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Making your own small wooden boat trailer for a flat-bottom rowboat will save you a lot of money compared to the cost of buying one --- and, using some simple-to-understand steps, building the trailer should be a relatively easy task. The trailer will be 10 feet long with a rectangle load-bearing area measuring 4 feet wide by 8 feet long. It will have two taillights to signal your stops and turns to others.
Items you will need
2 8-foot-long 2-by-4's.
2 4-foot-long 2-by-4's
6-foot-long 6-by-6 board
4-foot-by-8-foot sheet of plywood
1-inch-diameter 8-inch steel rods with threaded ends
1-inch-diameter 14-inch carriage bolts
1-inch-diameter lock washers
2 trailer wheels with 1-inch-diameter center holes
1-inch drill bit
2 12-volt trailer lights
Trailer hitch electrical plug
24 feet of black 14-gauge electrical wire
24 feet of red 14-gauge electrical wire
Trailer ball receptacle
Building the Axle
Bore 1-inch holes in the center of both ends of the 6-foot-long 6-by-6 board.
Fasten a 1-inch-diameter steel rod into both ends of the 6-foot-long 6-by-6 board, creating a 6-foot-long 6-by-6 trailer axle.
Set a wheel on the axle's ends by sliding the 1-inch-diameter steel rod through the 1-inch center hole of the wheel. This attaches the trailer's wheels.
Put a 1-inch-diameter lock washer on the end of the axle's steel rods and next to each hub of the trailer wheels.
Fasten a 1-inch-diameter nut onto each of the axle's steel rods, securing the trailer's wheels on the axle.
Building the Trailer's Hauling Arm
Position the 10-foot-long four-by-four centered on the trailer's axle.
Place the 10-foot-long four-by-four with the axle 2 feet in from the end it.
Draw two marks on the four-by-four centered on the axle that are 1 1/2 inches from each other on the four-by-four.
Bore a 1-inch hole through the hauling arm and the axle at each of these marks.
Drive 1-inch-diameter carriage bolts through these holes. Be certain that the carriage bolts go through the hauling arm and the axle.
Slide 1-inch-diameter lock washers over the carriage bolt ends.
Fasten a 1-inch-diameter nut onto each of the carriage bolt ends. This will make the hauling arm secure on the axle.
Building the Load Frame
Place the two 4-foot-long two-by-fours on the 10-foot-long four-by-four parallel to one another and perpendicular to the 10-foot-long hauling arm. Be certain that the ends of the 4-foot-long two-by-fours are parallel to each other because they will make the ends of the 4-foot-by-8-foot load-bearing rectangle.
Mark and measure two points centered on the 10-foot-long four-by-four about 1 1/2 inches apart from each other on each of the 4-foot-long two-by-fours.
Bore a 1-inch hole completely through the boards at these points.
Slide 1-inch-diameter carriage bolts through the holes. Check to be sure the carriage bolts go through both of the boards.
Slide a 1-inch-diameter lock washer over each of the carriage bolt ends.
Fasten a 1-inch-diameter nut onto each of the carriage bolts. This secures the trailer's crossing pieces to the trailer's hauling arm.
Using screws, attach the 8-foot-long two-by-fours to the ends of the other two-by-fours and parallel to one another. This creates a 4-foot-by-8-foot rectangle of two-by-fours.
Lay the 4-foot-by-8-foot plywood sheet over the 4-foot-by-8-foot rectangle of two-by-fours
Attach the 4-foot-by-8-foot plywood sheet, using screws, to the rectangle of two-by-fours.
The trailer is finished now except for connecting the trailer lights and fastening on the trailer ball receptacle.
Fastening and Connecting the Trailer Lights and Trailer Ball Receptacle
Fasten the trailer lights to each side of the axle with one on each side of the trailer using screws to screw the trailer lights onto the axle.
Split 24 feet of black, 14-gauge electrical wire into two halves, making two 12-foot-long lengths of black electrical wire.
Peel back the covering on one end of each of the 12-foot-long lengths of the black electrical wire.
Connect the peeled end of each of the 12-foot lengths of black wire to the black wire that is coming out of each trailer light. Cover over the point where the wires connect with electrical tape. This makes a 12-foot-long length of black wire running off of each one of the trailer lights.
Split the 24-foot length of red 14-gauge electrical wire into two halves, making two 12-foot-long lengths of red electrical wire.
Peel back the covering on one end of each of the 12-foot-long lengths of the red electrical wire.
Connect the peeled end of each of the 12-foot lengths of the red electrical wire to the red wire that is coming out of each trailer light. Cover over the point where the wires connect with electrical tape. This makes a 12-foot length of red wire running off of each one of the trailer lights.
Fasten all of the trailer lights' wires to the 10-foot-long hauling arm by laying them along the hauling arm and then wrapping a zip tie around both the hauling arm and the wires. Tighten the zip tie over the wires and hauling arm to secure the wires to the hauling arm.
Peel back the end of every one of the red and black wires that is at the end of the hauling arm.
Insert the peeled wire ends into the trailer hitch electrical plug. This allows the trailer lights to be connected into the electrical system of the hauling vehicle.
Fasten the trailer ball receptacle onto the end of the 10-foot-long hauling arm. The trailer is complete and now ready for use. To put a wooden rowboat on the trailer, simply set it on top of the 4-foot-by-8-foot plywood and with some rope tie the boat onto the trailer.
Robert Dyer has worked as a freelance writer since 1998. He has had articles published in "Mississippi Gulf Coast Historical Quarterly. Dyer has a Bachelor of Arts in history from the University of South Alabama.