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Old 08-21-2008
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Small boat trailer

I was under the impression that small boat trailers ran in the neighborhood of about $800 or so. But I found this trailer as recommended by a dealer I have corresponded with:

Harbor Freight Tools - Quality Tools at the Lowest Prices

This item looks very similar to an EZ loader trailer that I have now. It is not galvanized, but for under $400, it really looks fine. Any opinions on this? Most used boats I look at have trailers that are a mess. I figure a new trailer, even an inexpensive one, would be better.
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Old 08-21-2008
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It depends on if your going to dip it in salt water or not. I used a 4x8 flatbed trailer from there for my skiff for awile and it rusted away in less than a year being dipped in salt water 3-5times a week.

If you check Craigslist you can normally find a small trailer for around $200. I picked up the trailer ive been useing for over 2 years now for $150 with a tin can of a boat that i sold for $100.

Heres a pic of my skiff and the trailer. Yea its a little small, but oh well.
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Old 08-22-2008
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In my area I don't see small boat trailers in good shape very often on craigslist. That is usually the weak link in a boat purchase! I have presently an EZ Loader Sprint trailer under my FJ sailboat that is steel, not galvanized. It definitely has some rust, but is working well. It is from 1982. I do dip it in salt water, but I only get to sail maybe 15 days a year! I always hose it off after. I suspect the above trailer will survive with my usage. A galvanized or aluminum trailer is much more money. So, I may have to go for this one if I get a boat with a crummy trailer, or no trailer, in the interest of lower cost...
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Old 08-22-2008
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Well if you take good care of it spray it off after every use it will probley last longer than the one i had. Just make sure to put bearing buddys on it.
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Old 08-22-2008
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There's always aluminum, which is okay for a really small boat, but I would be careful about using it on anything with much heft to it...

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Old 08-22-2008
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Ouch! That hurts!
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Old 08-22-2008
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galvanized steel is important if you're putting the boat in salt or brackish water. Most trailers have tubes with some low spots that are hard to get all the water out of...and they will rust through very quickly if they aren't zinc plated.
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Old 08-22-2008
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It will come down to, like a lot of things, how much maintenance do you want to put into the trailer as time goes. Buy a cheap one, spend some time upfront taking care of it, ie spraying the salt water off etc, making sure the water is out of the tubes to the best of your ability, when rust starts to show, wire brush it and rustoleum it ASAP. Maybe a coat of wax of all things on the trailer. In the end a cheap trailer could be the best option.

On the other hand, if you are a lazy SOB, then a more expensive trailer may be te better choice, ie one that is galvinized etc.

For your small 9.5' boat, not sure that it is really going to matter that much.

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I'm a cheapskate, but also a lazy SOB. Decisions, decisions. If I buy the small boat, I think I will get the cheap trailer.
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I fit both areas, im a cheapskate and one very lazy person, so i got a trailer that will live for awile. I think the only time my trailer, or my skiff for that matter sees fresh water is when it rains. About the only time my motor gets a flush is when i have to run it in the test tank to try solve some issue.
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