Dinghy Trolley




Introduction: Dinghy Trolley

This is my first instructable, after years of browsing ! - Hopefully it will be a good one and can help someone else !

This project came about when my other half's topper trolley decided to kick the bucket. Me being the man was assigned the task of building her a new one !

After a look about online I found some awesome fold-in-half trailers, but the price was astonishing ! So with a few modifications, I'm now going to build mine own. - this will be a T shape trailer, with a folding lengthwise strut to take up less space, and fit in the car when not in use.

This project is still ongoing and not et fully complete, as per why most pictures are missing (mother natures fault) and there is still some testing to do.

Disclaimer ? - Don't be dumb and use common sense - you'll be fine, I won't hold your hand.. If you hurt yourself, its your fault for being stupid, not mine :)

So without further ado - please hit next for parts required...

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Step 1: Parts List & Tools Required

I have used 25mm cross section steel tube for my build, I'm sure it could be made with 20mm or even 16, however I like to build things to last, and if there is a way to "overkill build" something, I will manage it ! This ible can be copied with any type of welder, however I'm sure it could be made using just nuts & bolts..


  • Measuring tape
  • Work bench
  • Vice
  • Welder + tools (visor, slag hammer etc)
  • Drill + steel drill bits
  • Sandpaper/ sander
  • Bandsaw/angle grinder/mitre saw (with metal cutting discs) - or a Hacksaw if you want/have arms like Popeye !

  • PPE kit to keep you in one piece during the process
  • Several cups of tea ! (Optional but highly recommended)


  • 4 x 2 meter lengths of 25mm steel tubing
  • 2 x pneumatic tires (400mm diameter)
  • Pipe insulation
  • Gorilla tape (or other similar type tape
  • 1 x 8mmx50 bolts (for folding part)
  • 1 x any length of steel pipe, of the correct diameter to fit in your tires
  • 8 x washers
  • 1 x flat steel piece (approx 1 inch width by 5 inches length by 2mm thick)
  • Steel varnish paint

Step 2: Measurements & Thoughts

Time to figure this out.. This will always change depending on what you are building this dolly for - is it a topper, laser, bathtub, catamaran... The list continues ! I cannot provide anyone with a "go-to" set of measurements as it depends on numerous factors, namely:

  1. Material you are using
  2. what you are transporting
  3. How much money you have
  4. How much time you have
  5. How long you want it to last
  6. etc

I opted for a "T" shape dolly, as i could make it fold-able for easier transport - your mileage may vary...

I (borrowed) used this companies idea for my trolley - http://www.angleseywelding.com/ - I have no affiliation etc etc.. But my design is based around their product.

Most of this project is welded together, with the "half-way" point, being held together by a bolt. - Again i'm sure this could be adapted to suit your needs and requirements.

A,B,C and D I worked out for my particular project - I have not yet fully tested this trailer, So I will hold fire on stating what the measurements are until I know it works !

Step 3: Cutting to Size

For this step I used the trusty angle grinder - Each section I cut in a clamp, and for the two lengths coming from the axle end, I cut at the same time to ensure uniformity.

I then cut the other end that comes from the middle, to the front of the boat to size.

After this - Using the off-cuts from the 2 meter sections, I cut the support braces to size.

Using more off-cuts, cut the end bar (with handle) and the hull support to size

(picture to come soon)

Step 4: Putting It All Together

For the next step I welded the small flat section of steel to the end of the bar that is in the middle of the two that come from the axle end. I welded this to the "top" pf the section, so that it was self locking when opened up.

I have overlapped the two folding sections by 15 cm. - the first 5cm for the bar welded on top, then 5 cm gap until the drilled hole for the bolt, and then 5 cm untill the end. I have made allowances for a washer to fit between each piece.

The axle end of this piece, I have welded a steel plate to the top of both pieces, spanning the gap, and through this a bolt will attach to the axle section (for more portability)

The two support pieces I have welded on to the axle bar, and the bits doing the actual "supporting" have a flat piece welded to them, which is then attached to the main support bar with a wing nut & bolt for easy tension adjustment.

I am in the process of measuring a second support bar that goes nearly where the piviot point is, to provide more support to the boat (more on that when I figure it out..)

(Again, more pictures to come soon)

Step 5: Finishing Touches

After this is all complete - Check all parts for free play, attach the previously mentioned pipe insulation to anything that touches the boat, and give a generous lick of tape to secure it in place.

I will be adding an eyelet soon to the drag handle, and possibly a front wheel to aid in maneuverability !

Pictures will be updated as soon as the weather stops being awful, so I can actually open it all up and take some outside !

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    2 Discussions


    4 months ago

    Can it be built by PVC pipes ?


    5 years ago on Introduction

    nice work on your first Instructable! do you have more photos you'd be willing to share with us? thanks!