26 Sep Too much trailer trash!
Did you know that 20% of our work is as a result of trolley or trailer damage to the boat?
Our (often expensive) boats spend most of their lives sat on a trolleys or trailers, but so many dinghy sailors do not look after their trolley, have one that is in bad condition, or not right for their boat.
Tip 1 – Do not compromise of the trolley, buy one designed for the class of boat, regularly check it and the minute you see a problem get it sorted.
The good news is that most of this damage is preventable and that West Country Boat Repairs can cost-effectively get your trolley or trailer sorted, whether it needs cradle refurbishment, fibreglass repair, metal welding or a combination of these. We offer a free trolley/trailer check on all boats coming into our workshop. Scroll to the end of this article for more.
Here are some recent examples of damaged trailers and trailer/trolley-caused damage that we have sorted:
Rs200 Hull Damage
The red ringed areas aren’t light reflection, they are dents in the hull!
The normally nice, rounded RS200 hull has a trolley with an equally nice rounded cradle, moulded to exactly fit the hull shape. On this boat the the cradle cracked, causing the metal plates on underside of the cradle (bonded in so cradle can be bolted to up rights) to be point loading the hull. This went on for so long that the lay up of the hull delaminated, became very soft and the hull had a massive dent – a big repair that could have easily been avoided.
Before repairing the boat we glass fibre reinforced the whole cradle
Tip 2 – Never turn the boat over on a cradle, be very careful when stacking trolleys on top of other trolleys.
2000 Trolley Cradle Damage
The metal plate on the underside of this 2000 trolley is no longer bonded in place, so the cradle can move. The cradle eventually cracked on the edge of the metal plate, so that the boat was point loaded on a sharp metal edge resulting in a hole in the boat – another big, avoidable repair.
Tip 3 – if your cradle has cracks like the one in the photo below, get it repaired. This cradle is now flexing and not supporting the hull evenly which will eventually dent the the hull.
Laser Trolley Damage
On this trolley the gunwhale support was at the wrong angle, so instead of sitting in the well of the gunwhale, the deck to hull joint is sat directly on the support. This caused the joint to crack when a load was put on it, e.g. when it was strapped down trailing and when someone sat on the deck while the boat was on it’s trailer in the dinghy park.
Tip 4 – be careful when sitting on your boat when it’s ashore and never stand on the cradle.
RS200 Bow Damage
This RS200 trolley had a flat front support, the owner strapped the boat down way too hard on this, without proper padding on the support. The boat folded over the support, cracks and eventually starts to leak. The owner realised what had happened when water was dripping out of the bow on the shore.
Wheel Sheared Off
This one could have been a really nasty accident.
The trailer had not been maintained properly and we think that the wheel studs were not on properly. This caused the studs to shear off whilst driving at 50mph, sending stones into the underside, making holes in the boat, but thankfully not causing an accident.
So how can we help?
We can offer full refurbishment on cradles, completely replacing foam and black matting if necessary
- Full glass fibre repairs
- Replacement of the (usually) blue foam that offers protection and stops rubbing
- Replacement of the black matting that stops osmosis by allowing air to circulate
- Metal repairs by Matt, our fully qualified trailer engineer, using on-site welding equipment
Our repairs will almost always be cheaper than the cost of a new trolley
We offer a free trolley/trailer check on all boats coming into our workshop