Updated: October 14, 2016
Boat Trailer Reviews:Finding the Right Boat Trailers - There are few things that can compare to the wind in your hair, the sun on your back, and the smell of water and nature, and maybe a little sunscreen. Boating is relaxing, exhilarating, fun for the family, great for fishing and solitude - no matter what you use your boat for, it is most definitely a prized possession. The problem comes with trying to get that prized possession from here to there via roadway instead of waterway. For this, you will need a good, reliable boat trailer. How do you choose the right one for your boat? For your vehicle? What will you need to tow your boat safely? How much will all of this cost? We'll help you answer these questions so you don't have to waste any time that you could be spending on the water.
What Should You Look for in a Boat Trailer? - Resist the temptation to go cheap. This is an ingrained trait in many of us, and while it works fine with many products, you want the best quality possible for your boat. If you paid thousands for this thing, why trust it with a subpar trailer. The trailer doesn't have to cost more than the boat, however. Look for the best trailer that you can afford and one that will increase your safety and confidence when you're towing your boat. Here are some things to watch for:
*Weight capacity. You need to know how much your boat weighs, as well as the approximate weight of any gear you'll be stowing. If you have 50 pounds of deep sea fishing equipment, for instance, add that to your weight count. You need a trailer that has the ability to tow that weight.
*Length. Make sure that you get your trailer about 2 feet longer than your boat.
*Environment. If you're using your boat and trailer in fresh water lakes, your trailer will be different than one being driven into salt water. Keep this in mind as finishes and materials can be diverse to accommodate for weather and geographical conditions.
*Drive-on. You may want a drive-on trailer so you can just drive into the water, deposit your boat, and drive back out. It is the easiest way to get your boat into and out of the water. The trailer lights for these have to be waterproof.
*Bigger wheels. Many experts recommend that you find a trailer with larger wheels. They rotate less because of their size, which saves on wear and tear on the tires and wheel bearings. You can also find trailers with spare tires, which is great if you're hauling your boat long distances.
*Consider your vehicle. Your choice may be largely dependent on what type of trailer your car or truck can handle.
*Materials. This will depend on your boat's weight and your budget. You will find tubular box frames, which are the most rugged and expensive; aluminum I-beam trailers, which are lighter weight and durable, though not as strong as the tubular box frames; and C-channel trailers, which are the least expensive and designed really for lightweight boats.
Where to Buy Your Boat Trailer:There are several different ways that you can buy boat trailers. If you want to inspect the trailer thoroughly, you can visit a boat retailer in person so you can ask questions to help you with your decision. You can also find trailers on CraigsList and eBay; these may be used trailers, but you can find excellent deals. Again, you will want to inspect them thoroughly and/or ask as many questions as you need. You can also find boat trailers online through retailers including TrailerShopper, BoatTrader, PacificBoatTrailers, and many others. Your specific trailer model will depend on your boat, your vehicle, and your budget, but in general, you can depend on these names for quality: FE Trailers, EZ Loader, Magic Tilt, Shoreline, LoadRite, and Shorelander. Some, like EZ Loader and Magic Tilt, are not available for purchase online. You can look through their websites to get an idea of the quality and make of their pieces. You then contact them for retail information. Check out boat trailer accessories here.
Boat Trailers Prices:How Much Do Boat Trailers Cost? - This, of course, depends on which type of frame you purchase, how big it is, the brand, and other features. In general, though, you can expect to pay at least $1000. For better quality, you are probably looking at closer to $2000 and up. You can get a great deal by shopping online, especially with sites like eBay. For instance, you can find a 2010 Aluminum Single Axle Boat Trailer for $1600, when it can go for twice or three times that amount new. To ensure that you're getting the quality you need, there are a few precautions you should take:
*Make sure to ask the vendor as many questions as you need to. Email them, and make sure they email you back promptly. This is a big expense, and it is going to store and haul an even bigger expense, so they should treat you like a valued customer.
*Check the vendor's feedback. If it is anything less than 96 or 97 percent positive, look for another vendor. You should work only with people who have a solid, exceptional reputation on eBay.
*Don't complete your transaction outside of eBay. When you work with eBay, you get the protection afforded by that site, as well as by PayPal. If possible, pay with PayPal to get maximum protection. You can put a deposit down with PayPal so the seller never sees your bank account information or credit card numbers; eBay also offers motor vehicle purchase protection up to $20,000, so this is a safe place to buy.
Buying a boat trailer is just as important as buying the boat, and you should go through the same types of preliminary research. When you're ready to buy, check out the top names - EZ Loader, FE Trailers, Magic Tilt, etc. - and get the best quality you can afford. Turning to used trailers is often a good idea, but make sure you have the proper protections so you don't lose your money - or your boat!