sunfish trailer flag – performance review

well, I was excited to have the opportunity to test out my newly fashioned Sunfish trailer flag on my way up to Camp Arcadia for my vacation last week. since I was taking along my bike, along with bikes for my 8yr old and 4yr old boys, the flag wasn’t really as necessary, as my bike was very visible looking out the rear-view mirror. you can just barely see the orange flag at the far left of the picture.sunfish trailer for vacation

sadly, I don’t think I made it more than 5 miles down the highway, though, before the wind somehow sucked that little orange flag (from my bike trailer, remember) right off the aluminum rod, and I lost it.  I had only slipped the orange trailer flag over the top of the 3/8″ diameter rod, so it wasn’t exactly connected securely… so the fact that I lost it really just boils down to me figuring that slip fit was adequate enough, and losing that bet.  oh well, I still hope to have my wife make up a sweet little mini-sail style flag (Jim Manta’s flag is shown again below) to use, and I’ll figure out a more secure manner to attach that one!

as I drove the rest of the way (about 250 miles one way), I did notice that the 3/8″ diameter aluminum rod wavered quite a bit from the wind generated while driving on the highway.  I’m sticking with it for now, but do wonder whether a higher strength steel rod would be stiffer, and help to minimize the wavering of the rod.

I was also extremely annoyed with myself for another reason, this more related to the bike attachment plan: my 2 boys’ bikes didn’t really cause a problem, but my larger mountain bike has an extra set of handles that extend vertically from the bike, and they rested on the deck of the boat.  I placed an old ratty towel underneath each of them, but was very disappointed with myself when I discovered that those handles had worn off a portion of the deck paint, even though I had placed the towel there.

on the way home, I laid the bikes flat across the deck to ensure that only the rubber tires were touching the deck, and I had no problems with the deck finish hauling them that way.  still, I think for future long trips where bikes will be brought along, I will need to fashion a better method to haul the bikes and the Sunfish… perhaps a frame that extends from the trailer up and over the Sunfish to support the bikes.


3 Responses to “sunfish trailer flag – performance review”

  1. 1 Carol Anne August 29, 2009 at 2:40 am

    Since bicycles don’t often travel at highway speeds, bicycle flags probably aren’t designed to withstand the wind involved. On the other hand, there are the fluorescent-orange flags that get mounted on the fenders of towing and escort vehicles of oversized loads. If you could figure out how to mount such a flag high enough, it might work.

    Meanwhile, for the trailer design, it’s good if you have a friend who has fun with welding — we had an absolute welding genius build the structure for our Etchells trailer. If you don’t happen to know a welding guru, maybe there’s a welding class at your local community college that would like to have a fun project to work on. You could offer to take them sailing in exchange for helping you out.

  2. 2 my2fish August 29, 2009 at 9:04 pm

    Carol Anne,
    I totally agree about the bicycle trailer flag not really being appropriate or rated for highway speeds, but on short notice, I thought I would give it a try… oh well. Thanks for the tip on the orange flags for OVS loads – that might be worth checking into.

    As for the welding, I think my father-in-law would be able to help me out there, but I don’t think I want to weld anything just yet, as I think I’d prefer it to be an option that I can (quickly?) bolt on, and only when needed.

    I’ve been toying with some trailer upgrades – adding a flat deck and sides made out of PT wood to allow storage under the boat, and then a few set of cradles to support the ‘Fish. I’ve even thought about making them inter-changeable, so that I have the option to trailer it deck up or deck down.

    Thanks for your thoughts.

  1. 1 sunfish trailer flag – update « my2fish: a blog about sunfish sailing Trackback on December 7, 2009 at 10:00 pm

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