As soon as I lifted the F-Rib.. I realised I had been a bit over enthusiastic thinking I could carry the 36kg of weight over 100 yards or so of rocky shore.
I have an allergy to SIB transom wheels because ..they are very expensive and some cheaper ones break easy .. they involve drilling the transom. Last but not least .. they clutter up the back of the boat ..making it very difficult to fit an Auxiliary outboard.
Therefore..for me ..the F-Rib brand wheels ..or any other make ..of transom wheels were not for me.
But that is because I know there is as many ways to launch a boat..as there is to skin a cat.
I knew I needed wheels.. I knew I wanted them portable and take up little space ..I knew I wanted them to be very cheap.
That ruled out a traditional launching trolley..too bulky.. and still too expensive. I could use my inflatable roller boats..but decided the best thing was the way folk used to launch rowing boats etc before the SIB came along.
I chose to make a transom dolly .. it cost me £30 to make ..has 18” pneumatic tyres so can handle any shore I choose ..and last but not least ..its Clyde built and designed .. in other words..very robust. Ideal for my use..a bit more difficult with a very heavy outboard though..as you don't attach the outboard until you are in the water.
Never heard of a transom Dolly ? I guess you are not as old as me then. So here is the one I made for the F-Rib
This photo shows it stored under the seat and in the empty space behind me. I can stand on it as a duck board...its unbreakable
A front view of it stowed under my seat. I will get a couple of plastic end caps so the axle wont damage the tubes if is bounces around in a chop.
It can still be stowed fully assembled ..if I want to use it again shortly. It is only finger tight 12m nuts that hold the wheels on the axle.
It is very simple to use in practice. It is basically a board with an axle and wheels mounted to the bottom. It has a shelf above the wheels that the rear of the boat sits on ..and at the top..it has a couple of angle brackets that fit over the transom. These hold it in place as you move the boat...it can be pushed forwards..or backwards.. because of the two ropes that are attached to the shelf that the boat is sat on..also helps hold the dolly in place.
The rope is fed under the boat and turned round the front handle. I lift and pull the rope and the boat moves no problem. The ropes acts like the front spar of a traditional launch trolley
This photo shows the angle brackets on the transom..which prevent the rope pulling the dolly under the boat.
To install the Dolly.. lift the transom.. put the hooks over the transom.. push the shelf under the boat..let the boat sit on the shelf. Feed the ropes up under the boat..round the handle ..and off you go.
Some of the old timers I knew..use to use their outboard instead of angle brackets..in other words ..the board was cut flush with the transom height..they then put their outboard on the transom ..including the board.. and tighten the outboard mounts.
I didn’t do it this way as it was slightly more difficult to do single handed. However I have been know to use a G clamp to firmly hold the board to the transom bracket on really rough ground.
Here is a photo of the boat sitting on the shelf. Just look at that.. no holes in the transom at all. Its sitting on wood..so wont damage the hull. I may or may not pad it a little once it is painted Guppy Grey
The 18” wheels are Screw Fix ones. The cost £15 each..but I have bought a few and know that in their January sales ..they always offer two for the price of one..so both wheels cost me £15 total.
I got the threaded rod for the axle..and the heavy duty metal angle brackets for shelf and transom brackets from the local DIY store ..another £15. The wood is recycled from my seago store and also the wooden pallet the boat arrived on..so no cost.
I will paint it guppy grey to match the boat..at present the undercoat is still soft. I had the paint from other jobs..so again no cost
Sometimes the old ways are still the best..at least for me..but then..Im an old codger like the guys that launched their wooden tenders this way .... many years go.