Submitted: 04-16-2002 by kayak
At age 58 with the usual knee, elbow, back, chest, muscle, pulls and sprains and the purchase of a new Voyager van I decided that it is time to stop lifting my kayaks and canoe on the top of my vehicles. Living in Florida I paddle an average of three days a week from the Keys to North Carolina. So trailer shopping I went. In reading reviews I realized I needed a high speed, lightweight trailer that was built to haul light loads. If I put my two kayaks and one canoe on the trailer that is only 120-lbs. total and I often only take one boat. I also paddle in salt water regularly so corrosion is a serious concern. Florida, Alabama and GA do not have the best put-in, take-outs so I need to be able to lift the back end of the trailer when maneuvering. Also total weight is important when dollying up or down a steep boat ramp. I'm not an expert trailer backer upper. In reading the reviews I determined that biting the bullet and spending the extra money was the only acceptable solution. The majority of trailers were too heavy and not made for hauling kayaks/canoes at high speeds while being light enough for me to lift and dolly up and down steep grades. That left the market to two that are similar one in California and the one I purchased, Portage Trailer by Jimco, Inc. is designed and manufactured by Jim who explained to me that he is an active paddler who wanted a trailer to do the things that I discussed above. The trailer comes in a kit form but is basically completed. The instructions are simple to follow and are easier to put together then a ten-speed bike. So I it together and it looks good. Now the proof is in the pudding. Friday I drive up to Goose Pasture in North Florida. The first 180 miles are freeway at 70 mph. The trailer and canoe ride fine. The next 12 miles are dirt forest roads that are typical rutted, washed roads. Lots of bouncing around but the suspension system is designed for this so the boats ride fine. Saturday and Sunday we shuttled through the forest and paddled the Aucilla River. Sunday back home at 70 mph. This trailer worked like a dream come true for me. The other paddlers in the group really smiled because they like the shuttle possibilities, my set up will carry three canoes or five kayaks or some combinations. Oh, one more thing Jim of Jimco, Inc. is just a phone call away. This is a high tech trailer and I do not try to understand the type welding but I'm sure Jim will tell you all about it. Feel free to email me about MY trailer.