Pontoon Trailer for bicycle....

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by Vladimir Steblina, Feb 19, 2013.

  1. I would like to build a "trailer" to haul my pontoon boat with a mountain bike.

    Has anybody seen designs or plans for one?? Yes, I would like it two-wheeled so I do not have to deflate.

    Looks like lot of the lakes coming on-line in the basin require a bit of a walk or ride.
  2. Figure on formed alum channel sections and bicycle wheels. It will be too wide to ride in the bike lanes. LOL
  3. Surly makes a large trailer. It's not cheap though. Something like this might be easy to modify.

    Jim Wallace likes this.
  4. Vladimir, I will be curious to see what you come up with.

    That Surly trailer looks like something I could use for taking a cooler and all my gear to the beach, if the highway out here wasn't such a drag strip for the 1.5 miles or 2 miles distances to the nearest beach approaches.

    A "fat bike" (has 4" wide, low-pressure tires) might be the best beach cruiser out here on the coast. I've seen a couple of them locally. They rock on the sandy beaches.
  5. Just to be clear, the trailer above is only $100 this is the $650 Surly trailer:
    Jim Wallace likes this.
  6. Thanks. That one looks like you could haul a shorter kayak on it!
    Right now I just use panniers, my rack, and/or a day pack if I ride in anywhere to fish.

    I wonder if an inflated pontoon might have to straddle those wheels so as not to be top heavy. I could almost see building a platform or frame to carry a pontoon just above the wheels, though, as long as you didn't have to negotiate a side-slope.
    I suppose that one could balance a wide load over one of those.
    Patrick Gould likes this.
  7. Vladimer, I would consider using the frame of the pontoon itself as a mounting point for the wheels, that would save a lot of weight and simplify things. Essentially the frame becomes the trailer. Then work out a lightweight tubular tongue that attaches to the bike.

  8. I have a "trailer" that a friend built that is basically a long square aluminum axle with bike wheels on each end (quickly removable). It can be built to size and has tie downs. It would be easy to incorporate a tongue of the same material and it would rock. I also have seen a canoe trailer advertised for towing behind a bike. REI also has a neat trailer but it would require deflation of the toon. If you are interested, i can shoot some pics of my axle trailer and post on here. It was built by my good friend and fishing buddy, PJ Hicks.
  9. I was thinking along the same lines Jim.
  10. Yes please. (post the pics)
  11. Thanks to eveybody for the ideas.....lets keep them coming!! I was wondering if ANYBODY was going to reply to the thread!!!

    I like Ive's idea of using the frame. Seems like you can make a couple of dual clamps. One grips the pontoon boat and the other grips an aluminum tube to which to bicycle wheels would attach.

    You would just be adding a aluminum tube slightly wider than the pontoon. It would be underneath the pontoon boat.

    Bill Audrey....could you post pictures of the square trailer, particularly focused on how the bicycle wheels attach??

    I guess the last part would be some sort of attachment to the footrests and then to the bicycle. That would be a stable three point system. Would be nice to be able to move the dual rear bike wheels forward or backward to hit the correct balance point.

    The expense would not be all that high IF you could just use front wheels from garage sale bicycles.

    Here is the "tow vehicle" for the trailer: http://usbackroads.blogspot.com/2012/04/trek-electric-bicycles-part-two.html

    Most of the "trails" in the basin are actually old roads so this set-up would work real well.

    Anybody have any ideas on a source for clamps?? Some of those clamps used for rod holders and such on pontoon boats might be adaptable. There are also some dual clamps used in making telescope truss tubes that could also work.

    Anyway...further thoughts?
  12. I want to get a $250 Burley folding bicycle cargo trailer to carry my WM Kodak that I would tow with my full sized Paratrooper Pro 27 speed folding mountain bike. Both will fold up and easily stow on the Kodiak cargo deck.

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  13. Why not tow the pontoon on its side, like some kayaks are carried on roof racks?
  14. Frank, I instantly thought about the pontoon on it's side when I saw the narrow little Surly trailer and just as quickly dismissed it. Several problelms. The added height would significantly raise the center of gravity and would require some type of structure to hold it upright while underway. It would be a very tippy situation. The biggest problem would be a breeze of any kind would make it almost unmanageable in any kind of crosswind. All of us that fish western lakes and reservoirs have a problem with the wind and an upright boat would just bring that problem on a little sooner.

    I think the clamps for the wheels could probably be made at home out of Baltic birch plywood. It seems like a 12mm piece of Baltic has 11 or 12 laminates and is hell for stout. I have laminated several thicknesses of this stuff together to make a kind of pillowblock clamp for my pontoon frame and it is very durable stuff. Use stainless bolts and self locking nuts to assemble and give it a couple of coats of marine varnish. It won't cold-flow like some of the cheaper plastic clamps and can be worked with basic woodworking tools.

    This might be a good solution to wheeling my own 'toon into McDowell Lake this year.

  15. I was thinking it could be carried at an angle like a Hydro on a trailer.
  16. I got plenty of Baltic birch laying around. We use it for building telescope mounts. It is good stuff.

    Ive, what kind of pontoon do you have?? I believe that they come in two pretty much standard tube sizes. Mine is an outcast.

    Those clamps would need to be quick release so you could remove the bike frame easily.

    You have any ideas on design for the clamps??
  17. Vladimer, I have an early South Fork with the steel frame-must be over 20 years old. When I get home later today I'll take a look at mine and see if I come up with an idea to mount a couple of stub axles on my frame, I already have some bicycle wheels that will work.

    Keep in mind that you could even use the Baltic birch for axle bearings if you had to. With the right grease they will work fine for the light loading the pontoon presents. The most advanced weapon of the ancient world-the Roman chariot-used wood bearings for the wheels. Conestoga wagons used a similar setup to carve their way across this great country when there were no roads. And I remember Howard Hughes building a pretty big airplane out of wood as well.
  18. If thinking about building a trailer, You might want to check out "BIke Works" in the Columbia City area of Seattle. They had a few used trailers for sale and tons of used parts. Non Profit, super prices and really nice folks. I am thinking of building up a cruiser with rod and tackle holders, so I can fish at lunch, it's just a little to far to walk.
    Jim Wallace and Patrick Gould like this.
  19. IMG_0652.JPG IMG_0651.JPG IMG_0652.JPG IMG_0653.JPG IMG_0652.JPG IMG_0651.JPG I looked over my South Fork and didn't see a polite way to attach wheels to it. It could be done but it would necessitate adding structure to the boat that wouldn't be easily removed.

    I'll enclose some pics of my current setup for just wheeling my boat in. The whole assembly attaches with 4 wing nuts and can either be removed once I reach the lake or just inverted and left on the boat. It has little to do with being a bicycle trailer but there might be a kernel of help in there somewhere.


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