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Posted by on Mar 17, 2013 in US | 6 comments

Picture This: The FrankenTrailer

When I left Rhode Island in January to drive my boat to Florida, I was towing a boat trailer that I'd borrowed from a friend. When I arrived, I realized that its aging frame now also had half-bald tires that would not survive a trip back north.

Behold...the FrankenTrailer.

We call this the FrankenTrailer.

Actually, it’s the top rack of a fairly simple boat trailer, on which we load our Snipe (which sounds like an elusive bird but is actually a 15-foot racing sailboat). The picture shows the second deck of the trailer hanging from a hoist; the four legs fit into the frame of the regular trailer. We have to lift the second level off to unload our boat, so this was the first step toward going sailing this week.

And you may be able to discern that there are two sets of wheels on top of this top rack, which probably requires some explanation.

When I left Rhode Island in January to drive my boat to Florida, I was towing a boat trailer that I’d borrowed from a friend. When I arrived, I realized that its aging frame now also had half-bald tires that would not survive a trip back north.

Thinking out loud with another Snipe friend while standing in his driveway, I asked him if there were any used Snipe trailers for sale nearby. He pointed across his yard to his empty double and replied, “How about that one?”

I only own one boat, so I don’t really need the second rack (which is intended to carry a second Snipe). But we quickly realized that the top level could also hold the old trailer, making it easy to get it back home again to its rightful owner.

After several hours at a local trailer place loading old trailer onto new with a forklift, I stood back to take a look—and laughed. Those small tires with the white fenders would be facing the right direction all the way home, but they would be riding rather than carrying.

You might notice that there’s a second set of black wheels facing backward. That is a dolly, a lightweight cart designed to launch a boat off a beach or ramp. This one is in need of some maintenance, and I had planned to adopt it. I’ve since learned there is a junior team in need of a dolly, so it will stay here in Florida…. making the FrankenTrailer only a little bit less odd for its trip back to Rhode Island.

And that yellow bucket? That’s the chain collector for the hoist, so that will be left behind too.

When our regatta is over, I will drive this crazy rig up 95 North to Rhode Island. If you happen to pass me, give me a wave.

6 Comments

  1. This is what happens when you try to trailer a sailbote.

  2. Lenny, “sailbotes” do very well on trailers. The only very important thing to remember is to make sure you unstep that big aluminum fishing rod in the middle, before getting on the road.

  3. Carol, when you get back to RI, if convenient would you take some photos of double-deck Snipe trailers at JibeTech (if they have any). I have several Snipes (three) and need a good double-deck trailer. Jerry Thompson had a real nice one in Atlanta 2009, I think it was made by Nickels in MI. Because of our remote outpost in WA state, I would probably have to have one made locally instead of shipping one across country at high cost. John Rose, Tacoma WA

  4. John, Jibetech has a nice triple trailer built by CradleRide about 10 years ago. I’ll try to get some photos next week when I go up to unload the old trailer.

  5. I didn’t see this pile at the west end of Narragansett Avenue; didja all make it?

  6. Richard, we all made it home safely thanks!

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  1. Boats We Love: The Snipe Sailboat | boats.com Blog - [...] boat. I’ve also written about Why I Sail a Snipe, and even about my trailer (nicknamed the Frankentrailer). But what …