Boaters getting their rigs ready for another season on
the water often concentrate on the boat and forget about the trailer. But
while the boat is the "fun" part of the combination, the boat trailer is
equally important if you're going to have an enjoyable outing.
Here are some suggestions for a post-winter check of
your boat trailer's condition from the boating authorities at Mercury
l. Check lug nuts or lug bolts to insure tightness. Also
examine bolts or studs for corrosion and replace if necessary.
2. Inflate your trailer's tires to the manufacturer's
specifications. Because trailers often stay in one spot for long periods,
owners may forget to check tire pressure. Under inflated tires can cause
serious road handling problems such as "fishtailing."
3. Grease the wheel bearings as directed by the manufacturer.
Use a manual pump, not power equipment, because the latter can over grease
bearings, which may lead to braking problems.
4. Check axle springs, spring bushings and attaching
U-bolts for cracks and rust. Are the nuts tight on the U-bolts?
5. Be sure the winch, winch rope and winch stand are
working properly. Make sure the ratchet is working as it's supposed to.
6. During the winter months, rollers, bunker mounts and
supports can shift and loosen. To find out if this has happened to your
trailer, grasp the side of the boat and see if you can rock it back and
forth. If you can, the outboard bunkers or roller cradles have moved and
7. Test your lights and turn signals.
8. And, oh yes, has your trailer license expired'?