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Day by day Build and Launch of Apple Pie Dinghy

DAY 1 ] [ DAY 2 ] [ DAY 3 ] [ DAY 4 ] [ DAY 5 ] [ DAY 6 ] [ DAY 7 ] [ DAY 8 ] [ DAY 9 ] [ DAY 10 ] [ DAY 11 ] [ DAY 12 ] [ DAY 13 ] [ DAY 14 ] [ DAY 15 ] [ DAY 16 ] [ DAY 17 ] [ DAY 18 ] [ DAY 19 ] [ LAUNCH! ] [ LAUNCH DOLLY ]

The Launch plus video of her being towed.


Building a launching dolly for the tender.

I went into the material piles and found some old pipe and tires I had used on a not too successful dolly for the Skerry. I had retired the trailer after the first season.

made an insert for the boat dolly

First step was to make an insert for the ends of the pipe. This wooden insert gets a rod that will act as the axle to support the tires.

The wood cylinder was made from a bit I had cut off the mast. I rounded it by hand using a plane. It fit very well in the pipe.

I drilled the inner hole by clamping it in a vise and using a drill. It was OK but not perfectly centered. I don't think it matters too much.

I had scrounged an aluminium pipe about one and one half inches x 9 feet long, plus an old iron pipe a bit over one and three eights. I also scrounged a steel rod that fitted into the tire rim opening. This will serve as an axle.It was a bit of work to cut the pipes, rod and wood.

The rod got two holes drilled through using a drill press. One at the end that will allow a cotter pin to secure the wheel, and one to attach the wood insert to the rod (axle). In the photo you can see a cut off nail sticking out of the wood tube and partly inserted in the rod. I epoxied the wood, hole in the wood where the rod fit, and tapped the nail through. Everything set nicely. I had added a bit of silica to thicken the epoxy. The ends of the wood were carefully sealed with epoxy.

Made fillets on inside

While the epoxy was still wet, I placed the axle assembly into one end of my pipe. I recessed the wood a bit so that there would not be any rubbing on the wood to break the epoxy seal and allow the wood to rot.

washers on pipe

I had made from an old cutting board, and scrounged up, a bunch of washers that fit on the rod (axle). I measured the thicknesses of all the washers and the wheel and adjusted the position of the insert. After removing the washers the insert epoxy was allowed to set.

Wheel is held on the dinghy trailer with cotterpins

Wheel and another washer is attached using a cotter pin

The wheel has been attached onto the dolly with another of my home made washers and a stainless steel cotter pin. These wheels came from Canadian Tire and were intended for a box dolly, the kind delivery men use to carry heavy boxes. They have an innertube and ball bearings. They were surprisingly inexpensive at about 12 dollars each. They were left over from my previous dinghy dolly experience. They are holding up very well.

handle of launching dolly

The handle was cut from old pipe left over when we bought this house. I found some T shaped mending plates in Rona's construction department. They are designed to help assemble timber structures such as trusses. I drilled some holes and put in nuts and bolts with big washers. After tightening the nuts I cut what was left over using a hacksaw. Its not terribly pretty a joint but it seems solid. Making the holes was surprisingly tedious. I think my pipe was quite hard.

Apple pie tender dolly

I used some Tremclad I had left over to paint the pipe and front joint.
The pipe had a small platform covered in carpeting left over from my previous trailer attempt. It was made from 2x4 with a hole drilled to allow the pipe to slide through. This had been stuck in place with a generous slathering of thickened epoxy.

gluing the pipes using epoxy

I was not very happy with the T mending plate I used for the handle so I decided to try epoxy to join the handle and upright to the horizontal piece of the trailer. The carbon fiber is clearly visible. There is also a coat of plain fiberglass cloth that is transparent and extends further along the pipe.

NOTE: Its been a couple of years and the carbon fiber joint has held up very well. I think that the whole dolly could have been built connecting the pipes with glass fiber and epoxy.

Apple pie tender launching dolly

I used a cardboard box to make a jig to hold all the pieces for the launching dolly aligned and steady while I applied the epoxy over strips of carbon fiber. I had a bag of odds and ends of leftover carbon fiber Kevlar mix and I cut these into strips and applied them. I had sanded the pipes to remove most of the rust on the iron pipe and to rough up the aluminium pipe.

2 pipes connected using epoxy

I added about 4 coats of epoxy and carbon fiber cloth and wrapped everything in plastic wrap to set. The joint is solid. Time will tell if it comes apart. There is no play or bending. If the joint fails I expect it will detach from the aluminium pipe side.

2 pipes connected using special connector

2 pipes connected using a special connector. These aluminium pieces were the remnants of an old fence that I had taken down and one of these fancy connectors was left over. It tightens on using a hex key. The wheels of the launch dolly are attached to the bottom pipe.

Home made boat dolly

Here is a detail of the connector linking the 2 pipes.
The dolly is easy to take apart simply by loosening the connector and sliding out the pipe. I expect these are a bit pricey but I had them in the basement. The pipes could have been connected using epoxy or T mending plates with nuts and bolts. Welding is also a choice, but its trickier with aluminium.

carpet has been added to the dinghy launching dolly

Carpet padding is in place. Launching trolley is complete.

I had garbage picked a piece of clean carpet and used this to cover the pipes and prevent damage to the Apple Pie Tender.
I used nylon zip ties to attach the carpet on. These came from the dollar store. The connector is covered but not tied.
pram tender on trailer

The launching cart feels solid and rolls well, it is also very light. I made the width a bit over what I needed with the idea that I can use this dolly with the Puddle Duck Racer that I am still building. (Sailing has gotten in the way of construction)

This is the Youtube video uploaded by LozellRichard's that this launching dolly is based on.

His model is prettier and better finished and I obviously adapted the design to use materials I had on hand but the wheel attachment is the same.

email me: Christine