Trailer improvements

The following is my efforts to create an effective means of quickly and reliably centering the boat on the trailer at the end of the day.

My first attempt was to use short PVC pipes at the base. When I pulled the boat out of the water the pipes were just pushed down. Next, I extended them up as shown here.


Here's the results of attempting to center the boat using these pipes to force her into position. Since it is plastic it snapped off without warning. Two pieces fell in the water. I later recovered one of them. This is a lesson that is repeated over and over again: plastic breaks.

I decided to try galvanized steel pipe for this iteration. Here I've cut 5' segments and started bending them. I'm using the remaining pvc pipe as a template.


I used the vice. I jammed some handy pieces of wood to restrain the vice from turning as I apply force to the pipe.

I check the bend against the first pipe I bent to make sure they are all as consistent as possible.


The pipes are all bent and ready for the next step. These comprise the legs of the centering jig.

Here is the assembled pipe with a two foot high cross piece connected with 90 degree elbows.


I considered attaching plywood to the top and padding it with carpet. Then I thought of i rubberized plastic tubing. This is soft but waterproof. It does not attract mold like wood and carpet does so it will continue to look new for a long time.

I tried various means of getting the tubing on. I ended up by disassembling the legs and forcing the tubing over the elbow. I pounded a piece of pipe into the ground to use to force the pipe into the tube. The sweltering heat of the day helped to soften the tubing and make it easier to assemble.


Next I inserted the legs into the tubing and centered the end over the pipe elbow. Then I screwed it together. The hard part was centering and lining up. I resorted to the arrangement shown here where the top is placed in the vice. I rigged an improvised block and tackle by wrapping some line around the top of the tubing and the clamp as shown here.

The finished jigs are set aside.


For mounting to the trailer I used the existing mount design. It consists of a piece of plywood and two U-bolts.


The mount is assembled.

The mount is placed on the trailer just forward of the wheel.


The pipe leg of the jig is dropped through the two U-bolt ends. Then the nuts are tightened to the point that the U shape starts to distort.

The jig is ready to do its job the next time I go sailing.