Boating has become a lifestyle that many have come to love with over 270,000 new boat owners in 2018. It feels so good to sail away and enjoy the cool breeze. Just like your other big toys and big machines, your boat trailer needs to be maintained well.
To have great boating experiences, you should maintain and care for your boat. When it comes to boating, getting your boat to its destination with your trailer might not be the first thing you think of. However, your boat trailer also needs some care and maintenance to ensure it is in good working condition and it can get you from one location to another.
Here are some great boat trailer maintenance tips to keep in mind.
Proper Boat Trailer Maintenance Tips That You Might Be Overlooking
You may have the trailer and boat storage part right, but still need to work on the maintenance portion of your boat trailer. When leaving for boating expeditions, the first step is getting your boat onto the boat trailer. After this, you may then head to the shores.
However, you should be on the safe side and ensure that the ride will be uneventful. Therefore, you should conduct proper boat trailer maintenance. These are some of the tips that you might be overlooking:
1. Do Trailer Condition Checks
If your boat trailer hits the road often, this makes it prone to wear and tear. Before you start your journey, you should conduct a physical checkup of your boat trailer. This helps you to stay safe and away from surprises that may occur along the way.
Inspect the safety chains and check if they are secured and working fine. You can get information on what will suit you better; safety chains vs safety cables.
Check for any corrosion or cracks in the leaf springs and ensure that the kick pin and boat trailer tongue jack are properly greased. Loading the vessel in the trailer is made easier when you keep the boat trailer winch in good shape.
Boat trailers can take a substantial amount of abuse, depending on road unevenness, driving conditions, and the PH/salinity of the water into which they are being submerged. Pacific Boat Trailers recommends periodic checking for tightness of the nuts, bolts, and hardware. Even after purchasing a new trailer, it is important to re-torque and check nuts and bolts after the first usage as well. Pacific Boat Trailers uses only the best hardware and products available, but mechanical, micro-movement is normal, which can ultimately loosen nuts and bolts, so proper maintenance and torque checking are essential.
2. Inspect the Boat Trailer Lights
Ensure that all the lights are working as expected (and required). These include the reflectors, brake lights, turn signals, and taillights. Look for any lenses that are loose or cracked, bulbs that are worn out and wires and connectors that are damaged or exposed.
Also, check that the fuse is working. You do not want to be pulled over and ticketed and you would also want to stay safe on the road. If your trailer is wider (more than 80 inches) or longer (more than 30ft), you may consider getting more lights and reflectors.
3. Proper Inflation of the Tires
You should invest in good tires to reduce maintenance costs. The tires help you in moving about and they should be in good working condition. If you have worn out bearings, incorrect PSI, and a blown-out boat trailer tire, this will cause preventable trouble for you.
There are two types of boat trailer tires, namely; radial and bias-ply sidewalls. Bias-ply sidewall tires are more economical and stiffer and suitable for short trips. Radial tires are more expensive and the advantages that they have include supporting more load, making less noise on the road, and minimizing heat build-up.
You should also check the pressure of the spare tires.
4. Ball Bearings Maintenance Check
The ball bearings should be in good condition and inspected before you pull away. The right time to replace your wheel bearings is when you hear it squeaking, when grease seeps out and forms on the exterior of the wheel hub, and when the wheel has some resistance, making it harder to spin with ease.
If you are looking for a gift for boat lovers, a coupon for them to purchase ball bearings is always a good idea. Since the wheel hubs and ball bearing come into contact with water when the boat is being submerged and pulled out, you need to maintain them regularly.
To do this, rinse them off with clean water after they are put into salty water. Inspect the ball bearings before you leave for your trip and replace them if you notice any discoloration on the race, which is an indication of overheating. To protect your bearings, grease them well.
5. Maintain the Axle
The trailer and boat are quite heavy to tow around and for this reason, you should maintain and check the condition of the axle. Since it comes into contact with water and is prone to rust and corrosion, you’re going to proactively protect it.
If you spot any bubbling paint or rust stains on your axle, you can scrape off surface rust using a wire brush. Using a rust inhibitor and applying top coat helps in inhibiting rust on most metals. If the rust has spread deeper into the metal surface, you should replace the axle.
You may be looking forward to getting on the water as soon as you reach the shore. However, you should give your bearings some time to cool off before you dip the wheels and trailer into the water. If you dip into the wheels into the water almost immediately, the bearings will contract suddenly and lead to the absorption of water and dirt.
While making stops as you’re trailering, make additional checks on how secure the boat and trailer are and check on the heat-buildup by feeling the wheels. During the boating season, you should grease the tongue jack and coupler frequently.
Stay safe on land and at sea and follow all precautions, including those shared by the National Marine Manufacturers Association. Carry a toolbox in case you will need to do some fixing along the way.
Take Good Care of Your Boat Trailer for the Perfect Boating Experience
Do not be left behind. Stay updated on all that you need to know to have exceptional boating experiences.
We want your boat and trailer to be in top condition and for you to enjoy the trailering and boating experience. If you have any questions on boating tips, new boat trailers, trailer parts, and trailer service and repairs, feel free to contact us.