Many boat owners may fall by the wayside when it comes to boat trailer maintenance. However, being that they are required to getting your boat in and out of the water, possibly on a daily or weekly basis, they are very important and should be looked after.
Boat trailers are regularly exposed to water, UV rays, weathering and potentially salt.
As we always say, it’s all about the prep work and so is better to protect against a problem than it is to repair it. There are many things you can do to help keep your trailer running smoothly and today we will list off our top tips.
Tyre issues are all too common and can leave you stranded by the side of the road. Be sure to check your tyres every so often for wear or damage and check the pressure regularly. Tyres naturally lose a small amount of pressure each month, so it is vital you check the pressure if your trailer has been sat idle for months on end.
If your trailer didn’t come with one, we recommend you invest in a spare tyre and mount it to the trailer. Having a spare is just good insurance to have and means you can get back up and on the road in no time. Remember to keep the spare tyre pressure topped up and travel with tools and a jack so you can change the tyre should you ever need to.
The majority of boat trailers, bar the lightest boat/trailer combinations, will have brakes and will need some maintenance over time. If you are launching your boat into saltwater, you should always rinse your trailer, but especially the brakes as soon as possible before corrosion sets in.
Some marinas will have freshwater hoses so you can do this, but you could always have a spare bottle of water on hand to rinse it off just in case.
Just like with your car, a trailer will either have brake pads or shoes and they will eventually wear down over time, so should be expected every year or two.
We also recommend you keep an eye on your brake fluid levels a few times a year. As the breaks pads wear away and get used the fluid will go down, however, if you notice a big drop in your fluid and it becomes very low, this could indicate a leak in your brake system.
Every time you hook up your trailer you should inspect the lights. Older trailers still use incandescent bulbs which will eventually burn out and require replacement. If you have a newer trailer, they usually have LED lights which should last a lifetime, but it’s still wise to check they are still working correctly.
One of the best things we recommend you do to prolong your trailer lights life is to protect the trailer light connection when not in use. Most will come with a small plastic cap that fits over the connector to keep any salt and water out and protect against corrosion.
Corrosion is an all too common problem with boat trailers. This is because salt from seawater dries on the metal and begins to eat away at it. If the corrosion gets serious, the trailer could become a safety risk.
Even if you are not launching boats into saltwater, moisture and oxygen is all that is required for corrosion to set in. We have a few products in our range that we recommend:
Owatrol G.L.V is an anti-corrosive coating with a high gloss aluminium finish that will not peel or flake. It will restore rusted and corroded surfaces, give lasting protection and greatly prolong the life of the treated surface. It has excellent resistance to the effects of the weather and does not emit harmful fumes so can be applied even in confined spaces.
Owatrol Deco is an oil-based multi-surface paint with built-in rust inhibiting qualities. With Owatrol Oil technology, Owatrol Deco provides exceptional corrosion protection and excellent resistance to the effects of weathering and pollution. It can be applied directly to rusted surfaces as it penetrates down to the sound metal, providing long-lasting protection and extending the lifetime of the treated surface.
Owayell is a metal renovator which removes yellow staining, limescale and rust spots from stainless steel and other surfaces in a matter of minutes. It will dissolve limescale, sea salt and watermarks as well as disintegrate dirt caused by micro-organisms and barnacle/shell residue.
Marine C.I.P is a rust-inhibiting primer that is suitable for finishing with both single and 2-pack paints and finishes. It contains the anti-corrosive properties of Marine Oil which enables it to stabilise the surface by saturating deep into the substrate, driving out excess moisture and air to form a solid stable layer.
Marine Oil is a highly saturating oil that penetrates deep into the surface, pushing out any excess moisture or air to stop and prevent further rusting. Its unique formula creates a strong yet flexible finish that will not peel or flake.
Transyl Oil is a lubricating, deep penetrating, self-spreading liquid with exceptional ‘wetting’, spreading and climbing properties. This makes it perfect for lubricating hard to reach metal parts.
So there you have it. Our top boat trailer maintenance tips!
If you have any other handy tips or advice, please feel free to leave them in the comments below. We love hearing from you!