If you live on or near a beach, or have access to water via a sidewalk or hand launch ramp, we have just the item for you, a beach Dolly. These dollies work very well — like a miniature trailer they balance the weight over the wheels and the central support rail. Tilt the stern end of the boat down and watch it float easily into the water. When you’re ready to beach your boat it’s an easy glide back onto the dolly, and the weight is balanced so that almost anyone can move the boat up the incline of a beach.
Often you can drive your boat to a local park with a swim beach in the off season and transfer the boat from cartop rack or trailer to the dolly. A short walk down the sidewalk to the beach, and you’ve got a no-waiting boat launch. In general, parks are open to this sort of activity with wind and oar propelled boats. (Check your local park’s regulations to make sure though.)
After using and selling several brands of boat dollies over the years, we came to the conclusion that the market lacked a high-quality dolly product that really met the needs of dinghy owners. We designed and started building our own Gig Harbor Boat Works dolly out of frustration with other types of launching dollies. Others are too wide to go through narrow gates or path, too heavy, hard to assemble, only fit one size boat, are made of mostly aluminum parts that may corrode in a saltwater environment, are difficult to disassemble for transport, or have poor customer service and slow shipping.
With these experiences in mind, we set out to create our own that had to meet all of the following requirements:
- 100% stainless steel construction (completely non corrosive)
- Narrow wheelbase (to fit through narrow openings)
- Length instantly adjusts (to fit any boat from 8′ to 17’ in length)
- Adjust length without tools (pull and replace one stainless steel avibank pin)
- Light weight (ours is only 32 pounds)
- Easy to Disassemble (ours breaks down into 4 primary components for transit without tools)
- Heavy duty (ours easily carries boats up to 250 pounds – other dollies have weight limits of 150 pounds)
- Stainless steel axle – all others use a soft aluminum axle
The slideshow at the top of this page has clickable photos with captions that explain these features in action.