Saturday, March 22, 2014

Trial Road Run with 'Minnow'

I took ‘Minnow’ for a trial run on her road trailer as far as Hullbridge. There, at the public car park, I practised reversing. I found manoeuvring more difficult with ‘Minnow’ than with my West Wight Potter. ‘Sandpiper’ sat further back on her trailer, so that I could see where she was going. ‘Minnow’ completely blocks my view. That means I shall have to make sure the trailer and car are centrally lined up at the top of a slipway, and when reversing keep them in line – that’s easier said than done!

Because the tow bar is short, I’ll have to lower the boat and trailer into the water with a rope attached to the car’s tow ball. A single turn around the tow ball will be sufficient for controlling their descent.

 Another way of launching is to chock the trailer wheels close to the water; then unhook the trailer, but before doing so, make sure the forward end is heavy enough to keep the jockey wheel in contact with the slipway. Drive up the slipway; then link the trailer and car with a piece of rope. Drive a few inches further so that the chocks can be removed. Slowly reverse until the boat floats off. Secure her with her painter to a convenient fixture; then retrieve the trailer by towing it clear with the rope.

A long tow bar makes a lot of difference, because the whole procedure is simplified – just reverse boat and trailer into the water until the boat floats clear. Secure the boat with her painter; then drive up the slipway with the trailer still attached.

Sean Mulligan with his Paradox, ‘Scout’ does this with comparative ease.


Paradox Scout – unedited…trailer to sailor in under 10 min


Pete said...

When I reverse mine I can't see either trailer wheel in the wing mirrors. This is good because it means you're going dead straight.
As soon as a wheel starts to appear in either mirror you just need to turn slightly to move it out of sight again. It's a simple way to reverse straight backwards.
I have to reverse Johanna up into our sloping driveway (I'd never be able to push her)off the road. I have less than 6" clearance to get her through the car port but can manage that with just using the mirrors. It was a bit stressful the first few times (with build up of traffic on the road) but it gets simple the more you practice.
Good Luck

William Serjeant said...


Thanks for the tip. I'll give it a go.