Having a trailer for your boat means that you can be independent of boatyards and haulers for launching, transport, and storage. Storing a boat in your yard and performing your own maintenance is another cost savings for trailer boats, both power and sail. Having worked on the boatyard side of things for some years, I’m acquainted with the math, and am determined that my next boat is going to be trailerable.
Not all the boats up to maximum trailerable size — about 35 feet — come with a trailer, so I’ve been scouring the web for my next boat, both with and without a trailer, with the idea that I might find either a boat/trailer packaage deal, or a good deal on a trailerless boat and find a trailer to fit it.
I’ve been this route once before, when I had a 33-foot sailboat and wanted a trailer for it. I ended up buying a used trailer from an Etchells sailboat rather than an expensive new custom trailer, but the used trailer didn’t quite fit — even after I replaced the keel pad, the boat just didn’t sit quite right over the axle. So, I ended up selling the trailer and then the boat independently.
Let’s face it, who has a boat and trailer package that works, and then sells off the trailer? A good used boat trailer for sale on its own seems a bit strange.
I see a few examples of the particular boat I’m interested in (a J/80 sailboat) on the pages of BoatTrader.com, and not all of them come with a trailer. Most do, and they are priced for the package of boat and trailer, but I’ve been thinking maybe I should buy the boat only, and find a used trailer to match. My search of the web shows me a lot of hits on “used boat trailers,” but again, who sells a perfectly good trailer out from under a perfectly good boat?
My conclusion is that while you can find a suitable used trailer, you’re better off buying either the package or a brand new trailer that actually fits your boat. The tires are new, the wiring and wheel bearings aren’t a problem, and there’s no question as to fit.
So where do you find a new trailer that suits, and for a realistic price? Try Tropic Trailers, in Fort Myers, Florida, or Palm City Yachts in Stuart. Both of these companies can be found here on our web pages and have all manner of trailers that can fit a wide range of boats.
Give us a comment on this blog if you find the right trailer at the right price. It’s an investment, but your independence and cost-savings will be positive, as will the resale of your “package deal” when it is time to sell.