Boat On Trailer On The Beach

THINGS YOU SHOULD BE DOING TO MAINTAIN A BOAT TRAILER

A trailer is an essential piece of equipment for boaters. It’s what will transport your boat to and from the best water spots, after all. Some people, however, don’t seem to realise the importance of proper boat trailer maintenance. If the trailer malfunctions, it can cause significant damage to you and your boat. To prevent accidents from happening, here’s what you need to do properly maintain your boat trailer.

USE THE RIGHT TRAILER

Boaters should make sure that their trailer is appropriate for the style and weight of their boat. It might be tempting to settle for an inexpensive model, especially since it doesn’t seem as important as the boat itself.

However, this opens you up to the possibility that something terrible might happen. Saving a few bucks now will not be worth it if you damage your boat or end up in an accident. It’s best to invest in a high-quality boat trailer. As long as you maintain its condition, it’ll be able to protect its precious cargo — your boat.

INSPECT FOR RUST

Rust is a boater’s worst nightmare. If your boat trailer’s steel frame comes into contact with salt water, there is a risk of corrosion and cracks. This will then damage the structural integrity of your trailer. As such, it’s important to inspect your trailer for rust thoroughly. Look closely at the different parts such as the joints, welds, nuts, bolts, rollers as damage may not be immediately noticeable. If there are signs of rust, you must replace these components as soon as possible.

As a preventative measure, you should wash your boat trailer after every trip. Make sure you’re very thorough in removing all salty water.

ADJUST BRAKES

Boaters should keep their boat trailer’s brakes adjusted. Braking quality tends to get worn down after some time — even if you don’t use the trailer as much. Brakes should be regularly checked, and servicing must be done at least twice a year.

CHECK WHEEL BEARINGS

Proper boat trailer maintenance also means checking the wheel bearings for excess slack or movement. These must be monitored and adjusted accordingly every month. Applying fresh grease and fitting new seals will also help prolong the life of the wheel bearings. If they’re adequately lubricated, you lessen the risk of experiencing any heat build-up during a trip.

Boaters should also check on the trailer’s leaf spring suspension. Since the spring is made of steel, it’s prone to rust if exposed to salt water. If there’s rust or you can already see in between the leaf spring, it’s time to replace your trailer’s suspension.

MONITOR TYRES

You should properly inflate your boat tyres. If your tyres are exposed to rough or extreme terrain, there’s a risk of damage or cracking. This is possible even if you don’t use the trailer that much. Check the tread and replace tyres if necessary. Boaters should also make sure what the wheel studs are properly greased.

WORKING LIGHTS

The boat trailer should have proper lighting, which includes stop lights, tail lights, turn signals and reflectors. Everything should be working before heading out on a boating excursion. You may also want to switch to LED lights if your trailer doesn’t have them yet.

The boating lifestyle isn’t only about relaxing on your boat and cruising open water. There’s actually a lot of upkeep and maintenance involved. Boaters often get pricey upgrades for their vessel but don’t pay much attention to other components. However, if you want to learn how to maintain a boat trailer, you should also follow these tips for proper boat trailer maintenance. After all, without your trailer, you wouldn’t be able to bring your boat out on the water.


 

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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.