The trailer of your boat is often neglected in terms of its maintenance, which can cause various amounts of issues. Unlike regular trailers, the boat trailer gets dipped into the water (often saltwater) and then back out again. This can cause corrosion and other problems if not maintained correctly.
There are many sizes of boat trailers but most will carry only small vessels due to the difficulty of trailering on the road. The majority of boat trailer accessories and parts are also interchangeable with that of a kayak trailer too.
Boat Trailer Tires, Wheels & Hubs
Apart from the construction of the trailer itself, the other most standout feature is, of course, the wheels. The wheels themselves are fairly standard but the hubs are specifically designed for boats due to the fact that they will be in the water.
Investing in boat trailer hubs that are high quality will ensure maximum safety when out on the road. This is a maintenance part that is often forgotten but can cause disaster out on the road due to the fact the wheel could fall off at any moment.
It is also recommended to invest in the best trailer tires for your setup as they become perished and worn out over time. A mixture of saltwater, UV rays, and old age can cause the tires crack and become unroadworthy. When purchasing new, many often include the rim too as a complete package, which is worth paying the extra for.
In order to use your boat trailer on the public road, you will require it to meet certain standards with safe tires and lighting. Considering that you can now purchase LED trailer lights at an affordable price and install them fairly easily, it would be silly to leave them broken. Visible trailer lighting ensures that other road users and other people in the boat park can see exactly what you are doing when maneuvering.
At the tongue of the boat trailer, there is a jack that will lift the tongue above the trailer hitch. It also ensures that the boat is level when not hitched to the towing vehicle. Investing in a quality tongue trailer jack with a suitable weight capacity will last far longer and be much easier to use.
For those that also use a trailer dolly, you will need a tongue trailer jack in order to lift the trailer onto the dolly for maneuvering.
Pulling Up The Boat
When it comes to pulling up the boat from the water, not everyone will have a team of people to push it onto the trailer. There it is recommended that you install a boat trailer winch that will be able to pull your boat onto the trailer with ease.
There is a choice of a manual hand-driven winch or one that is electrically operated but does come with a price tag. However, depending upon the weight of your boat will determine which type of winch you will require as a manual winch will have a maximum pull capacity of up to 5,000 LBS.
Most electric boat winches have a pull capacity of over 10,000 LBS and can even be operating from a wireless remote control.
Securing The Boat On The Trailer
Once you have successfully aligned the boat onto the trailer and ready to get on the road, you will want to ensure it’s secure. There should be zero movements of the boat on the trailer before it gets anywhere near the road.
The best way of going about this is by using multiple ratchet tie-down straps and double-checking that the boat is in the center of the boat trailer. Many boat owners will also use a transom saver to further secure the outboard motor because it will move when traveling on the road.
In time, you may also have to pay attention to the quality of the boat trailer bunk carpet, since it tends to lose quality and strength as you use it.
Regular maintenance of your boat trailer is highly recommended as it can cause many problems when left unused for months. Anything from corrosion in the hubs to perished tires can become problematic when out on the road. View all our trailer articles under the Ultimate Guide To Trailer Maintenance, to ensure yours is up to scratch.