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Rig Stowage and Trailer

This page deals with the stowage of Crazybird's rig for trailing and the trailer itself.
The trailer is really important. A well designed trailer tracks well behind the towing vehicle without wandering about, carries the boat securely while absorbing road shocks, is easy to launch the boat from and when recovering the boat self centers it even in a cross wind. Launching and recovery should be possible without getting your feet wet and if possible be able to be done by one person. It should carry a spare wheel and be fully galvanised and have no water traps. Plus its all got to fit in your storage area. Easy huh? Not so I'm afraid.
Crazybird's trailer was corroding badly (it was old long before Crazybird) and we finally decided something had to be done. Now after months of putting it off we have had a new trailer built for her, and I have to say its great. For those of you building a Caledonia Yawl I've taken a few photos. Each can be expanded by clicking on it.
Crazybird's new trailer (Mar 2002)
Crazybird sits squarly on her keel on the new trailer. There are runners beneath the bilges but normally the bilges do not touch these, all the weight being taken on the keel. The boat is held upright by a removeable steel rod on each side which passes through a transverse beam which goes from gunwhale to gunwhale, and has a nut with a handle welded to it for easy tightening and releasing. We used this arrangement on the old trailer and it works really well, both holding the boat securely whilst being quick to set up and undo. Nothing actually touches the side or bottom of the boat.
Crazybird sits balanced on her keel.  Threaded rods hold her vertical.
Looking forward from beneath the port quarter. The aftermost guide slopes down to the central roller on each side, guiding the forefoot to the centre during recovery. It can be seen that the bilge is well clear of the bilge runner on the trailer. Notice the black upright to port (matched by one to starboard which is not visible). This guides the boat into the centre of the trailer during recovery and stops the stern blowing off sideways over the rear of the trailer. Notice also the steelwalkway to port under the boat and the small steel step on either end of the trailer. Very useful ...
From beneath the quarter.
Looking forward from above starboard quarter. Notice the transverse beams carrying the rig. (See more pictures on the rig stowage below).
Number plate is not rigidly attached but swings - thus not damaged by obstructions (its rather low).
Stern view of Crazybird on new trailer
Looking aft. A swinging jockey wheel (saves taking the jockey wheel on and off). The blue winch was the only bit we saved off the old trailer.
We thought about installing brakes on the trailer. We are pretty confident the total gross weight is under that required to have brakes in Victoria (750kg) however we thought brakes would be a good idea. The additional cost put us off so we just had flanges installed at the end of each axle so we could easily install brakes in the future.
Bow view of Crazybird on her new trailer.
Looking aft, the walkway down the port side of the trailer assists launching and recovery with dry feet.
View of Crazybird's trailer showing walkway.
The entire rig is stowed in a rack attached to the two transverse beams, the afterward one of which carried the steel rods mentioned above. The rack has a series of slots cut and lined with waterproof carpet, to carry, from starboard; the mast, the tiller (the half loop hanging down), a boathook/paddle, the mizzen with sail wrapped around it, the boom and gaff with mainsail flaked inbetween, the mizzen bumpkin and the mizzen boom. We carry the oars within the boat alongside the centreboard. The VHF aerial and fitting can be seen on top of the mizzen. For more detail of Nev's mizzen masthead fitting enlarge the next picture.
Deck view of Crazybird showing spar stowage.
A closer look at the rig stowage arrangement. We secure each spar in place with big heavy duty rubber bands (car inner tube sliced up) stretched between dowels on each side of each slot. In the well of the boat to starboard you can see the rudder which we stow on a piece of waterproof carpet on the floorboards (secured aft with a lanyard). On the end of the mizzen bumkin, stowed to port), you can see the block to carry the mizzen sheet, which I have a stainless spring holding in position. This prevents the block falling over everytime tension comes off the mizzen sheet, and prevents the sheet become fouled around the end of the spar. Small thing but well worthwhile. We have a cover that goes over the entire rig and boat which stops dust and rain getting in and streamlines the whole arrangement.
Closer view of sspar stowage on Crazybird.
We have a removeable towbar fitting to reduce the overall length of the boat plus trailer for storage. The hull of Crazybird just fits diagonally across one car space in our double garage. To get it in on a trailer, the trailer has to have a removeable draw bar. The picture (right) shows the drawbar in place.
Removeable towbar shown in place.
The drawbar removed. The trailer now does not protrude beyond either end of the boat and the whole thing just fits diagonally across one car space in the garage.
Pretty handy security device too.
Removeable towbar shown removed.
So there you have it, Crazybird's new trailer in March 2002. The trailer was built by Easytow Trailers, in Heathcote, Central Victoria (Australia). Their service was excellent as is the end product. If you'd like more information such as specific dimensions etc either contact Easytow directly and ask for Mick, or put your question up on the Discussion Board.
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