If you are not blessed with a marina right by your house, then for any boating trips you want to take, you will have to tow your boat. This means that you should invest in a high-quality, reliable boat trailer that will help you to safely transport your boat from your house to the waterfront, wherever that may be. The two basic types of trailers for a boat are bunk trailers and roller trailers. This guide to choosing a boat trailer by Germaine Marine will discuss each type of trailer and how best to use it, as well as describing the materials that these trailers are generally constructed from. If you have any questions about boating trailers, come visit us if you’re in Arizona or Utah to talk to our experienced staff!
Ideal for lightweight boats or those that are going to be loaded in deep water on a shallow boat ramp, bunk trailers function by allowing your boat to float all the way onto the trailer before it is secured. Because sliding the boat up and down the trailer can cause damage to both the trailer and the boat, it’s advisable that these trailers only be used in locations that allow you access to a full ‘float off float on’ style of ramp.
These trailers are best suited to more powerful boats. Roller trailers are also more suitable for locations where you won’t be putting your trailer all the way in the water. The rollers allow the boat to slide backwards off of the trailer into the water without first being completely submerged. This is good for heavier boats. Roller trailers are the more expensive of the two choices as their mechanism is more complex, but if you have invested a great deal of money in your boat, you want to be certain that you have a trailer capable of handling that expensive boat safely.
Aluminum vs. Steel
Boat trailers, no matter whether they are roller trailers or bunk trailers, are made of two main materials: galvanized steel and aluminum. When choosing between an aluminum trailer and a galvanized steel trailer, you should know the pros and cons of both materials and how they might impact towing and durability.
Steel is sturdy, rigid and very strong. It is also quite heavy. When assessing the towing weight of your vehicle, you’ll have to keep this heavier weight in mind. Steel is a go-to material for large boats, as it is less apt to bend or flex under a full load. This durability is extremely valuable when you want to securely tow a heavy and expensive boat.
Aluminum by comparison is quite light in weight and much less rigid. Depending on your style and size of boat, an aluminum trailer can be a significant weight reduction when you’re towing so that your driving on the highway will be easier. However, larger boats will require sturdier aluminum construction compared to their steel counterparts. This might make the difference in towing weight negligible.
In both cases, it’s important to keep your trailer clean in order to prevent corrosion. Although neither aluminum or galvanized steel will rust, they will both undergo changes that weaken their integrity, especially when they’re exposed to salt water. Rinse your trailer thoroughly after every boating trip and allow it to dry. Store it under a cover or in a garage or other shelter to protect it from rain, sun and ice damage, particularly during the winter months.
When you’re ready to check out some great boats and the trailers to go with them, come down to Germaine Marine in Arizona and Utah. We have a great selection of new and used boats for sale in many styles and our staff can help answer any questions you might have about towing your boat safely.