Trailer Hitch for NE Dory

I recently took the BIY NE Dory class and was the only person to transport their dory without the use of a trailer.  I have a swiveling canoe carrier that is attached to my trailer hitch on my RAM 1500 pickup.  If someone is thinking about building a 15 - 17 foot boat this is a nicely priced option compared  to a $2,000+ trailer.  I cannot remember the name of the unit I bought 5 years ago. 

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RE: Trailer Hitch for NE Dory

   I also transport my NE dory without a trailer. Could you explain a little more about how you get it up on your truck?

RE: Trailer Hitch for NE Dory

RAM 1500's a big truck. Has to be over what, 15 - 16' long? Some of us prefer smaller daily driving vehicles that otherwise are well-suited to our needs. Acquiring a $2,000 trailer may to us be a better proposition for transporting a boat that switching to a $40,000 truck, with what that would entail...



RE: Trailer Hitch for NE Dory


It's actually closer to 20' and, depending on the options, north of $60K. While that's all beyond what I need or want, if someone has a truck like that for their daily work anyway, it makes perfect sense to cartop the boat instead of trailering it. Easier driving, especially backing up, parking and fueling, cheaper tolls at bridges and tunnels (NY decided that my Teardrop camper made me into a commercial operator instead of an old retired guy on vacation and clipped me an extra $20 for using their bridge vs. not towing anything), one less vehicle for the HOA to whine about and the state to license and register (and me to pay all the fees), etc. Also, an upside down boat on top of the vehicle tends to result in better mileage than a towed trailer, sometimes even less than a boatless truck. It can even act as a streamlined cargo carrier.

Other than getting the boat on and off, it's actually simpler and cheaper than buying a trailer if you alread have a large truck anyway.


RE: Trailer Hitch for NE Dory

   I haul our NED on top of our RAV4 with no trouble. We took it 1,000 miles to North Carolina last year. Recently I got a canoe loader that fits into the hitch and provides support at the back--especially important when loading. Indeed, loading is the hard part, and I've been trying to figure out ways to make it easier. Right now I use a soft-wheel dolly at the stern, with the boat upside down, to move the boat and get it in position. I also have a single swivelling wheel at the bow. Theoretically I can move it and line it up by myself, lift the bow onto the canoe loader, and slide the boat up into place. But it's still a hassle.

RE: Trailer Hitch for NE Dory

   I started out cartopping my skerry on my Mazda CX-5.  I already had Thule roof bars but made a 2 wheel dolly out of scraps and lawn mower wheels and a side loader rig for the roof rack inspired by another dinghy loader I found online, again, with mostly leftovers.  It worked, but did take some effort.  I also found that my Mazda took a pretty big mileage hit with the boat on top.  after a couple years, I splurged on one of the Trailex trailers, taking advantage of one of CLC's trailer specials.  I have to say that mileage actually improved with the trailer riding in the slipstream of the car.  Now, the Trailex is as light as they come, so a heavier and cheaper trailer might be different in terms of drag, but that's just my experience.  And yea, the rigamarole of licensing it and then getting hit on tolls for the extra axle was a bummer, but it didn't happen too often, so on balance, I like the trailer.

RE: Trailer Hitch for NE Dory

   I've been using a Yakima Rack and Roll trailer for several years now - hugely easier than cartopping, makes launching easier too - just back down a boat ramp. The only time I cartop now is on an RV trip, when I tow my Jeep behind the RV. Can't tow two things at once so the kayak(s) go on the roof rack on the Jeep. I'd like to find a way to carry the trailer on the Jeep so that it would be usable at the destination, haven't got it figured out yet though.

RE: Trailer Hitch for NE Dory

I can't imagine car toping a NED, especially after a long solo row.  Many moons ago, after a long paddle in my Ches 17, I dropped it off the top of my VW.  It was windy, I was tired, and the wind caught her, then boom, onto the driveway.  Broke the stern, right where the rudder mounted.  I was able to fix it, but still kept me off the water for a while.    

RE: Trailer Hitch for NE Dory

...and, one has to consider the possibility that Newton missed a factor in his gravitational force formula.  According to Newton, the gravitational force between two objects (your boat and the earth, in this case) is proportional to the product of the masses and inversely proportional to the square distance.

The part which I begin to think he missed is that the gravitational force is also directly proportional to the cube of the age of the lifter minus 21.  Sure seems to me like stuff is about 110,592 times heavier than it was when I was 21.  Mercy.  <;-)


RE: Trailer Hitch for NE Dory

   Wait a few more years and stuff will be 421,854 times heavier than it was when you were 21 - that's what I'm dealing with now - hence the trailer. I always thought it was a relativity thing - like stuff's mass increasing as its velocity increased. Time does go faster than it used to - hmmm this requires some serious thouight - maybe a nap...



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