Looking for a boat trailer for your adventure in the sea?
The first feature you should look for when selecting a boat trailer is the trailer’s payload. How much weight can your supposed boat trailer support?
The boat trailer’s weight capacity should be greater than your boat’s wet weight. Wet weight is the boat’s weight plus the engine, water, fuel, and equipment.
Aside from a well-capacitated trailer, features such as aluminum trailer frames detail the best boat trailers for saltwater. Read on to learn more about how to choose the best saltwater boat trailer!
Roller Trailers vs. Bunk Trailers: Which Suits Your Saltwater Boat Better?
Roller trailer and bunk trailers, which of the two trailers is best for you? Before we answer that, here are a few pointers to note about bunk trailers.
Bunk trailers follow a simple design. Hence, they have fewer parts. As such, they’re more affordable as they’re easier to repair and maintain.
Most bunk trailers also support better drive-on capability. However, this type of trailer must be in deep water before launching or retrieving your boat.
Since they’re submerged, your boat’s running gear is constantly exposed to saltwater. This makes them more susceptible to damage caused by corrosion.
Meanwhile, roller trailers launch and load at low tides or shallow ramps. Thus, the running gear makes minimal contact with salt or fresh water. This allows them to last longer than bunk trailers.
Hence, a roller trailer makes an excellent saltwater boat trailer. Note, however, that this type of trailer is more expensive and also costly to maintain.
Aluminum and Galvanized Trailer Frame
How long your trailer will last depends on the trailer frame material. Three primary options include painted steel trailers, aluminum, or galvanized-steel trailers.
Visually, painted steel trailers are more appealing and are also the cheapest type. Yet are more vulnerable to saltwater corrosion; hence, these are best for freshwater.
Whereas galvanized and aluminum trailers are corrosion-resistant, they suit saltwater boats better. Also, galvanized trailers last longer under normal conditions. Yet, over time, galvanized trailers will dull and look unappealing.
Aluminum trailers are much lighter than the two former options. This helps reduce the overall load on your tow vehicle.
Aluminum trailers also cost as much as 50% more than galvanized trailers. However, aluminum models last longer. Aluminum boat trailers also stay better-looking than galvanized-steel trailers.
Torsion vs Leaf Spring Suspension Systems
Leaf springs are one of the most used suspensions because of their affordability. Cost aside, leaf springs prove to be solid performers.
You can depend on them for a steady ride and even longer tire wear. Leaf springs also absorb load from uneven ground or pothole shock better.
The only disadvantage is that leaf springs have a metal-on-metal design. This requires more repair jobs as they wear faster. Moreover, spring suspensions tend to be bouncy with an empty load.
Thus, we recommend saltwater boat trailers that use torsion systems. Torsion axles consist of thick rubber cords obscured in the axle’s tubing.
When the wheel moves up and down, these rubber cords compress. This creates an even wheel suspension that allows riders to enjoy a smooth ride.
Further, since torsion axles are directly mounted to the frame, thus, they have fewer moving parts. This results in a smoother shock action which stiffens the frame and reduces flex.
Moreover, this suspension system has galvanized tubes, so they’re less likely to corrode. There is also no metal-to-metal action, meaning there are no exposed bare metals. Finally, a torsion suspension has fewer working parts, requiring minimal maintenance.
Tongue Jack Matters
The best boat trailers for saltwater should come with a tongue jack. Tongue jacks are equipment that raises and lowers your boat, allowing you to move your trailer quickly. Depending on your needs, there are three types of tongue jacks that you can choose from.
One of which is single wheel jacks which can carry 1200lbs or less. They’re best used on trailers with a capacity of less than 5700lbs. Meanwhile, dual-wheel jacks make an excellent choice for larger saltwater boats and trailer packages.
The primary purpose of foot jacks is to extend up or down. These tongue jacks have a foot instead of a wheel. These are typically used on larger boats and trailers, far larger than you’d need help towing with.
Disc Brakes for Saltwater Boat Trailers Make More Sense
When it comes to brakes, disc brakes are the best option for saltwater boating. Compared to drum brakes, they’re easier to flush and are more resistant to corrosion. Another significant advantage of disc brakes is that they’re self-adjusting.
LED vs Conventional Lights: The Better Half
You can choose from two styles of boat trailer taillights and side-marker lights. These are conventional incandescent bulbs and LED lights. The advantage of incandescent lights is that they’re readily available and inexpensive to replace.
While LED lights stay cooler and have a faster brake-light reaction, they also have longer life spans. Moreover, the price of LED trailer lights is coming down, making them a viable choice for saltwater boat trailers.
Accessory Features That Complete Saltwater Boats
Aside from those mentioned above, you might want to customize with boat trailer accessories. Some saltwater boat trailer accessories that you might wish to include:
- Anti-theft device
- Spare wheel carrier
- Spare wheel
- Rinsing kit
- Tilting rear
These accessories are typically sold separately and cost extra. However, they can help improve the functionality and security of the trailer as well as assist in its maintenance.
The Best Boat Trailers for Saltwater Has a Removable or Collapsible Coupler
The best boat trailers for saltwater are those that feature materials and systems proven to be resistant to corrosion. Beyond technical needs, the best boat trailers should fit your parking space.
We at Owens and Sons Marine specialize in building custom boat trailers. We offer trailers with a removable or collapsible coupler that eliminates your parking spot problems.
Apart from high-quality custom trailers built, we also offer boat trailer services. Not to mention a variety of tier-boat trailer parts and accessories. So get in touch with us today for expert recommendations and advice!