Kayak Trailer

-- Last Updated: Sep-01-09 9:18 AM EST --

I am building a kayak trailer any pictures or suggestions. I am looking to hold 4 boats.


Started with a tractor supply el cheapo. Not so el cheapo anymore. Bill

Some ideas
I’ve adapted several trailers with several different configuations. http://outdoors.webshots.com/album/75339788oTcAIx

My trailer
I took an old small boat trailer, originally for a Sunfish sailboat, and fabricated risers and cross bars to carry up to 4 kayaks on their side. Used 1 1/2" x 1 1/2" 16 gauge tubing. Bolted them on with U bolts so I can convert it back to haul the Sunfish if I ever need to. Really simple design. Not the best pictures, but I think it gives a good look at the setup.







I wanted 4 flat
went with a Harbor Freight frame and improvised from there.



4 kayaks is easy
I use a converted utility trailer, you need a longer tongue so be prepared for that.

I use Yakima cross bars and their roof top permanant mounts, designed to be bolted to a car’s roof. Easy to bolt them instead to a trailer.

Using one of the cradles designed to carry the boats on their sides, you can easily fit four kayaks on the trailer.

Bill H.

Yakima cross bars
Instead of Yakima cross bars, use 3/4" iron pipe (either black or galvanised). Works great and much cheaper.



Harbour freight cheapie with tongue ext
I cannot load the pics but if you email me, i can send you some pictures and you can see another creative way to carry lots of kayaks on a trailer

Shock Absorbtion
Has anyone come up with a DIY shock absorbtion system? these utility trailer springs aren’t set up for loads of 100-200 lbs. I’m interested in adding some shock absorbtion to my tailer for light, long, surf skis.

leaf springs?
If your trailer has leaf springs you can just remove some of the leaves to make a softer ride.

Not so easy with torsion suspension though.

A trailer isn’t really ideal
for a long ski. They are usually lightweight anyway, so consider putting them up top if possible.


Kayak Trailer
Thanks for all the pictures. as soon as I finish mine this week I will post pictures.


softer suspension for trailer
Motorcycle springs can be substituted for the leaf springs. You have to find someone who can match the spring strength with the projected load and trailer weight. They will probably have to weld up some brackets, but that’s easy for experienced welders.

I had it done to soften the suspension of a trailer built for heavy power boats to carry a 150 lb wood sailing boat. Works great now-doesn’t bounce at every small bump.


Why do you write that a trailer isn’t ideal for a long ski. I’m not disagreeing, just very interested in your experieinces and opinion, and the reasons behind it. I’d like to learn something.


Can you recommend someone who has adapted motorcycle springs onto a trailer? I’d like to tweak my trailer to work with springs.

A couple of reasons
One is maneuverability. With a ski in the 20 foot range, you need a long trailer or at least a long tongue. The trailer wheels would ideally be 11 to 12 feet back from the hitch. From the front of the car to the rear of the kayak might be close to 40 feet, so it starts getting difficult to maneuver in tight spots and you’ll be bumping a few curbs.

Most trailers don’t have a 20 foot deck, so there’s also gonna be the overhang issue. You have to find out how much is legal and you have to consider what is really practical. If your trailer bed is 6 feet long, you have 7 feet of kayak hanging off each side. That leaves a log of boat exposed behind the trailer and it’s often just at the right level for the bumper or grill of the vehicles around you.

I love my trailer and haul heavy 14 to 16 footers all the time, but when I bought a ski, I get a truck rack and put it up top. At 33 lbs it was a breeze to get it up there and back down.


I mostly agree., but…

– Last Updated: Sep-16-09 2:26 PM EST –

...trailer my ski anyway.

I tow my V10S on a Trailex SUT-200. I modified the bunks, and their location. I have 6' overhang off of the end of the trailer. I use a red reflective tape on the flat stern to act as a red marker. It seems to work pretty well, although I do understand it's not optimal. I just really don't want to put racks on my car, or drip salt water on the finish after a paddle.

Thanks for the response.

I think any welder could do it.

– Last Updated: Sep-16-09 2:58 PM EST –

"Old-fashioned" motorcycle springs (and I'm talking about the ones for the rear suspension) are attached by the same means as automotive shock absorbers - very simple. What you will need in addition to the motorcyle springs are control arms to keep the axle positioned under the trailer, unless the trailer already had coil springs to begin with (with leaf springs, the springs themselves do this). Adding the control arms will be more complex than mounting the springs, but it's still not difficult for someone with welding/fabricating skills. Best bet is to visit one or two local welding shops and talk to them about what you'd like them to do.

a couple of 6 canoe/kayak trailors.

I used K car rear axels and the shock system that the K car used.

12 foot tongue to axel for manuvering…

rides soft and works well.

Best Wishes


home made trailers
I use a converted utility trailer also…been useing it

for about 5 or 6 years with no problems…But it does

bounce…Short trips under 100 miles don’t worry me…

A cross country trip or Jersey to Florida…No way…

I guess I will have to spend the bucks and get a factory built unit…before making a Florida trip…