While waiting for the ice to solidify out on Saginaw Bay or maybe some of your local lakes (which should be ok still), you can get to work on some of those modifications or projects to enhance your ice fishing experience. I like looking at the different forum websites throughout the year for new ideas. A couple of weeks ago I found one that I could use for my CLAM 5600. I always wanted to build a towing rack for the cabin style shanty, and on one forum, I found some pretty good ideas.
In this pic, the shanty is a Shappell 3000, with all his gear stacked up on top. I think he was pulling by hand, based on the rope, and that going over any cracks would surely jar some of it loose.
I love old ski’s for winter do-it-yourself projects. You can get them just about anywhere from garage sales to thrift stores or laying by the side of the road on trash day. Since the 5600 is beefier than the 3000, I would start with this design and take it a step further and make a slightly larger cradle to slide the collapsed shack into. I like the eyebolts, but instead of the bungees seen in the first pic, I would use ratchet straps to really tie things in nice and tight.
Instead of using a rope, I would put in eyebolts through the tips of the ski’s and attach my HD Shappell hitch for towing with the machines. Because of that, I would run wood down the the length of the ski, on each side, and put another cross beam in to help stabilize the cradle more.
There are lots of things anglers can do at home, for pennies on the dollar compared to what you can get in the stores. In most cases it is superior, because you know what you will put that equipment through, and you can build to suit your specific needs. Its much better than buying something, then having to adapt it to your wants. Once you get started on a project like this, less than two hours later, you have what you want, and you did it yourself.
Great thing about these ice fishing forums available to folks online these days, is that you can get your basic ideas. Formulate your project, adapt what you can, and build upon the original idea, and even come up with something better!