Waples Wines Northern Travellers Tip 6….Travelling for the First Time !!

“When travelling for the first time or as part of a new team here are a few tips to make packing the boat up and rigging run smoothly:-
  • Owners are fussy and like things to be carried out in a certain way, take time to work out how they like things done, then commit them to memory and try to follow the routine every time.
  • Work on opposite sides of the boat – and work methodically through everything coming together for the two person jobs, such as taking the rudder and mast out.
  • Have proper straps and padding for everything not an assortment of bits of string of indeterminate length.
  • Leave as much as possible on the trailer (tied out the way) so you don’t have to find it later”.
Helm, Keith Jamieson ƒƒ3903   

BIFFA HQ on EU Trailers…..!!

Interestingly there is a clause in the EU legislation that allows certain aspects of the new requirements that don’t have to be put in place ” if the trailer is used to launch the boat”. I wonder if trailer builders have a) ignored this b) missed it or c) decided it’s too difficult to apply for two type approvals one for trailers that launch and ones that don’t!

Keith Jamieson

First Sightings of New EU Trailers……!!

Compliant Trailers – Who Voted for Europe??!!!
I was at the Welsh Harp this morning buying bits and line for an unmentionable boat – one short of a tall mountain – so I popped in at the trailer workshop to see developments.
Some pretty happy guys there who, after nearly two years of hard hard work, have finally achieved accreditation and type approval for their complete range of current boat trailers. I spent some time with them and I cannot recall all the detail, but it is important to understand that it is not only the trailers that require type approval/accreditation but also the materials, process, equipment and tools used to build the trailers. There is a documented process for everything – yes even a spirit level needs to be validated on a scheduled basis, there will be a log to support this schedule even to include the qualification of the person validating it. 
The key thing for me was to grasp the concept that a compliant trailer is now a road vehicle, to the extent that every trailer on show included a jockey wheel fitted.
I looked at a small combi trailer/launcher unit suitable for a 12/14 footer, which at the rear end had two short demountable arms extending from the side chassis members which then ended in flat vertical plates. Ideal for mounting a number plate board? For the trailer alone maybe, but this board could be 4/6 foot in front of the transom of the boat on the vehicle. No these demountable arms were part of the rear protection system and have to be installed at all times the trailer/vehicle is used on the road.
Under EURO regs it is clearly of secondary importance how much damage is occasioned by rear impact to the boat, whilst being towed on the highway. The prime import is the security of the vehicle/trailer. Why does this protection system require to be demountable? Well it prevents you destroying the underside of your dinghy, when you pull it and the launcher onto the vehicle/trailer bed! 
Wiring Loom. the trailer/vehicles all have a short flex and plug of normal configuration for connection to the towing vehicle. This flex feeds immediately into the same style connection as fitted to the rear of your vehicle but mounted at the base mast support/front steady. So instead of plugging your transom board into your vehicle for road use, you plug it into the trailer/vehicle. Why? because there an extra loom within the trailer/vehicle that feeds riding lights installed close to the widest point of the vehicle/trailer on the wheel covers.
Other detail. The side chassis members have to remain parallel with each other for a specified proportion of the trailer/vehicle length. Reflectors are required to be attached on the outer side of these chassis members close to the point where the chassis bends in towards the mast support and hitch assy. The side chassis members are also required to be Horizontal -parallel to the road – whilst towing. This requires a ‘step’ for the tow hitch assy on trailer/vehicles with small road wheels.
None of the current standard mud flaps available within the UK matched the criteria for side wall cover, so the Welsh Harp designed their own. These bright yellow plastic wheel covers include spray deflectors, just as with your road car.
The guys at the Welsh Harp are currently not aware of any other boat trailer manufacturer in the UK who have achieved accreditation/type approval, they have been too busy to be interested. I guess we may have a clearer idea after the Dinghy Exhibition in early March. It was jokingly suggested to me that there appeared to be a ‘good’ stock of trailers in the UK that were built before the deadline!!!!!. I mentioned the self build route and was advised that MOT testing stations charge £75 to approve kit cars and kit trailers. In the case of trailers we have some idea of the standard they are looking for. but at £75 for each and every inspection one would need to get it right quite soon!  
They had a Fifteen trailer on display to EURO spec, very sexy with it’s yellow wheel covers and it’s  rear protection system. The latter an extra storage item prior to launching!
That’s it I think
Best regards

Let’s Sneak One Past the EU ….!!

I don’t know if you will have been following the little chat surrounding the EU Trailer debate of a couple of days ago…?  New FFer, David Tabb, wrote in to say we should just take trailer kits, which is interesting – but this is what David Hume had to say….

If you made/built a kit road car you are required to have it inspected by VOSA before you can obtain a registration document and use it on the road. Small trailers are now road vehicles, so logic requires that the same process will apply.
I guess the implications are downstream, ie if a non certified and unregistered small trailer, built after 29 October 2012, is involved in a road incident then any insurance could be invalid. There will always be someone who sticks with the small print.

Thinking of a New Flying Fifteen in 2013 or 2014??…Have you considered trading in “Trailer Futures”??….

If you are, then you will be one of 40-50 lucky people.  But if you are, then you have about 3 weeks left to make a true investment and buy your new FF trailer now.  Keep it behind the shed until you need it.  Even if you change your mind and not buy an FF after all, then you should be able to sell it on at a decent profit to someone who has not read this….

Yes – this month, October 29th I think, new boat trailers will become a vehicle under EU law.  The people that brought you straight cucumbers are at it again.  We haven’t had any real intelligence as to what is going to happen to our trailer design but for sure it will be (a) mandatory  (b) heavier, more metal etc and (c) more expensive.

So really, (speaking as a man who took delivery of his new trailer last week) call one or all of P&B, Ian Preston, Sovereign and Trident trailers and see what they have to say.   You haven’t got long, so call them right away.

Those Garda Triple FF Trailers…..!!

A couple of people have now asked about those intriguing triple FF trailers that we saw in photos from Garda. They were being used by two professional boat transport companies.

Our on-the-spot, special correspondent, Gill Browning, has got some links to the two companies so you can investigate some more if you wish:-

http://www.sailboatdeliveries.co.uk/ and http://www.ainsworthdeliveries.com/

A couple of things spring to mind:-

(i) unlike containers, the keels stay on!!

(ii) you might think about moving your kit to the 2014 Europeans this way.  A little birdie suggested to the Blog that Bilbao may be nominated as one of the possible next venues!!

Those Garda Trailers……..

I was fascinated by the photograph below of the trailer with the three fifteens in your blog yesterday.  I was wondering if you could put me onto whoever organised them as I would like to ascertain what the fuel consumption was like and also the speed (kilometres or miles per hour).  I would also like to know if they were specifically made by a manufacturer for Flying Fifteens and if so at what cost.  The reason I ask is it is generally four years out of five we have to make the trek across Australia to participate in Nationals and I have been sending my boat in a shared 40 foot sea container which costs between $6,000 and $7,000 depending on where the Nationals are held. We are also then up for a hire car the other end plus airfares.    As well as the fuel there is the accommodation across the country and the loss of a week driving.   Importing a three boat trailer or getting one manufactured locally might be something worth considering.

John Hassen, Perth, Western Australia

Going to Garda?? – Read This ….!!!

I have been informed today that when driving a boat trailer in Italy you will need a a fully reflectorised square panel 50cm x 50cm.  These can be bought at service stations or on the attached link  (thanks to Helen Selden for finding this link)


So you know  The AA says:

Any vehicle with an overhanging load (e.g. carrying bicycle at rear) must display a fully reflectorised square panel 50cm x 50cm which is red and white diagonally striped, a fine may be imposed if the sign is not displayed. This also applies to vehicles such as cars/caravans carrying bicycles at the rear.

The police can also do spot checks on cars in Italy so you need to carry a proof of ownership document (original) and a letter from the owner stating you can drive it if a company car plus a  tax disc and insurance.

And in France you need high visibility jackets and 2 breathalizer testers

(note from Helen Selden – I think it’s a high-viz jacket for all people in the car and not just the driver)…

John Hanson

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

How Low Can You Go …??

Until today, I’ve always taken the view that the lower your trailer keel platform, the better it is.  You don’t have to push in as far during launching, the C of G is lower while towing etc.  Certainly, relative to the older trailers, low keel platforms are a stunning proposition.

But what are the other considerations??  It’s a good question.  I suppose I’ve always been a tad concerned about speed bumps.  For the two routes out of Datchet, I use the one through Horton that comes with this “hump in the middle” kind of speed bumps – a real hazard for any low loaders, or indeed for my wide bodied, Morgan Plus 8, which had only five inches of clearance!

Well, at the Datchet Club it may turn out that the speed humps are not the only limiting feature.  The limit for us may also be the height of the kerbs at the slipway.  We frequently park at right angles to the kerbs, with the sterns out over the kerbs, and with tyres resting against them.  Today, as one boat  rolled back there was a loud graunching noise…. The team in question has a simply superb low loader (see first photo – click to enlarge), but I now realise so low that the base of the keel can graze the kerb behind it.  The obvious thing to do then is “don’t do that!”… but we frequently move each other’s boats around, and if you’re not there you can’t shout “stop”, can you?!  A bit of an esoteric problem maybe and I’m sure at most Clubs it won’t occur.  At Datchet, it may also be a problem waiting to happen – the real answer then is like Mark Firth does, …park the boat away from the kerbs altogether!!!

What is the contrast??  Well, probably the most numerous FF trailer at the club has this kind of low loader platform.  You can tell, even by comparing photos, that it has just that critical extra little bit of height to it.  Probably designed in by accident, as these things will be – but useful to bear in mind, nonetheless. All the leading trailer manufacturers are well represented in our fleet, and all current products are jolly  good. You just ought bear this consideration in mind…. just on the off chance that it’ll make you park away from the kerbs!!  Or take the long route out of the Club.

Keels on Wheels’ Ian Preston Speaks on Under Deck Furlers…..

I fitted underdeck furling gear to “Fighting Machine”, 3293 in 1990. The main benefit was in having the attachment straight through to the hull instead of having to have the deck area reinforced to take the load of of the jib tack, thus reducing weight in the end of the boat significantly. There is a chute type hole in front of the forestay but only to give access to the furling gear and save a bit more weight.

The additional benefit of not having the sheet getting fouled under the furling gear, particularly when using bags, became relevant when we were able to remove the forestay, which had previously kept the sheet clear.

The reduction of windage was a factor in the thought process, but I can’t believe it is that significant.

Ian Preston