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Thread: Float Dolly

  1. #1

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    Float Dolly

    Hey Folks,

    I've searched and browsed but haven't found anything definitive regarding a float dolly for a Super Cub or PA-12.

    I'd love to get some plans and either build, or have one built for me. Something that will slide under the plane and pull it out of the water with a vehicle. I don't possess the skills to just "make one up". I've reviewed marine rail, boat lift and pontoon options and I may end up that way, but I'm hoping someone has it all figured out and I don't have to re-invent the wheel.

    Any help you can provide would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

  2. #2

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    Wish I could post picture to put you at ease. A young welder built a four-wheel dolly to his figuring for my 180hp Bushmaster/Producer for less that $CAN2,000, stock and labour. pole attaches to MF 135 tractor for to and from the harbour, slick as can be. Depending on tide, I wear chest waders to place it properly on the dolly. It's a rectangle, with one-inch marine plywood supporting the floats, two planks vertically on uprights to assist floats alignment. Frame, at a guess, four-inch pipe, no leaks, painted with Tremclad, looks straight out of New York.

  3. #3
    Chicken Hawk's Avatar
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    https://youtu.be/aLPUhYv_4M4


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  4. #4
    cubdriver2's Avatar
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    Simple but works great, we launch and retrieve 6 or 7 different floatplanes every season. Used steel from wearhouse racking and an old straight axel from a 1940s truck. Platform is about 10' wide by maybe 5' front to back? I bet island Bob's doesn't have $100 bucks in it





    Glenn
    Last edited by cubdriver2; 08-08-2019 at 07:28 PM.
    "Optimism is going after Moby Dick in a rowboat and taking the tartar sauce with you!"
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  5. #5
    this would be a title NimpoCub's Avatar
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    Mike Thompson built one & has the plans.
    mike@thompsonfoundry.com
    Nimpo Lake Logan... boonie SuperCubber
    200mi (300km) from nearest stoplight... just right! - "Que hesitatus fornicatus est"

  6. #6
    aktango58's Avatar
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    simple is better
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!

  7. #7

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    Surfside Seaplane Base in Lino Lakes, Minnesota used to use a modified pontoon boat trailer. They might still use it.

    It worked well enough to pull my Beaver or PA12 out of the water.

    Be careful about building one that requires getting under the floats unless your shoreline has a quick drop off. It is often easier to pick up a floatplane from the spreader bars than from under the floats themselves.

  8. #8

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    Link to a video at Duluth Mn you can see the "picker" at about 1:30. Surfside uses something similar except it is built out of an old chevy blazer and it is not a trailer.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9gTsNLcRnbE

  9. #9
    180Marty's Avatar
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    This is the most interesting rig I've see. This is up at Tower MN and is a very early Ford Ranger 4x4 that was hacked behind the cab and frame rails to go under under spreader bars fabricated for ahead of the cab. Really looked funny going down the taxiway from the hangar to the ramp. Super nice seaplane airport and wish I took a better picture.
    Click image for larger version. 

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  10. #10

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    Link to a video from surfside and their picker. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Glk141to5s
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  11. #11

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    Float Dolly

    Quote Originally Posted by Lotro View Post
    Hey Folks,

    I've searched and browsed but haven't found anything definitive regarding a float dolly for a Super Cub or PA-12.

    I'd love to get some plans and either build, or have one built for me. Something that will slide under the plane and pull it out of the water with a vehicle. I don't possess the skills to just "make one up". I've reviewed marine rail, boat lift and pontoon options and I may end up that way, but I'm hoping someone has it all figured out and I don't have to re-invent the wheel.

    Any help you can provide would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

    Email me at tmbelgood@gmail.com My son and I built a lift using a front wheel drive car, total cost was about $1800 Or look at my facebook site Terry Elgood

  12. #12
    hotrod180's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 180Marty View Post
    This is the most interesting rig I've see. This is up at Tower MN and is a very early Ford Ranger 4x4 that was hacked behind the cab and frame rails to go under under spreader bars fabricated for ahead of the cab. Really looked funny going down the taxiway from the hangar to the ramp. Super nice seaplane airport and wish I took a better picture.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Several of these rigs at the Renton WA airport KRNT on Lake Washington.
    Cessna Skywagon-- accept no substitute!
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  13. #13

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    Float Dolly

    Quote Originally Posted by Terry Elgood View Post
    Email me at tmbelgood@gmail.com My son and I built a lift using a front wheel drive car, total cost was about $1800 Or look at my facebook site Terry Elgood

    I posted some video on facebook from today, picking up, launching, recovering the floatplane. I tried to put them on here but it will not copy/past or drag and drop

  14. #14
    Farmboy's Avatar
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    Terry, they must not be listed publicly as there are only a few photos visible on your page, and those are from 2017.


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  15. #15

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    Float Dolly

    Quote Originally Posted by Farmboy View Post
    Terry, they must not be listed publicly as there are only a few photos visible on your page, and those are from 2017.


    Sent from my iPhone using SuperCub.Org

    Send me a "friend" request that should give you access to my facebook site

  16. #16
    G44's Avatar
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    A set of unAirworthy Buskwheels would be great tires for a trailer especially if launching on softer ground or mucky beach.

  17. #17
    Farmboy's Avatar
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    <<<<Send me a "friend" request that should give you access to my facebook site>>>>


    I was just relaying it for FYI - I don't have a need to see it. You can make it a public post though, if you want to share.

  18. #18
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    There are two types of beaching gear I see used here in Pitt Meadows, either motorized with a truck or front wheel drive car, or a trailer. I use the trailer with a tow hitch mounted to front of my truck and it works well for up to a C185, I don't have to maintain another vehicle and its small enough to store under the cub when its on floats in the hangar. One of the motorized ones here gets used everyday to launch and retrieve a DHC3 single otter, lots of DHC2 beavers off a wood ramp into the river.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by M1; 08-16-2019 at 01:31 PM.
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  19. #19
    Farmboy's Avatar
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    That blue one is pretty much a scissor pontoon trailer, available everywhere, winch or electric/hydraulic. Might want/need to shorten the arms so it doesn't lift it higher than needed.
    That said, if it's just for one airplane, you could use a bunk trailer and just adjust the bunks for the floats, and leave it on it.


    https://minneapolis.craigslist.org/r...957988606.html
    https://www.drtrailer.net/2019-wolve...iler-QZCb.html
    https://www.boattrader.com/listing/2...ler-102411687/
    http://www.tebben.us/product.php?Sci...on-Trailers-28
    https://www.hoosiertrailer.com/bx_an...n-trailers.php

  20. #20
    Hardtailjohn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by M1 View Post
    motorized with a truck or front wheel drive car,
    Used to see lots of them with diesel Tornado's on the back. The only good use I ever did see for one!
    John

  21. #21
    M1's Avatar
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    Front half of an F250 4x4 is popular around here

  22. #22

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    How does it pick up an Otter? I didn’t think they had strong enough spreader bars. Or maybe I’m thinking of a Beech 18.

    Quote Originally Posted by M1 View Post
    One of the motorized ones here gets used everyday to launch and retrieve a DHC3 single otter, lots of DHC2 beavers off a wood ramp into the river.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Click image for larger version. 

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  23. #23
    cubdriver2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Heinrich View Post
    How does it pick up an Otter? I didn’t think they had strong enough spreader bars. Or maybe I’m thinking of a Beech 18.

    Beech 18 doesn't have any spreader bars?

    Glenn
    "Optimism is going after Moby Dick in a rowboat and taking the tartar sauce with you!"
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  24. #24
    Chicken Hawk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cubdriver2 View Post
    Beech 18 doesn't have any spreader bars?

    Glenn
    Click image for larger version. 

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  25. #25

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    Wow guys! I was away for a while and I've come back to a pile of awesome replies. Thanks so much. I will start here and let you know where I end up!

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