TO THE LAKE AND BACK AGAIN — TRAILERING YOUR BOAT
Once you’ve purchased your new ski boat, getting from the dealership to your garage, then from your garage to the lake, becomes a pretty big deal. Some of you are fortunate enough to live on the water, and getting around isn’t much of a concern. But for everyone else, let’s talk trailers.
Over the past 10 years our industry has evolved from the single-axle trailer to the tandem-axle. As ski boats and wakeboarding boats continue to get longer, wider and heavier, the need for tandem-axle trailers has become greater. They offer a smoother pull for your tow vehicle and also provide a safety blanket for those of us who are worried about getting a flat on a long road trip.
Most 19- to 21-foot boats will fit on a single-axle trailer, which costs less and is far easier to move around when not attached to a vehicle. But if you have a larger boat or you’ll be trailering over significant distances, you’ll want a tandem-axle trailer for the higher capacity and improved reliability. Have that spare tire and carrying bracket ready just in case. A custom-fit trailer can also avoid damage to the hull surfaces.
When it comes to the tow vehicle, be sure to consider the total weight of the boat with fluids, trailer and gear. An eight-cylinder vehicle is recommended for any combined boat-and-trailer weight over 4,500 pounds. Smaller engines and trucks will pull them, but depending on altitude, temperature and incline, they can really struggle.
Torque and gearing are more important than horsepower. Also, it’s best to find a vehicle with a manufacturer-installed towing package that provides additional cooling capacity for the transmission.