Kayak trailers, what features suit u

I am developing a new design kayak trailer. I have a few prototype designs but wanted to get a little constructive criticism on features and designs?

Overall weight? Smoother ride? Storage? Out on the boat launches those seam to be the main concerns for the serious paddlers. The general masses just wanted affordable.

What are your thoughts?

Would a 4 boat trailer that weightshe under 125 lbs AND have a smooth ride be a desirable trailer? For a reasonable under 1600 to 2k

Ease of handling?
I’ve always admired the SportsRig and the Rack and Roll for the ease of pushing the thing around.

It’s more about the large motorcycle wheels than the actual weight of the trailer, I think. You can always balance your load to reduce tongue weight.

They also offer the ability to fold for storage. That’s a plus to some folks.

You can’t compete with Harbor Freight on the low end, you’ll have to find ways to outsmart the high end trailers.

Best of luck!


ease of handling…
My trailer will be the same, if not easier to maneuver around. Large light weight wheels/tires . I will not copy-cat the fold up trailers but, mine will be light enough to be able to hang in a garage and simple enough to partially disassemble for storage. Yes, the Hardy freight trailers with cheesy home.made racks… I see them out there but would never put my boat on one of those pogo sticks!

Why would I want to hang a trailer

– Last Updated: Mar-03-16 7:20 AM EST –

on a wall?

Light weight and ease of handling are what matters at the boat launch? I haven't seen a yak trailer yet I can't roll around. For $50 I can by a hitch wheel that takes 10 seconds to put on and pull a small RV trailer around the yard. My 80 yr old dad uses one on his camper.

Your price seems comparable to the existing trailers. Is a niche market large enough to support another manufacturer.

Here's the constructive part:

My main concerns would be highway safe and trail ready.

And don't run down inexpensive DIY trailers in your advertising.

One “feature” I’d like is a manufacturer that answers e-mails. Don’t want to sit on the phone, sent messages to Malone twice now, might switch to another brand over this alone.

One thing it might be hard for us to test for prior to purchase is noise – towing behind a roadster means you hear every rattle and squeak.

Based on our utility trailer, I think I’ll pass on a “nose wheel” on the new kayak trailer; more trouble than they are worth, and more noise.

that’s because they’re all light
that’s why they’re “yak trailers” and not “jet ski trailers” or “bass boat trailers”.

Features for sea kayaks

– Last Updated: Mar-03-16 12:58 PM EST –

Firet, long tongue length, adequate to carry 17' boats without risk of hits from jacknifing while backing and turning at the same time.

Second, STURDY. Lightweight kayak trailers are flimsy, IMO. That means sacrificing some weight. So my own
max trailer weight would be about 250 lbs, to handle a payload up to 500 lbs.

Third, good ground clearance without requiring karge wheels. An old snowmobile traioer we used to have did this by putting the platform over the wheels instead of between them.

Fourth, space for two kayaks plus a lockable gear box.

Fifth, narrow width, to ride inside the tow vehicle's slipstream.

I wish…

At 21.5’ boat length, whatever I trailer I choose will likely need to be lengthened.

I did finally hear from Malone, good responses, ready to order (but, as above, will need to find someone to weld aluminum to add length).

High sounds good but we’re buying to get the boat down to where my wife can help load/unload and she’s short. Plus, towing behind the Honda S2000 (and the Boxster once a hitch becomes available) means that lower is better in terms of seeing behind us.

ride dampening

– Last Updated: Mar-05-16 12:56 PM EST –

I bought a rather decent home-made one last year, made specifically for a pair of 17' composite sea kayaks. Has a welded and powder-coated frame (the builder worked in a fabrication shop.) It does rattle a lot at the tongue when hauling -- it would be nice to have a trailer that dampened light loads like kayaks.

I'm building a removable 8' x 4' deck platform for it so I can use the trailer for light hauling as well. I've got some photos of it if you're interested. It's low enough for easy loading and the adjustable brackets hold the boats firmly.


Those springs
Willow, you could remove a leaf or two from those springs and see if you prefer the way it rides. Those are basically the same springs as I have on a trailer for a small motorboat (same springs as on countless other little trailers). The overall weight on my trailer is around 500 pounds and I had to remove the lower leaf to smooth out the ride. I bet in your case you could remove two leaves and still have capacity for a few hundred pounds when hauling things other than boats (or you could put a leaf or two back on at such times).

You might be able to track down the sound of the rattling that you mention. It could be something as simple as that wheeled dolly jack or looseness in the hitch clamp or receiver tube. There really shouldn’t be much extraneous noise on a trailer like that.

I see that your friend’s job in the fabrication shop is something other than welding, but I’m sure the trailer is holding up okay, and other facilities of the shop obviously were used to advantage.

noise while pulling
If it’s making noise while pulling it’s very likely it doesn’t have enough tongue weight and it’s jumping up and down on the ball. This can be quite dangerous.

Easy enough to measure, a bathroom scale will work under the hitch, but it needs to be about the same height as when towing, putting the scale on blocks.

It’s a problem with light cars towing, they often will tow enough weight but also often can’t take much tongue weight and their brakes are also often not heavy enough. You’ll go through back brakes often, lifetime brakes from places like Firestone are a great idea.

Bill H.

Lack of tongue weight not the problem

– Last Updated: Mar-05-16 10:29 AM EST –

The proper tongue weight, at least in cases where it matters most (with heavier trailers), is a certain proportion of the total weight. For light trailers carrying almost no weight in the first place, it doesn't hurt to make the proportion of weight on the tongue even greater than that.

Look at this trailer. The wheels are nearly as far back as they could possibly be positioned, which means that the proportion of the total weight that's on the tongue is already nearly as great as you can make it. Having too little of the total weight being carried by the hitch is not the issue here. Having two sea kayaks overhang the back by a few feet won't shift enough weight for anyone to notice.

My best guess is that having springs rated for well over 1,000 pounds on a trailer that carries almost no load in the first place is acting to magnify the effect of every little bit of slack at the hitch connection (and you sometimes can't eliminate every bit of slack).

Oh, and the issue of total weight, hitch weight, and braking, are irrelevant on such a trailer too. You can put two sea kayaks on that trailer and it's still going to be a much lighter load than two "American-sized" passengers sitting in the back seat, and cars are already able to handle that sort of thing.

thank you all
Thank you all. I have read all replies.

A few other things i should point out.

The tongue length will be made to order for boat length. It will also slide in to make the trailer shorter when empty or storage.

Ride dampening is not even comparable to leaf sprung trailers. This baby is smooth! As far as weight, I am having to add weight to make it about 125 lbs total. It has 17" wheels and rolls very easy by hand.

YAKBUGGY is the name… website launches soon!

like to see it
I’d be interested in something like that. Keep us informed as you get it to market.

yakbuggy.Com is the website. …
Yakbuggy.com is the website. I will be launching it as soon as everything is in order.

kayak/canoe trailer

The trailer load will be much lighter with two canoes/kayaks vs. a powerboat and outboard. Therefore, the converted canoe/kayak trailer needs to have one or more leafs removed from the leaf springs, as Guideboatguy suggested. With leaf(s) removed the trailer will ride softer. The final step to reach trailer Nirvana is to install a shock absorber at each spring from something lightweight, like a motorcycle. A friend from MA has done this modification to trailers for me.