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Smitty Sled


steelie21

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You are going to love the smitty sled. You will use less than half the energy pulling that otter shack through even the deepest snow.

Just wondering.... how much clearance do you have under those cross members that the tub is sitting on?

Edited by choo-choo
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One of the things I've noticed over the years is that no system is perfect because of the changing consistency and depth of the snow. Two systems seem to stand out  from the conventional commercial plastic or "rubberized" runners though. They are: a) the ski approach used above and b) galvanized conduit or pipe frames; and perhaps third PVC (small diameter) pipe home made frames.  There are some snow/ice conditions that one or the other travels better on and where you have chunked up ragged ice with snow on it the higher the center of gravity the more chance of it tipping over and being difficult to maneuver. It is also helpful to wax the skis before and after use with good quality ski wax. Wet snow is often rather difficult to get through regardless of setup.

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8" of clearance. Used a set of water skis.

8 " is plenty of clearance steelie. In the picture It looked like there might have been only 4" or so of clearance, then that crossmember and tub would start plowing snow, making it tough to pull again. Like sk8man said, not all smitty sled designs are the same....every different design and material make up has it's pro's and con's , depending on the size and weight of your shack with gear, and the snow and ice conditions etc..

I have never seen a smitty sled with water ski's, but i'm sure they will work well . They might be a a little heavier than xc ski's, about the same wt. as downhill ski's, but they are a wider ski, which will offer more resistance.....but might have better "floating" characteristics...in other words, won't sink in as much as the others.You will know right away . It looks like your smitty, has a nice wide stance, which helps with "floatation" in the snow,spreading the weight, and keeps your load from shifting when crossing pressure cracks, frozen snow drifts and when going up and down the lakeshore bank when getting on and off the ice. The ski's length make a difference on spreading the load too.

Many times you will be following snowmobile tracks, which make for easy pulling and walking...and hopefully your smitty skis will fit nicely within those old snowmobile tracks/trails.

Good luck to you this winter and I hope your smitty sled design, size and materials work great for you and your gear.

Edited by choo-choo
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If you get a chance find yourself a set of downhill skis and wax. I used to have a smitty built out of old crates but where I fish I needed something a little bigger and lighter. I opted for the otter sled. Got her cheap on black friday last year ($59.99) I should have bought 2. I made runners out of the PVC trim board from HomeDepot and wax the bottom 2 times a season with armorall and she glides great on the snow.

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Here is a picture of my smitty sled I made years back for my lightweight 1 man shack. Small downhill ski's that glide real well and wood frame . Tub sits between the screw eyes which are my bungy cord anchors.

Whether deep snow , slush, a couple inches of snow , bare ice, dry ground parking areas etc.... if I'm walking the smitty gets used. Not only makes pulling your gear a breeze, it will extend the life of the bottom of your shack's tub.

P1010702.jpg

Edited by choo-choo
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  • 2 weeks later...

I have gone a slightly different route because of the space in my Subaru Outback instead of a wood or conduit frame I attached four 6" , 1 1/2 " diameter pipes to the sled directly with u bolts. Then I screwed caps on one end of the pipes. I then used downhill skis and attached two 1" diameter 12" long pipes for each ski and found a piece of plastic tubing at Home Depot that fit around the pipes tight. The set of skis just slide into the pipes on the sled and slide out quickly for transport. The only extra weight is from the pipes and the skis. I have 6" of clearance which I prefer since I either use a sled or Atv to transport and I like the additional height when sitting in the shanty plus the canvas curtain can still touch the surface keeping out the wind.

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  • 6 years later...
On 11/13/2015 at 2:50 AM, steelie21 said:

I bought an Otter shelter last year and had a hard time pulling it. I just completed a Smitty Sled for it. Hope it helps or else it will be on here for sale or trade.

post-156994-0-22875700-1447372249_thumb.jpg

 

It looks awesome... :)

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