towing a tinny to cape york

Submitted: Monday, Mar 20, 2006 at 20:07
ThreadID: 31952 Views:8908 Replies:4 FollowUps:0
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hi there.
i was thinking of doing cape york in oct/nov this year and was wondering if anyone has towed a 14ft or similar tinny to cape york without too many dramas.

we will be a solo vehicle.

any help is greatly appreciated.


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Reply By: Crackles - Monday, Mar 20, 2006 at 21:25

Monday, Mar 20, 2006 at 21:25
Gaday JB. We towed a tinny a couple of years ago on a ordinary boat trailer but had the leaf springs replaced with coils, shocks & 14" wheels. We had a few issues along the way which is why many put them up top on the roof rack.
By jacking the springs up a little we had sufficient ground clearance for tackling some of the harder sections like the Telegraph track & Frenchman's road. The long wheelbase caused some issues on the tight winding tracks but were able to get through with a little care. Stones on the faster corrogated sections pitted the boat & trailer & also the leg of the motor so we repositioned the motor flat. It's important to brace the motor well if leaving it permanantly mounted as the weight has been known to tear the back out of some boats. The shocks tail lights & number plate were taking a battering too so we used rubber tube for the shocks & took the others off until we got back on the main roads.
The coil suspension was brilliant although others have had good results with longer leaf springs & greasable shackles. We used carpet strips under the boat to stop it rubbing with extra heavy duty ratchet tie downs to secure it.
Once up there having it on the trailer ready to go meant we could be in fishing 15 minutes after arriving at camp. Plenty of beach access for launching & ramps at Weipa & Bamaga. The fishing was great.
In hindsight putting the tinnie upside down on an offroad trailer with all the gear stacked inside would be better for the 4x4ing (less damage) but with a boat trailer it's just so convienient to launch.
With the improvements to the road many tow big cabin cruisers as far as Weipa but elsewhere it's a bit too rough. Small wheels on a standard sprung boat trailer would be asking for trouble.
Cheers Craig.............

AnswerID: 161771

Reply By: Member - Matt L (NSW) - Tuesday, Mar 21, 2006 at 08:06

Tuesday, Mar 21, 2006 at 08:06
Hi JB,

Every second vehicle you see going to Weipa is either towing a boat or has one on top.
The road to Weipa is like a highway.

The road to Bamaga is a little different and unless you want to painstakingly crawl your way up there then you will need a good trailer setup.


AnswerID: 161837

Reply By: Member - Beatit (QLD) - Tuesday, Mar 21, 2006 at 08:59

Tuesday, Mar 21, 2006 at 08:59
G'day JB,

We were up the Cape a few years ago and watched a fellow with a boat trailer wreck his trailer at a creek crossing and he may also have wrecked his outboard but didn't have that close a look. He was on his own and needed our help to get him out of one of the first creeks on the OTT. For the life of me I still can't understand why he did this, this crossing had a way around the bog hole. The hole was about 50 meters of soft mud.

The sense of adventure is one thing but getting from point A to B is another. Heed the advice on having a good trailer and consider the bypass road to avoide the tight turns at the creek crossings. Sure it is a lot more corrugated but your are less likely to break something (other than springs and rollers - so make sure these are good and make sure the boat is secured tightly to the trailer).

Kind regards
AnswerID: 161853

Reply By: DARREN - Tuesday, Mar 21, 2006 at 09:29

Tuesday, Mar 21, 2006 at 09:29
I took a 3.85 Explorer on an offroad box trailer a couple of years ago, with a good leaf setup. no problems at all only as crackles intimated a bit if stuffing around launching when you set up camp. Heaps of room for water, fuel and everything else was also a bonus. hired a boat trailer at weipa cause the ramp in a few k's from camp. elsewhere just leave the boat in for a few days.

I would really like a bigger boat next time, but the traditional boat trailer setup would perhaps deter me, I think you could get away with say a 4m or 4.2m tops on this upside down setup (mine hung over the back of the trailer a bit, can email pics if of interest and you post address). If doing the OTL I think this really is the way to go. If doing more of a fishing trip incl weipa and a couple of the more accessible areas a tough traditional style trailer would be OK although probably unlikely to be hassle free unless very well set up.

I did see around Cairns lots of professionally built off road traditional type trailers.

AnswerID: 161860

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