Most boat owners put a lot of time into maintaining their boat. The engine, the exterior, and the interior are all priorities, but if you don't leave your boat in the water, maintaining the trailer is just as critical.
Inspecting the Trailer
Starting at the front of the trailer, it is a good idea to visually inspect the entire length of the trailer. Check the frame for any damage or corrosion that may appear on the surface. Aluminum trailers are less likely to rust but older steel trailers may have rust around the spring hangers, the bunks that support the boat, and any part of the trailer that is in the water during loading and unloading.
Inspect the Wiring
Check the wiring that runs along the length of the trailer as well. Depending on the size of the boat you're hauling, your trailer may have electric brakes. If you have a broken wire somewhere on the trailer that connects the brake system on the truck to the trailer, you may have difficulty stopping the trailer when the boat is on it.
Along with the trailer brakes, the lighting on the back of the trailer runs through the same wiring harness that the trailer brakes run through. Don't just assume that the wiring is in good working order; check it before you start hauling your boat.
Inspecting the Tires and Bearings
Another critical component that needs to be inspected on your trailer is the tires. A quick visual check of the tires is important and just takes a second to do. Look for cracks, deep gouges, or threads of steel or fabric showing through the tire.
The wheel bearings are also a critical component and should be checked before the season starts. Because the bearings are submerged during the loading and unloading of the trailer, water can get into the bearings, causing rust and corrosion inside the bearing races. Regular greasing of the bearings can help avoid this problem, but they should be checked every year and replaced as needed.
Buying Replacement Parts
It is important to get high-quality marine parts for your boat and boat trailer. While some of the parts are available in auto parts stores, it is often better to get your parts through a marine maintenance parts store.
Most marine supply stores will carry replacement parts including things like tires and bearings for your trailer, as well as parts for your boat's motor, cleaning supplies for your boat, and just about any accessory you can imagine.
For more information, contact a marine maintenance parts store.