November 02, 2018

Top 5 DIY Boat Trailer Parts For Easy Sales

Having a good supply of boat trailer parts before, during, and after the boating season is critical to serving boat trailer owners.  The demand for boat trailer parts is highly seasonal, especially given the Canadian climate. Shortly before boating season, depending on springtime weather and ice melt on lakes, there will be a rush for maintenance and replacement supplies.  Repairs that were not completed when the boat (and trailer) was put into winter storage now must be done to get the trailer (and boat) to the water. It is therefore important to have the essentials for boat trailer parts on hand.

Most boat trailers are simple in design as they are intended only for 3 things, hauling, launching, and loading a boat.  Most boat trailers are sold with the boat and are branded along with the make of the boat but still the component parts and the functions are mostly the same.  While the type and size of the boat will certainly determine the size and placement of components, the generic components are more or less similar. The more upscale the boat often the more upscale the trailer and it’s components.  We discuss some of the essentials to have on hand.


A winch is used twice, each time a boat is launched and each time a boat is loaded.  For those who keep their boat in the water, this is infrequent but for those that trailer their boat to the lake, launch, and then load at the end of the day, there is significantly more use of the winch and winch straps.  Winch ratings should be matched to the size of boat being trailered. A good rule of thumb is to use a 2:1 ratio of boat weight to winch capacity. So a 2000 lb boat would require a minimum of a 1000 lb winch. A growing trend is boat trailers that have a 12 volt electric winch mounted to the trailer tongue.

Lubricants and Cleaners

Boat trailer cleaning and maintenance should be performed any time the trailer has had frequent use or a prolonged period of inactivity such as winter storage.  Cleaners to remove storage dust and to rejuvenate tire appearance are popular in spring and waxes to keep the trailer shine matching the boat shine. Lubricants such as axle grease and WD-40 for exposed parts will be popular all season long.

Trailer Jacks

It only takes one incident of leaving a trailer jack in the upright and locked position and then pulling the trailer forward to bend it beyond safe use.  Light duty trailers and most sport boat trailers use a standard bolt to the frame hand crank winch. Higher end boat trailers, especially for large wakeboard boats, often are equipped with a 12 volt powered electric jack.  A customer looking for a jack is definitely on a mission and having the proper jack on hand is a certain sale. The capacity of the jack should be matched to the tongue weight (TW) of the trailer. A typical TW is 10 to 15 percent of your gross trailer weight.


Light lenses, light bulbs, light wires, and the dreaded light plug are popular replacement items on all trailers and certainly seasonal on boat trailers.  Summer holiday season means more boat trailers on the road and more lenses knocked out by rocks. Boat trailer components are destination items and while a small ticket item, they often lead to additional purchases.  Make sure you have an adequate supply of universal trailer light connectors including 4 and 5 pole flat plugs and 7 pole round plugs, plus adaptors to convert a round plug to a flat plug.

Paints and Primers

Many boat owners are slightly crazy about the appearance of their boat and trailer.  It’s not often that your find a shiny well maintained boat sitting on a rusty poorly maintained trailer.  Boat trailers can take a fair bit of abuse over the course of a season including road rocks and immersion in water numerous times.  Road rocks and pebbles firing at 100 km/h can ding and scratch the paint, chrome and decaling on a boat trailer. Touch up paint comes in a variety of colours and a pre-treatment of primer is a fairly easy do-it-yourself fix to keep the trailer paint looking new and keep rust away from metal parts.  

Having these top turning maintenance and repair items on hand will be certain to meet the needs of many boat trailer owners.

Categories: Trailer Tip

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