Old Boat Trailer

FROM OLD TO NEW: HOW TO RESTORE AN OLD BOAT TRAILER

Do you have an old boat trailer that needs some restoring? If your existing boat trailer is close to looking like a wreck, the good news is there are effective ways to restore an old boat trailer. Follow this easy three-step process and you can enjoy an upgraded and restored boat trailer that has been brought back to life.

THE ASSESSMENT

Your number one enemy when it comes to your boat and your boat trailer is saltwater. Over time, saltwater can lead to rust and corrosion, slowly breaking down parts of your trailer. The first step in the three-step process on how to restore an old boat trailer is to assess the extent of repair or replacement of the trailer parts.

Here are the things to look for:

• Rust: Trailers are prone to rust, especially when it only receives minimal boat maintenance. If you find any areas with rust, chip on them using a screwdriver to see how deep it goes. This will help you know if the said parts can still be restored or if the parts or frame section needs replacement.
• Running gear: Carrying a boat for a long time can take a toll on your trailer. Eventually, the suspension and braking systems can wear or tear. Check these parts, as well as the wheels, hubs and tyres if they need to be replaced or can still be fixed.
• Rollers, skids or bunks: Either of these need to be in top condition for efficiency and safety. If you see cracks or hardened parts, you need to replace them.
• Lights, winch, coupling, jockey wheel: Check if these are still working well and are intact. If not, try to repair them. However, if any of these already look badly beaten, don’t hesitate to replace them for your safety.

THE WORK

When replacing parts, make sure to not just replace them but more importantly, to upgrade them. After all, you want to achieve an almost-new trailer boat so why not pick the best parts on the market?

For example, install the best possible trailer lighting as well as a waterproof custom harness on your trailer. Instead of getting just one, get a tandem-axle trailer for better efficiency and reliability. Another upgrade is from rubber rollers to polyurethane rollers. The latter won’t flatten with time and continued use.

To clean the trailer, sandblasting is the way to go. Also, instead of having it painted, consider powder coating. This process leaves a smooth and hard skin finish and has many significant benefits over traditional paint.

THE FACELIFT

After cleaning, replacing the parts and powder coating, it’s now time to add the finer details. Some of the accessories you can to your trailer boat are:

• Self-centring keel rollers: These rollers help keep the boat into position and keep it aligned. This is very useful in rough conditions.
• Bumper covers: These will provide extra protection for the trailer and the boat.
• Ratcheting hooks: This add-on helps the boat remain steady and stable during transit.
• Wheel clamp: Another great add-on to prevent movement or access to the wheels.
• Bearing protectors: Using protectors can protect your wheel bearings from dirt and water.

Let’s face it, giving your boat trailer a new lease on life isn’t a quick process, but you can prioritise what needs to be checked and replaced first. With your priorities straightened out, you can bring your old trailer back to its former glory soon enough.

 


 

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John Steele
johnsteele@dinga.com.au

John loves cooking at home and outdoors, travelling, fishing and discovering a new life. He's got loads of experience he wants to share while he adventures through retirement.