Trailer Fever–Oct 4, 2013

The die-hard iceboater, gripped by the slow tide of aging, is often prone to cravings. Often the first is the craving to be “in” something instead of “on” something while hurtling through space. Many of us have already responded to this craving. I sometimes borrow a DN after the lunch gathering out on the ice, and I find that the same old crude magic is still there. The scenery is zipping by so close at hand. But a half hour later, I ease into Icywood-DN, I pull the sheet extra hard, and I thank my stars. I’ve come in from the cold.

The second craving, especially when we learn where the rotator-cuff is located, is to do less overhead lifting. This craving can, of course, be bought off in various ways:

There are wheels and pulleys and such, but just as we’re solving this problem, a third craving appears: to have all the gear, every lick of it, in one single place. I felt that craving particularly last spring when I arrived at lovely Damariscotta with everything but my runners. 26 miles back home. 26 miles back to the ice. The lads were frolicking around.

So this October, with ice fever just starting to rise, when the iceboat dreams are re-appearing–and mine usually involve some sort of goof-up–I decided to take the plunge and have a trailer. So I went on Craig’s List and spent $400 on a narrow, light duty boat trailer:

Now the first big problem is getting the ‘tongue weight’ just right, which means in this case moving those wheels forward. You don’t want to load that trailer-jack with its little caster wheel too much, since the rolling surfaces are often rough; yet you also don’t want too much boat overhang such that you are ‘low-sided’ as you back down onto the ice. I think about 40 lbs of tongue weight would be ideal, if the overhang is not excessive. Here’s the modified trailer:

Tomorrow morning at 6AM the trailer and gear is heading to Supreme Master Trailer Builder, Doug Sharp, down in Lakeville, MA; who will build an appropriate box. Why should I reinvent trailers? He’s built two dozen. Can’t wait to see what he comes up with. With weather integrity and ventilation, it will sit outside year-round. With good planning and access, it will allow a one-person set up. I might even camp in it now and then.

I can’t believe this. No more seasonally hoisting the boat into the rafters. No more check-list. Just grab personal gear, pack lunch, and hitch-up. Why have I been resisting this?

Think Ice!

Mark Calendars for Oct 26 (Mass and swap) and Oct 27 (Maine and re-swap)


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