Boat Trailer Maintenance

19 March 2011 On The Water
Boat Trailer

Often overlooked or completely forgotten, the boat trailer serves an important role in your seasonal trips to the cabin.  Keeping it well maintained is a must.  After all, it carries the most expensive piece of equipment you use at the lake.

Boat Trailer Maintenance Advice

  • Check the metal frame for rust. Repaint if needed.
  • Check the registration documents to be sure they are up to date.
  • Inspect and grease the wheel bearings. Replace them if they are damaged.
  • Check the tires for damage, including the spare.  Inflate to proper levels.
  • Replace damaged rollers.
  • Replace broken indicator lights.
  • Check electrical connections for faults.
  • Lubricate the winch, tongue jack, and wheel.
  • Inspect the tongue lock device.
  • Check the safety chains.

Boat Trailer Buying Advice

You just picked up the perfect boat but now you need to get a trailer.  The following points will help make sure you get the right trailer for the size of the boat and the distance you plan to travel.

  • Buy a new trailer if you plan to move the boat often or over long distances.  The boat is a valuable asset.   Risking an accident with an old trailer isn’t worth the perceived savings.
  • Look for a trailer with lights and electrical connections that are waterproof.  A drive-on trailer allows you to back the trailer directly into the water and drive the boat onto it.  It is very convenient, especially when you are moving the boat often.
  • Choose a trailer that is capable of handling the weight of the boat plus all the stuff that gets loaded into the boat for the trip.  Be generous with this calculation.
  • A used trailer may be adequate if the boat is moved short distances and only once or twice a season.
  • Inspect used trailers carefully for faulty wiring, worn bearings, rust, and weak weld points. Budget for the cost of replacing all wheel bearings and upgrading to new tires.
  • Wheel size is important, especially for longer trips.  Larger wheels are more stable and rotate less often resulting in less wear and tear on the tires and the bearings.

Proper maintenance and care of the boat trailer will ensure that your boating season starts and ends smoothly.

Need more boating ideas?
Go to the Advice on How to Buy a Boat page.

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