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steeldrifter 12-01-2014 08:38 AM

raft trailer project
right now I've been using a 4x8 utility trailer for my 13' cat and I used u bolts to fasten 3 2x6 bunks, now that I have a little free time, I am planning on making a frame to fit in the rails of the trailer and attach hinges to the frame of trailer, and the wooden deck frame, then take a 1/2" sheet of pressure treated ply wood and screw it in to the wooden frame so it sits on the rails, and can be opened. additionally I plan on making a weather strip gasket around the plywood deck so it is weather tight. And add some lift gate supports off a Denali or some other full size suv which I believe if done properly will support the deck with the cat strapped down?

cmharris 12-01-2014 08:56 AM

trailer project
I am considering a similar project this winter. My thought is to access the storage area from the sides and make a fixed deck for the raft. Either way will work but the clamshell deck seems more difficult to construct and potentially problematic if the hinges/deck support don't function as expected. Is your goal security for your equipment or are you just making space in the trailer to haul your complete rig? There is a thread on trailers which could give you some helpful ideas.

steeldrifter 12-01-2014 09:49 AM

it's really a simple concept, I've done it before for a tent trailer I made. I figure that the deck with raft will be right at 250lbs and the supports I plan on using are rated for 200lbs each, my hinge system is a very simple design as well primarily this is just a fun project and why not go over top if I'm rebuilding the whole trailer anyway.

elkhaven 12-01-2014 10:35 AM

You may have already found this but there's a guy in the trailer porn thread (I think, if not then some other trailer post from last winter) that has done pretty much what you were talking about. I looked into it and you can get lift cylinders pretty cheap with various lengths of throw and lift weights so you might be able to "custom" size that way vs jerry rigging automotive applications with similar pricing...?...

FWIW, I've sidelined the idea because I don't want my boat sitting that high, I want it right over the wheels and doing so I'd only be left with about a foot of usable space... I'll probably just go with a side door or a hinged compartment in the middle of the deck and stuff firewood, spare oars, jackets and what not in there...

On another note, In researching materials for wood boat building I did a bit of research on pressure treated plywood and in general it's hard on fasteners and generally unnecessary. Normal CDX or better, has water proof glues and will hold up for years even in wet climates, is cheaper and doesn't corrode fasteners. You might rethink the pressure treated aspect...just my opinion.

I like the idea and wish you luck. Keep us posted on how things go!

cmharris 12-01-2014 10:39 AM

Sounds like you have got it dialed.
Right, if I know what I want I also favor doing it right the first time rather than evolving a design over several years/seasons. I'm opting for side doors so I can access my equipment without removing the boat. We sometimes travel long distances and camp along the way.

elkhaven 12-01-2014 12:18 PM

This photo came from the trailer porn thread and I too often camp along the way, that's why I got so excited about the idea of a tip-able deck. But alas I still use it way more for day trips and really value the lower profile of a lower deck. If I didn't mind the height I would copy this set up in a heart beat (except the little tires; we don't get along).

elkhaven 12-01-2014 12:19 PM

Sorry, tried to edit for the embedded image instead of link and reposted instead...

steeldrifter 12-01-2014 01:04 PM

damn, I thought I had a cool idea! but yes elk exactly like that my trailer as it is already has the high rails, so it really isn't going to make a difference in height.

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