Trailer Selection Guide:
An accurate weight for your boat is essential for a safe and long lasting trailer. You can get the boat weight from the dealer that you purchased the boat from or from the manufacturer's literature that came with your boat. If you don't have either of these a reputable trailer dealer should be able to calculate the weight of your boat for you. However you obtain a number for the weight be sure that it includes the bare boat, the engine, a full tank of fuel, fresh water and any gear that you are likely to carry. This number is the minimum carrying capacity of the trailer that you should select.
Trailer specifications should include a carrying capacity, a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) and a gross axle weight rating (GAWR). The GVWR rating is the maximum weight of the boat and trailer combination. It is not the carrying capacity of the trailer. Many trailer manufacturers use the length and weight capacities in their model numbers. For example, Sealion trailer model number SE-22T-4800B will carry a maximum boat length of 22 feet and a maximum boat weight of 4800 pounds. Not all manufacturers follow this system however, so be sure that the weight rating of the trailer that you are evaluating is it's carrying capacity.
To assure a good trailer fit for your boat it is important that the length number that you give the trailer dealer refers to that portion of the boat that the trailer sees. The length of a boat as specified by the manufacturer is usually the maximum dimension of the hull. A 22 foot boat is usually at most 22 feet from the end of the swim platform, if it has one, to the bow (possibly including an anchor pulpit). The portion of the hull that will contact the trailer is from the drain plug to the bow eye. This is often considerably less than the overall length and will determine which trailer frame is used. The swim platform is not supported by the trailer and will project beyond the rear of the trailer just as the engine or outdrive will. The anchor pulpit (if applicable) is important only in that the trailer tongue must be long enough to allow the pulpit to clear the towing vehicle.
With an accurate weight and the appropriate dimensions the correct trailer can be determined for your boat.
Two things are necessary to assure a durable, long lasting trailer; heavy gauge metals and conservative design. We use 1/8" minimum wall thickness for all frame components on our 3x3 and larger frame sizes. If you've ever had a galvanized trailer fail after many years of service you know that the reason they fail is that something rusts out and collapses. Of course this always happens when you are on the road with your boat, usually in a lightning storm. It's usually the rear cross bar or the rear of the main frame rails which always get dunked in the salt water. The heavier the steel is to start with the less it flexes and the longer it takes for corrosion to weaken the component enough for it to bend under load. When you compare trailers look at the thickness of the components as well as their dimensions.
Trailer brakes are an essential component of safe trailering. Your vehicle must be capable of safely stopping the combined weight of the vehicle, the boat, the trailer, fuel and gear. A boat and trailer often weigh as much as the towing vehicle and can greatly increase the distance required to stop. Be sure that the towing capacity of your vehicle is at least as great as the combined weight of the boat and trailer. Once you are up to speed on the road the trailer will be less noticeable until you have to stop quickly. You must remember to leave more distance between you and the vehicle in front of you and be cautious when making turns and lane changes.
If you purchase one of our trailers with brakes they will be disc brakes. These marine grade disc brakes provide fade resistant stopping power to assist the brakes on your vehicle. They also generate braking power when you back up so to avoid problems we install a solenoid valve in the brake system. This valve will prevent fluid from entering the brake lines and applying the brakes when your vehicle is moving in reverse. For this to operate properly the solenoid must receive a signal from the back up lights on your vehicle. Our trailers with brakes have a five wire harness where four of the wires operate the lights and the fifth operates the reverse solenoid valve. Most newer vehicles have their back up circuits factory wired to a seven wire round plug. If you purchase an adapter with a flat, five wire plug you will have all of the lighting and braking features necessary for your trailer.