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I am getting close to completing my Tiki 21. Well, closer to completion anyway. Two are hulls done, the beams are all made up, and I’m working on the bridge deck.

Anyway, I plan to launch and recover from a beach, so I need a beach trolley. Rather than re-invent the wheel, or in this case the trolley, I thought I’d put the word out and see if anyone has any good design ideas and/or photos of simple trolleys that work well?

A friend of mine has been using a road trailer to launch and recover a 20-foot sports monohull from the beach, but it’s always a colossal headache. The road tires sink into the sand and the bearings rust out.

My needs are simpler. I’m not taking it on the road. I just need to get my T-21 across 50-60 feet of sand and onto a hard track along the back of the beach. My plan is to let it sit there fully assembled until we go sailing again.

I’ve been giving the idea some thought and been toying with the concept of a simple trolley that uses slings or strops instead of cradles to hold the hulls. That way the bows would float in and get tied down (just forward of the mast beam). Then, as the trolley is pulled out of the sea, the sterns would settle into the rear slings.

Just an idea at present. I am sure there are a lot of ways to skin this particular cat! I can’t be the first to be considering launching the boat.

Any input gratefully received.


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Hey Brian,i do a lot of Kayak fishing with a hobie ai adventure as well as a mate of mine,mytrolley has balloon tires and his are narrow,guess who is more knackered pulling these things on the beach.Have you thought about say golf buggy wheels,maybe four of them.Two per vee cradle with truck straps?

cheers paul.

Thanks. That's a good idea.
I'll check out a golf cart service place I know and see what's available.

Hi Brian,

I just joined the wharrambuilders forum.  I am gathering information on the Tikis in particular.  I was searching for how to cart a Tiki 26 up the beach, and came upon your entry where you want to launch and recover your Tiki fully assembled.  Where I live, there are no slips or boat ramps per say, so bringing a Tiki 26 on beach is crucial for me.  Here is my idea of a cart to do this. See attached drawing.  Maybe since you posted you, you have come up with a workable solution.  I would like to hear your ideas.  Thanks,  Jimmy


Jimmy I like your sketch you could also add a draw bar? so that you could use a 4x4 to push/pull it on the beach.

Thanks Paul.  I enjoy reading all your posts on your Tiki 26 construction.  A draw bar (tongue) is a good idea so that the cart can be pulled by vehicle as you say, and we've seen how a steerable tire is often put on front of a trailer  tongue.  For my application, considering a gas powered cable winch to get cart up beach 100+meters onto property.  A winch because the property can accommodate a Tiki on cart, but not a truck in the lead.   My initial sketch was for purpose of laying out steps of getting Tiki, arriving on sandy beach, onto and off of a cart.  The final cart however will probably look like a boat trailer, or be a modified used boat trailer.  A two wheel boat trailer, and a third swivel wheel on tongue, hydraulic jacks and boards for hull support as before. Balloon tires.  A simple design allowing for pull by vehicle or winch, and steerable. From property to surf is down hill!  My best,  Jimmy

I'm interested to see what you come up with. Post pics when you start/ finish something. :)

Hi Brian,

Possibly you need to pull your Tiki many yards up a beach. Several football fields?  If I build a Tiki, that is my challenge to meet.

If we employ a winch, then the rope could be of unlimited length, by using a 'capstan winch', which doesn't store rope on a drum, but rather just provides pulling power for rope that then accumulates in a pile.  A good example of a capstan winch is an anchor windlass, where one puts a few wraps around the drum and feeds a rode and chain of endless length into a boat hull.  If you want to see numerous examples of capstan winches, then use a favorite of mine for looking up photos of anything.  images.google.com   Enter 'capstan winch' in the search box. 

My best, Jimmy

This is my beach trolley. It works, but my need is to get the hulls off the road trolley down to the seaside and then back again. Two wheels allow you to turn right or left while you can't do it with four wheels cradles.

All the best



My trolleys have four wheels.  To turn you lift one end so that only two are on the ground!  The advantage of four wheels is that you can pull the boat up a slope with a rope from a car, and the bow or stern is not going to fall to the ground.  With two wheels someone needs to walk with the boat to balance it.  Advantages and disadvantages to both.  I guess two would be ok for a Tiki 21 but I'd always go with four for a 26.

I agree with Robert but a four wheel trolley for me means also more load to carry with the van. I also agree with Robert in case of a steep slope, with two wheels you need one or two persons on one side of the hull but if the slope is very steep the whole becomes more difficult, especially on the way back to the road trolley. Anyway that's right, advantages on one side and the opposite on the other


Stefano that's one awesome trolly! Do you have more pics of that?

I haven't here with me but as soon as I get back home I can take some more pictures, I think I have also a drawing with measurements

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