We bought from Admiral, as did at least one other UK Morbic owner.
Purpose-built to order. Not cheap. Fairly robust though lighter and not as thoroughly engineered as Dutch or German.
We are happy with it though I would recommend you ask for a few simple construction changes.
1) The dolly wheel (see pic) is mounted such that you have to remove it when detaching the launching trolley from the road trailer. You then re-fit it if required. There must be an alternative position on the trolley to mount this "bearing" (A), maybe a little further aft, such that it can remain fitted - Though obviously not while towing!
2) Banging. When under tow, the forward end of the launching trolley bangs on the trailer. We're trying out rope-wrapping to silence this (B). Rubber has been tried by us and others. The carpet-tile (C) remains from an earlier test. It might be useful immediately below the retaining pin to protect that.
The lashing (D) is a precaution (suggested by Admiral) in case the retaining pin (E) fails or is forgotten!
3) Light-board supports (Pics) - If the light board support arrangement could be modified, it would be possible to fit the light board close against the trailer (for when towing boat-less) without interference between lights and trolley.
You will also consider whether you want a "combination" - Road trailer + Launching trolley - like ours (pic), or simply one or the other. The combination provides benefits some folk don't need.
BTW, we don't use the vertical guide-posts (at the back of the trolley) or the mast support (not shown here), because our mast stows within the bowsprit iron.
I have previously posted my thoughts on trailers under the topic Sails Trailer and Cover.
but to help the conversation flow Ive cut and paste the relevant bits here.
I decided to go for a Combi Trailer. A seperate launch trolley is handy for launching by hand on the gravel hards around Chichester Harbour and The Solent. I can also use the road base on its own to transport my 16' Sailing Canoe, with a detachable extension, leaving the Dinghy at home on its trolley.
I've found with previous boats that having the boat correctly balanced on the trolley makes a huge difference to the ease of use when moving it around. Too much nose weight can make things very difficult so the distance from the snubber to the axle is quite important.
In the end I found a good second-hand combi on FaceBook Marketplace for £400.
The central beam on the trolley is adjustable so the boat fits very well.
Wheels Tyres and bearings are all easily replaceable so as long as the galvanising is good a trailer should last a very long time.
Its worth keeping an eye out in the usual places.
Anyhow, I hope these rambling help.
Keep having fun, stay safe.
I too am looking for a combi trailer for my Morbic (yes, it really is getting that close to launch day!), though I am looking for a sound used combi rather than buy new.
I have my eyes peeled in the usual places as Graham N says below, but if anyone else spots a likely combi for sale, then I'd be grateful if you could let me know via the forum. I have seen many advertised on line, but with a few exceptions, they are designed for 14+ foot boats, which means the nose weight is all wrong (I'm thinking as much of my arms and back as the load on the towing hook), so one made to or adjustable to 12 foot is what is needed...about 7 foot from bow snubber to rear cradle is about perfect.
Happy sailing to all and with wheels, I will see some of you at Clyweddog in August! Peter
I have an Admiral combi and I would vouch for the engineering and thought that goes into them. I've known Tony for years, he's a sailor too. They use a cross beam axle rather than indespension units which gives a superior ride and opting for 10'' wheels helps too. Also they have to conform with type approval in terms of lighting etc.
At around a grand I think they represent good value and are certainly well made.
I'd back everything Jon D says.
We've had our Admiral trailer nearly 12 months, done quite a lot of running around including long distance, and would commend them to anyone considering buying new. Just check any caveats in the earlier posts., especially the dolly wheel location and the frames bumping together (for which there are various DIY remedies).
We don't use the guide bars but understand why others do.
The lighting is excellent and includes forward-facing white lights on the mudguards - a useful feature.
This is where I have got to with my towing set-up.
I bought the trailer off Facebook Marketplace from a chap who lives locally. He listed it in the morning and I'd bough it by mid afternoon. It cost me £400.
The galvanising is intact as far as I can see and the wheels and tyres virtually brand new.
The builder's plate is a bit faded but I think it is a Rapide. The trailer would take a boat up to 16ft but the launch trolley has a telescopic centre shaft so I've been able to balance the Morbic quite well.
I have added a pneumatic front castor wheel from Trident to the trolley which makes manoeuvring on the beach much easier.
https://www.tridentuk.com/gb/product-trolley-nose-wheel-deluxe-trtranww.html I'll probably add a jockey wheel to the road base and I might convert to 10" wheels in the future.
The draw bar is longer than would normally be necessary but this gives me the option of using my bike rack while towing if I move the mast aft.
Which is one of the reasons I opted for a separate mast cover rather than the "elephant's trunk" sewn in version. If I'm not taking the bikes I'll move the mast to the forward position.
The cover also came from Trident and is made from hydroguard breathable fabric.
Some may be aware that I recently sold an older trailer. I had sold my Heron and the new owner wanted to use his own trailer, so I put it on Facebook. I had several responses the same evening and it was sold within a couple of days. It was much older than my new one although very serviceable with good wheels tyres and bearings. I sold it for £300. The launch trolley measured 7ft from snubber to axle and would probably have taken a Morbic at a pinch.
So they are out there but you need to keep your eyes peeled and act quickly.
I ended up going with Admiral and picked up the combi yesterday. All seems great so far.
Tony made me a lightboard bracket that slips on top of the pintles and then is lashed to quarter knees. This bracket has a U holder for the mast.
I’m looking for suggestions for how to trailer the mast safely. I was going to do the following but keen on any insights from those ahead of me:
- mast in u holder above lighting board and overhanging by c30cm
- lash the aft end of the mast around lower pintle
- mast fore end: pop on some foam alongside the stem and transverse pin
- lash fore end to road trailer
- lash halyard sheave to mast stem
I particularly keen to ensure the mast doesn’t jump off, and can’t operate as a projectile through the windscreen under emergency breaking! Add a rolling hitch somewhere? I have a balanced lug rig so no bowsprit iron.
Any tips for towing and launching - I’m a total newbie. Yesterday’s 5 hr trip from Devon to London was “fun”, but also unladen. I don’t yet have a cover.
Getting close to launch day… next weekend at Rutland Water hopefully.
Hi Marc - Nice pics. You've got the apprentices at work again? (pic 2).
Securing the mast so it could never become a spear:-
On the trailer, look just inboard of each wheel. You'll find a metal loop, a bit like a d-ring. It is ideally situated for passing a strop over the dinghy to its mating ratchet thingy on the other side.
We've found that a single turn of the strop around the mast, en-passant across the boat, is sufficient to restrain the mast. If you want belt and braces, try a line from the masthead sheave (assuming you've placed the masthead forward) back to the stem/crossbar - (Lug version) or bowsprit Iron (Sloop version).
Our "Transom panel" has a cut-out to restrain the tenon of the mast foot. This prevents the mast drifting aft, and it does not protrude al all. See the topic "Covers" .
We do like excess length of mast stowed forward over the towbar, where it is protected.
No point in having it aft of the transom, lights, etc. And keeps the whole rig a little shorter - Useful when parking! It also means the cover is simpler not having orifices and condoms at both ends.
Almost impossible to make a comparison.
Nearly all boat trailers built nowadays use this "rubber" type of suspension unit.
Essentially a rotating asymmetric shaft squeezed between two rubber tubes. As the trailing arm rotates the "rubber" is squished. They come in various ratings with 500kg per pair sounding about right for our size of boat.
I think some manufacturers use a torsion bar axle, not sure what Admiral use.
Tyre pressure is important with such light weight boats, try to run them as low as possible without them overheating. Too hard and the trailer will bounce around all over the place. I find somewhere around 28psi seems to be about right.
The ancient combi trailer under my old Coot had a single transverse leaf spring with no damping and was known to take off going over drain covers, it paid to keep the pressures low.
Thanks for this Graham. FYI and in case anyone else is interested, I contacted the seller who advised 235cm from cradle to home made wooden bow snubber - 15 cm more to original snubber position on the trolley. It would work, but not a great fit as it is on the large size for a Morbic 12 I think.
Tyre pressures - Food for thought, thanks Graham. I've been running ours at 45psi (having researched tyre spec Vs load elsewhere) but on your advice I might try less. Noticed our port side has a (very slow) leak and runs warmer than the Stbd, especially when below 20 psi.