Many people do not like to trailer their laser for many reasons. Most
of these people will either cartop their lasers or they will leave them at their
club on a rack. Almost the only way to get the boat from the rack, rigged and in
the water is by using a dolly. It is usually tough to find a nice piece of grass
to rig on if you borrow someone else's dolly or a club one. Dollies come
in all shapes and sizes. They range from popular Seitech
Dollies, to ones made out of different types of pipe. I have also seen
one that was about 4' square with lawn mower wheels and fit directly under the
cockpit but it was a little hard to use. (if you want info. on this one email
me). I have also found some interesting ways of launching a boat on a
dolly single-handedly. This would probably work for a trailer as well.
by Bill Warren
Here is a wooden dolly modeled after the ever popular Seitech. The
dolly supports the boat on either the foam pads (pool noodles) or wooden
supports mounted with right angle brackets.
The pieces are joined with a metal bracket so that the pieces may be
separated for storage/travel.
The dolly uses regular wheel barrel wheels.
The dolly is strong enough to move a laser around and only lacks a handle.
photos and text by Jon Deutsch
Homemade Stern Dolly
by Shevy Gunter
In response to Vargas in search of plans for a "stern-mounted
dolly": Here is a description of a stern-mounted dolly I constructed about
five years ago. WARNING: I have a natural propensity to make everything too
complicated! So, you may find much simpler designs...
MATERIALS (all dimensions are approximate, as I don't have the plans any
2"x2" mahogany, about 5 feet in length.
1' x 3' marine grade plywood (min 1/2" thickness.)
2 wheels (min Dia. 6")
2 of 4"-5" (heavy duty) srew-on bolts to fit through the wheels with
little or no play.
2 staineless eyes. 4 small-dia. 1" staineless screws to mount the
1 L-shaped metal pin to fit through both gudgeon holes. (A hard wooden dowel may
also be used.)
22.5 feet 3/16" non-stetch line
1) Orient plywoood piece with narrow sides up and down.
2) Position the plywood so that its top is at deck level, and cut out on
centerline of plywood holes to precisely fit the rudder gudgeons.
3) Shape top of plywood to barely fit under the curvature of the transom deck
lip. The transom deck-to-hul-joint should rest on the plywood. So, you should be
able to insert the plywood in place only after tilting the plywood out first and
inserting the top under the transom lip.
4) Round and smooth the inside and outside edges of this rounded arc cut along
the top edge.
5) Mount vertically a piece of the 2"x2" mahagany on the OUTSIDE of
the plywood piece to exactly fit between the gudgeon cutouts. This mahogany
piece should be flush with the bottom of top cutout.
5.5) Drill through vertically a hole on this mahogany piece. The hole diameter
should be slightly larger than the diameter of the holes on the gudgeons. You
can make the hole of smaller diameter if the metal pin or dowel you will insert
through the gudgeons is of smaller diameter than the gudgeon holes.
6) Epoxy and screw the mahogany piece in place.
7) Cut two 1-foot pieces of the mahogany.
8) Place each piece horizontally along the bottom edge of the transom, centered
on the boat centerline, and trace the hull shape onto each mahogany piece. (Make
sure that as much as possible of the mahogany piece is extending below the
9) Cut out the hull shapes along these trace lines. Make sure your saw is set to
cut perfectly straight.
10) Epoxy the two pieces of mahogany together. Countersink and screw the pieces
11) Smooth the curved surface where the hull will rest by filing, and then 200,
400 and 600 grit sandpaper. ZIf you would like to cover this surface with
carpeting, or closed-cell foam, you are more than welcome...
12) Epoxy and screw on this mohagony assembly on the INSIDE of the plywood as a
hull rest (taking into account any additional space you will need for any
surface padding) .
13) Cut the bottom edge of the plywood so that the distance between the hull
bottom and the bottom of the plywood is at least (the radius of your wheels +
3"), and at most (radius + 5")
14) Center along this bottom edge, 1' above the edge, a 2-foot long piece of the
mahogany, and mount the wood on the INSIDE of the plywood with epoxy and screws.
(This will be your axle.)
15) Drill holes on the two square ends of the mahogany axle to accept the
16) If desired, shape the two vertical sides of the plywood to some fancy
17) Varnish or paint the whole assembly.
18) Mount the wheels with the screw on bolts. Tighten the bolts, but do not
split the wood!
19) Attach the two eyes with small staineless steel screws on the foreward edge
of the axle piece, on both sized, at least 3" inboard of the wheels.
20) Attach a 13' section of the line to one eye. Attach the remaining 9.5' of
the line to the other eye.
21) Stick on a Laser sticker and your old ILCA membership tags!
You are DONE! After mounting the dolly on the transom (top first under the
lip), lead the long line secured to one eye to the cunningham fairlead, and then
back to the cunningham cleat. Lead the short line from the other eye to the
mainsheet ratchet block, and then to one of your cockpit-side cleats. (Here is
another use of those pain-in-the-butt cleats!) Carry the boat by lifting her
from the bow.
NOTE: You must take all the slack out of these lines, otherwise the plywood
will flex too much. If the flexing bothers you, mount two 1"x2" or
2"x2" pieces of mohagony vertically along the two side edges of the
plywood (on the OUTSIDE), extending all the way from the top gudgeon cutout to
the axle level.
Best of luck,
Shevy Gunter DEATHROLL 134145
Philadelphia, PA USA
Subject: Re: Stern-mounted dolly
From: "Shevy I. Gunter" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 29 Dec 1996 20:05:35 -0500 (EST)
The Laser Email Archives
by Robert B. Williams
>Thanks for the tips. Interesting in "stern
dolly" thoughts you mentioned,
>as the $300+ for a seitech is half what I paid for the laser...
Yeah, my thoughts exactly. My boat came with a little plastic deal that
attached to the rudder gudgeons using a (really) large nail. It had a solid axel
with 2 lawn mower wheels on each side. Just fit under the transom. I dropped it
once. It promptly sank. Strike one. I wheel the boat down a regular paved launch
ramp, but the ramp has big grooves in it which make it a pretty rough ride for
those little hard tires. It broke after a dozen runs. Strike 2. I couldn't find
another locally, and they are >$80 in some catalog I saw somewhere. Strike
I cut the remains apart to salvage the axle and wheels. Built a new one out
of a couple small pieces of 9/16 plywood, thouroughly epoxied. Glassed the axle
onto the bottom. It's worked for a couple of years now. Incidentally, it
Usage requires that you pick the boat up from the bow. Because of the narrow
wheelbase balance can be tricky if you've rigged and there's wind. I usually
leave the sheet off until I'm ready to sail. Be careful about running into curbs
and the like, probably tear out the gudgeons. Some soft tires in the 6"
diameter range would work really cool, but I've never seen anything that small.
It works poorly on hard grass, wouldn't work on a beach.
If I could find good wheels, I could probably be encouraged to make a few of
these. Be about $80. (Why not, it's better than the plastic one!)
Subject: Re: car tipping a Laser
From: "Robert B. Williams" <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 5 Aug 96 18:16:26 -0700
The Laser Email Archives
by Alex Oulton
My dad and I made a cradle-dolly. What we did was make a Basic
suspension cradle with rectangular framework on the bottom, then we bought a
handcart and stole the wheels from it. Then we connected then to along 2X4 with
some copper pipe that was centered with dowel for extra support. than we bolted
the board onto the rear of the cradle, and voila!! an excellent cradle-dolly
To: Multiple recipients of list <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I'd rather be sailing!
Subject: Re: Good Laser Sailing Books
From: email@example.com (oultonr)
Date: Tue, 30 Dec 1997 10:22:17 -0600
The Laser Email Archives
On Thu, 7 May 1998, Paul Carew wrote:
> I want to go out and do a bunch of practicing on a local lake. This
> means handling the boat on my own. I have seen mention that people
> used other forms of Dollies etc., any actual experience out there?
Does a rabbit have ears? >:)
Ok, please mind that I haven't sailed Lasers in ages. The reason why I
rejoined this list is that as soon as I have enough money, I'll be sailing
Anyways, we used to use the standard plastic dolly (piece of junk imo, but
far better than nothing). there are only a couple of interesting things for a
beginner to think about.
- The plastic is flimsy, use two hands!
- Rig up on the dolly or on the dock.
- Don't slip in the centre-board until the dolly and boat are lined up down the
ramp. (else when you do go to line it up, the wind will fill the main, the boom
will catch on the cb, and you will give new meaning to the term, "dry
capsize." <insert optional rude expletive here>)
- Consider looping the bow line around the handle of the dolly.
- One thing we used to do (if there is nobody to help) is to tie the dolly to
shore with a long line. Once afloat, you can sail off, dock, run back and
retrieve the dolly before practicing.
- Another trick that works if there is nobody around and the facilities on the
ramp exist, is to take two lines, attach the ends to either side of the ramp,
then tie the other ends to the handle of the dolly. This keeps it in place
(beware, it still floats around at wierd angles), while you line up for your
"landing". Untie the handle ends when you are done and retrieve the
lines after de-rigging.
- One last trick (dependant on if you have a dock nearby the ramp and the
wind/tide is being cooperative), is to attach a long line to the bottom of the
ramp, feed it to the end of the dock, wrap it one full revolution around a cleat
at the dock, then feed it back to the bow of your boat. Now drop the boat in the
water, let wind and tide take the boat out past the dock, reposition the ramp
end of the line to taste. Put the dolly away, walk (run) to dock, pull in the
boat, tie the boat in, rig it there. (note: don't rig before launch with this
technique, also keep cb and rudder OFF the boat until it's preperly
- Last but not least, remember to lift your cb when you come back in! (again
keep the boat on the same tack before lifting during your final approach)
Ooh, the mischief we used to get up to when it was Typhoon Signal #8, the
yacht club closed, and we just HAD to get out there. :)
On another note, I'm looking for fellow San Fran sailors. I just moved here,
and I'd like to get a feel for where people are launching, where to stow a boat,
and how much it all costs. Feel free to email me directly. My addr is firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks so much!
To: Paul Carew <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: Laser Launching?
From: Frank Fletcher <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 7 May 1998 23:51:03 -0500 (CDT)
The Laser Email Archives