The Best Boat Trailers For Your New Boat
If there was such a thing as a "one-size-fits-all" best boat trailer, this would be a very short post. Unfortunately, that's not how boat trailers work. The truth is that there are a variety of factors that go into making the best decision for you - which is the reason I'm writing this article.
Each factor I'm about to discuss is completely based on the way you personally plan to make use of your boat. This means that you should be clear about your plan before making any further buying decisions. Now that you know there's no all-encompassing solution, let's get down to the factors you need to think about before shopping around.
Boat Trailer Materials
The first factor you need to consider is which metal your boat trailer will be made from. The two types you'll typically see are Steel and Aluminum, which serve completely different types of boaters. Essentially, you'll want an aluminum boat trailer if you plan to do your boating in salt water, and a steel boat trailer for fresh water boating. That's because steel will rust, while aluminum will not (though it will corrode if not washed off properly). Also, steel trailers tend to run a bit cheaper than aluminum trailers. But saltwater boaters, please don't try to save a few dollars here by buying a steel trailer. It's not worth your boat spilling onto the ground when the trailer rusts. So, you've picked your metal - what's next?
Boat Trailer Support Systems
I think we'd all agree that the main function of a boat trailer is to actually "hold" your boat while it's out of the water. So let's talk about the part of the trailer made specifically for that purpose - the support system. There are two common options, Rollers & Bunks, which each have their own strengths and weaknesses. Specifically, rollers make the loading/unloading process easier but can leave imperfections in your hull if the boat is left on the trailer for long periods of time (such as in Winter).
But, though bunks aren't as easy to load/unload, they cradle the hull better through enhanced weight distribution. If you plan to keep your boat in the water nearly year round, you'll probably enjoy the ease-of-use a roller support system provides. Otherwise, I would suggest a bunk support system. Now that you've got your metal & support system picked out, we only have one more factor to go.
Boat Trailer Suspensions
We've come to the last factor you need to think about before buying a boat trailer - the suspension. The two options at play here are Torsion Bar suspension and Leaf Spring suspension, both of which are highly reliable. The real difference between them is purely cosmetic. A torsion bar suspension offers a lower ride height than a leaf spring suspension, which tends to make torsion bars more expensive. But more expensive isn't always better. In fact, the lower height of the torsion bar suspension often makes early signs of rust difficult to detect. If ride height isn't a concern of yours, we'd recommend the Leaf Spring suspension option.
Boat Trailer Maintenance
Let's say that you've found your perfect boat trailer. First off, congratulations! Second - your job's not done yet. That's because your trailer doesn't take care of itself, you'll need to keep it maintained. You're setting yourself up for some serious damage if you skip this step, so please take it seriously. To start with, wheel bearings are the most important part of boat trailer maintenance. That's because your bearings save you from rolling into the water. Also, they aren't a quick fix (like a flat tire) so keeping them healthy becomes even more important.
You should coat the wheel bearings with fresh grease before the start of each boating season. Moving on, always check your trailer's brakes and lights every time you go out. Finally, make sure to wash the trailer with fresh water every time you go out (especially in salt water) even if you have an aluminum boat trailer. That's it, guys. I hope this post answered all your questions about the best boat trailer. If not, please don't hesitate to contact our boat experts today!