Sunday, August 30, 2009

Trailer painted and being reassembled

I've just been working on the trailer over the last few weeks. I bought more wood for the boat, but I decided to just finish the trailer so I can get all these trailer parts and grease out of my garage. I primed and painted all the parts of the trailer, using a roller and brush. Like all my paint jobs, it's a 50 foot paint job, (it looks good from 50 feet away.) The color of the trailer is also the trim color for the boat, so they will match.

Now I'm slowly assembling the trailer ... if I can remember where all the parts go. (I took pics of everything before disassembly for reference.)

I painted the trailer frame instead of galvanizing it, because galvanizing was too expensive. I did however buy all galvanized replacement parts (which are not on the trailer yet), so the trailer will have galvanized wheels, hubs, and axle.

Next week, I'll show the completed trailer and perhaps some progress on the boat!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Still working on trailer

The lumber store said it will be a few weeks before they get more of the wood I want (1X6 CVG Doug-Fir), so I'm just working on the trailer for now.

I ordered some parts online. I'm getting new tires and wheels, a new axle, new lights, and a few other accessories. I may also get some new hubs, because I just noticed that one of them is cracking. So basically, almost every component of the undercarriage was damaged.

I also stripped a lot of the paint off of the frame. I decided to take the old paint off, because there were some flaky rusty spots, which is no good to paint over. I used chemical paint stripper and then naval jelly (which has phosphoric acid to dissolve the rust ... interestingly, an ingredient in Coca Cola). Maybe hiring someone to sandblast the frame would have made more sense, because this is a lot of work with nasty chemicals. I couldn't get all the paint off, but most of it. I'm almost ready to prime and paint.

(Note that the brown spots still on the frame are mostly brown paint, not rust).

There are a lot of other small parts to paint. This is going to take a little while.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Frames complete. Trailer dismantled.

The frames have been finished and attached to the strongback. You can start to see the shape of a boat forming in my garage. Some temporary braces are placed across each frame at certain heights specified in the plans. These braces rest on the strongback at specified spacing, ensuring that the frames are at the proper location as the boat is being built. I'm waiting for some more wood from the lumber store. When I get it, I'm going to continue construction of the skeletion of the boat.

In the meantime, I'm dismantling the trailer and stripping the old paint off the frame. It's not nearly as fun as building the boat and hard work, but necessary.

One major problem I found with the trailer is that the axle needs to be replaced. As shown below, one of the spindle surfaces was seriously damaged. The trailer showed obvious signs of overloading and neglect when I bought it, so I guess I should have expected to find something like this. If I would have used the trailer as it was, the bearings would failed in no time for sure. I'm glad I decided to completely overhaul the trailer. It'll be much more reliable and not a worry.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Boat Trailer Aquired

I bought a used boat trailer on Craigslist. $240. It needs a little work, but it's the perfect length and has all the features I want. I couldn't pass it up. This steel trailer is a 1972 Gator Trailer made in Florida. (The company is no longer in business). The only info I could find online about the company is here:
It seems the 1950's and 1960's trailer frames were round tubular construction, but this one is open c-channel ... which I think is better, because it won't rust from the inside out as long as I keep it painted. (A steel tubular trailer should really be galvanized, especially if its going to be in salt water.)

I can't figure out how much weight this particular trailer can haul. I'm sure my boat won't be too heavy for it, but it could be too light (then the springs would be too stiff and my boat would have a rough ride). I jumped up and down on it (I do that with any large purchase) and the springs seem about right. I also lifted one side ... I would guess it weighs about 350 lbs.

This trailer has a row of keel rollers down the middle that support the majority of the weight of the boat, as well as bunks on the side that keep it stable. This is an ideal trailer setup for a wooden hull, in my opinion. The trailer is also tilting, which means I will be able to beach launch the boat without a boat ramp ... very cool. That longitudinal board down one side is a metal platform for walking on so you don't get your feet wet ... I like it.

Ok, actually, there's lots of work to be done on it, which I will be doing concurrently with the boat construction. The tires and wheel bearings need to be replaced. The lights and wiring need to be replaced too. I also plan to paint it to match the boat and maybe get new fenders to make it look better. The carpet on the bunks seems to be shag from some granny's bathroom, so that should be replaced. I also need to get a spare tire and wheel. Then I need to adjust the trailer to fit my boat, including the axle and bunk positions. I will probably have to spend a few hundred bucks and a few months fixing it up. But I can't find a new trailer like this anywhere ... and if I could, it would be pricey.

So ... now maybe my blog should be titled "Hartley TS14 Construction and Trailer Restoration", because I plan to include the details of the trailer restoration in my posts.