Seven Tips For Carefree Boat Trailering
1. Make sure when you are buying a boat, that you get a minimum of 13 inch wheels and a drive on trailer. Most people spend 10,000 bucks for their boat and 300 on their trailer. You can't enjoy the boat when you always are having trouble transporting or loading it. Spend at least a $1,000 for a good trailer. Ask around - talk to people before buying.
2. If you already have one of those trailers that's a pain to load your boat on, think about making some guide on's for it. Two 2x4's five feet long covered with carpet attached to 4 inch angle iron bent to attach to the trailer frame will cost about 50 bucks to make and install. Make sure before mounting them that your boat is on trailer correct, then mount them carpeted surface first flush against the side of your boat. This way your boat will automatically center itself as you drive on the trailer.
3. If your boat is light in weight, small tires less than 13 inches will probably do. I would carry a spare anyway, but if you have a heavy boat with small tires, care two spares. Check your air pressure often, inflate to maximum load pressure. At any sign of abnormal wear, get them off the trailer and check for the reason.
4. Always! Always! Put bearing buddy's on your trailer (big or small) and also install bearing buddy caps to keep the grease from being thrown all over your wheels.
5. Always carry a set of spare wheel bearings. Frequent grease with Lubriplate-Auto/Marine-Lub 'A' - Part number 12298 (tube type). This fits into the heavy duty 3-way lever grease gun, made by Lubrimatic Products Co., Omaha, NE 68110. Since I started using buddies with this grease, greasing about every 3 trips, I've never (knock on wood) had any trouble. I haul a bass boat several thousand miles each year.
6. If you are using a truck type vehicle with a bumper ball to haul your boat, may I suggest having your ball welded to the bumper. Also weld your bumper to the frame of your truck. My trailer and boat kept working my ball loose. It also kept pulling my bumper down crooked in relationship to my bronco. So I had it welded. I also had them weld a couple large links of heavy chain to my bumper about a foot on each side of my ball sticking out from under the bumper. This was for the safety chains I installed on trailer. In case something broke, I would not lose the trailer.
7. Get a bigger winch, with a strong nylon strap and replace the small one. Trailers don't come with ones large enough to do the job right.
FREEBIE: I extended my trailer tongue by three feet using the next size up square steel tubing. This allows me to keep my feet dry during launching and also allows me to use shallow ramps better. Make sure you put some sticky back rubber matting on it so you won't slip. This can be purchased at most good boat dealerships. Remember if you extent your trailer tongue you will have to swing wider on right-hand turns!!
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