The Trailer


Trailer and Boat

The project within a project is the trailer.  My aim is to have a good, sound trailer that has been well adapted to this boat, with good corrosion protection - I really want to be sure that it won't rust any more, I hate rust!  I wanted to get rid of the old rusty bow cradle support, which I will replace with a proper bow snubber and a hand winch to ease launch and recovery.  There are a couple of repairs to carry out on the trailer, mainly filling drilled holes and one particularly rusted section of tube.  I also want to add in several tie down loops for ratchet straps and eventual boat covers.  A spare wheel mounted up on the trailer would be nice too.

To summarise, heres my job list in no particular order!

  • Repair and reinstate rusted forward box section under hitch Done!
  • Remove bow cradle and flatten welds Done!
  • Remove badly tacked and corroded Angle Done!
  • Remove badly tacked and corroded Flat bar Done!
  • Reinstate new 80x80x8 angle Done!
  • Remove old shackles on Angle Uprights Done!
  • Inspect, maintain and replace bearings as necessary Complete!
  • Open brake drums - replace brake shoes if necessary Complete!
  • Renew brakes, pads, rubber boot and springs Complete!
  • Consider shock absorber installation on axle Abandoned - no time or money!
  • Paint Frame black smooth topcoat once priming complete - 3 coats minimum Frame Topcoating Complete
  • Paint Axle and drums Complete!
  • Abrade and Remove all scale, rust and paint Largely complete!
  • Prime all exposed metal work using red oxide primer - 3 coats minimum Largely Complete
  • Paint Wheels Complete!
  • Repair or replace mudguards - Complete!
  • Replace brake rods - Complete in all respects!
  • Fabricate thick ply bed lining for keelsComplete!
  • Clean, grease and wrap the leafsprings with Denso Tape - still to do, stuff in stock

Stage 1 Assembly - No Boat

Stage 2 Assembly - Boat on for sizing and positioning

  • Obtain Spare wheel - land rover standard 16 incher with 185 tyre
  • Fabricate Spare Wheel Mount and paint
  • Design, Fabricate and Install new bow snubber assembly and paint - Steel in stock for this job - 50 x 50 x 4 box section - 6m
  • Get appropriately sized hand winch and install
  • Research and buy trailer stabiliser
  • Install tiedowns and paint Complete
  • Polish hub caps! yippee!!! - Complete, but rusting quickly...

13th October 2010

So here are a few pictures of the trailer in the garage... slightly cramped but you have to make do!  I am underway with the grinding and priming, however its slow slow catchey monkey as I limit myself to a half hour a day with the angle grinder when I get in from work to avoid pissing off the neighbours too much!  Also, have a good laugh at my practice welds!  I am finding Daves mini Arc set to be really quite easy to use, and am now putting down some good quality welds on the trailer - some pics of that to come soon!  I have sourced the new 80x80 angle needed for the new keel beds and will pick them up this saturday with the jeep.

Trailer in Shed Wheel Primed Practice Welds


14th October 2010

Thought I would put up some pictures of my dodgy welding... don't laugh too hard!  I cleaned and prepped some of the older welds and gaps that I wanted to fill with weld to prevent any more risk of water getting into tight areas and rusting.  Definately realising the difference between a vertical weld and a down hand weld!  I managed to burn a hole in a thin area too, so I learned that you can't just patch a big hole with weld material alone - get a bit of material and weld it in!

Angle Weld Big hole filled Don't laugh!



15th October 2010

So I took the jeep up to Inverurie today to get the steel to replace the inner angles, but had a change of mind.  I had to buy a 6m length, but the rails are only 1.4m long.  I got the guy at Grampian Steel to chop it into 4 equal 1.5m lengths, and so resolved to replace all the channels, including the one I had welded up so "beautifully" above!  Simply having the stock to do this inspired my decision, as well as there being a fair level of rust on the rails still in place.  This does mean I will have to remove the leaf springs, something I have been trying to avoid, but have now realised the inevitability of things!  Also the mudguard mounts will need to be removed and relocated on the new steel.  I will use the old mudguards to get the positioning right, then make sure the new mudguards are the same size as the old ones!  So, a fair bit of work ahead, but I feel this course will yield the best result in the end - I will not have to be afraid of the rust I didn't deal with decisively.  Heres a drawing of the proposed mods.  One thing to note is the inside width, set by the boats bilge keels.  I have crawled under the boat a few times now to check and convince myself, and 1100mm seems to be sufficient, and allow about 40mm "float" so that when the boat sits on the trailer, it will have 20mm on the inside face to the trailer.  This will be much better than before, as the boat could slip sideways a considerable distance before hand.


Trailer mods

17 October 2010

Great progress today!  I finally broke the mental barrier that was preventing me from taking off the axle and leaf springs, and things just shot along!  They came off within half an hour, and I managed to get 1 side of the trailer with its rusty angles completely removed, then got the 2 new pieces of angle tack welded in place, then proceeded to gorrilla weld.  This has made things so much easier.  The trailer will look practically new when complete as these long angles were the only major corrosion on the trailer.  I will have to get the mudguard supports back on it some how, but thats easy compared to this!  I am also gaining some skill and confidence with the arc welder - I can confidently start an arc and do the weaving thing every time now.  Some pictures of the progress below...

Axle off and prep complete The shape of things to come The other side still to do... grim
Gorrilla welds underway More welds Again with the welds

18 October 2010

No pictures, but in a mammoth welding session I got the 2 new angles fully welded up with some serious gorrilla stylee!  I am now ready to grind and prime all the way down to the angles on the other side that are yet to be replaced.  Once I have the good side all primed up I will flip the trailer over and do the same to the other side.  All things considered, I am happy with progress.  I am going to go and remove some of the brake rod and see if I can measure it ready for getting some replacements.  I also had a rather cool idea, that I might weld on pockets on the back of the trailer to take some poly plumbing pipe - these would serve as guides so that I could accurately position the boat onto the trailer when recovering... watch this space.  I am concious that I keep coming up with ideas for the trailer when I should just get it finished and start the boat!

20th October 2010

Will try to get some pics up later, but have managed to complete the welding for 1 side of the trailer, ground and have primed - shes starting to look like a non rusted trailer!  More or less ready to flip her over and start work on the other side now, which should go fairly quickly as I now know what I am doing, and I have the consumables (cutting wheels, flappy wheels, sanding discs, paint etc.) in stock so I don't have to keep running out to Screwfix!  I have established that the brake rods are metric M10 with an M10 thread tapped on the ends, so I can go and get that stock at the weekend.  The 10mm rod will also serve to make some tie downs.  Anyone got any good ideas for bending the rod back on itself?  I don't have a vice, so it might be fun trying to he man it!



21th October 2010

Got some fresh paint on to the new steel and the rest of the trailer today, and remembered some pictures... enjoy!  The plan this weekend is to get the other side whipped off and get the new beams tacked up ready for some gorrilla welding.

New Steel Painted New Steel Painted


25th October 2010

So massive progress on the trailer this weekend.  I managed to complete the new steel work for the keel beds and get it primed.  Something also clicked with my stick welding and I started producing highly acceptable welds... I was no longer just waving the stick at the steel and hoping, but actually became aware of the weld pool and the objective of actually melting steel together!  I was going too quickly before, and had to slow right down to produce a good molten weld pool.  I also managed to get a start on the axle and leaf springs which should go quickly also.  I have the brakes dissassembled and I will prepare the axle for paint this week.  I will be fitting new bearings and new brake shoes, although I was surprised to find everything in remarkably good condition, albeit some wear on the brake pads.  There was definately no evidence of the trailer having been used extensively in salt water.  Some pics to come later.  Need to pick up a wire brush for the angle grinder on way home tonight, and I might pick up the topcoat too, so more good stuff to come!


Drum Brakes Brake Back Plate Some Black Paint!


So as you can see I did get a bit of topcoating done, but had a bit of a fail with my angle grinder when I tried to run a 100mm knotty wheel on it!!!  It just went mental and destroyed itself, so a new one on the cards.  I have got the leaf springs and inspected them and they are also in pretty good condition so they will just be wire brushed, greased and wrapped in denso tape.  I need to get some proper solvent like acetone to cut the built up grease on the brake fittings.  The thin film of grease over everything is probably why its all in reasonable condition, but not conducive to good braking!  You can also see below the repair I have to make at the front of the trailer.


Leaf Springs Repair to do




11th November 2010

Apologies dear reader, I have been less than good at keeping up to date, but there is not too much progress to report any way.  I have been underway on the axle renovations and have managed to source the replacement parts for the brakes.  The brakes are Lockheed 10" non autoreversing - very old and supply of spares is starting to dry up.  I reckon if I can replace most of the heavy wear components this time around, the trailer ouight to last another 10 years at least if I take care of it, so I am going to drop the funds to make it all happen.  Afterall, a trailer that is reliable and an asset is the plan for Contradanza so she can be enjoyed to the full.  To complete the trailer project at this stage involves the following shopping list:

Axle set of Brake shoes - £93.96

Axle set of Shoe springs - £17.80

Axle set of bearings - £30 approx - being priced

Axle set of expander assemblies - £95.86 Not Needed

Axle set of rubber bushes - £11.91

Axle set of Square Ubolts - £20 approx - being priced

Denso tape for the leafsprings - £5

2 mudguards - £35 (ebay)

10mm mild steel rod - 6m - £unknown

30x3 mild steel bar - 6m - £unknown Not Needed

12 x Backplate nut&bolt set - £unknown Not Needed

This list takes the trailer to a useable, complete stage where it can be towed and used to pull stuff about.  Later on I intend to add in the spare wheel mount when one becomes available, and the bow support assembly and winch support.  This will be another stage of the trailer project, likely completed outside the garage once the main bulk of the trailer project is complete.  I will need to add some pictures shortly of the progress to date.  At the moment, we are experiencing some exceptional weather in Aberdeen and I am constantly checking the Tarpaulin over Contradanza, which has been doing a fantastic job of keeping her dry.  It is surprisingly strong and despite being a massive surface area to the high winds and only being held on by 2 bunjee cords (!) it has held firm so far without damage!




15th December 2010

Apologies again!  The exceptional Aberdeen weather has made any progress on the trailer and boat impossible.  3 feet of snow has sat between me and my garage now for 2 weeks, making any real prospect of progress completely nil... instead, I have been concentrating on my snowboarding and Jeep powersliding! Its now clearing in the back garden, but the weatherman tells me theres more snow on the way... maybe I have to postpone progress for a few more weeks.


08th February 2011

Ok... so I have done nothing.... just planning for various things.  I have prices for the various bits I need to make this thing roll again.  I have the frame for the trailer all painted and ready for assembly now, so when the weather breaks a little the trailer should come together in fairly short order.  Naomi has taken the camera for 3 months to St Helena, so I need to get a new one!  Hopefully there will be a bit more progress over at the boat project this week...


12th May 2011

I have been gone for a long time... something to do with ships and windfarms!  But I am releved to report that I am happy to be back and getting stuck back in to the trailer project.  I managed to recover the two expander assemblies intact and am progressing with the renovation of the axle assembly.  lots still to do, but there is a logical path now, so getting on with it.  Also I am in the process of actually ordering and paying for all the bits for the trailer, so happy.  I will get some fresh pictures up soon!!!


15th May 2011

So the major orders are done!  Brake shoes, spring assemblies, rubber boots, wheel bearings, races and oil seals, U bolts and backplates... What I have ordered now takes the trailer to the stage that I can assemble it and land the boat on it so I can level the boat and start internal construction, and if I need to move house, the boat can come too!  I still need to go and get some 10mm rod for the brakes, which I will do fairly soon.  Also still to add to the trailer are the tiedown points, the winch and bow support and the spare wheel mount and wheel.


Meanwhile, I have managed to strip and paint the axle.  Primer and now some top coat.  I will continue the topcoating for a couple of days to get some thickness of paint built up.  Looking forward to reassembly of the axle within the month now!  Just the leafsprings and a wheel to do now, the leaf springs I have ordered the denso tape for, and they will be de rusted, then I will use a thick spray grease to get into the gaps and then they will simply be denso taped up.


Axle Primed Back Plates Primed



20th May 2011

I have the vast majority of bits in now!  The only remaining things to arrive at this stage are the mudguards, and I still need to go and get some 10mm steel rod for the connections, but ultimately at this stage I can rebuild the axle and assemble the trailer.  I reckon a weekends prepwork and I can get some people from work to come round and help with the trailer frame lift.  I need to get the trailer in front of the boat for final assembly as it would not make sense to do anything else.  once its fully assembles I can slide it in under the boat at some point in the future.

Also the removal of the existing bearing races from the hubs might be interesting, although I have already managed to extricate one unit through the judicial use of my new blowtorch!!!

For reference, here is a picture of the arrangement of the brake shoes and springs.  I will get some new pictures up of the axle rebuild over the weekend.


Lockheed Brakes


Ok some pictures from todays progress...

I managed to replace the bearings including the bearing races, so we are at 100% on the bearings now.  I used some thermal technique to ease things along, by using the blowtorch to heat up the drum and an icepack to cool the bearing race.  It was also the case that an old bearing race makes the ideal tool for hammering in the new bearing race.  The bearings went in no problem, the seals went in no problem, all in all it was a pleasure to see some new bits finally getting onto the trailer, and I am now only a few days away from doing the first assembly on the trailer and getting it out of the garage and taking it for a test tow!


Axle Painted Brakes Assembled Brakes Assembled 2


Ice Pack for Bearing Races Blowtorch action! Drums Painted


21st May 2011

So me and snowy took a trip to Inverurie to get some steel.  I got the 10mm rod for the brakes, and I got a 6m length of 50mm x 50mm x 3mm box section so I can build the bow snubber and winch assembly when I get the boat on to the trailer.  I also bought an expensive tap and die set, which I admit is fantastic... I have used crap taps and dies before and these are awesome.  I also had to nip out to B&Q as I hadn't figured that the shorter lengths of rod on the trailer are infact 8mm.  B&Q had 1m sections of 8mm rod so that was fine.  I managed to get the lengths cut to size and the threads cut in them.  I had to weld the rods to something solid so I could work on them as it took a lot of turning to get the threads in.  There are not any pictures at this stage as not much has changed other than the tidiness of the garage... Since we are approaching a milestone in the project I am preparing for the trailer assembly and moving it out of the garage, so the garage can change roles to be composites shop!


26th May 2011

Some more progress towards assembly within the week or so.  I got the leaf springs ground up and lightly primed, and the backing plates for the axle and U bolts primed with a view to top coating fairly soon.  Once these components are topcoated, the leaf springs will be liberally sprayed with grease and then Denso taped up.  Then the assembly can go ahead, although there is still one thing to do: work out the CofG of the finished boat so I can set the axle up properly!!!

Backing plates painted Leaf springs painted

31st May 2011

Some more progress!  The trailer frame is finally out of the shed, with the assistance of Tim and Iain from work.  I managed to get the first leafspring in position and hanging off of 2 bolts for now before I managed to thourougly mash the 12mm drill bit.  Serves me right for buying cheap ones off ebay!  So I managed to get most of the pilot holes drilled with a 6mm proper HSS bit I had found under a pile of tools somewhere, and it worked by keeping the speed low, lots of pressure and the odd squirt of wd40.  I have set the trailer up to achieve 30kg of nose weight at this point, knowing that I have a big bow snubber and winch assembly to fabricate, as well as a spare wheel to mount, all forward on the trailer, which should bring the nose weight up a fair bit.  I also still have wiggle on the trailer if it has to go a little forward or backward.

So when progress ground to a halt with the 12mm drill bit, I changed gear and water washed all the grime and dust off of the trailer that had accumulated on it over the winter in the garage.  Everything in the garage is covered in a layer of dust and bits of old paint!  This along with a light sanding will prepare it for further topcoats once the final assembly is complete.  I have also been thinking about how I can use my 10mm rod stock to make little welded on tie down points for my ratchet straps.  So it has been good to see the culmination of the winters work starting to finally take shape!  I will post some pictures soon.



1st June 2011

So the trailer is finally assembled!  over the past 2 days I have with the help of Naomi and a new 12mm drill bit managed to get all the holes for the leaf springs measured and drilled without further drama.  Just goes to show the difference between the 12mm drill bit I got off Ebay for a pound, and the titanium one I got in a reputable tool shop for 15 quid!  So the trailer assembled, I had a slight concern that there was 10mm difference in the measurement from axle end to hitch from side to side.  I was worried that this would cause crabbing and erratic road holding, so I got everything prepared as much as I could for a road trial.  I will do the final torquing up of everything after I prove the tracking.

Axle assembled Yippee! It all fits!

So my road trial went without a hitch... (no pun intended!)  I fitted up the lighting board and drove for 15 mins.  No erratic handling noted, as well as driving along a long strait kerb at slow speed forward and reverse while checking the mirror to see if I could notice any tendency to step out or side slide.  Nothing - it was all good.  So I drove home and put the trailer back on the driveway.  I rolled on a quick coat of paint to start covering the inevitable chips and scratches from the long storage in the garage and the movement and assembly, and the trailer started looking really sweet!  I will continue to build some thickness of paint, and I will finally torque the axle and leafspring bolts to something like 60% of yield.  this will be more than enough considering the size of the bolts that once held the leafsprings on!


looking new! Set up for Trial Kerb Trial


6th June 2011

So I now have the steel in to do the bow snubber assembly, the brake rod install and the mudguard install.  The plastic mudguards finally arrived.  They are a lot lighter than I had hoped.  They are however soft moulded plastic so if they get hit they should deform and not break.  I might take a mould off them and produce some in fibreglass once I get set up with the kit on the boat project side of things, i.e. when the garage becomes a composites shop!  Otherwise a couple more coats of paint have made it onto the trailer and not much else to note!


looking new!


20th June 2011

So with a bit of a hand from Mr Brown this weekend we managed to get all the brake rods installed and set up correctly.  We had to go out and buy new 8mm rods as I had previously tapped the wrong thread on the side of the new clevis joints, so we had to rectify that.  With new threads cut the rest of the job was a breeze, and everything looked spiffing with the neat new clevis pins.  All threaded joints were copper greased and I will paint the rods at some point soon.


26th June 2011

Time for some pics of the new brake rods!  With Mr Browns help it has come to fruition.  I have since painted them and adjusted them finally.  They have also been greased.  I made a start on the fabrication of the new keel beds for the trailer.  At Dave's suggestion I looked into heavy duty plastics for the job, but was finding the thicknesses needed to be prohibitivley expensive, although I did really like the idea.  So I have resolved to build the keel beds out of 18mm ply, laminate them with polyester to seal them, and then use a much thinner engineering plastic such as UHMWPE to cover them, say in only 2 - 4 mm thickness.  This will provide the necessary abrasion protection to the keels and the ply.

New brake rods! New mudguard brackets Brake rod configuration

So that was a fairly good bit of progress!

Keel beds taking shape The ever watchful hound...



20th July 2011

Much progress of late!  I have managed to get the keel beds built and installed, with their 3mm HDPE covering applied with gripfill.  The mudguard brackets got suscessfully welded on and have been painted, and the new mudguards installed.  I have also managed to fit tie down points on the front and back of the keel supports for the ratchet straps.  These are done in 8mm steel and have had the hell welded out of them!  We also managed to get and fit a new jockey wheel for the trailer as the old one was not going up and down anymore.

Naomi and I then managed to get the boat onto the trailer in a couple of steps.  I needed to clear some space on the drive way as I have just bought a Laser dinghy!  I need a bit of sailing to keep me inspired... I will keep this down at the local sailing club in Stonehaven hopefully, which will mean I get to sail a bit.  The laser needs a little improvement before its seen at a respectable sailing club, so the deck is getting repainted (its an ancient Laser!) and some new ropes and bits and pieces should make the overall package a little more presentable and useable.

I appreciate that you all want pictures.... they are coming!!!



2nd August 2011

A bit of an update with the trailer.  I managed to get the mudguards fitted to both sides using 30 x 5 steel bar, bent to the right shape in my new vice!  Also bent was some tie downs for the ratchet straps that will prevent the boat from flapping around whilst towing.  I got these installed on one side of the trailer on one day, then on a nicer day managed the other side.  The mudguards bolted up with M8 bolts and looked really good - it really set the trailer off, and started looking complete.

In other works, I got the trailer keel beds fully laminated up, and then installed them in a thick bed of building adhesive.  Then I painted the edges so they didn't look funny, then installed 3mm thick UHMWPE (Ultra High Molecular Weight Poly Ethylene) sheet in another thick bed of building adhesive on top.  The idea behind this is to protect the wood, but also ensure the keels have a fairly low friction way of getting on and off the trailer.  The previous trailer was bare steel on the keel beds and trying to drag the boat along the rusty and bent sections of the old keel beds was next to impossible, and terribly bad for the bottom of the keels.  This arangement will cure all ills!


Laminated Keel Beds Fabricating mudguard guides & tie downs 1 side complete

Last Updated (Tuesday, 02 August 2011 10:56)