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Put simply, a boat trailer is a device that is used to transport boats from one place to another. It is a curved open frame, mounted on wheels, that has pads intended to cradle the boat preventing damage to the hull. The back end is usually open, the front is tapered with some kind of winch and mounted on a trailer hitch.
The boat rests in the 'cradle' and the trailer is lowered down to the boat ramp until it is partially submerged. Once the boat is floating, it is diconnected from the winch and allowed to move away from the trailer. When loading the boat, the exact opposite happens.
Loading Boat Trailers
During loading, the trailer is lowered into the water and the boat is gently maneuvered into place,
and attached to the winch to pull and secure it. The trailer is then slowly driven out of the water, and the boat rests snugly on the pads. It is then tied down and ready for transport. The wheels of boat trailers are usually a single axle which is mounted on springs or directly attached to the trailer itself. Because the wheels are submerged in water, it is important that the bearings are sealed. Depending on the size and type of trailer, it will also have lights and signals as well as a license plate.
There are a number of different models of boat trailers. Some can hold sail boats, speed or power boats. Others are designed for smaller water craft, jet skis or even canoes and kayaks. There are also large trailers that can hold pontoon boats as well as much larger boats and catamarans. How large the trailer is obviously depends on the size of the boat being hauled.
Boat Trailer Materials
Boat trailers can be made from steel or aluminum, and each material has its pros and cons. Steel is strong, can be galvanised and able to withstand the weight of heavy boats. Aluminum is lightweight, it is strong, and can reduce the towing weight of larger boats.
New boat trailers range in price from few thousand dollars for smaller models with just basic features, to many thousands of dollars for larger aluminium trailers, depending on thesize and added features. Some boat trailers have assisted braking systems, electric winches and much more.
Some More On Boat Trailers
Just as your boat is a prized possession, boat trailers should be just as important. You need to take your time buying them, doing some research on brands, sizes, prices, as well as the materials they are made of and quality of construction. If you have a boat trailer already, there are some tips you can use to make sure yours lasts as long as possible.
One important aspect of the trailer is the tyres. Most trailers have a spare that's mounted on the front. It is a good idea to check this spare at least a few times per year, rotating the tyre itself out when you change your regular tyres. The internal bearings also need to be greased and maintained on a regular basis. It is recommended that you change your bearings every 12 - 18 months. It is also important that you regularly check the wiring harness, especially if your trailer is used a lot in salt water. Salt water has a tendency to corrode electrical components. At least once every year, you should check your electrical plugs and contacts and keep a few trailer light bulbs in case of an emergency.