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Thread: Cataraft trailer info request...

  1. #1
    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Eagle River

    Default Cataraft trailer info request...

    Any tips re: shopping for trailer? Load: 18ft cataraft plus outboard which I'd guess, wouldn't weigh more than 500 pounds or so total. Occasionally, the trailer might haul other things. Thinking of a 12/14/16 foot trailer.

    1. Other than load weight rating, what factors most affect handling and safety; length of trailer, weight of trailer, other factors?

    2. There's no practical advantage with tandem axle with package weights this light is there?

    3. Any specific recommendations for places to shop in Anchorage area?


  2. #2
    Member BlueMoose's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Rifle River MI

    Default Great Question

    Well there are several different options and some general rules of thumb and that being said a lot of personal preference :-)

    I have been trying to figure out that exact question for several years and here is what we have done to date:

    Started out hauling all boats on 16ft trailers that were way to heavy but held up well.

    Decided to Make Two 16ft Trailers a with a little less weight but still all the bulk axles and all that lasted about 2 years.

    Went to Aluminum - Bad idea broke both with-in two years one way or another beucase of rock hoping and rough roads IMO a complete waste of money.

    Started using smaller steel trailers and it broke down something like this:

    10-12ft boat / cat 8ft single axle trailer some overhang made for dirty boats up front most of the time and with road construction made for some long days and clean up.
    12-14ft boat / cat 10ft single axle trailer same issue with overhang and dirt.
    14-16ft boat / cat 12ft or 14ft single axle trailer same issue with dirt
    16-18ft boat /cat 14ft -16ft trailer single axle trailer same issue with dirt.

    Dirt is limited with tarping the front of the boat.

    Mind you most manufactures of inflatable’s recommend that you do not transport your inflatable in the inflated mode!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! However you show me someone with a trailer and I will show you someone with an inflated boat / cat.

    Min Axle no matter what type of trailer you purchase is 3500 lbs axle according to Bullet Proof trailers in Fairbanks the reason is the rough roads and if you’re having one made you might as well make it correctly and to last.

    Being that you wish to haul an 18ft Cat with motor I would suggest you go 14-16ft in length 16ft being more to my opinion. If I was going to purchase another new trailer for that intended purpose I would want as a min 2 x 2500 LBS axles yes it would increase the cost of the trailer by 700 bucks or so but it would allow you to use it for your intended purpose as well as other things such as wood hauling, wheelers etc.........

    Again IMO anything less than two 2500 lbs Axles at the 16ft length would not meet the needs of our smooth roads to include rock hopping at the boat launch and gravel roads Burma Landing, Skilak Lake Road the Richardson to Paxon Lake etc..........

    Again IMO if you were to test the waters at 14ft in length which is doable you might get away with a single 3500 axle and be just fine but then you are limited in what you might want to carry.

    As a suggestion you might want to visit this web site. He is always willing to talk and expand once mind concerning trailers.

    Mind you he is there to make money and sale trailers however he does give sound advice.

    Blue Moose
    Last edited by BlueMoose; 12-11-2008 at 16:31. Reason: Information spacing

  3. #3
    Member Daveintheburbs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Eagle River, AK


    AK Raft and Kayak put me on to a guy in south Anchorage who modifies Snow go trailers to work. I had one done about five years ago and it works pretty wll. He extends the tongue and installs a roller system in back. I did drill a few mor attach points toit. I have lost the guys card, but give Tracy a call.

  4. #4
    Member AlaskaTrueAdventure's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Paradise (Alaska)

    Thumbs up Trailors

    I haul my 18 foot long AIRE Leopard around on a 12 foot Triton trailor. A shorter trailor will not work without a tongue extension. I purchased a new one from a dealer, who has since gone out of business. By purchasing late in the snowmobile season, I saved about $300.00 and bought one that had some abrasions on the aluminum sides. It took me about five minutes to file out the abrasions.

    Steel trailors are much heavier, and they rust.

    I do believe you will prefer trailoring your cataraft. It takes over an hour just to assemble the frame from the separate parts. Another thirty minutes to inflate tubes and attach the frame to the tubes. Thats 90 minutes of your rafting time at the start of your day. And at the Kenai River, on a warm Saturday morning, thats 90 minutes of being in everybody elses way at the Kenai Lake boat ramp.



  5. #5
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 1999
    Anchorage, Alaska

    Default My Trailer

    Snomachine trailers work well, but you have to lengthen the tongue and you need to add some bumpers on the ends of the side track used to strap snowmachines down. Otherwise you can slice your boat on the end of the track. Biggest issue with snowmachine trailers is that they tend to float. This is not good if you're picking up in current (as is the case at Jim's Landing on the upper Kenai). In that situation you'll either have to park short and lift the boat onto the trailer, or your trailer will drift on you.

    I use an EZ-Loader trailer with a really long tongue. This was their cheapest vee-hull trailer with no rollers, just a 2x4 bunk on each side. I removed the bunks and installed additional brackets to support a plywood deck, which is supported underneath with 2x6 timbers. The timbers are secured to the marine ply decking with round-head carriage bolts (galvanized). I was gonna carpet the deck, but I'm glad I didn't. Carpet traps moisture and I think the wood would have gone bad on me in a few years.

    I secure my catarafts to this trailer with trucker straps that hook on ring eyes at each corner of the trailer. The ring eyes are through-bolted through the plywood and the 2x6 supports.

    It's not as strong as I would like, but I've been using it about ten years and it's holding up fine. The long tongue is something of a problem for parking, but it is great on boat ramps where I have to reach way out to get the boat. All in all I'm very happy with it. I keep a spare tire locked onto the tongue, just in case. Also I use the existing winch to hold the front of the boat down. I have carried two catarafts stacked on this trailer with no problems.

    I can pull this trailer all day long behind my Toyota 4x4 without knowing it's there. Yes, I am a Moderator, so I have a Toyota pickup.

    I don't prefer a back roller. It might be great for hard-bottomed drift boats, but a rubber or plastic raft just wraps itself around the roller and you end up having to lift the boat over it anyway. So why bother? Save yourself the hassle and forego the roller, is my take on it.

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  6. #6
    Member tjm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007


    Quote Originally Posted by 6XLeech View Post
    1. what factors most affect handling and safety
    handling?...going forward, just keep the load right (a little forward) and you'll avoid fishtailing...going backwards, longer tongue makes backing up easier for most, shorter tongue will react faster to your input, your preference...

    safety?....what's between your ears should keep you safe...

    Quote Originally Posted by 6XLeech View Post
    2. There's no practical advantage with tandem axle with package weights this light is there?
    tandem will ride smoother but not needed....if you plan to haul at any speed on dirt roads they do give you piece of mind knowing you have a rolling spare...

    I have an 18' cat on an 8.5' x 10' snowmachine trailer. I decked it with plywood and covered the wood with that green great, been hauling my cat like that since 1999...I would like a little longer tongue though...

    if you're going to be leaving the motor on the back you'll definitely not want to haul on a trailer like mine...I just put the motor in the back of the pickup...

    I can't imagine you overloading even a small trailer with just a cat,motor, and gear

    having said all that, I'd love a larger trailer...If I were to but another trailer just for my cat I wouldn't go shorter than 16', buy if you're not wanting to break the bank the little guys will get it done just fine....
    pull my finger....

  7. #7
    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Eagle River

    Default Thank you...

    for the wealth of advice on trailer type, size, capacity, accessories and handling. Hope to see you on-stream in 2009.


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