Boats Featured

A boat trailer's curse

Some things aren’t meant to last a lifetime. It was a good run of nearly six years, but I think it’s time to part ways with an old friend.

I’m not a superstitious person but this raft trailer is cursed. I’m sure of it, which is why I’ve chosen to cut it loose on the open market. It all started innocently enough on Interstate Highway 70 headed west toward the Colorado river. A flat tire in the most inconvenient location on the side of the highway. It happens to everyone at some point so I’m glad I got that out of the way after the first year of owning the trailer. Then it happened again and then, for good measure, one more time.

I was getting pretty good at changing tires quickly while the family waits patiently in the car. I used to joke that I was considering applying for a NASACAR pit crew.

The trailer hung in there. A couple more years and dozens of river trips went by without a hitch … until this year. Let’s just say this year was the year that finally broke me and our river loving family. Several times we were stranded in the middle of nowhere without the resources you’d expect from a large city.

Coming through the canyon I heard a loud crash and didn’t think much of it until I pulled over to fill up the gas tank in Grand Junction, Colo. One quick look and I knew we were in for it again. After a quick consultation with my new friend at a tire store off the highway, I knew we were going to be scrambling to find a way to the river on time. Our axle was done for, and I knew it without much mechanical knowledge. We made the best of the situation and rallied our team to continue to the boat ramp in Bluff, Utah. After a few glorious days on the water, we returned our rented U-Haul trailer and continued our journey back home laughing off what we thought was the worst that could happen.

Then it happened again.

Headed down the road near the Browns Park Wildlife Refuge in northeastern Colorado we hit something, and smoke started billowing from our trailer. I strung together a few choice words under my breath, and we stopped to take stock of the situation. I realized this was going to require some serious ingenuity to recover from. One of the leaf springs on the trailer had broken, and it had borken in the worst possible way. There’s no cell service in Browns Park and the closest town happens to be 40 bumpy miles down the road.

We decide to completely unload the boat, like we’d done several times before, and patch together the trailer with river straps. Lots of them to be exact. The next couple of hours were a blur and we made it to a small coal-mining town where our trailer was eventually repaired, again.

The trailer is good as new now and there really isn’t a reason for selling it, but I’ve decided to part ways. In a few days I’ll make the drive up north to Montana where I’ll pick up our new trailer with nothing but hope on the horizon that future trips end with the typical gear dump in the garage instead of the side of the road.

By Josh Duplechian.