A Bicycle Sailboat Trailer

haulin my boat on an ebike

It has been such a fast-paced summer and fall this year that I've hardly had time to write in this blog of mine. One of the things that's been taking up a lot of time has been sailing with my friends on beautiful Lake Mendota here in Madison. And one thing that I've thought would be fun to document here was exactly how I get my sailboat to the water.

Claire sailing with the capitol in the background at the edge of a pretty blue lake

I don't like cars. In my fiction writing, the bad guys drive cars. I don't particularly want to own a car, and sometimes that causes me to need to get creative. In this case, I had to figure out how I was going to get my impulse-purchase sailboat to the water a mile away from my house!

The solution (as is often the case in my life) was my ebike.

In case it isn't clear how I built this, I thought I'd share some pictures of just how magically the trailer fit together.

Trailer Build

Building this came as a bit of a stroke of luck. Originally I was trying to use the trailer as it came, using a very long and very heavy (iron?) tongue to connect between the chassis and my bike.

bicyle towing 12 ft sailboat

My attachment was tearing my rear rack apart and I knew that wouldn't be sustainable for the long-term. Fortunately, we had a leftover tow-behind trailer that I'd used to hold solar panels and gear on our long ebike tour last year. I've learned that tow-behind trailers do not work well at all for towing actual children, but they can still beused in creative ways.

We got extremely lucky that the space where the original trailer tongue fit in was almost the exact same size as the tow-behind trailer's rear axel spacing. This made it so that two bolts easily connected it together.

closeup on trailer tongue tow-behind trailer attached to trailer tongue trailer and bike attachment with boat in view

The connection is temperamental at times and requires a little remedial wrenching, but for such a simple and effective hack job, it's really a small price to pay. It's great getting the boat to the dock so easily, and I absolutely LOVE the look on the faces of my neighbors as I come down the bike path with my boat. I hope it can inspire others that there are more sustainable and appropriate ways to accomplish things in our everyday life without cars.

me standing with bike trailer and boat in front of Lake Mendota

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