David Hume on The EU Trailer…..!!

lightbaord arrangementThe lighting board shown in this picture is attached to the rear protection system of the trailer. This protection system is both adjustable and demountable, the latter being essential if you intend to launch your boat from the trailer and not use a crane. The Road Vehicle Lighting Regulations 1989 stipulate that any rearward overhang from a trailer lighting system must not exceed 1Metre. Therefore if the rear protection system , with lighting board attached, cannot be adjusted to meet that stipulation then a lighting board will require to be fitted on the transom of the towed boat, or bow if it is being towed t’other way about.

David Hume

LED Lighting Boards – and …. the EU…!!

It was suggested to me last weekend by Andrew Murphy that LED lighting boards may be waterproof – does anybody know the details??  We were wondering if that might make a difference to this issue of trailers in future needing permanent lighting (allegedly)…..

I had a quick look on google, expecting them to cost a huge premium. How much can you get a normal lighting board for – £35 maybe.  They seemed to be around £55-£65.  Andrew says that he has cut over to them as he is fed up with constantly popping bulbs on the traditional boards – a feeling I have some sympathy with.

Apparently you also may need an adapter though at the car end – they draw such little voltage that some car electronic systems which detect if a trailer is plugged in (e.g. adjust ABS anti slew braking logic), can’t actually see them attached !!

Can anybody reading let us know the ins and outs of this?

EU Trailers – now Hamish MacKay’s View….!!

Hamish MacKay is a big time guy for towing. He often parks up at Datchet and I’ve noticed there his extra thoughtfulness in the trailer department….On the subject of EU trailers, he has written this into the FF Blog….

I have been following the whole EU Compliant trailer thread.  I see the biggest challenge being the potential need to have the electrics contained within the trailer.  However I actually quite like the idea of the light board being contained on a pull out system as I have used for many years with the Soling, Dragon and H Boat classes.  However we do not always need to be guided by legislation.  You will see the photos in the download below.  Not long after we got the F15 late last year I spent a fair bit of time thinking how I could fit removable side/running lights.  These may seem of little importance to those who drive on motorways that have overhead lights, but for those of us who live north of Preston I believe they make the road journey safer.  When overtaking lorries with a trailer/boat (in dark blue covers) at night often the lorry drivers simply do not see the attachment behind the car and often start to pull out too early.  Made even worse by left hand drive trucks in the UK.  So we now have detachable lights, fixed to the trailer top cross bar and wired into the light board cable with a waterproof plug.  It works really well (I think) and certainly helps be seen at night on dark motorways.


To see Hamish’s article in full with photos, then click here

Trailer Regulations – Turn Up Your EU Hate Intensity Right NOW …!!

Re new trailer regulations.

The new EU Regs are a classic example of Europe sticking it’s noses into  our affairs without providing any benefit but imposing upon us onerous and pointless legislation that is going to cost us all a lot of money.

All trailers manufactured from October will require “type approval”. This will put the price of your Flying 15 trailer up by at least £100.00. Your trailer will be no better, in fact considerable less convenient to use.

No longer will you be able to attach your lighting board to the back of the boat as we have always, and quite safely, done. The lights have to be integral with the trailer, so now the trailer will have to be long enough so that the boat does not extend beyond the permitted overhang for a load, I think 1 metre.

If the trailer is over 6 metres long and 2.1metres wide, additional front and rear lights have to be fitted mid way down the length of the trailer.

My current proposal for our trailers is to have a removable frame that is “bolted” in to open end of the side members, which will extend the trailer to 5.9999999999999 metres!! The trailer is only about 1.8 metres wide, so no additional lights required. The lighting board can be attached to this frame, and the cable run to the car as is current practice. For launching the frame will have to be unbolted and removed. So wonderful, we now have a dinghy park full of useless bits of steel frame whenever we go to an open meeting!!

What is annoying is that they have done nothing control the manufacture of trailers. Anyone can weld together a trailer with the most ” Mickey Mouse” equipment. This will not change. The Constructional Steel Industry is currently bracing itself for European legislation that will require factory control of manufacture and all welders will have to be proven to be able to weld to a required standard. In my opinion the same should apply to trailer manufacture. How much damage can be done if a trailer fails on the open highway!? But they have done nothing to address this.

The above is how I and other trailer manufactures I have spoken to have interpreted what is going to be required. Please don’t take it as gospel, but as guidance. I may well be (and often am!) wrong, and will not be offended if anyone wishes to put forwarded an alternative interpretation.

Ian Preston


EU Trailer Regulations – Blimey, Take a Load of This…!!!

Bearings and Trailers. In recent years those bearings are becoming the gritty monsters in my life. The bearings on my latest trailer have collapsed after less that two years use; in that time the only time the trailer was used on the road was it’s empty transfer from the supplier to Datchet. Therein lies the problem according to my trailer supplier, the latest needle roller bearings run in a track milled out of the steel hub assy as opposed to the previous bronze alloy inserts. Net result is that the metals will rust where they contact at rest. My supplier has tried a complete pack out with grease to virtually no grease at all, with no measurable change in the rusty gritty outcome. The only answer it appears is to keep those wheels spinning.

In October this year the EU regulators will be having a serious impact on trailers, which will become road vehicles. Therefore each individual trailer design will require type approval. The most significant factor for dinghy and keel boat trailers will be the elimination of the lighting board cable, as each trailer will require an integral wiring loom to feed riding lamps ,which will also be integral to the trailer, and the rear lighting board. I may be old fashioned but dunking your wiring loom and lamps in the briney on a weekly basis seems far from ideal.

I guess the best thing if you are even thinking of a trailer upgrade is to get it before October 2012, in this way you can have it customised to your preferences – how low!!- and perhaps save some of the money your trailer manufacturer will have to spend on homologation and type approval.

EU regs, type approval, homologation? I am beginning to understand the Greek scepticism, if I read my history they seem to have had a completely satisfactory little empire before all this c–p came along.

David Hume

ps good tip – change your hubs with the new bearings – there is not much of an on cost – and changing the bearings alone will not remove the rust corrosion already in the hub tracks.

(Hopefully Ian Preston will read this and make comment on the Lighting Regulations  !! – datchetman@flyingfifteen.com)