New member and trolley query

GP14 Sailing Forums Forum New member and trolley query

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    • #20348
      Pete500
      Participant

      Hi all,

      I’ve just bought a GP14, no 12345 “Fish Alive” (the ads still up) and have overcome the first hurdle of trailering it to its new home at Welsh Harp. The next is getting it into the water, given that it came on a fairly heavyweight trailer and without a trolley. We tried yesterday; although we could have got it into the water off the trailer, it would have been with a splash (unless we submerged the trailer) and it would have been beyond me and my lightweight crew to get it back on again. The reservoir was deserted and help would have been difficult at 2m distance in any case so I decided not to risk it and gave up for the evening.

      There don’t seem to be any trolleys for sale at the moment and in any event picking one up will be tricky in the car. Trident Towing will send me a new one for a small pile of gold which needs assembly and can therefore probably go on the roof rack. Is it a common experience with GP14s that the initial cost of the boat is almost incidental? Does anyone have any experience with Trident’s trolleys they’d like to share?

      Best

      Peter

    • #20351
      norman
      Participant

      Hi Pete, congratulations on the acquisition.

      No first hand experience of Trident trolleys but the typical combi trolley is such that the unit is balanced when on the trailer, therefore front heavy when off, unless the boat is about a foot back from the bow buffer. If you are not intending to travel or expend your pile of gold you could construct or commission a single purpose trolley with a better balance. I did this last year and will supply details if of interest.

      Norman

    • #20352
      Oliver Shaw
      Moderator

      It appears that you have a complete trailer,  fitted with chocks or cradle,  rather than just a road base;   so your road trailer and your eventual launching trolley are entirely separate,  and that results in the need to transfer the boat between road trailer and launching trolley every time you tow by road.   That was the normal way of doing things in the early days,  but the transfer is often moderately hard work.

      A combi-trailer can be very much easier,  and although some are better than others it is worth considering whether that is the way to go.

      Before you buy,   consider how often you intend to tow the boat by road.   If only vary rarely then by all means stick with your present road trailer and buy just a launching trolley,   but if you expect to be towing anything more than just very occasionally you might prefer to acquire a combi-unit.

      It may be possible to buy a combi-unit and then sell your present road trailer.

      They do periodically appear on the second-hand market,  and it is a quirk of the market that often the trailer has a boat sitting on it;   on occasion you can find a decent trailer underneath a relatively cheap boat.   It is not unknown for a buyer to buy a cheap boat in order to acquire the trailer on which she is sitting,  then swap boat and trailer and sell off the unwanted trailer with the unwanted boat as a package.

       

      Oliver

    • #20353
      norman
      Participant

      P.S. Just googled Welsh Harp. You will probably be able to get advice from GP fleet captain. Norman

    • #20364
      Pete500
      Participant

      Thanks for getting back to me Oliver and Norman. It’s very quiet at the reservoir right now, so there’s no-one to ask. I think I will get the Trident trolley, and can add the road base to it later. They do a nose wheel which will help a bit with Norman’s point about the trolley being nose heavy.  I would like to be independent in moving the boat and have no idea how I would go about transferring it on and off the trolley unless my crew has a supernaturally large growth spurt. I can also park the trailer in my berth with the trolley on top of it and thereby avoid separate trailer parking fees.

      Peter

      • #20368
        vortexmike
        Participant

        We were in a similar situation and ended up buying a new trolley from Trident; it is excellent I have to say ( just got their standard 14 foot trolley not the GP specific one). It is easy to adjust the cradle so it fits perfectly. As long as you set the boat back a few inches from the fully forward position it is balanced and easy to move around singlehanded.

        Getting the boat from the trailer onto the trolley required some thought, but by keeping the trailer hitched to the vehicle, pushing the trolley as far underneath as possible and then pulling the boat backwards onto the trolley it all worked just fine. There is a moment when it all appears to be impending disaster as the boat teeters but it all works out just fine. We hooked the handle of the trolley over the rear part of the trailer to hold that in place whilst pulling.

        Good luck

      • #20371
        Oliver Shaw
        Moderator

        Get a trolley with a proper cradle to support the boat amidships.   The cradle does need to be GP14-specific,  shaped to the boat.

        Check that the main cradle is a short way abaft the axle,  rather than in line with the axle;    it reduces (even if only slightly) the amount of unsupported rear overhang when towing,  so it is kinder to the hull.

        Trident are a well respected name,  but you do have a choice of manufacturers,  and it would be worth looking at some of the others.   http://cbcoverstore.co.uk/boat_trailers.asp?ra=2,   https://boattrailers.co.uk/Dinghy_Launchers,  https://www.merseatrailers.com/store/GP14-Twin-Cradle-p155321826, and possibly others.     Consider not only the choice of the launching trolley,  but also the road base which you will eventually want to mate it to;   although there is some degree of interchangeability,  to enable a launching trolley from one manufacturer to mate to a road base by another that is not automatic,  and it is probably a safer bet to choose trolley and road base together even if you are not ready to buy the road base yet.    With the road base,  consider whether you will want 8″ or 10″ wheels,  and that choice may well depend on how much travelling you expect to do;   8″ are the more popular,  and cheaper,  and easier for loading and unloading,  but once on the road 10″ are probably much to be preferred if you expect to regularly tow long distances.

        I am attaching a photo,  deliberately not identified,  of a type of launching trolley to avoid;    a very simple main chock,  giving far less support than a proper cradle,  and in line with the axle rather than abaft it.    Attached just so that you can see the difference  …

         

        Oliver

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    • #20370
      Oliver Shaw
      Moderator

      With separate launching trolley and road trailer,  as distinct from a combi-unit,  there have been at least two different methods devised for transferring boat between road trailer and launching trolley.    I used both,  at different times,  during my early years,  and I found the method that vortexmike describes very much the easier of the two;   but it does require rollers on the road trailer,  and even in my late twenties I found it physically demanding if I was single-handed.

      The other method,  possibly the earlier method,  involved a swivelling bow chock;   with (again) the trailer hitched to the car,  approach at right-angles,  place the bow on the swivelling chock,  then lift the stern and carry it round.  –  and it needs to be lifted high enough to clear the wheels and mudguards.     Even in my twenties I found that quite method brutal!

      When I returned to GPs in my early sixties I was initially concerned whether I still had the strength to manage the transshipment between trolley and road trailer,  but entirely by chance that boat which I bought happened to come with a good combi-unit,  and I was absolutely amazed at how comparatively easy it was to get the boat and trolley (together) on and off the road base.   However it is absolutely crucial that you align the trolley accurately when loading;    if it is misaligned it will stop perhaps a foot short of fully home,  when the side of the trolley jams against one or other of the side guides on the road base  –  in which case run it back off,  align it correctly,  and try again.

       

      Oliver

    • #20373
      Pete500
      Participant

      Thinking about it the front support on my existing trailer does look as if it might swivel (or might once have, it’s rather rusty now), so perhaps that is the method envisaged. It does indeed sound brutal though. I’ve ordered a trolley from Trident and it arrives next week (free delivery was the clincher) so I’ve some time to work out what to do – I might bite the bullet and roll the trailer deep enough into the water to float the boat off. I don’t need to use it for a while so can take the time to clean out the bearings. They could probably do with a service in any case. Thanks all for your responses and advice.

      Peter

      • #20376
        Oliver Shaw
        Moderator

        If you intend putting the trailer in the water it is a good precaution to grease the wheel bearings first;   if they are absolutely full of  grease there is no space left for water to enter.

        Most trailers will have grease nipples on the wheel bearings,  to mate with a grease gun.  Continue pumping grease in until you see it start to come out.

        If putting it in the water after a road journey allow time for the bearings to cool down,  and then grease them before putting it in the water.

         

        Oliver

    • #20374
      norman
      Participant

      The swivel bow support was, so I was told, the original trailer design. The trailer also had roller, as opposed to taper bearings, and graceful fibreglass mudguards. The one I had with a boat 2??? had a channel section cross beam. I removed the cradle and bow suport to enable a commercial launching trolley to fit. The cheap and simple alternative to a roller was a wooden beam, possibly 3″ x 2″  fitted in the channel, with blocks to prevent lateral movement and a tang welded at the front to locate and secure the trolley as per the commercial base.

      Norman

    • #20386
      Chris
      Participant

      If you’re sailing on the Welsh Harp you have the O’Neill brothers on site at Welsh Harp Boat Centre. They are also Sovereign Trailers which are very, very good. Not the cheapest but far better than an Ikea flat pack and if you’re patient and keep an eye on ebay a suitable road base will turn up secondhand.

      The trolley is the most important part of your non-sailing kit. If its wrong it could damage your boat or damage you. A GP14 is a heavy boat and needs a good trolley – Don’t cheap out on it 🙂

      • This reply was modified 2 months, 1 week ago by Chris.
      • #20388
        Pete500
        Participant

        Thanks for the tip re Welsh Harp Boat Centre Chris – I can’t believe I hadn’t found them previously. If I hadn’t ordered from Trident already I would have gone to them, if only to support a local firm. Mike seemed positive about Trident though, so I will stick with it rather than cancel. I imagine I will wind up spending a fair bit of cash at WHBC before too long in any event!

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