As mentioned earlier – much earlier – the towing of our 21.5’ Perception Caretta kayak on a custom rack on our utility trailer proved to be no-go primarily due to my wife’s height, unable to lift the boat to over 6 feet. So, over the winter I shopped on-line, looked at various options, and this spring ordered a Malone Microsport, drop-shipped to me by a dealer. Today, I am free to use it legally, FIVE MONTHS after purchase (OK, there were a couple of vacations and one back injury taking up some of that time). Three of those months were an ongoing battle to get it through the legalization process, resisted at every turn by questions on the validity of the type of VIN# on the trailer, state inspections, and even the “quality” of the dealer’s bill-of-sale provided. But we stayed at it, even though we only got on the water ONCE so far this year!
I’ll write up a review for paddling.net shortly.
No idea how it is in your state, but here in MD if I had it to do over again, I’d only buy if I took delivery already assembled, registered and tagged (like our utility trailer, zero problems). Seriously, and it has nothing to do with assembly, which was easy.
Anyway, tows like a dream, and instead of the boat’s nose unnervingly over our heads in the Honda S2000, the entire kayak is now (barely) behind the tow vehicle. Already made a few smaller changes: wrapped the safety chains in bicycle inner tubes to quiet them, put all wiring in plastic tubing, added stainless eyebolts for the fore and aft tie-downs. Bought a sheet of UHMW plastic to make insulators for the “slipper springs” (I do not like that design) for more quietness, and will relocate the license plate & light to the center of the frame to prevent it being broken off.
Yeah, if we had a “regular” car and had settled for two cheap single boats, we could have been into kayaking for about 1/8th of our outlay so far plus been on the water much sooner and more often.
For a trailer?
Must be a challenge to try to start a business there.
Please keep those horror stories coming. They make me feel a little better about the over-governed People’s Republic of Kalifornia. Only a little. Nice trailer though!
good on ya
For keeping the S2000. The car is holding it’s value very well on the used market and good examples with low miles are disappearing.
In a few years it’ll be one of Honda’s most legendary models.
I had hoops to jump in CO
Buying our first trailer from a dealer was easy.
But when I bought the “kit” kayak trailer that was shipped to me in five boxes, I had a similar though less arduous experience to yours.
Assembly was easy, except for the wiring. Getting the trailer properly registered involved at least two trips to DMV, a physical inspection which turned out to be a joke, and of course paying fees. The process was made difficult due to CO’s bizarre registration schedule requirement. The temporary plates for cars is good for 6 weeks; for trailers it is a few DAYS! Then we had to pay CO sales tax which had not been charged by the out-of-state vendor.
My take is that the tough requirements resulted from four things:
- Extract sales tax on ALL trailer purchases, local dealer or not.
- Crack down on what had previously been no enforcment of trailer registrations. The number of unregistered trailers had gotten so high that the change made the news several times.
- Crack down on stolen trailers, which was easy given the existence of so many unregistered trailers.
- Crack down on dangerous homemade trailers. Things like a POS rolling on old bicycle wheels.
Worse yet, CO forces owners to replace the manufacturer VIN number with their own, which is stamped on a little metal tag. When we moved out of state, I HAD to use CO’s VIN even though the other state would have accepted manufacturer’s VIN.
Despite the trials…
Now you’re rolling, and you have boat transportation that can be used with multiple vehicles of different types.
The hump has been crested!
Yeah, I’m boat-mobile now and feel free to go further than the local reservoir, for which a 21.5” ocean kayak seems overkill on that perfectly flat water.
The wife loves the S2000 and plans on keeping it a while despite being 9 years old (low miles), makes a decent tow vehicle for both trailers if you keep one gear lower. There’s a guy working on a trailer hitch that would fit my Boxster, so I’ll then have two tow vehicles – yippee!
I would have thought that this kind of regulation would indeed only be possible in California. Boy, was I enlightened!
Added some more aggravations, due to my own errors: (A) didn’t come with a VIN on it, a gazillion e-mails to get one sent, so I drove over to the inspection station only to find the little sheet with the label affixed blew out of the car (top donw) on the way over! Had to pay $$$ to have a second set FedEx’ed (B) I wanted alloy wheels including the spare, paid for that. Spare showed up on a steel wheel, Malone was cool about re-shipping, and issuing a call tag for the wrong one. Both were in the same size box – and I shipped the wrong box back! I’ll live with a steel wheel spare rather that open up an additional can of worms.
I see all these home made trailers
…some on ancient frames and some with frames also home made. I can’t imagine the registration hassle.
I have one of those.
I can’t register it but the good news is I don’t need to if I don’t leave the state.
if you live in a state with crazy trailer registration laws, look into getting it registered in Maine. The process is fairly easy, then take your maine reg to your state and do a transfer, most people find this much easier, and in some cases, much cheaper.
It is good you found a solution. Trailers make it easy to load the boat. In Florida, home made trailers just need a certification from the “manufacturer” in our case father-in-law and a weight certificate from a certified scale.
I use a three step ladder/kitchen stool to put the boat on the truck rack or the van. I can “lift the boat over my head” real good IF I raise the elevation of my head. Lowes has the step ladders for about $20.
No registration or tag required for trailers under 500 pounds in Utah…or maybe it’s 750 pounds… I can’t remember. Whatever it is, my trailer is under the limit. When I got it, I did register it and got a tag. The tag holder and light are behind a wheel and the tag busted off on my first trip up to Idaho. When I went back to the DMV, they told me I didn’t really need to register it or get a tag. Thanks DMV for telling me that the first time. Lesson learned.
Mine is an Echo ATV trailer that I had modified to make it into rafting trailer. I also had removable metal mesh sides made that slip into small stake pockets when I want to haul gear instead of carrying my raft inflated flatbed style. Now I want to make some removable crossbars so it can also be a kayak/canoe trailer. Looking for easy to put on and take off cross bars that aren’t expensive. Looks like a good winter project.
For building crossbars, if you can find a construction contractor material supplier in your area, you can get Unistrut, which is a strong steel channel that comes in various solid and perforated versions including coated and galvanized with all kinds of bolt together components and connectors, kind of like an Erector Set for grown ups. The stuff is great – easy to cut the 10’ or 20’ channel to lengths you need with a hack saw (with 32 teeth per inch bimetal blade) and assemble exactly what you want for a permanent or removable rack.