Getting the boat trailer ‘campaign ready’

Why start on the trailer first?

Boat owners often say the worst part of their boating experience is maintaining the trailers, yet Oar Blimey’s trailer is fundamental for the campaign.  In transporting the boat to training locations, publicity events and to the start line in Portugal, it will need to travel 5,000 road miles and facilitate the boat launching and retrieval operations.  When launching and retrieving a boat, the trailer gets submerged in the sea resulting in saltwater encouraging rust and corrosion.  This can result in the seizure of every moving part, failed bearings and structural weakness. So, before starting on the actual boat refurbishment, our priority is to get the trailer fit for purpose and legally compliant.

Actions and Issues

Russ and George completely stripped everything off the trailer and refitted what they could.  Not being trailer experts, it wasn’t long before a few problems unfolded which caused a bit of head scratching.  

As a mature approach to problem solving, team Oar Blimey opted for a double sausage and egg McMuffin breakfast from McDonalds.  Whilst this didn’t make the problems disappear, it certainly made them much less daunting.

Russ working on the trailer wobble roller frame

Firstly, the ‘wobble’ rollers needed repositioning to better distribute the boats weight across the trailer and Oar Blimey didn’t have a suitable lifting jack.  This wasn’t a problem for long because Richard Davies came to the rescue and used his JCB machine as a lifting device. 


Richard Davis helping to lift the boat

Secondly, the wheel bearings needed a specialist pair of hands to check them out and up stepped Mat Mitchinson who brought his experience and tools along to help.  He found severely corroded bearings and non-existent brake pads which unfortunately meant an additional cost for Oar Blimey.  However, Mat quickly replaced these and got the trailer mechanically fit for use on the highways.   

Initial findings below the wheel hub - major corrosion, seized brakes and damaged pads
Mat Mitchinson getting to grips with the trailer wheels
Fully refurbished and working wheel

Next Steps

We’ve got to get the trailer electrically fitted with the correct lighting and reflectors.  Keep following our progress to see how we manage to achieve this.

Help People Live with Dementia

Partner with us, sponsor us or simply donate – every bit of your help and support is extremely welcome and will help Oar Blimey complete the Atlantic Challenge and raise funds to help people live with dementia.  

Recognition and Thanks

Big shout out to Richard and Mat for your help, guidance and invaluable advice; it’s people like you that will help to make our Atlantic rowing campaign a success.