about 3 years ago, I did a long & exhaustive search online for various ways to transport a Sunfish down to and around the beach. after finding several fairly expensive versions you could buy, and a handful of decent DIY style dollies you could build at home, I instead decided to try to come up with my own idea and this was the result:
my Sunfish PVC dolly has served me really well – and works great for my normal use. but for use in soft beach sand, a handle of some sort would be recommended. [I actually made a new PVC handle for mine this spring, but haven’t tested it on beach sand… will report in detail later on.]
so now at long last, I have finally put together a sketch showing the dimensions and details for my Sunfish PVC dolly. if any of you would like to create your own dolly out of PVC, the dimensions should give you a pretty good head start (download a copy of the .pdf plan here).
I’ll go into a little bit of detail: I used a little less than 12 feet of 1 1/4″ PVC pipe, a slew of PVC fittings, a 3/4″ threaded rod for the axle, and these foam beach wheels. a general breakdown of parts is shown on the .pdf file (all parts can be found at your local hardware store except the wheels).
the detail at the axle with the PVC fittings is a bit tricky, so I put the pieces together at the hardware store to give you an idea of what I did (also see the detail shown in the .pdf file).
the 1 1/4″ x 3/4″ PVC bushing (spigot & thread) looks like this:
these (2) PVC fittings aren’t tightened completely together in my picture below, but it does illustrate how the parts go together. I also had to trim the left piece (the 3/4″ to 1/2″ adapter) – basically removing the portion to the left of the “nut” part. the wide end of the 1 1/4″ piece (to the right) then just slips into the PVC cross as shown on the plans.
you might also consider a few miscellaneous parts to complete your Sunfish PVC dolly:
- (1) 6′ piece of pipe foam insulation (supposed to be for 1″ pipe – it was the largest I could find, on sale for 31 cents… it doesn’t wrap all the way around, but covers enough for me)
- I later also covered the pipe insulation with bunk carpet (same stuff used on boat trailers)
- a handful of zip-ties
- and PVC safe spray paint (if desired)
as I noted in my Sunfish PVC dolly update, instead of using double nuts on each axle, I reverted back to just (1) nut on the outside, but then drilled a 9/64″ diameter hole in the axle so that I could install a 1/8″ cotter pin to lock everything in place. here is a picture of the installed cotter pin on the end of the axle:
so there you have it. a bit more detail on my Sunfish PVC dolly. if you have any more specific questions, please feel free to post it in the comments below, or you can send me an email: my2fish -at- gmail.com
or, if you’d like a more detailed step-by-step process and less money in your pocket, there is a guy selling Sunfish PVC dolly plans on eBay, with a dolly that looks pretty much exactly like mine.
“imitation is the sincerest form of flattery” – Charles Caleb Colton