While on a recent trip away to Forster, Chris’ trailer came to the end of it’s life, something which we knew was coming but were hoping we wouldn’t have to deal with – well not so soon and not while on the road anyway.
Chris’ trailer has been slowly deteriorating for some time now. Despite a lot of research on repairing and galvanising the trailer, the cost to do so factoring in ongoing maintenance couldn’t be justified against the cost of new and second hand trailers these days. This is why we adopted the plan, ‘run to failure’. The trailer was built in the USA for freshwater, not the harsh, destructive saltwater conditions we encounter here on the east coast of Australia. I could probably keep going on about the repair and replacement options but this article is about what happened on the road.
Chris, Bernie, Lauren, Luca and myself arrived in Forster on the Thursday night before the Friday MegaBream and Hobie Kayak practice day. Chris and Bernie hit the water nice and early on the Friday morning while I opted to have the day off the water. Unfortunately for Chris, while launching his boat he managed to separate the two inner timber bunks from the trailer chassis. Luckily for Chris, I was down at the local shopping centre when he gave me the late morning phone call. I say luckily because I knew exactly what had happened, it was something Chris and I had already discussed and had devised a repair method should we ever need to repair it on the road – well the time had come. I also say luckily because in the same shopping complex I was in, there was a Bunnings store. I went next door and purchased a length of 3×2 timber, a hand saw and a few ratchet straps. At the boat ramp the only other tool I needed was a big hammer to remove and flatten the existing brackets before using short lengths of timber in place of the brackets that failed. A few straps later and the pictures tell the rest of the story. The boat was launched and retrieved for the remainder of the weekend and also survived the journey home to Sydney without an issue.
I guess the key point for others which I am trying to get across is that Chris and I established the faults well before the failure, understood what could go wrong and how we would address it should it occur. We had a plan on how we would repair it and it worked out just as well in real life as it did in my head months before. It would have been more ideal had the failure occurred in the driveway of his house or a lot closer to home but it wasn’t the case, which reinforces a point which I have made several times before that you should have a good understanding of your equipment.