Boat Trailers How to Choose the One That's Right for You
by Mike Selvon
Boat trailers are as diverse as boats themselves. Just as you researched your boat before you bought it, you need to do the same thing with your trailer. There are a number of styles, shapes and prices, so doing your homework will benefit you. Reading magazines and searching online will give you access to all of the information you need to pick the ideal trailer for your boat.
Boat trailers are sold in two basic types: bunk and roller. Although the bunk trailer is generally considered superior for riveted aluminum boats due to their thin hulls, most boats can be equally supported on either type of trailer. The major difference has to do with how you will load your boat into and out of the water.
Your choice of boating marinas may help you choose between the basic types of boat trailers. A roller trailer is generally preferred if you will mostly load and unload your boat in shallow water. The drive-on, drive-off configuration makes it unnecessary to back very far into the water.
By contrast, the bunk trailer's float-on, float-off configuration makes this type of trailer ideal for those who will mostly load and unload in deeper water. You will need to back the trailer fairly far into the water. Bunk trailers are generally less expensive than roller trailers. Combination bunk-roller trailers can also be found, combining the best of both technologies. These are generally the most expensive boat trailers.
You will also need to decide what type of material you wish to use for your boat trailer. Both galvanized steel and aluminum have their own pros and cons. Galvanized steel is rust-resistant but not impervious to decay. Aluminum will not rust, but will corrode into a fine white powder.
Aluminum's flexibility makes some boat owners question its strength. Which boat trailer you choose will ultimately depend on a combination of price and personal preference. In order to extend the life of your trailer, be sure to rinse it with fresh water after each use.
Many accessories are available for boat trailers. While some are essential, others can be considered luxuries you can do without. Load guides assist you with centering the boat on the trailer.
They are especially helpful in windy weather conditions. A transom saver will support your boat's engine by reducing pressure. This can ultimately extend the life of your boat. Both of these accessories are highly recommended.
While there are no required accessories for your boat trailer, several things will make life easier. Some of these include a swing tongue, swivel jack, and a hitch swivel.
You will need to determine whether the trailer needs brakes. State laws are not standard on this topic. Check with your trailer dealer or consult your state's website for details.
Whatever trailer you choose, make sure that your tow vehicle is adequate. Trailers and boats are heavy objects and attempting to tow them with an improper vehicle is both dangerous and illegal. Your vehicle operator's manual should tell you the maximum safe towing weight.
You spent a lot of money on your boat, so you should make sure that you choose an appropriate boat trailer. Doing so will ensure the protection of your boat. As with all aspects of boating, take the time to research boat trailers. Look online and ask the industry experts. They will help you find the best trailer for your boat.
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