re-configured it various times to haul everything from a motorcycle to three boats. He’s about to do it again and I really wanted him to have a close look at some other DITY trailers. Anyone here know the guy I’m thinking of, or have something of you own to show?

Redmond did it…

THANK you!
I believe Redmond is who I was thinking about–the name rings a bell (though this isn’t the version of the trailer I remember–but probably a better one). I’m interested still in any other ideas!

another trailer
here’s the one i built:

the only reason i choose to use the boat trailer rather than the folding 4x8 is my has a longer tongue. as you can see in some of redmond’s pix, the ends of the kayaks come pretty close to the back of his car. he mentioned the car did bump the kayaks during one turn, but i think as long as you’re aware of that limitation, it probably won’t be that big of a problem.

the one big advantage the 4x8 has over my boat trailer is how easy it is to attach modifications to the frame. as you can see in his pix, you can bolt stuff right to the bed, or the 8 (?) 2x4 stake guides on the sides of the bed. i had a hell of a time coming up with ways to bolt the front cradle to the boat trailer frame.

Couple points may be important.
Springs: You said hubby used trailer for motorcycle. That would indicate that trailer may well be over sprung for the light load of paddled boats. I have actually seem kayaks and canoes torn apart by springs that were too stiff. Solution: simply take out a few leaves of the springs or if not leaf springs put in lighter springs.

Tires: Can let down the tire pressure a bit in addition. Caution: If the tires are max pressure of 30 some psig this seldom causes a problem. I run mine as low as 15-20 psig. IF however they are the 50 psig tires lowering them to say 25 psig will quickly cause excessive irregular tire wear. Not letting them down to at least 25 psig will not help boats much. I change all my 50 psig trailer tires to 30 psig tires.

Screws: It is best to use bolts and nuts with lock washers where ever you can. Wood or metal screws can work out rather quickly. They also pose tire puncher hazard for you and others on the road.

Hope helpful!




– Last Updated: Jun-06-07 9:17 AM EST –

The ones I have seen have a conventional walled bed for hauling gear and firewood and WW boats with a rack system built on top of that to accommodate several layers of longer boats.

Here are some photos...

I really respect your experience, but I haven’t had any trouble with the full springs on my utility trailer. Now, I’m real careful crossing railroad crossings, but they’re the only problem areas I’ve run into.

Thanks, Mick–
I’ve no clue how well-sprung the trailer is. The motorcycle’s only a Honda Hawk 650 and I don’t think springs are something he gave much thought to. Technically, the size of the tires on the trailer would have given some men pause, but Brett just decided he’d drive slower and it’d be fine…He’s kinda like that. I will mention the springs to him and maybe sneak another friend over to give an opinion.

is like that now…he really needs some updated pics…

Oh, I like that! A woman that supports

– Last Updated: Jun-06-07 2:36 PM EST –

her man, but gets a sneeky second opinion where needed. ;^)



I’ve got some newer ones

Look especially under the Malone Autoloader pics.

I just bolted on some Yakima rain …
gutters and mounted my rack. Needed to add a 1 foot extension to the tongue to push the trailer back from the vehicle. Some photos:


:^ )
Well, past experience says he’ll let me show him pictures and he’ll sit out in the driveway and shoot ideas back and forth with Ed…and then go ahead and build whatever he wants. But hey, I’m glad he can build stuff and doesn’t mind reworking the trailer to carry yet another boat. Especially since I’m the main impetus behind our owning so many self-powered boats. (We had the trailer set to carry three last year, but then we picked up the old wreck–I mean rec–kayak for the kids to play with…)

Yes, thanks, it WAS your racks I was remembering–the ones with the webbing straps making slings for the boats. They’re pretty different from everything else I’ve seen, so I really wanted another look at them. What did you think after you’d used them a few times?

I’m not sure what Brett will decide to do, but I thought a lot of options might help him come up with something better than the A-frame rack he built last year. Not that it’s bad–but it was pretty heavy and had to be screwed onto the trailer. I was hoping for plans like the ones I’ve seen here, that might allow him to use the mounts on the sides of the base (intended for upright supports for wagon sides) to make something that might be easy to remove and store.

another good setup!

I just took pictures of mine
I’ll post them soon as a new post about trailers.

Mod a motorcycle trailer
Yep, big iron rail down the center, 4x8 bed, 2 foot high sides, open in the back …coil and leaf springs.

I can put three boats on edge inside the trailer, but my 14’ 6" boat is too long for that, so I set up T stanchions. 2x4 34" long bolted to both sides, front and back. I used Eye bolts on the bottom to give me strap points down low. 62" 2x4 crosspiece front and back with an iron “L” brace bolted to it.

It easily carries 5 boats and leaves the roof rack on the van open for 2 or 3 more.