Boat Trailer Parts - Lights, Winches, Jacks, Rollers & Guides

Boating Know How
Tips on caring for my trailer

Boat Trailer and Towing Tips – 5 Must-know Tips For Any Boater

When towing a boat, many people simply load it on the trailer, hook it up to the vehicle and start the journey. It only takes them a few minutes to realize that towing a boat is a different ball game. ... read more The car’s handling, stability, maneuverability and many other factors change. The following boat trailer and towing tips will undoubtedly come handy to both a novice as well as an experienced boater.

1. Protection

A boat is always under risk of damage when being towed. This is because it is designed to be used in water. This becomes even more critical when being driven on rough terrains, unbeaten path, or a road with too many potholes. The shock, vibration and bumps may damage the boat and also the inboard/outboard or outdrive motor. To minimize the damage use a transform saver, keel guard, skeg protector, and other boat supports during towing.

Properly set up on a trailer

2. Braking

You should always pay special attention to the braking system. Attaching a boat to the vehicle puts more stress on the tires, brakes and braking system. Rule-of-thumb states that when the weight of the boat and trailer exceeds 2000lbs, the trailer should have its owned distinct set of brakes. You may install the surge/ hydraulic or electric brakes. Remember, it will require a longer distance to stop.

3. Weight Distribution

Poor weight distribution such as when a boat leans on one side or is tied unevenly will cause undue stress on the vehicle as well as driver. Always try to center the boat and redistributing the equipment on board the boat. The vehicle and boat should be perpendicular/parallel to the ground. In order not to overload the hitch, the tongue weight should be at least 10% of the weight of the trailer and boat. For example a 600-pound tongue will be suited for a boat and trailer weighing 6000lbs.

4. Harnessing

Boats have been damaged or lost simply because of failing to secure it properly. A loose or broken strap/ cord led to the boat hitting the hard asphalt/tarmac or falling off the trailer. To avoid such incidences always use ratchet straps to secure the vessel. It’s also advisable to make sure the winch strap on the trailer is fastened to the bow eye. Walking-round the boat after short distances is highly advisable.

5. Speed

To make sure the boat reaches the desired location in one-piece always adjust your driving habits to suit the situation. Avoid instant braking, sharp cornering or swerving, or speeding through the rough terrain. This will not only wear you out but also damage the boat. Towing pundits advise that the activities done during normal driving should be reduced by half when towing a boat. For instance reducing the speed by half.

Towing a boat in a safe and effective manner is more than just hooking it up to an SUV (sports-utility vehicle), or pick-up truck with lots of power and torque. It’s also about getting first-hand experience before hitting the road. For instance, you may try backing-up (reversing), turning or braking while at a safe location. Online resources and discussion forums also provide boat trailer and towing tips. Finally, never exceed the rated towing capacity.
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Video on Maintaining a Boat Trailer

How to Maintain My Boat Trailer (Video)

Video presented by on how to maintain your boat trailer. You'll learn how to grease your trailer bearings, check tire pressure, lug nuts, lights and connections. ... read more

Video Transcript

Hey, welcome back to

You’ve seen us do our preventive maintenance on our outboards and our kicker by changing the gear lube and changing the crankcase oil. .

Today, with a long trip ahead of us, we’re going to make sure the trailer is up to snuff for the long trip. We’re going to make sure we have grease in the bearings, make sure our lug nuts are tight, we’re going to make sure the tire pressure is where it is supposed to be, we’re also going to check our lights and our electrical. So let’s get going. .

Okay, so to do the bearings… this trailer is equipped with what we call, it’s like a bearing buddy, there’s like a grease zerk on the inside of the cap here, the dust cover. It’s right here. It’s kind of a spring-loaded system. So when you are putting the grease into the zerk, you’ll see the spring kind of collapsing and the zerk will come out a little bit. That spring will keep that grease forced into the bearing when you travel. .

If we zoom in on here, when we load it up, you’ll see that spring coming out. You don’t want it to come all the way out tell it stops. Maybe just before it stops. .

Alright, we have the grease in there. You can see that spring collapse most of the way toward the outside of the grease fitting here. So that one is good to go. All we need to do is check the air in the tire and tighten the lug nuts. .

Alright, one tire is complete. We did the grease. We checked the lug nuts and we checked the air. We’re next going to do the other three tires. Then we’re going to check our lights and our electrical connections. .

Okay, we have all the tires where we need them as far as the air pressure, and the grease and the lug nuts and all that good stuff. .

Now we’re going to check the lights. We’re going to get in the truck and we’ll check the running lights, the turn signals and the brakes. .

Left signal…check.

Right signal…check.

Brake lights…check.

Running lights…check.

Alright, we did all the light checks. Because this trailer is basically brand new, we don’t have a lot of issues with corrosion or anything like that. But if you do have an older trailer, one of the ways you can prevent corrosion is with some dielectric grease. .

Anywhere you have a connection here, be it in the main part of the truck, or in your five prong or four prong connector, get some dielectric grease on that. That will prevent it from getting corroded while your in storage, or just while the boat is getting dumped underwater, or whatever you are doing. .

We don’t seem to have any trouble with that. .

If you do have connection problems, or some of your lights aren't working, 99 percent of the time you are probably looking at a grounding issue. Either you white wire is not making a good connection or your not getting a good connection between the truck and the trailer at the ball. So a lot of that is kind of simple stuff. You don’t want to wait until the day you are leaving to check on this stuff. .

Its two days before we leave for South Dakota. If we waited until the last minute, and we had a lighting issue, we’d end up leaving late because of it. .

So that’s about it. All this trailer maintenance is pretty simple. You don’t want to be that guy sitting on the side of the road with a blown bearing or getting a ticket because your lights are out. .

That’s it. Thanks for watch this week. Next week, not sure what we’ll be doing . But we’ll be doing something. We’ll be out in South Dakota. Maybe we’ll have some cool stuff from out there. .

Thanks for watching…See you! .

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About Trailering

The Job Of A Boat Trailer

Trailers, specifically boat trailers, are used for a couple of things when it comes to your marine adventure. The main jobs of the boat trailer would be to carry or store your boat. But you also use the trailer to launch and retrieve your boat from the water.

Boat trailers are made up of several different components. They all have different jobs that when working properly and together, make for a smooth nautical adventure. From the bigger couplers, tongues, and jacks to the trailer lights and safety chains, all of these things are needed to for everything to work out.

If any of these items are not working properly, you won't be able to get your boat to where you need to go, so let's keep up to date on replacing the broken down.