Steerable Nose Wheel

A forum for discussing issues relating to trailers and towing MacGregor sailboats.

Moderators: Catigale, Paul S, Heath_Mod, beene, Hamin' X, kmclemore, tangentair

Post Reply
User avatar
Jimmyt
Captain
Posts: 725
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2015 11:52 am
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
Location: Mobile AL 2013 26M, 60 Etec

Steerable Nose Wheel

Post by Jimmyt » Thu Sep 10, 2015 8:31 pm

Got tired of kicking the nose wheel to steer in and out of the garage. Built a 'prototype' replacement with bigger tires and a guide handle. Will either dress this one up or build a more permanent version after using it awhile to work out the kinks. Image

Image

Image

User avatar
Curwen
Engineer
Posts: 136
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2015 8:19 am
Sailboat: MacGregor 26D
Location: Salt Lake City, UT

Re: Steerable Nose Wheel

Post by Curwen » Fri Sep 11, 2015 8:45 am

Very nice!

User avatar
Jimmyt
Captain
Posts: 725
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2015 11:52 am
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
Location: Mobile AL 2013 26M, 60 Etec

Re: Steerable Nose Wheel

Post by Jimmyt » Tue Sep 15, 2015 6:56 am

Thanks - now if I can just get a day when there's no threat of lightning (and no social engagements with the Admiral) to coincide with when I'm off work... Did a test roll the other day, and it does make tight maneuvering much easier. Between that and figuring out that raising the nose would allow me to clear the garage door with the mast and support in tow configuration (duh), I've cut several minutes off my setup and store times. I've also cut a lot of bending over and kicking, and crew complaining. Every little bit helps.

User avatar
My Mistress
Chief Steward
Posts: 91
Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2015 11:01 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26S
Location: LakeHills, TX

Re: Steerable Nose Wheel

Post by My Mistress » Tue Nov 24, 2015 7:37 pm

WoW! I can't even move mine without my tow vehicle or ATV.
Is that in addition to the standard nose-wheel arrangement, are replacing it?

User avatar
Jimmyt
Captain
Posts: 725
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2015 11:52 am
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
Location: Mobile AL 2013 26M, 60 Etec

Re: Steerable Nose Wheel

Post by Jimmyt » Tue Nov 24, 2015 10:08 pm

I cut the "ears" off of the original caster and re-used the swivel. We welded the swivel to the reinforcing plates. I have to back it out of the garage, and the nose wheel had to make a short run through grass during a sharp turn. I can push it out of the garage (with the winch braking), but it's flat or downhill coming out. Don't need the small wheel the way I use it. Can't move it by myself on any uphill incline. Have a floor mounted winch to bring it into the garage. Just needed better rolling and steering.

User avatar
FlyboyTR
Engineer
Posts: 153
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2015 6:33 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26S
Location: Mobile, AL

Re: Steerable Nose Wheel

Post by FlyboyTR » Wed Nov 25, 2015 7:39 am

Very nice looking and it should serve you well. How is the clearance when fully retracted or folded?

PM Sent.

User avatar
Jimmyt
Captain
Posts: 725
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2015 11:52 am
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
Location: Mobile AL 2013 26M, 60 Etec

Re: Steerable Nose Wheel

Post by Jimmyt » Wed Nov 25, 2015 9:25 am

I use it to back out of the garage and drop on the hitch. I have to angle it at about 45 deg to retract it enough to remove the quick pin that holds it on the jack pole - due to the spare tire location. The trip to the ramp and back is made with the nose wheels removed.

The way I currently stage, I never have to back the trailer. I drive onto the driveway past the garage with the tow vehicle perpendicular to the garage bay, put the nose wheels on and decouple the hitch. Then, I put a chock under the downhill trailer tire and spin the front of the trailer around, pivoting on the chock, to line up with the garage bay. This allows me to get a slight gravity assist in the turn. Once I'm lined up, I hook on the winch cable and tow it into the garage.

The spare tire carrier is in the way, however it can be worked around. The transition from road to driveway is sharp, and the spare will drag depending on which tow vehicle I'm using. Ultimately, relocation of the spare may solve more issues than redesigning the nose wheels.

If I didn't have so much of an incline (or a 12 ft deep ditch on the side of the driveway), they make some powered trailer dollies that are very interesting. I just feel better with a cable restraining the trailer during the time when it lines up with the incline. Plus, almost free from spare parts was a tempting price compared to the powered versions. I may be ahead if you include the $150 for the winch.

Maybe if I had been able to test drive some of them, I would have gone that route. Not much tire patch on the dolly wheels for braking. That ditch is pretty deep.

Post Reply