Converting A Child’s Bike Trailer Into A Boat Dolly

[I posted this in 2012 at Instructables]


I have a wide 17′ (5.182 m) canoe and a sharpie sailing dinghy I need to move. I bought a Winchester brand child’s bike trailer at a 2nd hand store for $25 USD, but Burley or other brands would convert the same way.

chld_tral_prts1The pink and yellow nylon fabric covering was rotten so I cut it off, dismantled and cleaned the trailer frame and looked at pictures of boat dollies on the web.

chld_tral_bareNext I cut off the longitudinal hoops at about 6″ (0.152 m), reinstalled the resulting vertical stub uprights and reconnected the cross-members.

chld_tral_finI measured and cut wooden dowels (I used old rake handles) and inserted them in blue foam “pool noodles” to form the boat bunks with padding. I drilled holes through the posts and into the dowels and pinned them with wood screws.

chld_tral_fin1To hold the boat to the dolly I used a combination of salvaged nylon ski-rack straps and a child’s automotive safety seat webbing. Finally I pumped up the tires to 35 lbs psi, greased the axles and reinstalled the wheels.

I left off the tow bar for this application because it is not needed or wanted. I kept all the components though as I could easily put a floor on the trailer frame, put the tow bar back on and use it for a cargo trailer with my bicycle. Total cost was $25 as I already had all the other parts on hand.

[2015-the motley collection of nylon straps and seat-belts are mostly not needed on flat beaches as my large, flat-bottom canoe balances and moves nicely without straps. It does need a kickstand or something to keep it from rolling away when you put the boat on it; I used a strap to keep a wheel from turning. This worked quite well. Though bulky and unfoldable, my van had plenty of room for it-when I had a van.]

Unless otherwise noted, all text and images produced and copyrighted by and are free to use with attribution.
Any advertisement you see on these pages is chosen, placed and monetized by WordPress. I am neither consulted nor compensated by WordPress.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s