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Buying a boat trailer: Six quick tips

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Buying a boat trailer is not something to rush into. Consider everything you need for your boat and sailing requirements by using this guide.

1. Assess boat trailer suitability

Every boat trailer is designed for a particular purpose. Think about what type of boating you intend to do and choose your trailer accordingly. For instance, if you plan to be launching in saltwater, you’ll need a trailer fit for that purpose. Thinking about your requirements will help you narrow down your options.

2. Understand your boat trailer capacity

Another very important aspect to consider is the weight and size of your boat. Your boat trailer needs to accommodate the weight of your boat and any other gear and cargo that might accompany it.

For instance, if your boat weights 1,000kg, be sure to purchase a trailer that has a capacity that exceeds this amount to allow for any additional weight you may add later. You could put yourself in serious danger if you attempt to overload your trailer, so evaluate weights very carefully.

3. Think about lights

Choosing a boat trailer with water-sealed, marine-grade lights is a smart idea if you will be towing your boat overnight on long trips – these lights will last longer.

4. Choose your trailer wheels and tyres wisely

Capacity is important when it comes to your trailer tyres. The theory is that the bigger the capacity of the tyre, the less time it will spend hitting the pavement and accumulating tread wear. It is generally also better for your wheel bearings. It’s also worth noting that on boat trailers, the bigger the wheel, the harder it is to launch.

Think about purchasing a trailer that comes with a spare tyre. This could save you if you get a flat tyre in a remote area on a long trip. Choose a size of trailer wheel that’s appropriate for the load capacity.

5. Consider drive-on capability

If your boat allows this, it’s worth investing in a boat trailer with drive-on capabilities. This means you can literally back your trailer into the water and drive your boat right onto it, or at the very least close enough to the winch so that you can you can retrieve your boat and get away faster.

6. Weather conditions

While most trailers are equipped with some weather protection, it’s a good idea to seek one out that is made from galvanised steel, aluminum or is otherwise properly rust coated. It’s also wise to think about how much and how often your boat trailer will be exposed to saltwater, and find out about possible future rust and corrosion treatments. Always seek out a trailer that can handle all the environmental conditions you intend to expose it to.

Count down from one to six and you should be on your way to choosing the right trailer for your boat.

Set sail with some further pointers on spare accessories to keep on deck [on the road with our boat trailer: spares] and load-capacity requirements.

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