Shemarah's Trolley

GARETH JONES overcomes the problem of moving a very heavy model


For the past couple of years I have been building a 1:25 scale model of a modern Scottish trawler called Shemarah II which has been serialised on the MB Website Forum. The hull is quite compact, being only 43 inches long, but it is 14 inches (36cm) wide, 14 inches (36cm) deep and rather heavy at 65 pounds (30kg) sailing weight!


I have built-in a lifting handle to make launching and recovery from the pond relatively straightforward. However, once the model was approaching completion and ready for sailing or display, some means of transporting it from the car to the pond or exhibition hall was required.

My wife is also a keen model boating enthusiast, but her speciality is vintage model yachts, so the trolley had to be adaptable to carry any of her yachts as well as Shemarah II. It also had to be compact enough to fit in our car, alongside any likely combination of models that we might transport to a regatta or exhibition.


After visiting numerous car boot sales and charity shops we eventually ruled out adapting prams and pushchairs. A folding sack barrow was considered, but because of the width of Shemarah it would have to be tilted back a long way to get the weight over the wheels. Four wheeled trolleys were ruled out because of the space they took up in the car and the complication of steering them. The only practical option seemed to be to design and construct a purpose-built two wheeled trolley and the photographs show the result.


The main base unit is good quality 1/2 inch (12mm) plywood with one inch (25mm) square aluminium tubing to stiffen it and locate the axle. A pair of legs at the front support the base in a horizontal position for loading or can be folded backwards when transporting it. The axle is 3/4 inch (20mm) mild steel tube. The wheels were bought on eBay for around £10 and have pneumatic tyres. The handle is made from 20mm square aluminium tubing bent through about 60 degrees in two places. There are mitred joints where three sides of the tube were cut away and a separate piece of aluminium strip was pop-riveted on after bending to shape. The handle and wheels are easily removable and the whole thing takes up little space when dismantled. The base unit has a number of locating points which have been positioned to allow any of our large models to sit on the trolley securely and as we add more models to our collection we will make sure their stands pick up on some of the existing locating points. Weighing 65lbs, means that Shemarah is most unlikely to simply fall off!


There are no doubt lots of alternative designs of trolley for moving model boats, but the pictures supporting this short article might provide ideas or inspiration for other modellers to build their own.