With the purchase of a Dolphin American 12 Jon boat, I needed a way to transport it to the river. The solution? Build a boat dolly with wheels.
I found a free set of bicycle wheels, and all they needed was a coat of paint.
I began with 2×4 supports – 2x4s fit perfectly into the grooves of the hull. Once the 2x4s were positioned, I joined two (2) 2×6 boards as the main axel. After securing the 2x4s to the 2×6 axel, the wheels were then installed. I used a 7/16″ threaded rod (incased in 1/2″ EMT pipe) to mate the wheels to the axel – everything was greased and secured with Pozi-loc nuts.
Since the boat just rests on the dolly, it needed to be secured to keep the vessel from slipping off. To solve this, I created a wooden brace that connects to the oarlocks holes. A ratchet tie-down strap was used to secure the brace to the dolly frame.
The frame was stained with Behr outdoor deck paint, and old carpet was attached to the hull supports – to prevent scratching. It took about 10 hours to construct, and it works fantastic – exceeding expectations. The positioning of the axel is key – the weight distribution needs to be 55% (front) to 45% (rear). With this, minimal force is needed to physically move the entire unit.
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