Saturday, January 14, 2017

_________________________ SORTED __________________________

Today I finally got the boat trailer sorted. I have widened the trailer deck incorporating bridging planks for 'Slipstreams' beach trolley to pass easily over the trailer mudguards. I have also built a couple of ramps so that the beach trolley can be easily loaded onto the road trailer. The ramps are chocked off on the top of the road trailer and a couple of bungy cords fore and aft complete the job.

When deployed the ramps are each a generous 6 feet (1.8 metres) in length. This provides a reasonably easy slope for the old bugger to pull 'Slipstream' on and off the  road trailer.

I sat and visualized all sorts of arrangements for securing the ramps when stowed on the road trailer. Everything from triple dongle back shackles to double slotted fangle toggles - but in the end the KISS principle won the day (Keep It Simple Stupid). If my old arms and shoulders get tired of stretching the bungy cords I will resort to that old sailors standby of good rope and an honest cleat.

Sorted. And it's a good feeling. Now it's time for 'Slipstream' and moi to go for our first sail.


Ben said...

I was wondering how did you do all this with the Starling?
You could have done all of that construction in Alumina for instance, but as an old ship wood worker you prefer off course this solution.
Go for it in the next sail.

Alden Smith said...

Ben - The Starling is smaller and lighter. I was able to pull the front of the beach trolley up onto the black plastic strip on the back edge of the deck of the trailer and while standing on the road trailer in front of the Starling slide the whole outfit forwards on the road trailer. The beach trailer would then balance with the wheels hanging over the end of the road trailer. I would then move around to the back and sides and lift the wheels up onto the trailer deck. On race days at the yacht club I would usually get someone to help me do this. 'Slipstream' is too big to do this with which has resulted in me building the two ramps which make the whole operation very easy and effortless.
I thought of making the ramps in aluminium but it was easier for me to just make them from wood, a material I am familiar with and already have the required tools at hand.
I am certainly looking forward to the first sail.

Alden Smith said...

.... and (I forgot to tell you this in the above comment) - to get the Starling off the trailer I simply wheeled the beach trolley over the back edge of the road trailer (big noisy crash / bang) and slid the bottom edge of the beach trolley on the black plastic strip on the back edge of the trailer until the beach trolley wheels made contact with the ground. Not the most elegant of maneuvers but it worked. The new system eliminates bangs, crashes and much hard pulling and lifting - much more in tune with the skippers age and sensibilities.

Keep Reaching said...

Very elegant work.

Alden Smith said...

Thank you for your comment and 'Keep Reaching' (by far one of the best points of sailing!

Dan Gurney said...

Well done. With this rig, the pleasures of sailing will include the pleasures of handling the boat on shore with an elegant, simple, effective and well thought out launch system.

Alden Smith said...

Thanks Dan. The launch and retrieval system enables me to deal with the boat without expending very much energy at all. It's all very 'easy peasy'; a strategy which I hope will extend my ability to keep sailing long into the future.