Buying a trailer for a Lark

Steve Cumley

Posted: 09 Jun 04 11:56
Message ID: 95
I am in the process of buying a new combi trailer and could do with some help. Firstly a bit of history;

I spoke to several companies at the dinghy show and negotiated 10% discount with West Mersea if I ordered there and then. This seemed a reasonable deal so I placed the order.

Shortly after the show WM sold the marine side of its business to another company. 3 months on I still haven't got my trailer and the new company will not honour the original price. So I am going to cancel my order! Which leads me to this posting;

Welsh Harp seem quite popular in the Lark fleet and they have quoted me a very reasonable price. Has anybody had any problems with their Welsh Harp trailer? The only thing I don't like the look of with the Welsh Harp trailer is the small cradle. Has anybody had a problem with this? and does the plastic covering on the cradle scratch your boats?

Are there any other companies that I should consider? names and phone numbers would be greatly appreciated.

Also whats the view on 10 inch wheels versus 8 inch. Welsh Harp charge an extra 125 for 10 inch - is it worth it?

Finally is anybody else looking to buy? we might be able to get a small discount by teaming up.

07980 267962


Posted: 09 Jun 04 12:25
Reply ID: 246
Yesterday I went to the local Indespension dealer in reading to pick up some new bearings and noticed there were quite a few combi's stacked up at the back of the workshop, so might be worth giving them a bell and finding out who they were made by etc
Tel 01189 575004


Posted: 09 Jun 04 12:25
Reply ID: 247
Welsh Harp trailers are fine, have used them since I was little. I don't think that the cradle is particularly narrow?? The big wheels make it tow a bit better (did 15 miles with a flat one and didn't even notice!). I did once see a trailer with low profile alloys which looked quite cool, but that might not suit your image.

I would strongly recommend the option of having the spare wheel on a bracket on the side of the trailer as it saves a lot of space in the car and is much harder to leave behind.


Posted: 09 Jun 04 12:48
Reply ID: 248

The build quality of the WH Trailers is very good but the batch that they made last year are all about 4-6 inches too short. There is very little weight on the tow ball which isn't right. The tie down points also need to be about 4 inches further back as the strap is almost level with the shroud u-bolts!!

Another downer is that one of the bearings on my trailer failed after just 18 months on the way down to Torquay. It hadn't been serviced for a while but seeing as I've had trailers of 10 years plus which have been fine I'm a bit annoyed with them.

The cradles they produce are excellent and I would argue they are better than the big blue cradles you can get. You often find that the blue cradles trap water next to the hull which can cause osmosis. The Astroturf cradles don't allow that to happen and are too soft to scratch the hull.



Posted: 09 Jun 04 01:20
Reply ID: 249
i went for the little wheels to save a little money on my sovereign trailer. i have no regrets. it tows very well even at quite high speeds so 125 in my pocket - thank you. also makes buying a spare bery expensive if you get the big ones. probabably worth while for a larger boat or double trialer. our trailer are a little light nosed. he had shambles in the yard when he made them up and shambles was very nose heavy. that said it makes it effortless walking around the dinghy park and i've haven't had any snaking problems. think astro-turf is best for foam sandwich hulls. i believe west mersea have been bought out by rapide so your boat show offer may not stand since the guy has retired!


Posted: 09 Jun 04 03:45
Reply ID: 250
Both our trailers are Welsh Harp. I think small wheels are fine for a single trailer, bigger only needed for the double. I'm very pleased with how they tow, and have no scratches on my hull from the cradle coating. Have no problem with bow lightness, but we've had the trailers a little while now!

Annual servicing is of great value- just ask our chairman!


Posted: 09 Jun 04 06:15
Reply ID: 253
my mum ordered a rapide trailer in January and is still waiting for it to be delivered. Speed Sails are having trouble getting hold of trailers and trolleys to put new boats on, but apparently it is getting better.

we had Nigel/Emma's and Dougal/Helen's double stackers side by side at Bristol - Nigel's went up at the front with both boats on with just a small push down at the back. Helen sat on the back of her boat and the trailer didn't move..... might be worth checking the balance point first.


Posted: 10 Jun 04 10:37
Reply ID: 255
My double was made by 'trailermaid', a retired policeman, RYA measurer and GP sailor who builds trailers to order. He has a standard combi design, but the best thing about made to order is that you can have any mods you want.

The only major problem is the cradle which is best sourced elsewhere (I got mine from Rondar - but make sure they allow for the thinkness of the padding. You do get osmosis unless water can drain, I use coarse cord synthetic carpet but astroturf should drain at least as well

I wouldn't even contemplate 8" wheels. More revs and less volume to dissipate the heat. I have lost too many over the years and now swear by 10".

Trailermaid is Steve Elison 07931 824034

Nigel Scott

Posted: 10 Jun 04 12:25
Reply ID: 259
Wow we love this subject don't we!

I swear by Sovreign/Welsh Harp trailers and I've had some bad experiences with other ones as most people know.

The only issue is that they have made the length of the trolley and therefore trailer shorter at Simon's request so that the trolley is much lighter to pull us beaches etc. This is truely great but it does make it very light on the towball, which concerns me. This may be far less of an issue on a single trailer but it makes me nervous given some of my previous experiences.

The one thing they are awesome at (and other in my experience are shit at) is customer service. Turn up and he'll build it as you wait, will throw things in if he likes you and best of all will sort out any issues after purchase free of charge. So on my light at the front issue, he has offered to replace the whole double stacker at the end of the season if I'm still not happy.

In my opinion you can't go wrong with Welsh Harp.




Posted: 10 Jun 04 12:33
Reply ID: 261

I didn't ask them to build them shorter. I asked for a standard Lark trailer and that's how it came. I agree with you they new one's are far to short and need weighting at the front to make them safe. I have experience much snaking!

As I recall the trailers that Dougal and Helen had were slightly longer (which is what I wanted).

All up, Welsh Harp are very good. Just make sure you get what you want and complain if you don't.



Posted: 10 Jun 04 01:21
Reply ID: 262
Simon + Nigel,

If you read my above piece - he made them light at the front because he had shambles (most nose-heavy lark i've ever sailed) lying in the yard (for logistical reasons) when he made up that order and felt it would be better - in fact he tweaked the length to improve the product. Someone should just tell him when they next order. I guess if we don't feedback to the guy then he doesn't realise it's a problem.



Posted: 10 Jun 04 08:02
Reply ID: 266
Thanks everybody

I have ordered a Welsh Harp trailer and have fed back all of your comments.

I am looking forward to delivery and being able to drive round with my bright yellow mudguards!



Posted: 11 Jun 04 12:48
Reply ID: 270
If you get the spare wheel mounted on the trailer then you get about the right weight on the towbar but still have the joy of not too much weight on the trolley.

A lot of snaking issues are caused by people not checking the tyre pressures. Not quite sure why, but trailers tend to lose pressure faster than cars (probably to do with them being sat around stationary for long periods).

size does matter.

Posted: 11 Jun 04 11:00
Reply ID: 271
...but what size wheels did you have?