Much Like our previous post, your boat is most likely a high-priority investment. What this means is that you want to take care of it and make sure your equipment that you buy for it is quality. Boat trailers allow you to transport, launch, and load your boat easily. Fewer options and a much lower price come with buying boat trailers, however it is still a critical purchase. Knowing exactly what fit your boat is very important. This article will help you to decide which options work best for you.
Boat Trailers Two Main Styles
Boat trailers are built three different ways. Bunk trailers are the most common boat trailers offering two supports on either side of the hull typically covered on marine-grade carpet. Roller trailers are made with special wheels that line either side of the hull allowing the boat to load and launch smoothly. Your third option is a combination of both roller and bunk trailers. This can be described as a typical bunk trailer that has rollers embedded in the supports. These options primarily differ based on your launching location. In shallower areas, a roller trailer will offer easier access allowing a drive-on-drive-off process. A bunk trailer will need a deeper location as the process requires float-on-float off launching. For budget purposes, bunk trailers are typically less expensive than roller styles. The combination of the two is the most expensive, yet most versatile option.
Boat Trailers Frame Choices
Boat trailers are offered in galvanized steel, painted steel, and aluminum frames. When choosing your frame, base it on your boats gross weight and your vehicles towing capabilities. Galvanized steel is the best choice for heavy boats that require very strong steel. Galvanized is rust resistant, yet if not properly cared for, will corrode. Painted steel trailers do not resist rust well and work in freshwater the best. Aluminum boat trailers are better for small to average size boats. Rather than steel, aluminum boat trailers will not rust. However, it will corrode overtime into a fine powder if not properly maintained.
Boat Trailers Accessories and Options
Once you have picked a trailer it is time to customize it. There are many accessories you can add to your trailer to make towing easier. We recommend three major additions that are nearly essential. Most importantly, a load guide will help you to ensure proper and centered loading onto the trailer. Another useful addition is a transom saver; this will reduce stress of your engine weight on your boat. Especially important are trailer tires as your entire load is resting on these. Make sure to use radial trailer tires that have grease packed bearings for longevity and performance. Trailer brakes are not necessary in all states, yet depending on your vehicle and trailer size, axle count, and boat size I would seriously consider them. Consequently, brakes submerged in water must be specialized and well maintained.
Finally, It is very important to have a proper vehicle for towing. For example, Pulling your 24′ boat and trailer loaded down with a full tank and gear in a Honda Civic is a very bad idea. Not only would it put a lot of stress on your vehicle, but it could also endanger other people on the roads and all your passengers.
For more information on boating, check out the rest of our blog here. To find other sources for cross checking, we recommend ABA and Boating Magazine. They both offer many quality articles that can help you stay on top of things.