Trailer Rigging and Transport – Sean Amiss

When It comes to the sport of kayak fishing the amount of gear one may accumulate over a period of time can become a bit overwhelming.  Having a way to transport and store all that gear is sure to make preparing for a day on the water less of a chore and in return allowing for more time doing what you love. With the use of my converted Lowe boat trailer and the hybrid cat hull design of the Bonafide Kayaks SS series I have all the ease of transportation and storage one could want.

Starting with the trailer. I began my search online and came across a great deal on a used galvanized boat trailer that had been stripped down previously and been converted  for carrying double jet skis. Measuring out at nineteen feet long I liked the idea of using a boat trailer over the more commonly seen jet ski trailer due to the longer length.  Yes, it does have its advantages and with that also some disadvantages, but for  three hundred dollars I knew it would work perfectly and with a little T.L.C. could be exactly what I was looking for. Some advantages of having a longer trailer include better maneuverability when backing up, the ability to see your precious cargo in the mirror while in tow, and if I were to haul extra kayaks in the bed of my truck I can do so with the tail gate down without obstructing those secured on the trailer. The main disadvantages is the ability to park or drive in heavily populated areas such as small parking lots, parks, and even getting into tight launch areas. Another disadvantage is making sure you have the space to store your trailer when not in use. All in all the pros and cons of a longer trailer outweigh each other equally depending of the situation you’re in, but since having the luxury of a trailer to haul my fleet it has been amazing and I couldn’t imagine doing it any other way.

Now that I have picked up an inexpensive trailer it was time to build it to match my needs. After a few days of sanding, removing the old wooden bunks, and a few trips to the local hardware store it was time to build my kayak battle carrier. I started with adding two eight foot sections of slotted steel angle to the existing bunk mounting brackets to give myself some versatility and adjustment on how and where I would mount the bunks to the trailer. Once all the metal was bolted and secured to the trailer I began covering everything with cheap black spray paint to give me the desired look I was going for and make the trailer more presentable.  As the paint finished drying I started measuring and looking for the perfect placement to where the bunks would go that would be mounted next. The bunks would be created by using ten foot sections of three inch PVC  spaced in such a way that I would be able to haul two kayaks securely and spaced center of each side of the trailer.  When measured I found that the channels running down the hull of the Bonafide kayak SS127 and SS107 were between nine and ten inches apart on center and used that as a guide to mount my PVC piping. I ended up with spacing to be about nine and a half inches apart on center for both sets of bunks and the hull of the kayaks cradled them perfectly. With a few strategically placed I-bolts mounted around the trailer for tie down straps and some necessary decals added  for aesthetics  the trailer was ready to go! All in all I have invested less than five hundred dollars and have the perfect hauler for my Bonafide kayaks.

Now that I have a way to haul my kayaks, what about my gear? One of my personal favorite features of the Bonafide SS127 and SS107 and probably the most overlooked is the full access to the inside of the hull. The amount of gear that one can put inside the hull is amazing and who wouldn’t want to use that available space. Yea you may not be able to fit the kitchen sink, but you’re on the water, you don’t need it. Of course depending on the trip I am about to embark on decides the gear that will be placed it there, so I will be explaining as if I were going on a camping trip just to show what all will fit.

First and foremost are my rods and reels. By placing them in first I can begin stacking and packing gear on top to allow for a snug fit which will in turn keep them stationary at the bottom. Next on either side of the dry pod area I will place my wet weather gear and an extra set of clothes for just in case purposes. I follow that up with my sleeping bag and hammock packed up in the nose of the bow. My PFD will set in the center in between all of what was previously packed adding a soft barrier for what’s to come and my rods.  Next goes my tarp, first aid kit, Hawg Trough, paddle, and my YakAttack Leverage Landing Net as well as my other YakAttack accessories that I use to rig up my Bonafide.  By doing this I’m able to contain all my gear inside my kayak which will be protected from the elements and is secured on my trailer which in turn helps minimize what I have to carry in the truck with me.

The great thing about the storage I am provided with by having the trailer as well as the accessible hull of the Bonafide SS127 and SS107 is that everything can be packed and stowed away in the garage as one unit. When it is time to head out on an adventure all I have to do is hook up to the trailer and take off. Upon returning home from the trip everything is the same just in reverse. With a back up to the garage I disconnect the trailer and have all my gear ready and waiting for the next one.  I’m not saying that how I do things is the right way, but so far it has worked great for me and I hope that this will help some of you.