There is an art to shopping for a boat trailer. In order to find the best deal for you, there are a lot of decisions to be made. And when you're in the market for used boat trailers there are plenty more factors to take into consideration. It is important for you to have at the very minimum a basic of knowledge of the differences in trailers and how they will fit your need even before you begin your search.


Each trailer is rated with a gross vehicle weight rating or a GVWR. This will tell you the maximum weight the trailer is allowed to carry. This rating includes both the boat and the engine weight along with the gear and fuel. When deciding on which of the many used boat trailers to choose from it can be hard to determine your exact needs. Boating experts suggest that whatever GVWR you are targeting, it might be advisable to add another 15% to be absolutely sure that you have to right trailer to suit your needs.


Trailers come in single axles and multiple axles. Those with a single axle are usually less expensive and require less maintenance and upkeep than the multiple axles. They are also much easier to maneuver around driveways and other tight areas you may need to park your boat in. However, trailers with multiple axles are better at tracking on the road and are much safer in unexpected situations like accidents or tire blow-outs.


Trailers usually come with either radial or bias-ply tires. For most people, radial tires are considered the safest. Bias-ply tires tend to transmit the flex in the sidewalls to the tread opening up a better chance of slippage while on the road. They also tend to grip the road less so are not as stable when towing.


Since laws vary from one state to the next, it is strongly recommended that trailers have brakes installed on all axles. This will cost more on the front end but could very well save you more over the length of time you own your boat. Electric brakes usually tend to require less maintenance but they are not usually recommended when you plan to tow your boat in salt water. In those cases, surge brakes would be more reliable. While they are more complex and more costly they will offer you more stability and assurance when towing a boat.

There are lots of things to consider when purchasing used boat trailers. Aside from those essentials listed above you also want to consider the type of material used to build the frame, the springs used to give you a smooth ride, the bunks, rollers, wiring, and the bearing lube.

When it comes to purchasing a used boat trailer there are plenty of items to think of. Your best bet for finding exactly what you need and that will comply with the legal requirements in your area is to start your search with research and learn all that you can to determine the exact type of trailer you need so that there will be less chance of ending up with something that you won't find satisfactory.