A Vintage Look For A New Trailer?

Classic trailer art Black yellow

1948 colors? Two tone. The caption is from the 1948 ad campaign.

I will be honest here. I am not sure if this is cool, or just nuts. For illustration purposes I just crudely retouched some old WECATCHEM shots on her Custom Phoenix Trailer. Great company by the way. They make an amazing product. Now, for the sake of a story, would it be cool to paint the trailer the colors of an original Chris Craft Trailer?

Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 7.52.07 PM

Screen Grab from the Irwin File video shows it in Black and yellow. Maybe we just paint the fenders?

Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 7.52.16 PM

Screen grab from Irwin Film

1948 Chris craft ad

Ad for 1948

Chris Craft Blue and Yellow with a Red Chris Craft logo on the fender. As if Chris Craft was making them today? I know there are cases of color matching the trailer to the hull color or truck color. But I have yet to see this?

Suzy Barn find top 2005

Suzy when found in a barn on her original Chris Craft Trailer


Two tone trailers were all the rage back in the day. Why not now?

Vinatage Trailer look

Blue and yellow?

Classic trailer look copy

I think just the fender and bow support! I like blacking out the wheels on the black one, but with the CC blue, maybe a post war blue engine color, the chrome wheels look bitch’n


Note, my trailer is a bit used, and may need a refinish, so this is a very possible thing. Or am I just desperate for any topic today?

42 replies
  1. m-fine
    m-fine says:

    Even more important than vintage colors is making sure you have vintage, factory original bearing grease. Nothing goes up in smoke quite like the original, especially when Paul H is near.

  2. Troy in ANE
    Troy in ANE says:

    Go for it!

    Why not? I think I like the Black and Yellow better, but either one is nice.

    See you in Tavares in 101 days!

    • Matt
      Matt says:

      The trailer is already black, so that is the easiest option, and I have some surface rust on the fenders.

    • Troy in ANE
      Troy in ANE says:

      Even though it is now quite out of date you can use the story I sent you about our August 10th 2014 Cobbossee Rendezvous if you wish.
      Let me know if you need me to send it again.

      • Denis D
        Denis D says:

        Hey Troy, did you go check out the USS Zumwalt’s trip down the river for sea trials? It would be cool to see a photo of American Beauty next to it!!

        Denis D

        • floyd r turbo
          floyd r turbo says:

          Wish I had this picture for the favorite bow story. (Picture courtesy of US Navy General Dynamics Bath Iron Works builder). A friend posted this video of the newest and largest destroyer ever build, USS Zumwalt headed out to sea trials after being launched at Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine. This is the most ominous, foreboding, sinister looking ship built. Commander is Captain James A. Kirk (how appropriate and addressed by the crew from William Shatner Captain of Star Treks Enterprise). Watch this video as she eases by: https://www.facebook.com/scott.curtis.353/videos/10207361370424517/

        • Troy in ANE
          Troy in ANE says:

          Didn’t even know she was going out until this morning when Sandi read something about it on FB. Even though AB is not in the water we would have gone and watched her go down river from shore.

  3. Rick
    Rick says:

    Go for it. It’s only paint. Who knows it might start a trend? Of course instead of Chris-Craft you might consider Woodyboater. Time to start a new company? Woodyboater Trailer Conversion?

  4. Tom Payne
    Tom Payne says:

    I’m sort of amazed you even asked the question. Are you showing your boat? Is it sitting on a trailer? When you look at your boat do you see your trailer?
    Why wouldn’t you want to optimize its appearance? Maybe you can’t handle varnish, but rust killing enamel is a piece of cake. The only thing uglier than a galvanized trailer is one that’s rusty with dirty tires and ugly carpet.

  5. Kent
    Kent says:

    I like your thinking. Willow sure is cute on that old TeeNee trailer but she will last another 50+ years on her new custom fit galvanized trailer, it has bunks that run the entire length of the stringers and support the transom. And the trailer might survive a few years down here in our Florida salt water and help Willow make a trip to a few boat shows. That said only beauty in the new trailer is the craftmanship and functionality. I have been tempted to put yellow pinstripes down the side of the trailer, paint the wheels yellow and add some baby moons.

  6. Wilson
    Wilson says:

    I don’t think those old Chris Craft trailers were for boats as big as Wecatchem. Most seem to be two wheeled and for boat kits. I found one and had my car guy match the old colors and then I sold it to Jim Shotwell who was making replica Chris Craft kit boats at the time…Even the 4 wheeled originals seemed underated for anything over 18 feet. Others might know

    • Matt
      Matt says:

      Wilson the trailer in the SUZY photo is her original one, so yes, very weak looking, but they did make them large. Regardless the idea here is to two tone and use graphics

  7. mark edmonson
    mark edmonson says:

    Phoenix Trailer are the best trailers made for wooden boats, been using them for 10+ years now their the best!

  8. Alex
    Alex says:

    Neat idea. If you plan to trailer the boat a lot, to events and/or shows, and have a garage or outbuilding in which to store it (the trailer) when not in use, I say go for it.

    I too have Phoenix trailers. Wish I’d thought of this before. Since Phoenix custom makes it’s trailers, I could have had them paint mine this way when they fabricated it.

  9. Eric
    Eric says:

    Vintage ’56 gator trailer with one touch tilt and “mechanized transom cradles”. Easy to launch in shallow water, colors matched to what I found under old paint and dirt, decals are available from Garzon studios.

  10. Dennis Mykols
    Dennis Mykols says:

    Great topic. I have always felt the way a trailer looks, is key to a good looking rig rolling down the road. I take great pride in making my trailers look good, and eye appealing. Nothing distracts from a beautiful looking vessel, than an ugly rusted, bent fender, carpet missing trailer.
    I even as admire some trailers sitting in the parking lots at ramps, for the thought put into them for loading, walk around steps, color, and don’t get me started on rims and tires…

  11. Dennis Mykols
    Dennis Mykols says:

    custom built trailer for my Donzi, Yes those are 18 inch Camaro I.R.O.C.-Z chrome plated aluminum rims…

  12. Dennis Mykols
    Dennis Mykols says:

    The new Coronado has a nice green matching color trailer. Looking to put on four nice Chrome rims in the Spring to make her “pop”.

  13. Mike Green
    Mike Green says:

    Not sure it does much for me. Vintage trailers are cool because they are vintage but most of the time not suitable for long distance travel. Phoenix Trailers make a great trailer and that is why I use them exclusively. They look great and work great so not sure if just painting it and different fenders would really make it look vintage enough. Matt, whats up with the difficult math…cant we get like 5-1=

  14. Al Benton
    Al Benton says:

    Vintage trailers look appropriate with original colors, even if they don’t match the boat that resides on them. I had a ’56 Glassware Club Lido, aqua & white on a restored Tee-Nee trailer, yellow that received many complements.

    So I think that a more modern trailer that is adapted to a vintage look would be awesome under WECATCHEM, if done up right. Lets face it, those original Chris-Craft fenders were not that attractive, but they are unique.

    Go for it!

  15. Mike W
    Mike W says:

    Had an ugly tailer that was too low for the boat. So matching color new with all the bling and extras just seemed needed.

  16. Mr. Andreas Jordahl Rhude
    Mr. Andreas Jordahl Rhude says:

    I wrote an article on vintage boat trailers many years ago for the “Boathouse” magazine published by the Bob Speltz Land-O-lakes chapter of the Antique & Classic Boat Society. It’s most likely online at their website. Also wrote one on camper trailers such as those made by Thompson Boat and Chris-Craft. By the way, Thompson was light years ahead of Chris-Craft in the camper trailer idea.

  17. Randy
    Randy says:

    A friend and I built this replacement trailer copying the rusted ‘hulk’ of my old one. Choose a 2-tone color combo matching the small hydro and it really sets off the duo.
    Found that it was much cheaper powder coating it over galvanizing.

  18. floyd r turbo
    floyd r turbo says:

    I’ve hauled a lot of boats and this Pheonix trailer was the first time using them and it performed better than any I’ve hauled. Rought interstate construction conditions and uneven road surfaces did not “unsettle” the boat. They braced cross members longitudinally which seemed to make the trailer flex less along with getting the boat as low as possible making it handle better. LED lighting, heavy duty winch and tongue jack, folding tongue, padded guides, 4 wheel disc brakes, it was the Cadillac of trailers from what I experienced. Would be any trip less taxing on the driver.

    • Mike Green
      Mike Green says:

      Good to hear Floyd, it looks like you ran into some snow. They really are the best I have towed as well.

  19. Bill Anderson
    Bill Anderson says:

    I use a lot of tee nee and gator trailers for my little boats, there are some very unique trailers for them,This boat originally had a trailer that spun around and unloaded forwards when he did it,,i made a trailer to do that but it was too high so we dropped it and made fenders,there is an article in popular mech in 59 about it,,weird but neat,it is an outboard with hidden engine,Bill

  20. David'LaChance
    David'LaChance says:

    Don’t know anything about Phoenix trailers, but I love my custom Loadmaster. Matched the color to the original Gator,
    lots of support and trails great. Lots of custom touches as well.
    Now I just need to add a Gator decal!

  21. floyd r turbo
    floyd r turbo says:

    After thinking about your plan and letting it sink in I’m luke warm about trying to give your trailer a vintage look although if anyone can pull it off you could. My thoughts are put the vintage colors on a vintage trailer, but if its new go with a scheme that complements the boat colors (match the boot strip or interior colors like Paul did w/”Over the Top) otherwise it could look like a “swing and a miss” with the “vintage pitch”. On smaller boats I think you have a better chance because there are so many small trailer designs no one would feel that you were trying for a repli-trailer. I’d still add the graphics/pinstripping identifying the boat, etc. That’s just me.

  22. Brian Robinson
    Brian Robinson says:

    Matt, a sheet metal guy could make quick work of building an enlarged version of the original boxy tandem fenders, and put them on your modern trailer. I have not seen that done yet. It would be a good place for Chris-Craft or WoodyBoater logos, or one on each side.

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