Tutorial: How to choose the right boat trailer

How To Chose The Right Boat Trailer

When it comes to choosing the right boat trailer for your boat it is just as important, if not more important than to do the appropriate amount of research on all the different types of trailers.

When it comes to choosing a new trailer there are a number of factors to consider. There are a number of different shapes all costing various amounts of money, So please do your homework as it will save you time, effort and money when it comes to towing, launching and retrieving your boat down at the boat ramp. Reading magazines and researching different trailer manufactures online is an excellent place to start to pick the ideal trailer for your boat.

To start, boat trailers are generally sold in two different types: Bunk trailers and Roller trailers. it is often stated that bunk trailers are considered far more superior to roller trailers when it comes to dealing with aluminium boats due to their thin hulls. Most boats how ever can be equally supported by both types of trailers. The main difference you will need to consider is how you will launch and retrieve your boat into and out of the water?

If you plan on taking your boat generally to the same ramp each time, this may help you in determining which type of boat trailer you may find easiest to use. Roller trailers are generally preferred if you are frequently launching and retrieving your boat in shallow waters. The drive on / drive off configuration of your trailer makes it unnecessary to back your trailer far into the water.

Conversely,  a bunk trailer which has a float on / float off configuration makes this setup ideal for those users who’s local ramp has deep waters and the trailer can be reversed fairly far back into the water. Bunk trailers as a general guide are normally cheaper then roller configurations. Roller and bunk trailers can also be found. This gives the user the best of both worlds. Roller bunk trailers are generally more expensive then buying either a bunk or trailer roller only.

When it comes to choosing the correct style of trailer it is very important that you chose the correct material that your trailer is manufactured from. Both galvanized steel and aluminium both have their pros and cons. Galvanized steel is rust-resistant but is not impervious to decay, while aluminium will not rust but will corrode into a fine whitish powder.

Aluminium’s flexibility makes some boat owners question the strength of the trailer. What ever boat trailer you decide on will likely come down to a few factors. A combination of price and personal preference. To extend the life of your boat trailer make sure you rinse it with fresh water each time you use your boat.

Boat trailer’s come with many additional parts and accessories. While some are essential, most can be considered luxuries you can live with out. In saying this it is important to ensure that parts such as your trailer winch, Jockey wheel, Brackets & Roller Pins are in top working condition.

Most boat trailer manufacturers these days tend to load their trailers up with the bare basic parts and do not consider the best option for the trailer. If possible always chose to upgrade your boat trailer parts that best suit your trailer. This will give you the best possible use and life span for your trailer. Alot of manufacturers these days are still putting rubber rollers on boat trailers to save on costs. For buyers and users of trailers we know this is not the best option! Always opt to upgrade your rollers to a HDPE Polyethylene plastic boat trailer roller for Aluminium boats, and Polyurethane rollers for fiberglass boats. Rubber rollers tend to crack and split which can cause substantial damage to your boat and trailer. Premium plastics which only cost a few dollars more will save you a lot of time, money and effort when it comes to launching and retrieving your boat.

Boat trailer bunks and skids are the same. Trailer manufacturers usually opt for the cheaper option again which is generally a rubber or PVC material. These products, while cheaper in price make it substantially harder to launch and retrieve your boat, where plastic skids when wet make your boat slide with ease.

It is important to determine if your boat trailer will require brakes? State laws are not standard on this topic so it is important to check with your trailer dealer or contact your local government to ask specifically if your trailer does require brakes.

Whatever boat trailer you decide on, one of the deciding factors should be is your tow vehicle adequate? Boat trailers and boats are heavy & attempting to tow them with an improper vehicle can be extremely dangerous and illegal. Your vehicles operators manual will inform you of the maximum safe towing weight.

You spent alot of time and money on your boat, so please make sure you chose the correct trailer for its use. This will ensure maximum protection and user ease for your boat. As when you researched your boat, take the time to research your trailer. It will benefit you in the long run and allow you to enjoy your boat rather then struggling to launch it every time you wish to take it out on the water.


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