Ultimate Guide | How To Buy A Boat Trailer

Buying a boat is a great way to tap the untapped freedom of our coastlines. But buying a boat is only one part of the equation; what about buying a trailer? Buying a boat trailer is just as important. Most of the time, you buy the two together. But in certain circumstances, you may find yourself looking to buy a trailer alone.

So if you’re buying a boat trailer, how do you know what to look for? It’s simple: just following the tips from our ultimate guide on how to buy a boat trailer! These simple tips should match your boat with the perfect trailer.

Buying a boat trailer with rollers or skids: how to choose between them

Boat trailers generally come with either rollers or skids. If you’ve done a little research, you might have seen some examples of both. So which type of boat trailer should you be buying? Well, it depends on the type of boat you have. As a general rule, rollers are far more prevalent and popular. The reason is simple: they suit deeper hulls, and they reduce friction as you’re winding the boat onto the trailer. However, some boat trailers have skids and they’re generally very effective too. That’s because skids are very well suited to boats such as speed boats, or competition angling boats. Both have relatively shallow hulls, and they’re usually transported on custom made trailers. As a result, the skids are perfectly contoured. Oure advice: get an expert opinion before choosing a trailer with skids.

How can you tell if you’re buying a good second-hand boat trailer? Look for these signs

If you’re buying a new boat trailer, there’s every chance it’ll be second hand. And there’s nothing inherently wrong with that. But how can you tell if you’re buying a quality second-hand boat trailer? Generally, there’ll be some indicators if anything is wrong. The best indicator is always rust. Rust is bad news on a boat trailer, and you should always avoid buying rusty trailers. Remember, if you see rust it’s too late to prevent rust. Another thing to check is electrics. If the trailer lights are faulty, there may be internal rust. That indicates that the trailer may not have been well-maintained.

Size matters: how to match your boat with a suitably sized trailer when you’re buying

Boat trailers are not a one size fits all affair. Different size boats need proportionately sized trailers. For that reason, it’s always best to buy a trailer made by the same manufacturer as your boat. Most of the boat building companies produce trailers for each model, and that will always be the best choice. But if you can find a good fabricator, a custom made trailer would work just as well. The only issue with that is price!

Single axle or tandem axle: what’s the difference, and how can you tell which to buy?

You’ve probably come across both single axle, and tandem axle boat trailers in your efforts to buy one. So what is the difference, and which do you need? The difference is simple: tandem axle trailers are more stable. They are designed for heavier boats, and they take as much weight as possible off the tow vehicle. Single axle trailers are designed for lighter boats, and they are easier to manoeuvre. Normally, if you have a fibreglass boat or a boat over about 5.5m, you should consider tandem axle trailers.

Here’s how to check that the components of a boat trailer are up to scratch before you buy it

Finally, make sure a trailer has useful and high-quality components before you buy it. The main things to look at are electrical components, rollers, and the winch. The rollers should all spin freely, and the electrical components should work. The winch should move in and out with easy, and the cable, strap, or dyneema rope should be free of rust or frays.

For more tips on how to buy a boat trailer, get in touch Holt Marine today on (07 3353 1928!

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