Current and prospective boat owners are often challenged by the great many trailer types they encounter when shopping for a new trailer for their boat. To ensure you get the best value in a Boat Trailer you need to ask a series of questions I have listed below. You will be surprised that the answers to these questions may differ dramatically depending on who is providing the answer. Clearing up this potential confusion is the goal of this Blog. You as a consumer and the buyer of your new trailer will need to educate yourself on these question points to avoid pit falls and guarantee yourself of getting the best value. I will post and address each question on a continuing basis, so visit often for the latest postings. Remember this, initially, don’t push for the lowest price, get the trailer that suits your needs best, then negotiate the price.
1) What is the size and capacity of trailer that will best suit my needs? This question requires a few additional qualifying questions. They are how frequently and how far do you intend to trailer your boat and how are you using it.
The more you trailer your boat the more extra capacity you should factor in. A boat that weighs 3,000 lbs (wet with gear) could be fitted to a 3,100 lb carry capacity trailer if the intention was to trailer very little. However, greater carry capacity means the trailer will have everything that is heavier (axle, springs, frame, tires, bearing, etc.) and these components will wear much slower if there is additional “spare” capacity. Be realistic and think to the future, don’t short change yourself here because you will get great “bang for your buck” when you upgrade your trailer specifications. It doesn’t cost that much to have 20% – 30% “spare” capacity.
How you intend to use your trailer to load and launch and what tow vehicle and what boat you have (or are thinking of buying) are also considerations. Although you can fit a boat onto a trailer based on the manufacturers maximum stated length, this quite often (like capacity above) is not the most advantageous. It costs just a little more to get an extra 20% – 30% fore to aft adjustment and lower centre of gravity, to allow for improved functionality. Some examples of this are; the ability to launch your boat without having the tow vehicle too far into the water (tail pipe gargling), improve the clearance between the boat bow and tow vehicle when turning, the ability to raise and lower a hatch back or tailgate. The slung height of the boat on the trailer is also a factor, the lower the boat sits on the trailer the sooner it floats on / off the trailer during load and launch and the lower centre of gravity makes for less yawl in cornering and more comfort for you the driver.
You are best to consult an expert on fitting your boat, they can help you complete the process in an expedient fashion. Just beware of the potential prejudice of the individual being consulted. Resist being led to something “in stock” if the subject matter above and below in this blog suggest otherwise.
Next, Up coming Question; What material should the trailer be built with, Aluminum, Hot Dipped Galvanized Steel, or Painted Steel ?