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I have a 14' alumacraft boat it is 63" wide and I want to put the flip-down portage wheels on it. I fish Jackfish Bay so I go through Fall Lake, Newton and Pipe Stone. Is my boat too wide for flip-down wheels? If it's not too wide, how would you make them?

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I took two old front forks off of 20" bicycles with front rims attached ran them through a 2 x 6 board and used the oar locks with a 1/2 inch bolt and some wing nuts. It works o.k.

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I would strongly suggest not using flip downs, rather a metal frame with motorcycle tires that sits under the boat. Lots of flex on flip down plus you have the frame on your boat and are confined to using one boat.

Steve

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I have gone out three times with the flip downs and like them better than the ones that go under the boat. Never had a problem with them. Not sure what you mean by lots of flex in them.

To answer the question if your boat is too wide for them I don't have an answer for that. I have never measured the distnace on the ones I have used and there are a few places on those portages where it gets kind of tight.

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Chaff, regarding flex, unless you have a really strong frame above the boat there is a tendency for the wheels to flex outward making the boat harder to pull.

A 63" boat is getting pretty wide for flip downs, you will need to make a flip down set up pretty high at that width to accomodate uneven ground on the portages.

Back when the portages were first closed, we normally used a 14', 58" beam Crestliner with the underframe set up. Have also portaged 70" +/- 16' Lunds, loaded to the gills both the models with and without floors. That takes a bit more man power...

Steve

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Email me at dsmaki at yahoo and I will give you all the help you might need.

They are worth the time and effort to build, you just have to be careful about overloading them.

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fishermn I sent you an email, thanks for all the posts more info I get on this the better.

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Here is a picture of my set up. If have any other questions I would be happy to help in any way I can.

portagewheel.jpg

Either way, be sure to go with motorcycle tires and not wheelbarrow tires.

Steve

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thedeadsea,

I have seen smaller ones that go under the boat but not ones as large in your picture. What do you do with those between portages? I agree motorcycle tires are the only way to go.

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We either set them over the top of the boat with the wheels hanging over the sides (ahead of where the "spray" comes out from under the boat) or somewhere in it depending on how much room we have.

That set is made to handle up to a Lund Rebel (which is slightly wider than a S-16 or WC-16). They could be made significantly narrower if a guy was only planning to use one boat. This set is also made with the heavier gauge tubing to ensure it can handle a fully loaded boat, but the lighter gauge tubing would work fine if it was narrower.

Steve

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What did you use? It looks like tube steel the long way and angle iron on both sides of the tires. If it tube steel and angle iron what size? What is the distance between the tires?

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It is angle iron around the wheels and the heavier gauge rectangluar tubing for the rest.

The set is at the cabin so I will post up as soon as I get up there, either tomorrow or Thursday.

If you want to make it for your 63" beam boat you could probably get away with 66" between the wheels but you will be limited to boats of that width or smaller.

Steve

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I stand corrected, I just measured and it is only 60" between the wheels, but will fit a boat up to 70" because the boat is rounded towards the bottom and the wheels are actually under the boat.

Steve

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