Choosing right boat trailer is very daunting task as you have to know and be aware of wide range of features before you get to select a boat trailer for yourself. If you are buying a trailer first time or bought a new boat reading this section will help you understand key features you need for different boat designs and how to buy them with confidence.
1, Boat Trailer Styles - There are two types of boat trailers: bunk-style and roller-style. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages, depending on a boater’s particular needs.
i, Bunk Trailers- They are the most simple type of trailers which are simply constructed and have few parts to maintain. The disadvantage is due to damage which can be caused by salt water on brakes, hubs, springs, running gear, and other components of the trailer. The bunk trailer use keel type rollers to center and support the boat on the trailer. Keel type rollers cause uneven support which can cause paint to get scraped with keel type friction rollers. This type of trailer is launched when there is low tide.
ii Roller Trailers - These trailer are very expensive and costly to maintain because of the design and the make. the design was made to reduce friction and easily move between. This protects the boat from damage when it is launched and stored in the trailer. This type of trailer is highly functional as it can be launched and retrieved even in high tides and does not require to submerge the axle of the boat.One of he extra cost goes to heavy duty winches which is required to store and retrieve the trailers.
2, Boat Trailer Materials - The boat trailer materials are constructed from three types of materials. The materials we use to fabricate boat trailer are aluminum or mild Steel I beam trailer, C channel and tubular box frame. Any of the above mentioned items are used to fabricate trailers.
i, Aluminum/M.S I-beam trailer - These type of trailers are very light weight as they are made of aluminum and they have great strength to weight ratio but compared to tubular design offers less insulation as the electrical wires are exposed. These type of trailer materials cannot be used in the bunk type of trailers due to exposure of electrical wires and components. Conduits are recommended to protect wear and tear of electrical wires in the aluminum trailer. The positives are it is light weight which can save fuel and prevent corrosion as it is made of aluminum. We at Al Ameen rarely make boat trailers with tubular steel.
ii, Tubular box frame trailer - Steel tubes are preferred for two reasons they are lighter compared to other trailers and can store electrical wire which can protect the wires and brake lines as they can be stored inside the tubes of the frame. These type of trailers are very useful for bunk style trailers which are usually submerged in water.
iii, C-channel Boat Trailers - These C-channel boat trailers are less expensive compared to other types as they made of steel which is comparatively cheaper but as aluminum requires extra steps to protect the electrical components from exposure to the water.
The other main factors which are very important to determine a boat trailer are length of the boat, boat capacity or weight and waterline width of the boat.
3, Boat Length - There should be extra grace measurement of 2-3 feet longer than it has to carry. the swim platform is usually not taken into consideration when determining the overall length of the trailer. Any extra addendum to the trailer like winch and pulpit, these extra dimensions must be taken into measurement and consideration while calculating the length. It is better to measure along center line of your boat from the bow-eye to transom, to determine bow eye to transform maximum and minimum.
4, Boat Capacity - To calculate the boat capacity/weight or Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR), it is important to know and calculate the total capacity of the boat which includes the engine, full fuel, full water tank (also known as wet weight) and the weight of the personal items (food, accessories etc.). It is recommended to use 10% of boat, motor, and liquid weights for personal gear. Selecting a trailer with the next highest capacity rating is important for stability of the trailer. If you find that weight of th eboat is more than 3500 pounds it would be very advisable to invest in double axle (tandem) than single axle trailers.
5, Boat Waterline width - Measuring just the length is not enough, it is important to also know the areas of hull support and rollers make it much easier for loading and offloading the ramp with a gentle slope. make sure to ask width of the boat and add additional lengths if you add anything extra in the boat.
6, Boat trailer brakes -The laws vary from region to region but if your boat weighs more than 1500 pounds, it is highy recommended to get brakes on the trailers. In UAE it is mandatory to have brakes on trailers above 1500 pounds for safety and stability reasons. Most countries refer boat weights as Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) to determine the requirements of brake. It is highly recommended to have brakes on the trailer for safety reasons.
7, Boat trailer tailgates - Some provinces require trailer tailgates to signal other drivers in the road which are waterproof and corrosion resistant. In many of the countries it is optional to have lights and directions on the trailers.