Laser Dollies and Trailers
Heading out on the water is exciting, but the journey from land to water isn't always smooth sailing. One way to make it easier is by using a laser dolly as well as a trailer.
The most effective way to transport your dinghy is with a dolly or trailer. If you are loading your dinghy onto your roof racks or onto your box trailer, there is an alternative, and it may be cheaper than you think. This is the safest way to get your boat from home to the water and back again without any damage.
Dinghy Dolly & Trailer Options
Keep your dinghy safe when traveling long distances or for short trips by pulling it on a quality-made dolly or trailer.
Trailers should be manufactured to highway standard specifications making them safe to use to get to your favorite lake or racecourse.
And the dollies make it much easier to get your dinghy in and out of the water single-handedly.
Below you will find the following:
- Dollies for Sunfish or Laser sailboats
- Dinghy Trailers
- Dollie/Trailer Accessories
Dynamic Dolly Laser
This lightweight, easy-to-handle Laser Dolly is made from aluminum with stainless steel screws. It is well-engineered to the point where it can easily be taken apart to fit in the back of a car for transporting elsewhere. When broken down, there are only five primary parts - two wheels, the axel-strap assembly, and two strut assemblies. Simple, yet strong and effective.
Right-On Dolly & Trailer for Sunfish and Laser Sailboats
Made with a powder-coated steel frame, this lightweight dolly and trailer combo works with various small sailboats including Laser, Sunfish, and RS Feva. It comes complete with soft springs that absorb vibration during transportation. The design uses a fold-up locking tongue stand. The load capacity is set at 300 pounds.
Dolly for Laser Sailboats with Beach Wheels
The welded, all-metal frame of this dolly is made from single-tube aluminum with stainless steel screws. It also comes with a heavy-duty 3-inch non-stretch polyester sling for boat support. It can be easily assembled and disassembled, depending on your specific needs. The lightweight, sturdy unit weighs just 20 pounds when the wheels have been removed.
BRIS Stainless Steel Launching Dolly
Although this launching dolly isn’t designed specifically for Lasers, and the quality may not be as good as some other dollies, Lasers still fit so this may work well for you. Made from stainless steel, this dolly has 16-inch wheels and can hold a maximum weight of 160 kilograms and boats up to 14 feet long. It is designed to be handled effectively by a single person.
16" Boat Dolly Wheel & Tire
Need a new dolly wheel or 2? This is the perfect replacement for several types of dollies used to carry Optimist and Laser class sailboats. The standard pneumatic dolly wheel measures 16 inches by 4 inches and includes an inner tube and 1-inch axel bushing. With a load capacity of 200 pounds, this dolly wheel tire bushing package is a perfect upgrade.
What Is A Laser Dolly?
A Laser dolly is a specialized piece of equipment designed to help transport, launch, and retrieve small sailboats. They are also called boat or dinghy dollies as they can carry more than just Laser class sailboats. Made from aluminum or stainless steel, these sturdy dollies are also lightweight. The design is quite simple, there is a frame and wheels with supports to hold a dinghy. The design permits a single person to easily move a loaded dinghy from storage or off the trailer to the edge of a body of water without requiring a large boat trailer.
Here is a closer look at the parts of a Laser dolly:
- Frame: This is the primary structure of the dolly and includes supports and cradles for holding the sailboat. There are also adjustable straps to keep the dinghy secure.
- Wheels and Tires: The wheels and tires of the dolly are designed to distribute weight evenly to permit easy handling of the unit. The tires are large enough to make maneuverability easy on different surfaces ranging from grass and pavement to sand.
- Supports: The supports, which are either adjustable arms or padded cradles/straps, are designed to capture and hold the weight of a small sailboat when moved from one location to another.
- Straps/Fasteners: These components are used to hold the dinghy securely in place to prevent shifting when being transported.
There are several advantages to using a Laser dolly. They include:
- Ease of Transportation: A dolly makes moving a Laser and other dinghies from storage to the water much easier. So easy, that most dollies are designed so that they can be used by just one person. Plus, a dolly is handy if vehicle access is limited to where the sailboat is stored or where it is going to be launched.
- Protection: With the way a dolly supports a sailboat when being moved, the risk of damage to the hull is greatly reduced.
- Accessibility: A dolly permits sailors to access their sailboats from virtually anywhere such as from a beach, ramp, or any other access point on the water.
- Convenience: Because dollies have a compact design and are easy to store, they are a practical solution in situations where space is not available for bigger trailers.
Exploring Laser Dinghy Trailers
Trailers are different from dollies. A dolly can be moved manually by a single person whereas a trailer is much heavier and requires a vehicle to tow it from location to location. Plus, dollies are not designed to be towed but boat trailers are.
Types of Trailers Suitable for Laser Dinghies
There are two main types of trailers for hauling boats. They are as follows:
- Single-Boat Trailers: As the name indicates, this type of trailer is designed specifically to move just one Laser dinghy. Boat owners who have just a single dinghy will find the most use out of one of these types of boat trailers.
- Customized Trailers for Multiple Boats: Depending on the number of boats to be transported, the other solution is a customized trailer made to safely hold and move more than a single boat. These are commonly used by sailors who own two or more sailboats, training centers, or sailing clubs.
Trailer Components and Features
There are several different parts to a boat trailer. Here is a breakdown of what they are:
- Trailer Frame and Construction: Durable materials like aluminum, stainless steel, or galvanized steel are used in boat trailer construction. These materials provide durability and resist rust and corrosion.
- Axles, Wheels, and Tires: For smooth towing and stability on various surfaces, boat trailers come with good-quality axles, wheels, and tires.
- Boat Support: Supports on rollers are used to evenly distribute the weight of the boat or dolly being transported. The supports also reduce the risk of damage to the boat hull.
- Lighting and Safety Equipment: For safe towing, boat trailers come equipped with lighting including brake lights and turn signals. Safety straps and chains hold the boat securely in place when being moved.
Loading and Unloading a Laser Dinghy Onto A Trailer
The task of loading or unloading a Laser dinghy requires a few simple steps. Here is a step-by-step description of the process:
- Securing the Boat for Transport: Loading a Laser dinghy onto a trailer is rather easy. Carefully align the boat’s hull with the trailer supports and slowly guide the boat onto the trailer. Watch to ensure the boat is balanced and centered.
- Strapping and Tying Down Securely: After you get the boat properly positioned on the trailer, use straps to secure it in place. The boat should be secure enough to not shift when moved.
If the trailer you have can accommodate both a dolly and boat, you can easily load the entire combo of dinghy and dolly onto the trailer, and then strap it down securely to avoid movement while in transit.
Maintenance and Care
To keep your dolly or trailer in good working order and lasting longer, it is vital to perform essential maintenance and care. Here are a few tips to assist with that:
Proper Maintenance Practices for Dollies and Trailers
- Regular Cleaning and Corrosion Prevention: Rinsing your dolly or trailer after each use will prevent corrosion and to keep rust from forming, add a protective coating to any exposed metal parts. Washing with fresh water will remove saltwater and dirt which can create conditions where corrosion can form.
- Inspection of Wheels, Tires, and Frame: By examining these parts regularly, and addressing minor problems when noted, you can avoid the development of more serious issues. Expect to see signs of wear and tear but note any rapid progression which could signal a bigger concern.
- Lubrication of Moving Parts: Ensure that moving parts like axles bearings and hinges are lubricated regularly. This decreases friction and provides ease of use. There are marine-grade lubricants that have been developed to withstand water exposure. Use these on your dolly or trailer.
Storing Dollies and Trailers During Off-Season
There may be a time each year that you will be faced with storing your dolly or trailer until the sailing season begins again. Here are two considerations to keep in mind:
- Sheltered Storage Options: It is important to store dollies and trailers in covered areas. This protects them from exposure to the elements that may result in premature aging or damage.
- Removing Tires and Securing the Trailer: For long-term storage, it may be a good idea to remove tires from dollies or trailers. This prevents the tires from developing flat areas. By securing the dolly or trailer in place, you keep it from tipping over or moving.
Extending the Lifespan of Dollies and Trailers
As is the case with anything, the better you take care of something, the longer it will last and provide service to you. Dollies and trailers are no different. Here are two ways to keep your dolly or trailer in top shape:
- Repairs and Replacements: Regularly inspect your dolly or trailer and if you discover an issue, address it as quickly as possible. To maintain its structural integrity, repair or replace any damaged parts. Pay close attention to minor issues to ensure they don’t become major problems in the future.
- Upgrades and Enhancements: Keep up to date on dolly or trailer design or material advancements. Ensure that wheels are upgraded when needed and that features designed to improve performance and safety are utilized.