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ROWDY's Trailer (updated October 5, 2015)  

February 18, 2013. Jerry Slaughter is building a trailer for ROWDY, his early O'Day Dolphin currently sitting in a boatyard in Patchogue, New York, and scheduled in early Spring for a road trip down to her new home in San Antonio, Texas.

Click here to go to ROWDY's page

Below are Jerry's emails over the past 6 weeks - edited and consolidated

Hi Ron,

I found a used tandem trailer to use for the Week's yacht yard Dolphin. I've got a lot of work ahead to get it ready but I will not pick up the boat until the spring. I've got to get tires - should I get bias or radial? A friend said bias tires track better and I should look for 6 or more ply. I didn't see any mention of types on the web site. I've got hydralic brakes on the front axle and an Attwood actuator that still needs checking. I'll also need to find four screw jacks to get welded in place. There is a Dolphin on a trailer in Corpus Christi that I'll use for some of my measurements but experience based ideas are very valuable to me, so if anyone wants to throw out two cents worth of advice, I'll take it.


January 18, 2013 Trailer report

The trailer was built by Custom Trailers in 1967.  The company is long gone however the Custom Trailer name is being incorporated in the Magnum Trailer line.  Magnum built trailers for other companies, I believe, so it's possible it might be one of theirs.  I bought 4 tires today, went with hi speed 205/75-14 size bias ply, 6 ply (postscript load range c, on 5 lug rims). That should do the trick.

Next on my agenda is rewire the lights, replace hydraulic actuator, and do a brake job and wheel packing.  I'll also replace the buddy bearings and build the skid plate for the keel.  I've got some old bunks on the trailer that I'll cut off.  Finally I'll be looking for the screw jacks and a good welder.


February 18, 2013 Trailer report (minor edits)

I thought I would give you an update on my trailer and truck goings on.  I bought an old 21 foot tandem power boat trailer (see Jan 18 report), cut off the bunks and added poppet pipes for four screw jacks.  I'll probably get the screw jacks from Hostar, up there in Massachusettes. http://www.hostarmarine.com/#  I cut the pipes 20 inches and 18 inches as one of our guys did.  My stands are 11 feet 2 inches apart, which bothers me a little, even though they will only provide lateral support.  I'll probably put one more set of supports at the center of weight on the trailer just to make me feel better, but I haven't done it yet.

I had to cut off the old tongue and weld in a 3 by 3 inch tube for a new actuator, and, of course, the brakes were completely shot.  I replaced the old brake lines and rewired the lights, and as of this afternoon, I have a new keel support made out of 5 pieces of pressure treated lumber, 2" X 4", 8 feet long.  I haven't decided how I'll carry the mast since I really don't know how high the boat will sit on the trailer.  I think the boat has bow and stern rails and I may just put a 2 by with a mast cradle on the rails.

I had been looking for a 3/4 ton cargo van for pulling the boat but went with a 3/4 ton super duty V10 Ford for the job.  About the time I registered the truck the price of gas started going up and up but everyone knows yachtsmen have unlimited funds available.

Well, thats it for now.

Regards, Jerry

ps, when I road test the rig I will take a couple of pictures with my phone


Here's a picture of ROWDY's trailer ready to go in the boat yard in Long Island, New York

and 2000 miles later - home safe in San Antonio, Texas


November 22, 2013. We needed to fill in a few blanks on this trailer but Jerry's been busy on the boat projects. Here is his update.

Hi Ron,
I had intended to send the attached photos of building Rowdy's trailer. I had decided to make my screw jacks instead of buying from Brownell or someone else and thought someone might be interested in the process. They ended up costing about $25 each.

The pictures will be just a data dump but I think you can make out the sequence. The screw jacks are scaffolding leveling jacks with the bases cut off. A small piece of aluminum channel attaches the wood pad (3/4 ply) to the screw with counter sunk bolts (1/4 inch), and the pads are covered with trunk liner material. I used the data from the web site to set everything up and right up to loading the boat I was worried that I had missed something important. Everything worked as advertised except the screws kept unscrewing, probably from the road vibration. I haven't fixed that problem yet but I think I will drill each screw and pin them.

I have yet to fix the bow bumper and the bow tie down roller. I also found out the boat will move around on the trailer, even though tied down, unless the keel is restrained somehow. As soon as I get Rowdy straight on the trailer I will attach keel guides to the keel skid plate. That and a new axle should be enough for another road trip, perhaps up to Maine.


Webmaster Note: The above trailer picture does not yet have the middle poppit installed - shown here at right

Jerry's comments about unscrewing poppits were 'scary' as your webmaster has not experienced this on his trailer - and you can be sure I will be checking this on future road trips. So I followed up with him and got the following postscript

As far as the "unscrewing" goes. I think if the load is uneven, i.e. one or more of the poppets under or over tight vibration could loosen a screw or two. The ones that kept giving me trouble were on the left side middle and rear.

I remember just out of Washington, D.C. I looked in the rearview mirror and saw the mid poppet completely off the boat. The aft one was also loose which meant only the forward, left poppet was snugged up. That was scary! From that point on, every stop meant checking the poppets for a snug fit. I may have over tightened the poppets, during the trip, thereby lifting the boat a little and allowing it to shift on the keel skeg.

The keel skeg guides that I'm thinking about are like what Bill Thomas did for Clover's trailer. They are short and will help align the boat and keep that big piece of lead from moving about.

My thinking now is to dry store Rowdy and launch on demand. I'm going to the coast this weekend and plan on sounding the marina launch ramp for depth. Also, if I travel afar I will be raising and lowering the mast so I'm designing a mast step with a pivot pen. I'll take a photo when that is done. Years ago I owned a Lyle Hess 20 footer that I raised the mast on several times. I don't expect Rowdy to be too much more difficult except accommodating the roller furler.

If you were ever wondering about who ever reads this stuff, its clear Jerry was checking out keel guides on the website and notes Bill Thomas' work on Ruby's (nee Clover's) trailer. And, as I am working on this page I noticed an email just in from Bill with an update on Ruby! And Bill's been doing his homework too - here is his comment in that email (excerpted/edited) on unscrewing poppits!!

Could you let Rowdy's owner know -. I found hose clamps keep the screws on my trailer stands from backing out when I'm on the road.

Ruby is Marscot/O'Day hull #4, ROWDY is #5. Its nice to see these sisters helping each other out 53 years later. Click here to go to Ruby's page, and click here to go to Ruby's trailer 


April 14, 2014. Jerry had the following trailer comments included in a general ROWDY update

I made a few modifications to my trailer, specifically the bow roller was attached and my winch roller was lowered so a strap could be attached to the bow cleat for those times when I will trailer launch and recover. I tried to jack the boat back straight onto the trailer but wasn't too successful.  I mentioned that during my road trip, from New York, the boat moved on the keel skid.  I wanted everything lined up before the next road trip.  I think one more jack and a pry bar will do the trick.

November 13, 2014/October 5, 2015 - for more on ROWDY's trailer - click here






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