Boat Trailer Checklist: 10 Essential Tips to Avoid Trailer Trouble

13 October 2020 On The Water

Boat Trailer checklist

The boat trailer spends most of its life sitting in a field or stuck beside the house. Working through a quick checklist ensures the trailer is in good condition before we need to hit the road.

We often ignore the boat trailer when we go through our boat winterizing checklist and spring boat maintenance checklists, but the trailer is a very important part of our cottage equipment. Remember, it carries the most expensive toy we own.

Boat Trailer checklist

Whether we are driving 10 minutes or 10 hours with the boat trailer, we need to make sure the equipment is safe and up to the task. A blown tire, faulty wiring, or broken brake light can cause serious trouble on the road and potentially result in thousands of dollars of damage to the boat.

At the very least, we want to avoid being pulled over and fined.

1. Make sure registration documents are up to date.

2. Check the wheel bearings for damage and add grease. Damaged bearings must be replaced.

3. Inflate the tires to recommended levels and inspect for damage. Don’t forget the spare.

4. Indicator lights burn out regularly. Check and replace these before hitting the road.

5. If the lights still won’t work, the electrical wires or fuses might be bad or damaged.

6. Inspect the tongue lock device to make sure the boat will remain secure.

7. Lubricate the winch, tongue jack, and wheel to ensure the boat cranks up and rides properly.

8. Ensure the safety chains are attached properly.

9. Rollers get worn out or damaged over time. Check the condition and replace damaged ones.

10. Inspect the frame for damage or rust. Repaint the trailer where needed.

These are low-cost repairs that don’t take much time. If you have the tools and are handy, the work is an easy DIY project. Otherwise, it is worthwhile to have the local marina do a boat trailer tune up each year.

If you leave the trailer in a public area for extended period of time, it might be worthwhile to get a boat trailer lock. The one below is popular on Amazon.

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