Mark Wallace's Black Skiff

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Trailering Your Oar Cruiser

Jim Michalak’s essay on trailering … very thorough… a ‘must-read’ article if you are going to trailer your boat.  Just one of the illustrations in this article that solves a problem: How to support a flat bottom boat on the trailer.

Jim Michalak Suggestion to Use a Plywood Base to Support the Hull

Chuck Leinweber's (Duckworks Magazine and Boat Builder’s Supply) article on using a  Harbor Freight Trailer to carry his "Ladybug" and a follow-up article on his modifications to the Harbor Freight trailer. For example, he added a tongue and a third wheel, like this:

An Added Tongue and Third Wheel to a Harbor Freight Trailer

Shorty Routh (of PDR fame) wrote this article on his modifications to Harbor Freight trailers, such as this one:

Shorty Routh's Wood Post

For my own Lillistone Flint (14' 7", 125 pounds) I use a light weight "Load Rite" trailer similar to this one. I've been very happy with it.

Light Weight Load Rite Trailer with 1000 Pound Capacity

A safety check list for trailering that was in multiple sites I visited for this post:
  • Coupler, hitch and hitch ball are of the same size
  • Coupler and safety chains are safely secured to the hitch of the tow vehicle
  • All fasteners are properly tightened
  • Boat is securely tied down to trailer (winch line is not a tie down)
  • Wheel lug nuts are properly tightened
  • Wheel bearings are properly adjusted and maintained
  • Load is within maximum load carrying capacity
  • Tires are properly inflated
  • All trailer lighting is working properly
  • Trailer brakes are properly adjusted and working (if trailer is so equipped)
  • Brakes and additional equipment meet all local and state requirements


  1. Three comments on trailering light weight rowing boats:
    1) Most trailers are sprung for much heavier boats. The strong springs can make for a rough bouncy ride with a light boat. Look for a trailer built for light boats.
    2) Putting rollers at the end of the trailer can let the boat be launched and retrieved with the trailer wheels just at the water edge. Saves trailer corrosion and lights.
    3) A long light rowboat usually extends past the end of the trailer. Putting a light bar on the transom vastly improves visibility to other drivers.

  2. Good information, Rick... The light bar, with the license plate, also enables the same license to be used on multiple trailers...