Friday, March 28, 2014

Which Winch Goes With My Boat?

Suppose you’ve bought yourself a nice boat for regular periods up and down the coast. The craft may or may not have their own berth at the marina. However, there will be times when you want your boat off the water and try your luck in another location, hence hauling them off on a trailer. The thing is: if you already have a trailer, you will need a winch to reel in the vessel before you can transport it anywhere.

The curb weight of your boat will be a major factor in choosing the proper winch. Some experts first recommend checking the manuals of the boat, motor, and trailer for each one’s weight. Add all three weight values and list down the sum in a notebook. Next, compute for the additional weight of gas and other items. Multiply the regular weight of gas per gallon– at 6.25 pounds– times the fuel tank volume, then add around 50 pounds worth of equipment. 

Add up the weight of the first computation and the second, then divide them by two. The result is the minimum weight capacity of the winch you need. Run the capacity by your boat parts seller so they can present you with some choice winches. Buy a new winch strap and some tie-downs to lock the boat on the trailer while in transit.

Monday, March 17, 2014

A Brief Look at Boat Trailers and Marinas

You find towing your boat to and from the water a hassle. You ask yourself, “Why can’t I just leave my boat at a marina or something?” You just asked yourself a good question.

Before anything else, keep in mind this article isn’t trying to persuade you to get a boat trailer. You, the boat owner, always have the final say. However, it should be obvious that a trailer is less costly than paying rent at a marina. If you can afford to keep your boat in one of several marinas in Louisiana, then by all means, do it.

Marinas charge on a monthly basis based on the size of the boat; obviously, the bigger the boat, the bigger the slip fee. In northern California, the cost can reach around hundreds, even for the smallest boat. Also, marinas stick to their rules as tight as barnacles on a boat’s hull. You could only use your boat under certain conditions.

Boat trailers may cost more, but at least it’s a one-time investment; one full payment and it’s all yours for as long as you need it. Even if you and the seller agree on a monthly installment, the cost is much lower than a month in the marina. Towing trailers may require more careful driving, but buying the right parts will make sure your boat stays put during the trip.

Monday, March 10, 2014

When to Grease or Replace Your Trailer Bearings

The looming spring and summer are ideal seasons for out-of-town family vacations. Before packing up and traveling, make sure that you’ve thoroughly inspected your vehicle and trailer for mechanical issues that might affect your journey. You surely don’t want to ruin your vacation by a broken trailer wheel while on your way to the beach. Here’s how to know if your trailer wheel bearings need to be replaced.

A trailer wheel bearing is not visible as the majority of its components are concealed within the metal housing. Therefore, you won’t easily find damage that tells you it should be replaced right away. Instead, you can check what’s visible—the wheel itself. If you find that some tires have an uncommon wear, it probably means the bearings are broken or poorly installed.

Dust and debris may little by little enter the bearing and affect the rotation of the balls that keep the wheel’s turn smooth. Such a concern can spell disaster as it may increase the friction formed between the rotating wheels and the bearings. This is the most likely problem if you start hearing unusual noise in the wheel as the trailer starts moving.

Jack up the trailer and remove the wheels to access the trailer wheel hubs where the bearings are. Get rid of debris and make sure it’s well greased before you put it back. Try towing it and if the unusual noise disappears, it means the trailer is ready to take a long journey without breaking down on the road.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Installing Electric Brakes on Your Trailer

Brakes are one of the most essential parts of trailers and failing to have an effective braking system may cause all kinds of troubles on the road, which may even lead to fatal accidents. If you are planning to install electrical brakes on your trailer, there are vital trailer brake parts that you need to purchase in order to ensure that your brakes will work once you step on that pedal. Here are four must haves:

  1. Mounting flanges – these items should be attached on your trailer's axle, right behind the existing hub assembly. Generally, most axles already have these installed, but in case yours do not have them, you can purchase a square-shaped, 4-bolt pattern flange, which is one of the more popular choices available.

  1. Trailer hub and drum assemblies – when shopping for these assemblies, you must look for the ones that are compatible with the spindles of your trailer. One of the best ways to be guided accordingly is to look at your existing bearings and seals and find the stamped numbers.

  1. Trailer brake assemblies – when searching for these, all you need to remember is to find something that will match your flanges, and fit the hub and drum assemblies.

  1. Controls and wiring – when everything is already set up, you can now install the brake controller, along with the proper wiring necessary for your brakes to work.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Choosing a Boat Trailer Winch

There are probably about as many different boat trailer winches as there are boats or trailers, so narrowing down your choices isn’t always the easiest thing to do. However, considering a few factors, finding the right boat trailer winch doesn’t have to be so complicated.


Weight capacity is the first thing you will need to consider when choosing a winch. The capacity of the winch you buy should be at least three-fourths the combined weight of your boat and motor, fully loaded with gear and fuel.

In addition, there are other things you will need to factor in that can increase the capacity requirements for a winch. These include, steeper launch ramps, a trailer that uses wood bunks instead of rollers, as well as how far into the water you can go to launch the boat.


A single-speed winch is suitable for lighter boats like dinghies, catamarans, and inflatables. A two-speed winch, on the other hand, can be used for boats that are any heavier than that. For truly big boats, an electric winch with higher gear ratios may be required.


While most boats can be launched safely by letting them slide freely off the trailer and into the water, bigger boats will require a boat trailer winch with some form of braking system. This should allow you to launch the boat into the water at a safe speed.