You need to consider many other steps and aspects of owning a pontoon boat before you purchase. One of these is a pontoon boat trailer.
If you plan to be docking your pontoon in your local marina, then you may be able to skip this step.
However, even in that case, you still should consider a pontoon boat trailer in case you want to travel with your pontoon.
Why is a pontoon boat trailer important?
Well, it is the only method you will be able to load and launch! Your pontoon boat trailer is the way you will be maneuvering the pontoon on land.
Picking the right trailer is almost as important as picking out the pontoon itself. Consider it the second most important purchase.
How to Pick Pontoon Boat Trailer
When choosing a pontoon boat trailer, learning and reading about the latest trailers is a must. The first thing you want to know is if it can carry your load. This is all determined by two aspects:
When you shop for a pontoon boat trailer, you will notice the initials GVWR. This means your Gross Vehicle Weight Rating. Be sure to consider the entire weight of your watercraft, including the engine and fuel. The average pontoon boat weight can vary, and it will dictate how many axles you will need to support your pontoon.
The length of your pontoon will also determine the type of trailer you will need. A 26’ pontoon will require a specific boat trailer compared to a 20’ pontoon.
Pontoon Boat Trailer Types
When choosing the best pontoon boat trailer, numerous options can make the process feel overwhelming. Knowledge is your best friend in this case.
Single axle trailers are known as the most simple boat trailers to use. The reason being is that a single axle means there is only one axle to tighter and require less maintenance. They also can be moved easily and fit into tight places such as garages or storage facilities.
Multi-axles lack the efficiency of a single axle. However, you gain a strengthened peace of mind on the road. Multi-axle pontoon boat trailers are known to handle a lot of wear and tear and long hauls. In the case that one tire blows out, you are safe with multiple axles.
This is, at times, the preferred method of hauling a pontoon for many people. The reason is that a center lift, also known as a scissor trailer, saddles your trailer; it does not directly sit on it. This pontoon boat trailer makes it easy to launch in shallow water and offers the flexibility to move different styles and lengths of pontoons.
Types of Trailer Suspensions
The type of suspension will determine how much ‘shock’ your pontoon boat receives. In short, the right suspension allows for the absorption of road shock, which won’t carry to the pontoon or your car. This makes it a smoother drive if you are carrying a pontoon in the back.
Leaf spring is known as the most common type of suspension for a pontoon boat trailer. They absorb more shock than other forms of suspension, they are easier to repair, but they require more maintenance if you expect to withstand the test of time, weather, and pontoon.
Torsion axles require less maintenance because they have fewer parts. However, they are much harder to repair.
Types of Tires
Radical tires are known as the most common type of tire for a pontoon boat trailer. The reason being is that they are wider than Bias-ply and offer more grip when on the road. Overall, they are known as longer-lasting and of better quality.
Bias-ply tires have been known to slip a bit and do not offer radicalized support or grip. These types of tires are known as the ‘local’ choice. If you are making a 10 mile trip from your driveway to the marina, these are the best choice. However, be very careful during rainy days!
Types of Frame Metals
GAWR is known as your Gross Axle Weight Rating. Do not confuse this with GVWR from earlier. Your GAWR is the total weight each axle can hold. With that, let’s talk about the different types of frames and what ideal situation they are for:
The aluminum frames are known as the preferred choice for many reasons. The aluminum pontoon boat trailers are lighter than steel, helping with the overall fuel economy during travel. It is also known as the best for coastal waters because of its chemical composition.
More costly than aluminum is galvanized steel. Galvanized steel is much stronger than aluminum. However, galvanized steel does rust much quicker than aluminum. Galvanized means that it has a coat of zinc. You can get the steel ‘hot-dipped,’ which means it is coated with a galvanized solution.
Painted steel is known as the best option for freshwater. The aesthetics are nice-looking, especially if you plan to match the steel with your pontoon.
However, for salt-water, this is considered the worst option. Over time the paint will chip, and it can be more costly to repaint or get a new one.
Security & Safety
Now that we have covered the types of metals, tires, and what to look out for, let’s dive into the last and one of the most important aspects of your pontoon boat trailer, the brakes, and the lights.
Types of Trailer Brakes
If you are considering electric brakes for your pontoon boat trailer, the rule of thumb is the most expensive, the better. The reason is that cheap electrical wiring could harm your pontoon boat trailer and cause a lot of damage, both in the water and in your wallet.
Therefore, a high-quality company such as Cequent Performance Products is recommended because they offer marine-grade electric brakes.
Surge brakes are frowned upon depending on your location. Therefore, it is important to do your research on the proper laws in your state and city when hauling a trailer.
The reason they are frowned upon is that there is no connection to the inside of your car. Meaning, you cannot control the braking system of the trailer from within your car.
It only brakes when you brake and need a longer stop distance to brake properly. A quick stop with a pontoon in the back can be a hazardous situation.
Once again, depending on your state, you might have to install brakes per axle on your trailer.
Types of Lights
When it comes to lighting, it is crucial to get tinned copper wiring for coastal waters to avoid corrosion.
Led Lights – Led lights have become the newest trend for homes, cars, and water vehicles. They are more durable, waterproof, and can last longer than incandescent light bulbs.
Pontoon Trailer Maintenance
When it comes to the maintenance of your pontoon boat trailer, it is important to keep a galvanized spray nearby if you need to re-coat chipped away paint to prevent corrosion.
Boating will be much more fun if you pick the right pontoon boat trailer. With trust in your trailer, you can feel confident before you head in the water.
Knowing the details such as the weight it can hold, the tires it carries, and the trailer’s frame will help you minimize any potential headaches.
Buying a pontoon boat trailer requires a level of research and study. However, you can rest assured that your pontoon is safe on the road if you pick the right pontoon boat trailer.