Boat Trailer Maintenance Beyond The Obvious

Boat Trailer Maintenance Beyond The Obvious
Torsion axle corrosion occurs over time in this area.

Over the last six weeks we have seen a flurry of boat trailer repairs, more than we’ve experienced in quite some time. In most owners minds, trailer maintenance is re-packing wheel bearings and inspecting running lights; but there’s a lot more.

Aluminum trailers can last a very long time but the life expectancy of torsion axles is generally seven or eight years. Experience teaches that the center portion of the axle, the curved section in the middle, can trap saltwater. Corrosion occurs inside the galvanized tubing, which can weaken it to the point of failure.

Another area of concern is where the axle bolts to the frame. The bolts are stainless steel and the trailer is aluminum. The dissimilarity of these materials creates oxidation that eats away and weakens the aluminum. This process typically goes unnoticed unless the trailer is inspected without the boat on it. The result can be very severe and dangerous if left untreated.

Trailer wiring replacement should be included during any major repair work. Non-tinned copper wiring breaks down internally because the wire acts like a wick, allowing saltwater to creep inside and degrade the copper strands.

No one wants to be “that guy” on the side of the road when the wheels come off, or axles snap.

Have a safe and successful fall fishing season!

Chris Mapp

Coastal Bend Marine |Port O’Connor, TX | 361-983-4841

Premium content for TSF Insiders.

To continue reading, Login or become a Subscriber!