The problem: getting a boat along the top of a shingle bank, down a steep shingle slope (up to 45 degree slope), over stone-strewn sand, soft mud and sand banks to the sea. And getting it back again....
The tried and tested 'usual' way to acheive this is with inflatable rollers that have to be continuosly picked up from behind the boat and passed forward to the front, keeping up with the movement of the boat. The problems with this are:
It is difficult to keep the rollers evenly spaced and the boat comes off the rollers and scrapes on the shingle;
- It is hard work - all it needs is a chap with a drum and throwing rollers forward could be a scene from Ben Hur!
- The boat rocks from side-to-side on the rollers and eventually falls off.
- Rollers are very difficult to use when they are wet and slippery.
- The boat has to be turned around at the top of the shingle.
Other methods seen on the beach include lengths of gas-pipe, greased railway sleepers and, recently, attaching 80m of rope to the back of an old tipper Transit on the road at the top of the shingle and driving off at 30 mph.
These all have disadvantages, including damage to the bottom of the boat and Transco coming along and nicking their bits of pipe back.
A little bit of CAD, some steel tube, offcuts of a roller-shutter and a welder led to a trailer that solved most - if not all - of the problems.