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Trailer gut job for an A-cat

Posted By: Jake

Trailer gut job for an A-cat - 02/11/16 03:14 PM

My welding skills are definitely nothing to put on display anywhere but I'm in the process of reconfiguring a trailer that was previously converted to haul an a-cat but was in bad shape. My shop is also quite a mess and not terribly presentable because I've been bouncing from tons of work to projects without enough time to clean for the last several months...but photos are here - feel free to browse. I drop in a few photos when I get a new something completed.

https://flic.kr/s/aHskscCFHL

[Linked Image]
Posted By: waterbug_wpb

Re: Trailer gut job for an A-cat - 02/11/16 03:38 PM

looks like you can jump on your neighbor's pool slide when you're done...

And do you need help to get the boat off the cradle? Seems like it's too high to lift off each end by yourself?

I presume a sail box will go underneath where the beach wheels are in that one picture?
Posted By: Jake

Re: Trailer gut job for an A-cat - 02/11/16 03:49 PM

Originally Posted by waterbug_wpb
looks like you can jump on your neighbor's pool slide when you're done...

And do you need help to get the boat off the cradle? Seems like it's too high to lift off each end by yourself?

I presume a sail box will go underneath where the beach wheels are in that one picture?


It is unusually high on the trailer. Because the trailer was adapted from something else, the axle is wider than a catamaran trailer would normally be and it puts the wheels and fenders right under the hulls. That dictates the unusual height. The boat sits a couple of inches lower than in those pictures now that the bunks are notched for the beams but it's still high. I don't mind having the boat further away from road debris but it does setup a loading/unloading challenge. I do, however, think I have an answer for that and will be fitting some more pieces parts to make loading/unloading a simple one man operation. I'll have more on that as I get the main structure of the trailer done.

I'm building the mast support this weekend and will be extending the rear of the trailer frame 2 feet to get the trailer lights further aft and get the trailer balance a little better. I'm trying to find someone that has a brake and can bend 12 gauge steel locally so I can make a simple frame extension- the company I work for has sadly shut down all employee use of the shop equipment. Otherwise I'll have to cobble something together with angle pieces and some of the tubing I cut off the original construction.

Yes, there will be a sailbox made from an aluminum clad 1/2" outdoor grade plywood (sign material) with a unique top lid hinge...I'm still working out the details on that and it will be a while before I get around to that part.
Posted By: waterbug_wpb

Re: Trailer gut job for an A-cat - 02/11/16 03:54 PM

Skip the heavy plywood (unless you need it for stability) and just lay up some glass over a thin "door-skin" core.

And I KNEW you were going to rig up some elegant one-person boat handling mechanism using two cotter pins, a head of lettuce, and mattress springs...

[Linked Image]
Posted By: KentHobie

Re: Trailer gut job for an A-cat - 02/11/16 04:35 PM

Looks like your garage is a little small. Why didn't you make it bigger? grin laugh
Posted By: Jake

Re: Trailer gut job for an A-cat - 02/11/16 06:55 PM

Originally Posted by KentHobie
Looks like your garage is a little small. Why didn't you make it bigger? grin laugh


[Linked Image]

It's about time to clear house in there.
Posted By: Karl_Brogger

Re: Trailer gut job for an A-cat - 02/11/16 09:29 PM

Remember my mega box build thread from a few years ago? That thing is still awesome. The trailer lives indoors though. I would've much rather built it from diamond plate, but I didn't have the money for it at the time. Plus there was some design failures, or at least some things I would've done differently.
Posted By: Timbo

Re: Trailer gut job for an A-cat - 02/11/16 10:08 PM

Something I've long wanted but never seen available is a box type trailer long and wide enough, and light enough, for a racing cat or two to be stacked up inside, carry the masts on top, and then use the box for a camper at the regatta site.

I've heard the 'It would be too wide for road legal' excuse, but what if you tipped an 8'6" wide cat up on a 45 angle, had padded racks up on one wall to hold the high hull up, nice soft carpet/foam on the floor? Seems a road legal box type could be had, if done right, and then you wouldn't need a motel off site, I've just never seen one.
Posted By: Timbo

Re: Trailer gut job for an A-cat - 02/11/16 10:16 PM

Something like this:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/8-5x16-Enclosed-Trailer-Cargo-V-Nose

http://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/AbsAAOSwGvhT8ELl/s-l1600.jpg
Posted By: mikekrantz

Re: Trailer gut job for an A-cat - 02/11/16 10:28 PM

You just haven't been to an A-Class regatta lately. There were at least 3-4 rigs like that in Key Largo last week. Inside were 2-3 A-cats, bicycles, mopeds, etc. Pull them all out at the regatta site and sleep inside.
Posted By: Karl_Brogger

Re: Trailer gut job for an A-cat - 02/11/16 11:12 PM

A-Cats are way easier since they are narrower.

I've thought an enclosed trailer with a ramp door on the sides would work slick. Open the ramp, put the cat on, strap it down, close the door. Down side is it'd need a 10' side or larger and it would pull like absolute butt unless it was 40' long being towed by a 2ton.
Posted By: Jake

Re: Trailer gut job for an A-cat - 02/11/16 11:55 PM

Originally Posted by Timbo
Something I've long wanted but never seen available is a box type trailer long and wide enough, and light enough, for a racing cat or two to be stacked up inside, carry the masts on top, and then use the box for a camper at the regatta site.

I've heard the 'It would be too wide for road legal' excuse, but what if you tipped an 8'6" wide cat up on a 45 angle, had padded racks up on one wall to hold the high hull up, nice soft carpet/foam on the floor? Seems a road legal box type could be had, if done right, and then you wouldn't need a motel off site, I've just never seen one.


Thought about it. Decided I would be far better off spending $2 to 3k on a used popup trailer and mounting crossbars and cradles on the top. Gut everything but the refrigerator and the toilette and a bed or two and make room to store boat stuff inside when collapsed.
Posted By: waterbug_wpb

Re: Trailer gut job for an A-cat - 02/12/16 02:31 PM

inflatable mattress, pup tent and the trampoline. And you'd know if your boat was floating away with the tide...
Posted By: Timbo

Re: Trailer gut job for an A-cat - 02/14/16 05:52 PM

Well here's the thing about the box trailer concept. I like to wash and wax my boat before a regatta, but by the time I arrive at the regatta, the boat is covered with road grime, and I have to at least get a sponge and rinse it off, or maybe even do some serious scrubbing if it's Love Bug season. I figured a box would save the boat from all that, and then could be used a tent that won't leak or flap if a midnight thunderstorm comes along, as has happened in many past regattas, not to mention the ease of rolling the boat on board as Karl mentions above, and just put the mast on top. But it's the width thing we have to deal with, with a standard 8'6" wide cat.

The A cats are what, about 8' wide? So the extra 6" is really that big a deal?

I was thinking someone like Karl or Jake, with all their wood working ability, might be able to build a box out of plywood, just big enough for an F18/F16 and keep it light enough for towing behind something besides a truck, and still be road legal.

I have seen a few flatbed type trailers, if you just put walls and a roof on it, you'd be all set.

I have a 3 horse gooseneck trailer for the horses, but it's not nearly wide enough or even tall or long enough to jam a cat into. And the smell would drive you out if it rained and you had to close up the windows!

There were some club race cars in Sebring this weekend, I've been seeing some pretty wide car trailers going by that looked a lot wider than 8'6", and they have the ramp type back door, perfect for rolling a car or catamaran in. Next time I see one parked maybe I'll measure the back door and see if it's 8'6" wide.
Posted By: Jake

Re: Trailer gut job for an A-cat - 02/15/16 02:00 PM


The rear frame extension (aft and to the side) are done. I probably should have just looked for a more suitable trailer - this has taken quite a bit of time. Because the tires are almost centered under the hull, I need to provide some decking to protect the boat from tire thrown debris. This will be decked in 1/2" plywood.

[Linked Image]
Posted By: catman

Re: Trailer gut job for an A-cat - 02/15/16 02:31 PM

Something like this. Flatbed/popup
Posted By: Timbo

Re: Trailer gut job for an A-cat - 02/15/16 09:46 PM

Or like this, notice the roll up ramp in the back. Still, this one is only 8.5' x 16':

http://www.ebay.com/itm/8-5x16-Encl...6-CALL-/201369143396?hash=item2ee2894864
Posted By: Jake

Re: Trailer gut job for an A-cat - 02/15/16 10:19 PM

Originally Posted by Timbo
Or like this, notice the roll up ramp in the back. Still, this one is only 8.5' x 16':

http://www.ebay.com/itm/8-5x16-Encl...6-CALL-/201369143396?hash=item2ee2894864


My problem with something like that is fuel mileage (the lack thereof) and the weight. That's probably a 3,000lb trailer when empty and is asking a good bit out of a 1/2 ton truck.
Posted By: Timbo

Re: Trailer gut job for an A-cat - 02/16/16 12:03 AM

I don't know what a half ton truck is, but I tow three 1,200lb horses in a gooseneck trailer (several thousand pounds empty) with my Ford F150, 5.8L V8. I think the owner's manual said it should tow up to 17,000lbs.

Before this truck, I towed the same trailer with a F150 with the 4.6L V8.

But most of my towing is in FL, and FL is about the flattest state in the country. I do take it up to Auburn, Alabama, there are some hills up there and it's slow going up those hills with 3 horses on board but it gets there.

I don't think a box trailer with a relatively light cat inside would be too much for any truck to pull, but the aerodynamic drag would keep you from going much over 60 maybe.
Posted By: Karl_Brogger

Re: Trailer gut job for an A-cat - 02/16/16 03:24 AM

I stuffed seven disassembled H14's into my brothers 8'x24' enclosed trailer and dragged it from Iowa to New York state. 12mpg average over the trip. With a triple stack on my trailer I get about the same, maybe 1mpg better. Way less than half the weight, basically the same mileage. The drag of a catamaran on an open trailer is insane.

My work trailer is a 7x18 enclosed Featherlite. I want to say it's 2700 #'s empty. All aluminum. It's got a taller 7' sidewall, it's a shitshow for mileage because of that.
Posted By: Jake

Re: Trailer gut job for an A-cat - 02/16/16 12:50 PM

While that would be very cool with some simplified accommodations in thh front, there's no way I would consider hauling a trailer like that around without at least a 2500/250 truck...and with gas prices low like they are right now truck prices in the south are INSANE. INSANE. My 1500 will be in my possession for a while.
Posted By: waterbug_wpb

Re: Trailer gut job for an A-cat - 02/16/16 02:53 PM

I suspect the issue with keeping the trailer at 8'6" max width is that the reinforcement needed for the sides/ceiling would impinge upon the interior width, so your 8'6" cat wouldn't fit.

Unless you "jake-i-fied" the trailer so your cat slides out from the side where there would be no supports needed.. They'd be on the four corners or just ahead/aft of the hulls and crossways along the ceiling.

So maybe an 8'6" width by 22 ft. to accommodate the frame members and a roll-up door on the side? And maybe rails (or an overhead gantry type thing) to slide the hulls out laterally (where the beach wheels would be sitting).

Oh yeah, it all works out great in my imagination....
Posted By: Jake

Re: Trailer gut job for an A-cat - 02/16/16 03:14 PM

Originally Posted by waterbug_wpb
I suspect the issue with keeping the trailer at 8'6" max width is that the reinforcement needed for the sides/ceiling would impinge upon the interior width, so your 8'6" cat wouldn't fit.

Unless you "jake-i-fied" the trailer so your cat slides out from the side where there would be no supports needed.. They'd be on the four corners or just ahead/aft of the hulls and crossways along the ceiling.

So maybe an 8'6" width by 22 ft. to accommodate the frame members and a roll-up door on the side? And maybe rails (or an overhead gantry type thing) to slide the hulls out laterally (where the beach wheels would be sitting).

Oh yeah, it all works out great in my imagination....


8'6" is maximum legal vehicle width in most of the US and to be within that, the interior space will be a little narrower due to the width of the trailer walls. The A-cat is only 7.5' wide so it would work within a trailer like that.

Any wider than 8'6" will require a wide load permit and, in some places like the Florida Keys, a hired police escort and only in the middle of the night.

I've had previous, road haze driving for daze induced, thoughts of a sliding rack/hoist system where a rod extension on rollers would slide out the back of the trailer, hook up a lift one side of an F18 putting it in the air sideways and slide it into the trailer like a tie rack in a closet.
Posted By: bacho

Re: Trailer gut job for an A-cat - 02/19/16 05:51 PM

There is at least one tall trailer in use for hauling F18s on their sides, hung from the ceiling. But it results in a very tall and expensive trailer.
Posted By: Jeff Peterson

Re: Trailer gut job for an A-cat - 02/20/16 05:50 AM

If you want to completely avoid trailers, install a eye-bolt to the very top of your mast. Then with a long cable and a helicopter, you can fly your cat to the regatta. The eye-bolt should cost less than $5.00 at the hardware store!

Posted By: David Parker

Re: Trailer gut job for an A-cat - 02/20/16 05:27 PM

[Linked Image]
Posted By: Timbo

Re: Trailer gut job for an A-cat - 02/20/16 09:19 PM

Originally Posted by David Parker
[Linked Image]


OK...but where do I sleep??
Posted By: Jake

Re: Trailer gut job for an A-cat - 02/21/16 02:49 PM

Originally Posted by Timbo
\

OK...but where do I sleep??


In the helicopter, duh.
Posted By: Jake

Re: Trailer gut job for an A-cat - 02/22/16 04:17 PM

Test fitting the mast upright support and figuring out where to cut it. My welding is getting considerably better thanks to some useful advice from a friend. I was a little nervous about this weld since a weld failure on the mast upright weld would be pretty dramatic at 80mph. There's an angled brace and another u-bolt not shown in the last picture yet. The coupling brace thing on the bottom of the tongue is smashed and got in the way of that last u-bolt until I cut it off later.

[Linked Image]
20160221_171752 by Jake Kohl, on Flickr

[Linked Image]
20160221_153144 by Jake Kohl, on Flickr

[Linked Image]
20160221_163535 by Jake Kohl, on Flickr
Posted By: Rolf_Nilsen

Re: Trailer gut job for an A-cat - 02/22/16 05:33 PM

Hi Jake,

the welds look good! What kind of technique and tech are you welding with?


About trailers, your question jogged my memory with a blast from the past.

ref:
http://www.catsailor.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=113350&page=1

Sadly the pics are gone, but some of the pics are still available:

http://malena64.blogspot.no/2007/04/back-on-track-hkans-pudas-projekt.html

Not exactly what you asked for, but pretty close I think.


Posted By: Jake

Re: Trailer gut job for an A-cat - 02/22/16 06:26 PM

Originally Posted by Rolf_Nilsen
Hi Jake,

the welds look good! What kind of technique and tech are you welding with?




It's a relatively inexpensive 110V Century 140 wire feed MIG welder that I picked up on ebay for about $300 or $400 with a cart a few years ago. I upgraded it with a spindle adapter so I could run a big 10lb spool of wire (which lasts an impressive amount of time!). I then added a gas pack so I wouldn't need to use the flux core wire and am running an Argon/CO2 mix. I was pretty frustrated with this machine out of the box (actually, I thought my struggles were due to bad technique and a lack of skill) but I recently discovered that the distance between the wire tip and the end of the copper gas shroud was too far apart. After reducing the shroud length to get the tip closer to the opening of the shroud and closer to the material, it functioned properly and I could finally start refining my technique. This unit only has enough power to weld up to 12 gauge material but is suitable for most of the things I need it for. It would be nice to have a 220V model, though.

As far as technique, around that inside corner where the post and the plate met, I "walking the tip" which is something I learned from a youtube channel. This guy can do unbelievable things when melting metal and shares a great deal of knowledge on his channel about all kinds of welding. https://www.youtube.com/user/weldingtipsandtricks



[Linked Image]
20160130_164537 by Jake Kohl, on Flickr

Posted By: Rolf_Nilsen

Re: Trailer gut job for an A-cat - 02/22/16 07:39 PM

Walking the tip, or walking the cup?

I fool around with a 220V MIG myself smile
Posted By: Jake

Re: Trailer gut job for an A-cat - 02/22/16 08:01 PM

Originally Posted by Rolf_Nilsen
Walking the tip, or walking the cup?

I fool around with a 220V MIG myself smile


Aaa! cup! see?, I'm no expert. smile
Posted By: Jake

Re: Trailer gut job for an A-cat - 02/23/16 12:20 AM

I just remembered that I forgot to see if I can lower my tailgate with that mast post where it is. I bet I can't. Crap.
Posted By: brucat

Re: Trailer gut job for an A-cat - 02/23/16 12:43 AM

Minor details... Looking good, Jake!

As for windage/mileage, just drag your trailers behind an RV. You won't get more than 7 mpg anyways, and you'll have a place to sleep!

Mike
Posted By: waterbug_wpb

Re: Trailer gut job for an A-cat - 02/23/16 02:37 PM

Originally Posted by Jake
I just remembered that I forgot to see if I can lower my tailgate with that mast post where it is. I bet I can't. Crap.


meh, just cut out a section of your tailgate to clear the mast post.
Posted By: tback

Re: Trailer gut job for an A-cat - 02/23/16 04:46 PM

Originally Posted by Jake
I just remembered that I forgot to see if I can lower my tailgate with that mast post where it is. I bet I can't. Crap.


This will work Receiver Hitch Extension
Posted By: Jake

Re: Trailer gut job for an A-cat - 02/23/16 05:48 PM

Originally Posted by tback
Originally Posted by Jake
I just remembered that I forgot to see if I can lower my tailgate with that mast post where it is. I bet I can't. Crap.


This will work Receiver Hitch Extension


No need for that. I built it movable and attached with u-bolts in case it ever needed to move (and that's how most catamaran trailers are setup). I'll just rearrange the mast post, spare tire, and mobility wheel. I might re-evaluate the height of the mast post because it's moving further back - thankfully I haven't finished the top of it yet and it needs to get a little shorter as it moves back.
Posted By: Karl_Brogger

Re: Trailer gut job for an A-cat - 02/23/16 08:33 PM

The mast is always a pain in the rear. We should just get rid of them and mount motors. WAY easier.
Posted By: waterbug_wpb

Re: Trailer gut job for an A-cat - 02/24/16 03:00 PM

Originally Posted by Karl_Brogger
The mast is always a pain in the rear. We should just get rid of them and mount motors. WAY easier.


BLASPHEMER! (rent garments) OFF WITH YOUR HEAD!
Posted By: Todd_Sails

Re: Trailer gut job for an A-cat - 02/27/16 04:41 AM

All this talk of the trailers, and 8'6" beams.
Most of us have seen the Selsmeyers trailor, and Kurt Korte's also- both haul this beam width flat in the trailor- custom builds.
I'm amazed the seemingly low prices of some of those trailors that are linked here for sale!
Posted By: Mike Fahle

Re: Trailer gut job for an A-cat - 03/01/16 07:11 PM

Adding even a small support welded at the bottom will make the join much stronger - that is a long lever arm and is constantly vibrating / moving. You could make it large enough to also store the spare tire so that it serves a practical purpose as well as a structural one.
Posted By: Jake

Re: Trailer gut job for an A-cat - 03/01/16 07:37 PM

Mike, thanks. There is. I just hadn't taken a photo of it with it welded in place - it's why I made that bottom plate so long. You can kind-of see the lower brace here. It's some 1.5" angle iron.

[Linked Image]
20160227_143634 by Jake Kohl, on Flickr

Now going completely overboard (and having fun with the welding), I put a 10 degree angle at the top of the mast post so I can just square cut a piece of treated lumber and pad it to support the mast shape. The angle puts that lumber perpendicular to the mast when loaded. I also closed in a through hole through which the wood will be mounted and capped the top (since this will be painted and not galvanized...I can't paint the interior easily so it's easier just to seal it up).

[Linked Image]
20160227_143628 by Jake Kohl, on Flickr

[Linked Image]
20160227_144317 by Jake Kohl, on Flickr

[Linked Image]
20160227_144652 by Jake Kohl, on Flickr
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