When it comes to maintenance, many boaters focus on the boat itself. However, if you have to transport your boat between your home and the lake, you need to maintain your boat trailer. Caring for your boat trailer will extend its life and also help protect your boat. While not as complicated as boat maintenance, boat trailer maintenance requires a few steps. Here are some boat trailer maintenance tips to keep in mind when transporting your boat.
Boat Maintenance Checklist
Inflate and Inspect the Tires
Check the tires for proper inflation. Having properly inflated tires will ensure your boat has a smooth ride and does not suffer any damage while transporting. Proper tire inflation also helps ensure they evenly wear over time. If the weather is cold, double-check the tire pressure. Cold weather can cause tire pressure to drop, so add some air to them if they get low during cold weather. If you do suffer a flat tire, you need to be prepared. Make sure to carry a spare tire for your boat trailer. It is also a good idea to keep a tire patch kit for any small punctures.
Check the Ball Hitch Fit and Sizing
Make sure the ball hitch matches your trailer. This is what secures your boat trailer to your vehicle. If the ball hitch does not match, the trailer can potentially disconnect from your vehicle. This can create a dangerous situation and cause extensive damage to your boat, vehicle, and trailer. The trailer ball hitch should match the size of the vehicle coupler.
Ensure Brake Lights are Working
Inspect the brake lights on your trailer before departing anywhere. Brake lights are a safety feature of vehicles and trailers to warn other drivers you are slowing down. Having functioning brake lights on your trailer prevents any mishaps from drivers rear ending your trailer and boat. Avoid getting a ticket by checking your brake lights every time you use the boat trailer.
Clean the Trailer of Debris or Invasive Species
Keep your boat trailer clean of any debris or invasive species. Invasive species can be picked up from the water or bugs living nearby. Wash off the trailer after use to keep it clean and prevent any damaging elements. If you use your trailer in saltwater, it is a good idea to wash it off with fresh water afterwards to remove saltwater from the metal. Saltwater can cause corrosion on many materials.
Inspect the Bow Eye and Wench
The bow eye is where the front of the boat will rest on the trailer. This item is crucial and should be regularly inspected for any damage. Replace the bow eye if you spot any damage so that your boat is securely held in place. Make sure your boat winch is functioning properly. If you are at the boat ramp and your winch breaks, you have a big problem on hand. Test the functionality of the winch before going anywhere and replace it if you spot corrosion or damage.
Make Sure the Ball Bearings are Functioning
Ball bearings in boat trailer wheels can wear down or break over time. If this happens, your trailer can be rendered useless and get stuck. Check the ball bearings in the wheels to validate they are functioning properly. Regularly lubricate the bearings and clean them of any debris.
Check for Any Other Damage
Inspect the entire trailer for damage. Little items that are broken on the trailer can become large headaches later on. Check for any structural damage on the trailer. Make sure the bunks, where the boat rests on the trailer, are in good condition. Damaged trailer bunks can cause damage to the hull of your boat. Ensure the trailer jack is functioning properly. Look to see if the trailer guides are in good condition as well, as these help you steer the boat into the trailer.
Keep Your Boat Stored Safely at Eaton Ferry Marina
Maintaining your boat trailer takes a bit of work but with regular maintenance, you can avoid costly repairs and be on the water quickly. If you want to remove the hassle of transporting your boat back and forth from the lake, consider storing your boat at a marina. Eaton Ferry Marina provides dry rack boat storage on Lake Gaston. We keep your boat in our indoor dry stack boat storage facility and will retrieve it whenever you are ready. Contact or visit us today to learn more about our Lake Gaston boat storage.