tenderly dinghy

I just finished up my TD kit that I picked up at the Port Townsend Wooden Boat festival last September. The hull is varnished and ready to get wet and I'm working on the sail components now. It's so beautiful just sitting there in the garage that I'm a little leary getting it out there and getting that first scratch. My question: How do you other TD builders transport your boat? I have a Malone Sports trailer with two Easy Rider kayaks that I;m trying to sell. I thought about just selling the kayaks and using the trailer for my TD, but it is only good for transport, not launching, and I'd have to do some radical customizing. I have a Tacoma pickup with a 6' bed and I thought about sliding the boat in there, but I'm apprehensive about the width and scraping things up. Not concerned about the length beyond the tail gate as much. And then there is the problem of wheeling it from a parking lot to the water. Has anybody jury-rigged transom dollys for this purpose? I suppose in a perfect world if I can sell the kayaks and trailer I could buy the nifty little trailex trailer designed for small boats, or better yet buy some waterfront property with a dock. 


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RE: tenderly dinghy

Can you pull your Tenderly up into your truck stern first without help?  If you're able to do that, it does open up possibilities for going trailerless, methinks.

I have a Passagemaker Dinghy take-apart which I transport in my pickup truck.  The take-apart business, for me, is mostly about being able to store her standing up on her transom in a corner to leave room for my bride's automobile in our apartment's fine attached boathou...er, um...garage.

When we're going somewhere (the boat and I), I move the car out, get the boat down on the garage floor onto a 6'x12' piece of indoor/outdoor carpet, assemble the two sections, and then drag the rug partway out of the garage door near the end of the lowered tailgate of my GMC 2500 pickup (overkill for this, I know!), stern to stern. I then pass a bight of rope through the skeg grip, climb up into the truck bed, and lift the boat's stern up onto a second 6'x12' piece of indoor/ooutdoor carpet spread out over the tailgate and bed of the truck.

With much heaving and hoing, I then pull the dinghy up into the bed of the truck, fold a smaller piece (3'x6') of indoor/outdoor over the top of the transom, and then push the boat's stern all the way up against the front of the truck bed, leaving the nose hang out over the still-lowered tailgate.  A couple of ropes passed across the gunnels from the truck's tie-down loops and then cinched down with my alpine butterfly variation of a truckers' hitch holds her in place.  The gear is loaded inside the boat after she's up in the truck, to save wear and tear on the skipper.  At 65, I only got so much heave-ho left in me, you see.  <;-)

If we're going to launch somewhere with a regular boat ramp with a dock alongside, we'll leave the first 6'x12' indoor/outdoor carpet at home.  Once at the ramp, I'll offload all the boat gear near the ramp, back down to the water, slide the boat bow-first into the water (carefully, so as not to take water over the bow), and then step off from the tailgate to the dock to tie her up so I can go park the truck.

If we're going to a ramp with no dock alongside (or if it's the off season when they've pulled the floating docks), I'll bring that extra 6'x12' piece along.  At the ramp, I'll back down the ramp partway, lay that extra 6'x12' piece out onto the concrete, and then slide the boat out of the truck bed onto that.  I'll slide the boat down to the water on the carpet, leapfrogging the two big pieces of carpet if needed, turn her around, and then leave her sitting on the 3'x6' piece laid about half in and half out of the water.  Sort of like making an instant landing beach.

If there's no improved ramp, I'll do the same business of getting the boat out of the truck and onto a big piece of carpet and then get a "boat cart" under her to roll her down to the shore.  I don't think CLC sells the one I bought any more, but what they have now looks better:


The description for that claims to be able to handle 200#, so maybe that would work for your Tenderly.

In my favor for truck-hauling my PMD vs. your TD, the PMD is at least 30# lighter.  In your favor, I don't reckon the bed of your truck is as back-breakingly high as is my monster GMC 2500.  Mercy!  My son sometimes transports our PMD in his Chevy Colorado in the same manner, and it is a piece of cake by comparison.  Your TD might give you a bit of trouble balancing her on her pointy forefoot whilst you lift the stern, whereas my PMD carries her flat bottom all the way up to the transom.  You'd just have to try it and see.

Not having to fool with a trailer, especially not having to store the boat on a trailer, is what makes having a fairly substantial sailing dinghy like this possible for me.  The indoor/outdoor carpet is the key to making the whole thing work without tearing up the boat and without ever having to lift the entire boat all at once.

May the Brute Force be with you, but not the Blunt Force Trauma!


RE: tenderly dinghy

   If that's the Malone trailer that I've seen before, I think you can equip it with straight bars, right?  Then it's just a roof rack that is low to the ground. Load the TD upside down on its gunwales.  Now all you need is a cart to get it from there to the water.  I've been cartopping a skerry for 2 years.  I came up with a homemade solution for loading and unloading it from the side, inspired by other ideas I found on the web, but I also put together a version of the Yak Kart that CLC has had drawings of on the site for a long time.  It works fine for the skerry.  I made it a bit wider to match the beam at the garboard planks of the skerry, and did it from scrap, so it's not exactly the drawing, but works.  I put the foam pipe insulation on the bunks but then covered it with scraps of indoor/outdoor carpet to make it easy to slide off/on.  You can flip the TD off the side of the trailer onto the cart.  Keep a scrap of carpet or foam to put on the ground so you minimize scrapes when you let it down ungracefully from time to time.

Look on the CLC website for "cart" and you'll see it.

RE: tenderly dinghy

Oh, and I find varnish actually easier to repair when dinged that the painted hull.  My rails, rudder, board, spars are varnished and all are subject to occasional grounding, scuffs when loading, etc.  I keep some varnish in one of the Stop/Loss bags so that when I've accumulated a few too many dings, I run around with some fine sandpaper to smooth the dings out, wipe clean with a rag, then take a foam brush and a little varnish and give all the spots a swipe. Maybe a second dab if it's a deep ding.  You won't notice from 10 feet away.   

RE: tenderly dinghy

Hello Mike,

    I am in roughly the same position.  I am nearly complete with a Goat Island Skiff, which is a little bigger but roughly the same weight as your TD.  My initial plan was to use my Malone trailer (same as yours) for double duty hauling either the kayaks or GIS.  After a few dry runs of lifting the GIS up onto the trailer, I have decided to go ahead and buy a dedicated trailer for the GIS.  No doubt that the Malone will handle the GIS, but the height of the bars makes it a struggle to load the boat from my garage solo, and the boat is a bit too heavy for my bride to lift.  The high bars will also make it a PITA to load on a wet/slippery boat ramp.  I though of taking the cart approach, but many of the ramps around here are pretty steep, and pulling +150# of boat and gear up would be difficult.  No doubt the Trailex trailers are nice but I can buy a good quality galvanized trailer fully assembled from a local dealer for about half the price.  If you really need the cart functionality, you could look at one of the cart combo systems (http://www.sturgisboatworks.com/SBWdollycombo_p/sbwdcs.htm).

On the bottom paint subject, I am about to apply a product called Wetlander, which is designed for air boats.  I friend applied it to his kayak and likes it.  It is supposedly very tough.


RE: tenderly dinghy

   Gramps, Mummichog,and Mark,

Thanks for weighing on this all important transportation question. As it turns out the Malone trailer with my two Easy Rider kayaks sold Friday night. Ka-ching, my first craigslist post and it went well. Haven't used them in two years and they were taking up space, making it very hard to build my TD. I was thinking of using the trailer, but the kayak rails would have been a little higher than I would have wanted and flipping the dinghy onto the rails would have been almost impossible, especially if I was by myself or after getting it wet. My Tacoma tailgate is the same heigth as my sawhorses, so now I'm going to try sliding the boat in with some padding like your indoor/outdoor carpeting. If that idea works then I'll build some sort of version of the yak cart. If the boat is too much of a squeeze ( this is where your GMC would come in handy width-wise Gramps), I'll pop for the trailex trailer. However, my new found windfall from my recent sale could be evaporated quickly as my wife wants a new embroidery machine for her sewing room. Sheesh, women and ther expensive hobbys, right?


P.S. Mark, your boat looks great.

RE: tenderly dinghy

Mark, if you see this, could you let me know which trailer you’ve seen at your local dealer that’s about half the cost of a Trailex?



RE: tenderly dinghy

  Continental JB1512.  I could have gone the next trailer smaller but that trailer has 8" wheels and I wanted 12".  Cost was $804 fully assembled and ready to use.  I added bearing buddies, goal posts and a spare with mount which added $100 (not installed when I took these picts).  It fits the boat perfectly and makes launching a snap (no wet feet).


RE: tenderly dinghy

The boat looks great.  Called Continental about their trailers. They are a Florida business and have no distributors outside the state. Bummer. Still loking for a comparable trailer up here in New Hampshire/ Maine.


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