Boat Trailer Parts

Boat trailers provide a safe way to start and finish marine trips using a motorized vehicle with a hitch. Nearly all boat trailers use standard-sized parts. If parts become worn or broken, you can use your trailer dimensions to find replacements for most parts.

What kinds of brakes will work?

Nearly all trailer brakes use hydraulic actuators built into the connector. When the lead vehicle stops, your trailer wants to keep moving. Hydraulic actuators sense you braking and redirect the force to the braking system on the trailer. To find the right size of trailer brakes, you need to measure the width of axles at the connection point. Trailer brakes attach to the axles. Depending on the size of your boat and trailer, these hydraulic actuators work with one of two types of trailer brakes:

  • Drum brakes: For smaller loads, drum braking kits provide a good balance between the force received and braking requirements. Drum kits contain a rotating drum and shoes that apply pressure to the drum.
  • Disc brakes: If you have a larger trailer or marine vessel, especially one close to or greater than the weight of the towing vehicle, consider disc brakes. Disc brakes react faster and are designed to handle heavy loads.
What tires should you use?

The numbers you will want to look at are width of axles, tire size measured in inches, and load range. Trailer tires generally come in three ranges: B, C, and D. The load range of the trailer tires should reflect the weight of the trailer and the boat together.

  • Load Range B gives you between 500 and 1,100 pounds per tire.
  • Load Range C gives between 1,100 and 1,700 per tire.
  • Load Range D is rated at 1,700 pounds and up.
What optional parts can you get?

In addition to the required parts your trailer needs to function, some tools simply make life easier.

  • Wire clips: Trailers often have multiple wires for braking, brake lights, and other electric systems. Use wire clips to secure loose wires in place.
  • Boat guides: In dark or stormy weather, it can be difficult to line boats up with trailers. Boat guides help adjust trailer lights to give you a visual aid so you can centre your boat on the trailer.
  • Trailer winch: When hoisting your boat into place, a hydraulic, motorized winch saves time and energy. For heavier boats, a winch may be a necessity. You can attach the winch near the trailer hitch and run its motor from your car battery.
  • Bunks: While in motion, even a securely-tied boat may shift in place. Bunk kits help secure marine vessels and protect sides from damage in transit. Some bunks come bundled together with trailer guides.