Welsford Rogue

15' Kayak 14' Canoe 17' Kayak Home

 Assembling Trailer & Launch

  August 2, 2020

All is moving along as planned. I've met with the mechanic who will be installing the trailer hitch (parts are on order) and the trailer shipment arrived right on schedule!

As previously mentioned, the online order was placed on Thursday. Two of the three boxes arrived on Sunday and the final one on Monday.

Why three boxes? My guess is because they are HEAVY.

While detailed assembly instructions are available on the Trailex website, they could use a few more explanatory notes along the way. It seemed I had questions about each instruction and every step took longer than expected – although the first was simple, join the two center tongue pieces together to form one long piece.

Then the 4-sided frame unit is squared up and assembled.

I had to redo this step a couple times – gotta pay real close attention to the photo details and remember which side is facing forward and which is right and left while sometimes working upside down.

I'm working on a raised platform for now to keep the action at a convenient height.

Once assembled correctly, the frame is attached to the tongue.

The springs are added. A couple bolts here are supposed to be tightened "not too tight". I'm assuming that's what I did.

Then the axles are attached to the springs.

When it came to installing the lights, my lighting units and associated wiring looked completely different from those pictured in the assembly instructions.

I called Trailex and after getting voicemail for three of the four extension offered (no option for "Support"), I finally got a friendly and accommodating fellow in the Shipping Department. Apparently Trailex switched to newer LED lights but has not yet updated the instructions. He patiently talked me through the new wiring scheme and was apologetic about the discrepancies. Everything worked out in the end but, is it that hard to update online materials or to add a note about the new lights?

I put the wheels on, then flipped the trailer off the table and right-side-up.

With the fenders attached it's starting to look a little more more complete.

Aft roller added.

Bunks installed. The bunks and all the rollers will be adjusted later to fit the boat.

Two roller assemblies installed in front.

And the final product!

I realize it's just a boat trailer but after spending two days assembling it, one sees it with different eyes.

I wonder how this coming week will play out. I'm still awaiting the oars, the trailer registration papers and the hitch installation – all needed before launching is possible.

  August 9, 2020

This is the week the Rogue breaks out! ...and we're almost on the water!

Unfortunatley there are still a couple obstacles preventing a launch.

The trailer paperwork arrived and I dealt with the insurance necessities but due to Covid restrictions, an appointment is required at the local RMV to register the trailer. Checking their website I discover the next available appointment is 3-1/2 weeks away!!! Fortunately after some digging, I managed to find an empty slot next Friday at a different registry about an hour away.

The other hold up is the trailer hitch installation on the car (there is no easy, off-the-shelf hitch for my make and model). It's running behind schedule — hopefully, it will be completed this week along with the trailer getting registered on Friday and we can have a launch next weekend.

But in the meantime, there is still the task of getting the boat out of the porch/workshop and down to street level.

The only reasonable way out is to remove a portion of the screen, turn the boat on its side and squeeze it through the opening (the section between the two arrows in the photo — yes, it will fit). Again, ropes over the rafters will hopefully assist with the operation. (Note the oars arrived this week!)

Moving day has arrived!

Here we're adjusting the lines after first raising the hull slightly to slip the underlying supports out.

My daughter (right) and her friend were the first two recruits.

Am I doing the easy work?

It finally emerges.

The cardboard was added to protect the paint.


It's out.

The empty cavern.

Kudos to the crew!

There's a little break while we await the arrival of two neighborhood volunteers so we can move on to phase two...

...getting the boat to the trailer. We're now a crew of five, six counting my wife the photographer.

Everyone checks the fit.

Then multiple opinions offered.

With everything adjusted we roll down the driveway.

Finally at street level.

And the job completed!

Now the wait begins...

  August 16, 2020

The hitch is on the car and the trailer has been successfully registered.

Launch day finally arrives!

While we had hoped for a big party launch, the Covid restrictions put a damper on those plans. Although the event may still happen in the future — maybe we'll have a sailing launch.

And after weeks of beautiful Summer weather, today was cloudy and cool. In fact, here I am having second thoughts about going out after a few rain drops began falling.

But the rain stopped and the skies lighten up so out we went. This trip was intended to be more of a trial run anyway, just to see how launching and trailering worked out.

A very shallow ramp. I ended up pretty much pushing the boat off the trailer.

But one of the reasons I chose the Rogue design was for its light weight and easy maneuverability.

It's easy to move around in the water too. That's a temporary styrofoam plug capping the daggerboard trunk.

Some basic accessories added and she's ready to go.

My wife handled the camera most of the day.

But I had to borrow it for a quick shot.

We took a little snack break while drifting along in the wind.

And made several mental notes on how to improve various procedures.

Now to return the boat to the trailer.

It was fairly easy to hoist back up onto the bunks.

All-in-all a successful day...

...with plans to head out again next weekend for a longer outing!

  August 23, 2020

The second outing to the same lake occurred under much different weather conditions — sunny and mid 80s F.

This time while launching, I detached the trailer at the ramp and manually rolled it out into water until the boat floated off — much easier.

Here we are backing away from shore. Should I work on my rowing technique a bit? The last time I rowed was 50-some years ago when I was more interested in splashing my brothers than perfecting my rowing style.

No problem standing.

We headed out to one of the islands...

...and spent some time relaxing on this late-August vacation day.

I wanted to get some photos of the boat out on the water so I rowed out alone.

And my wife ended up as photographer again, although she makes a good subject too.

The orange flag was used while trailering the boat but we left it tied on for fun.

Rowing is enjoyable and this boat moves right along when balanced properly. I still need to install the second pair of oarlocks in the front rowing position to provide better load balance with two people aboard.

Just a nice photo.

Doing a few modifications to the oars. I sanded the varnish off the handles and have ordered some leathers for the oarlock area along with two more oarlock sockets for the forward rowing station.

Now that we have launched and work has slowed down, updates to this site may be less frequent but there's still plenty more to come. The rest of the summer will be spent improving rowing and trailering techniques and maybe venturing out to some new locations.

NEXT – Some post-launch projects >>