Different Types of Boat Trailers: How to Pick the Best One

Posted on 08/01/2022 by RV Products, Parts and... 227
Different Types of Boat Trailers: How to Pick the Best One

Vito Dumas said, "It's out there at sea that you are yourself."  Perhaps, that’s why there is an obvious surge in the number of people who prefer recreational boating on all types of adventures. However, while you decide to own a boat,  you will go for a boat trailer as well. This is because you need to transport your boat and sometimes even store it using a trailer. 

A boat trailer is a frame with wheels particularly manufactured to carry boats of all types across the land. The mechanism used for transportation of a boat on the trailer is by towing it behind your vehicle. These boat trailers are of different sizes, shapes, and weight capacities, and depending on the boat size, there are basic to complex trailer types available out there. 

Types of Boat Trailers

Boat trailers need to be purchased with due care and it's essential that you take into account the unique features of your boat type.  Before we see what can be the most useful option for you, it's pertinent to build your knowledge around the common boat trailers available out there. 

  1. Bunk trailers

  2. Roller Trailer

  3. Float-on trailers

  4. Keel rollers

 1. Bunk Trailers

Bunk trailers are the most common type of trailers with a simple design. Usually, this type of trailer is used to haul small-sized boats which are less than six meters in size. That’s why this is also called a small boat trailer. Because of their simple size and design and fewer parts, these trailers are pretty much affordable and easy to maintain. These bunk trailers are available in galvanized steel or aluminum with varying loading capacities. In a bunk trailer, the wooden boards known as “ bunks” have soft protection for easy placement of the boat into the water. Boat trailer bunks protection is also good to avoid scratches and damage to the hull. Boat Trailer Bunk Slides make loading and unloading easy.

Usually, the bunk trailer is submerged for loading as well as unloading purposes. Mostly, around two-thirds of the trailer needs to be submerged. You need to make sure that you can safely and deeply submerge the trailer in the water.  However, this also implies that certain parts of the boat such as brakes, springs, and axles may get affected by the water conditions and are more prone to depreciation risks. 

3. Roller Trailers

A relatively expensive yet effective option to transport your boat is a roller trailer.  Roller trailers have a mechanism of bearing the boat weight using several cylindrical plastic pieces called rollers. These rollers help to launch the trailer very easily. One of the major benefits of roller trailers is their ability to launch your boat even at shallow or comparatively undeveloped ramps.

A roller trailer has more moving parts and is more challenging in terms of maintenance. Contrary to the bunk trailers, their rollers do not need to submerge and therefore the possibility of damage to the boat and trailer parts is much lesser.  

If you are an angler or a hunter with a desire to explore wildlife and adventurous enough to follow unusual water paths, a roller trailer can be the best fit for you.  As this is an expensive type of boat trailer, make sure you use a boat trailer cover to keep in form while not in use.

4. Float-on Trailers

For large-sized boats requiring deep water launching without any damage, float-on trailers are considered the best option. Usually saltwater, pontoons, and other large-sized boaters use this type of trailer. Dropping and loading a boat on a float-on trailer is very simple. To drop your boat into the water, you back the trailer and submerge it in water till your boat can float off and get detached from the trailer easily. Similarly, to get the boat onto the trailer, you just submerge the trailer to the extent that the boat can be easily loaded onto it. Here a guiding rope is also used. 

5. Keel Rollers

Keel rollers are actually not the trailer but they are a helping tool to load any boat on traditional trailers. Using these boat rollers, you minimize the risk that may be caused to various parts of the boat or the trailer itself. Generally placed in the middle of the boat trailer, Keel rollers also assist in making the process of loading and unloading the boat super easy. Due to the use of an offroad boat trailer roller guide, the hauling becomes quite easy.

How to Choose a Boat Trailer?

Having a boat trailer has many benefits primarily because you don't have to pay rent for transporting your boat to the water. Also, there is a great deal of value addition to your boat. However, to enjoy the feeling that you have an absolute boat package, you should be able to choose the right trailer for your boat. Some dealers and manufacturers offer trailer packages when you buy a new boat. But if you are buying one for yourself separately, take the following factors into account. Otherwise, you’ll have a hard time on the road and during the boat launching procedure. 

  1. Consider the Boat Size

The trailer you choose should be of the size that can facilitate the boat you have. Simply put, you should buy a trailer that matches the size of your boat. However, the experts suggest that it should be at least two feet longer than the boat.   You can take your boat dimensions manually or check them from the manufacturer's manual. 

  1. Consider the Boat Type

To make a choice between whether you need a simple bunk trailer or a roller one, you also need to see what kind of boat you own. For example, do you need a sailboat trailer or a kayak trailer?   Sometimes, you have an expensive one and you want an equally good trailer for that. Some also want a matching trailer for their boats. So your boat feature impacts a lot on the type of trailer you should choose.

  1. Trailer Weight Carrying Capacity

Every trailer has its weight carrying capacity defined. This weight carrying capacity includes all types of gear, fuel, battery, engines, and other accessories you carry on your boat.  The overall weight of the boat and loadings onto the boat should not exceed the trailer weight capacity since it can cause damage. 

  1. The Axles Style

The boating trailers come with single or double axles. The single axle trailers are generally cheaper but are not more safer and stable than the double axle trailers. 

  1. Consider the Brand Name

Brands are always more reliable since they don't compromise on quality and have to maintain their goodwill.  While you make an investment in any time boat trailer, give preference to the brand name. There may be slight price differences but it's certainly worth it.  Some popular names include venture boat trailers or eagle boat trailers.

  1. Your Unique Boating Experience

Your unique boating desire also matters a lot in choosing your trailer type. For example, it is suggested that if you prefer doing saltwater boating, make sure that you inform your dealer. By doing this, the dealer will be in a better position to suggest to you what material you should prefer. There are options such as aluminum, galvanized, and painted steel. There are also options where you get trailers coated with corrosion as well as scratch-resistant coating. This ensures a long-lasting newer look and newer look to the trailer. 

  1. Boat Trailer Accessories

Boat trailers can also be equipped with certain accessories to add value. Some accessories are required by law on certain types and sizes of trailers. For example, boat trailers with lights on tails, side markers, and reflectors (with stop lights and turn signals) are essential when your trailer is eighty inches or less.  For the above eighty inches, there is more light needed to help define shapes.  These lights are usually waterproof trailer lights. You can easily find a boat trailer light kit on a marine parts store online. Other boat trailer accessories include:

  • Trailer Boat Fenders

  • Boat trailer tie downs

  •  Boat trailer winch


Boat trailers are great vehicles that almost every boat owner should have. These trailers not only prove to be helpful in terms of saving money in the long run but also help store your boat as and when needed. Depending on your budget and the boat type,  there are plenty of options available out there.  However, while you buy a boat trailer or trailer boat parts, choose a reliable brand and supplier. 

Blog search

Recently Viewed

No products



Recently Viewed

No products