Almost-A-SCAMP Progress Report #4 . . . .

Started by Charles Brennan, Jan 28, 2024, 10:00 PM

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Charles Brennan

I know all that I have is a partially finished SCAMP hull, but eventually it's going to be a sailboat and it will need a berth in the form of a trailer, one where 90% of its time is spent.
New ones go for $1000 to $1200, in the size range I needed.
I spent a few summers in high school working for a trailer manufacturer, so I had no compunctions about building one from parts.
So I have been perusing local ads, looking for a wreck I could build up into a trailer.
Figured I'd get the components here and there, as opportunities came up.

My mental budget went something like this:
No MORE than:
$100 for a usable galvanized frame.
$100 for a square tube galvanized axle.
$150 for galvanized hubs, wheels and springs.
$150 for galvanized winch stand and bow stop.
$40 for a galvanized jack stand.
Goal posts, bunks and rollers as required.
So, 540 bucks, plus, or about half of what a comparable new trailer would cost.

People sure have a high opinion of what looks (from the photos) like hunks of rust holding hands, in terms of what they want to sell it for.   ???
Last month, I drove about two hours for a 100 dollar frame that turned out to be too large for my needs.
A week and a half  later, I drove a half hour only to find a 100 dollar frame that had the back half consumed by rust.
But I kept looking at trailer ads, and with my now-practiced eye, rejecting most of them.
Yesterday, I saw an ad that looked possibly promising, except it was two hours away; but still, the pics looked promising.
Looked about the size of my kayak trailer and had lots of stuff on it.
So I took a chance, drove out there and bought it for $150.
Although initially, I almost backed off from the deal.

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I got there and saw the two leafs on the springs, and my heart sank.   :-\
500 pound rated springs, meaning 1000 Pounds load rating; I was hoping for something with 2 or 3 times the capacity of the SCAMP's weight.
Tape measure showed me a 40" wide frame and I figured my kayak trailer had a 48" frame and was 12 feet in length.
And the length looked to be about two feet shorter than my kayak trailer.

Too small.

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But as I was standing there looking at it, the internal Engineer in me, was thinking furiously.
Ya know, they say an Engineer is a guy who can do for 50 cents, what the rest of us can do for a dollar.
It occurred to me that while maybe too small for the SCAMP, it WASN'T too small for my kayaks!  :)

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Move the kayak brackets over to this trailer and the bow stop/winch stand over to the kayak trailer and I could use my kayak trailer to hold the SCAMP.
After all, I KNEW it would go clear across the country and back, because I had already done just that, back in December.

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So I plunked down the money and spent some time getting the lights working, which necessitated a trip to an auto parts store for 1157 tail light lamps.  How ANALOG!!  :-[
Thought I was all done with those pesky, troublesome things when I converted all my trailers over to LED tail lights.   >:(
This was definitely a diamond in the rough.  There was no air in the tires, but being an ST trailer tire, the sidewalls were stiff enough to get me to a gas station air pump a mile away.
Both fenders were loose and I elected to remove them, to make sure they both made it all the way home.
After I got home, I got out my tape measure.
Whoa!   :o  Turns out, the dimensions on this trailer are identical to my kayak trailer! 
Looked at the almost worn off letters on the frame and they looked suspiciously like: Continental.
Same as my kayak trailer.

Holy Cow!  :o
Looks like I had accidentally bought a Continental EC212; one brand-new 3 years ago and one used, just now.
That meant that the weight ratings were the same: GVWR 1500 lb, load capacity 1200 lb.
Color me HAPPY!   ;D
New ones look like this:
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Mine (currently) looks like this:

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Nothing a little pressure washing won't cure! :)

I had resigned myself to painted steel wheels and having to buy galvanized wheels, since I dunk my trailers.
This trailer has those horrid painted steel Carlisle wheels.

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I thought I was all done with Carlisle tires from back in these days:
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BUT!! I never dunk the kayak trailer. I simply pull it up alongside the water and drag the kayaks off the trailer and plop them into the water.

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Until I have to deal with bunks, rollers and goal posts, I don't have to buy anything to have a usable kayak trailer and and a usable SCAMP trailer!
And in another strange twist of coincidence:
Guy that sold me the SCAMP, was named Mike.
Guy that sold me the trailer, was also named Mike.

Guess who I'm looking for, when it comes time to get a motor?!?   ;D

Charles Brennan

Noemi - Ensenada 20

What are you doing running around buying stuff without a tape measure???    ::)

Glad this worked out so well! ;D

Charles Brennan

Noemi, I DID have my tape measure with me, (carry it with me daily; I'm married to a creative woman and frequently need to know if something will shoehorn into the space my wife envisioned) so that's how I knew it was 40".
What I DIDN'T do, was measure the kayak trailer before I left, for a reference.
Ya know that optical illusion where the white circle looks bigger than the black circle and they're really both the same size?   ???
This trailer was so grundgy grey (even though it has almost no rust) compared to my shiny kayak trailer, I just thought it was smaller!  :-[

That's my story and I'm STICKING to it!!  ;D

Hope this clarifies,
Charles Brennan


A Thistle weighs 515 lbs. When you add covers, gear, sails, and other junk you are looking at maybe 650. I've known people to remove a leaf to provide as soft a ride as possible. Seems like some trailer makers have a "the stiffer the better" attitude. Not great.

Captain Kidd

Nice score! Looks like you got just what you needed. Thanks, Mike! Here's to your next Mike.

When I was looking for a trailer, I scoured the Craigslist, Market Place ads. Seemed like a steady stream of used ones available. I just missed a used trailer and boat that were free! My tow vehicle was in the shop - ugh! I found one 100 miles up the interstate for $160. Me and the seller really hit it off. Had a great visit and he threw in some extra stuff and dropped the price without me asking. With lumber, hardware, and 2 new tires, I have about $300+ in it. It's more trailer than I needed, but the price was right.

Like you, I found it early on in the build process. It sat for over a year before I got to it.

Hitched and headed home after installing a set of trailer lights.

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Hardware stripped and a carpeted plank laid down for the keel to rest upon. Since the keel has some rocker in it, I built up the plank with some extra wedge shaped lumber so that as much of the keel as possible would hit the plank.

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I didn't add bunks until I could put the boat on the trailer. I put four small bunks at points where they would hit a bulkhead or frame, though the plan is for the keel plank to take the weight. Bunks are to keep it upright and level.

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So far so good though I probably only have a couple hundred miles of trailering at this point.

Keep us posted. Really excited for you. 

Riley Smith

Cool! Sounds like me when I went shopping for a skiff trailer for the still dormant Stauter. I forget what I paid for the trailer for it (wasn't much) but once I had put the skiff on the trailer, I realized the catboat would fit the OLD skiff trailer just fine. So I set about getting the catboat on her "new" wheels. The FORMER trailer for the catboat was so far gone it was basically scrap. And that reminds me. The springs on her trailer looked awful suspicious the last time out. Maybe it's time for THAT. Congrats on the new wheels!