At first glance, there doesn’t seem to be many complications to
a boat trailer. At least compared to the boat, there isn’t. But its
apparent simplicity is deceiving: If one part breaks, the whole
thing can stop, leaving a predicament.
This boat is sitting on a nice galvanized trailer frame, and a
quick glance wouldn’t reveal much. But
a simple hands-and-knees inspection
would’ve shown that the axle was badly
rusted; it later cracked when the boat
was towed to the lake. A cracked axle
means a planned day of fun on the water
isn’t going to happen, and there’s going
to be a long tow home.
Give your trailer a once-over every
time you hook it up, especially if it gets
dunked in saltwater. Pay close attention
to axles, tires, wheels, and lights. Hose
it off with freshwater after the seawater
dunking. Be thorough, including getting the freshwater within the frame as
well as on the outside and also around
the springs, brakes, brake tubing, on the
wheel hubs, and on both sides of the
STAINLESS STEEL DOES CORRODE
Look around on most any boat, and you’ll likely see stainless
steel somewhere, for good reason. For the most part, stainless
steel deserves its “stainless” non-rusting name. But it has a dark
side. If it’s used in a wet, oxygen-starved place, it will begin corroding like any other non-stainless steel.
Typical places where there’s not enough oxygen circulating are in damp wood and decks, inside cutless bearings that
haven’t been used in a long time, and around hidden places
that frequently get splashed with seawater. This sturdy bolt was
reduced to less than half its size because of oxygen starvation.
In places that may not have enough oxygen for stainless
steel, bronze is often a good substitute.
WARNING SIGNS AND SAFETY NEWS FROM BOATU.S. MARINE INSURANCE
or flat tire
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