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Old     (cougarfan83)      Join Date: Sep 2011       07-14-2012, 11:54 AM Reply   
The boat dealer we are considering buying a boat from uses a local trailer shop. I can't find much info about the company online, and I am concerned that they are skimping on the trailer to bring down their cost. I really don't have anyway to tell.

I'm certainly not a trailer expert, nor do I know what to really look for.

Are there any companies that have a really good rep for solid construction?
Old     (jasonba1)      Join Date: Apr 2008       07-14-2012, 12:24 PM Reply   
boatmate is the only way to go in my opinion
Old     (SkySki)      Join Date: Feb 2010       07-14-2012, 12:38 PM Reply   
What is the name of the trailer manufacture they are trying to use? My dealer has a deal with SBTrailers. I was skeptical at first, but once I got it I am happy with it. No issues and looks good.
Old     (dhill)      Join Date: Aug 2010       07-14-2012, 12:46 PM Reply   
i own a ramlin and am not at all happy with it. constant problems, some big (brakes), some small (bolts, lights, etc.)
Old     (cougarfan83)      Join Date: Sep 2011       07-14-2012, 1:06 PM Reply   
Originally Posted by SkySki View Post
What is the name of the trailer manufacture they are trying to use? My dealer has a deal with SBTrailers. I was skeptical at first, but once I got it I am happy with it. No issues and looks good.
SBTrailers? Is that Sport Boat? That's the local company my dealer uses
Old     (wakekat15)      Join Date: Jul 2005       07-14-2012, 1:11 PM Reply   
I've had a Dorsey, Magnum & now a Ramlin.....all of which have given me lots of brake problems. I also experienced tire (blowout) issues on the Dorsey and Magnum. I'll be looking at a Boatmate on the next purchase.
Old     (nitrousbird)      Join Date: Sep 2008       07-14-2012, 1:37 PM Reply   
Boatmate and Extreme seem to be the two popular brands.

Our boat sits on an SMP trailer. 11 years old now and seems decent enough. I don't think they do boat trailers anymore though; looks like mostly commerical stuff:
Old     (jonyb)      Join Date: Nov 2008       07-14-2012, 2:11 PM Reply   
From personal experience, Boatmate is excellent in all aspects - Great product, and great customer service. I had a 2007 Supra 24' Gravity Games boat, and felt like the trailer could use some work to make it a little better, the bowstop was too high. I worked with one of the guys there and got my boat to them. They did the repair, and it looked perfect when they were done. Jerry and Owen are the guys there, and I can't say it enough - they build good trailers.
Old     (SkySki)      Join Date: Feb 2010       07-14-2012, 6:46 PM Reply   
Originally Posted by cougarfan83 View Post
SBTrailers? Is that Sport Boat? That's the local company my dealer uses
Yes, it is. Are you buying from action water sports az?
Old     (davidggriffith)      Join Date: Sep 2008       07-14-2012, 7:01 PM Reply   
Jeff I have a sport boat trailer for my Sanger I bought it back in 2006 new I was at bullards bar two weeks ago and I noticed that my bunk supports welds were all cracked and about ready to fall through my trailer frame tubes I called them and asked them if they could fix it they got me in right away and are fixing for free I was really surprised about them fixing it it Is six years old I love this kind of customer service I was fully prepared to pay
When I'm able to upgrade my boat I will be getting the same brand of trailer
Old     (fullspeed)      Join Date: Oct 2005       07-14-2012, 8:03 PM Reply   
SBT on my first Malibu had no problems and it sat lower then my Extreme which I liked.

I have now on my second Malibu. Not too happy with the Extreme trailer even though I think it looks nicer. The brakes lock up and I put the clip in the tongue to over ride the brakes when towing it empty or it will lock up going forward. Pain in the butt and the paint on the Extreme is cheap and chips and peels off. My buddy had the exact same trailer same year and everything and he had to have his repained under warranty under a year of light use. The paint peeled of his sway tongue, huge chunks at a time. He has a blue malibu and matched it from the Exteme factor to his boat which was an option and now his blue looks like a blue/purple very ugly since it now does not match his boat. He keeps it in his garage covered and only has 75 hours on an 06 VLX so no it does not get used or is in the sun.

His trailer locks up going forward too when his boat is not on it. On my Extreme if it sits on the truck High hitch, mid hitch or low hitch it still locks up. It has been looked at several time at Salinas Valley Marine and they just gave me two of those surge hitch brake lock out clips and told me to use those and that was that. Nice huh.
Old     (durty_curt)      Join Date: Apr 2008       07-14-2012, 8:10 PM Reply   
I'm rolling with extreme trailers. Its been to Powell countless times and what not. I've had to replace all the running boards, trailer jack, and. . . That's it! Its from 2004 and my boat has 940 hours.
Is VIP still around? If they are. . . Stay away!
Old     (jesse1983)      Join Date: Oct 2008       07-14-2012, 9:16 PM Reply   
I have an SBT under my 2003 Mastercraft. I had the same issue as stated above (bunk mount broke and pushed through the cross beam. This happened this year and I gave them a call to see if they could fix it. They had me bring it in and said they would fix it for free as well. This was on a 9 year old trailer. I paid them to blast and repaint the trailer and replace one bunk that was a little damaged. To my surprise all carpeting was replaced, all new lights, all new diamond plate, and they added some metal plates to the bunk mounts (hopefully they don't push through again. It took about a month before I got it back, but I feel that they stood behind the product and the paint price seemed very fair.

Old     (cougarfan83)      Join Date: Sep 2011       07-14-2012, 10:08 PM Reply   
Jesse, David and Fullspeed, good stuff! Thanks, I feel a lot better hearing about SBT and their good service. Gives me much more confidence about the decision.
Old     (cougarfan83)      Join Date: Sep 2011       07-14-2012, 10:10 PM Reply   
Originally Posted by SkySki View Post
Yes, it is. Are you buying from action water sports az?
No, Sacramento area. I hear great things about AWS though.
Old     (markj)      Join Date: Apr 2005       07-15-2012, 1:13 AM Reply   
I had a similar experience as above with the bunk support's welds breaking on an 05 trailer. I paid to have a local welder fix it. I was warned about SB trailers but ignored it. I also had to replace both the carpet as well as the wood in my bunks after 4 years. All of the LED tail lights had to be replaced after 6 years. The reverse lights filled up with water in 2005 and never drained. My trailer sees fresh water 4-6 times a year and sits in a covered shop the entire year since the boat is on a hydrohoist during the season. The trailer still looks good from afar but, I'm not impressed with how much maintenance it has taken despite being babied. I've also noticed rust in the cross members/axles due to drain holes that were not big enough. On top of all this, the trailer doesn't fit the boat as well as it should. It has to be loaded carefully. Buyer beware.
Old     (pennery)      Join Date: Jul 2006       07-15-2012, 11:46 AM Reply   
I have had 3 Boatmate trailers and 2 Extreme and 1 Ryan Trailer.... The Ryan was a 94 and was a fantastic trailer. The trailers I have had issues with is the Extreme's. They have really crappy customer service as well... Getting them on the phone or to call you back is next to impossible for parts...

Boatmate makes a fantastic trailer and the guys at Boatmate are top notch. The only problem I have had with Boatmate is their Paint. It chips really easily... I much prefer the Boatmate when loading as well.. Seems to fit the best and they use nice long bunks rather than the small "V" which is easily missed on the Extremes...
Old     (davenk)      Join Date: Feb 2008       07-16-2012, 10:39 AM Reply   
I have a Boatmate trailer and am having brake trouble after 2 full seasons (started beignning of this season). Yes, the paint seems to chip easily and even after I run bug mudflaps on my truck to prevent that.
Old     (ers906)      Join Date: Feb 2010       07-16-2012, 11:08 AM Reply   
Picking up my SB trailer from Action water sports today. Looks like they have fixed the bunk support problem but hunting a T support brace to it. I will post pictures as soon as I can. Good customer support from both SBTrailers and, as always, AWS. Robbie is great to deal with at AWS. Bob is definitely old schools, but his support staff is wonderful, he is great at what he does, and time from order to delivery was under 20 days.
Old     (tyler97217)      Join Date: Aug 2004       07-16-2012, 12:14 PM Reply   
Old     (hatepain)      Join Date: Aug 2006       07-16-2012, 12:20 PM Reply   
I too have an SBT trailer (my second actually) and I'm extremely pleased with it and them. An idiot exfriend of mine totalled my first one so I had them build me a new one thats even better than the last. They did have that issue with the bunk supports busting through the frame but it has since been remedied and is no longer and issue. This is not the first time I have heard of them going above and beyond to keep customers happy and fix issues.

I've heard nothing but great things from Boatmate as well so I contacted them for a bid when I needed to replace my trailer but they didn't have a fit for my Sanger. I wouldn't hesitate to own one of their trailers.
Old     (pennery)      Join Date: Jul 2006       07-16-2012, 1:04 PM Reply   
The Brakes on the Boatmate are from UFP I believe and are the same on MOST of the boat Trailer brands. At least they were the same on the Extreme as well as the Boatmate. Its a pretty simple system once you know what you are dealing with...

I would get your dealer to give a quick call to Ryan Trailers for a price quote.. I was very happy with that trailer as well.. They are based out of Oregon so quite a bit closer than Boatmate.
Old     (gcombe)      Join Date: May 2007       07-17-2012, 2:13 PM Reply   
Originally Posted by jasonba1 View Post
boatmate is the only way to go in my opinion
x2 3.5 years later had an axel fail. the replaced it and the fender for free.
Old     (geterdone)      Join Date: Oct 2005       07-17-2012, 3:25 PM Reply   
Boatmate. Mark Gibbs is the man. Call him with any questions you have yes he will answer or call you back. Customer service!
5 year warranty!
Old     (ixfe)      Join Date: Aug 2008       07-17-2012, 5:42 PM Reply   
I have had three trailers. After two CTW's (which is what MB uses), I now have a Boatmate. I am a lot happier with the Boatmate. The CTW's were "fine" but I wasn't aware of what I was missing until I got the Boatmate. It has taught me to be more picky about trailers in the future.

You are right to ask about the reputation of a trailer company. But I think the little touches and features that you find on the actual trailer are just as important. For example:
  • Does the trailer have side steps that run from behind the fenders all the way to the back of the rails? Many just put a little triangle step back there.
  • Does the prop guard have casters or wheels? I have seen some inboard trailers without casters and I think to myself, "What a dumb thing to skip."
  • Does the trailer have brakes on both axles. My CTW's did not... the Boatmate does! It makes a big difference.
  • Does the trailer have fully boxed frame? I have seen brand new inboards riding on open framed trailers. Yuck!
  • Does the trailer come with built in boat buckles?
  • Does the trailer have a Fulton F2 jack? By the looks of the trailers at your dealer, they do not.
  • Does the trailer come with an upgraded Fulton F2 winch? Or did they go with something that looks like it belongs on a fishing boat.
  • Does the trailer have LED lights?
  • Does the trailer have a nice coiled wire harness with the 7-pin adaptor all built in?
  • Does the trailer have backlit logos on it?
  • Does the trailer have alloy wheels? Or did they cheese out and go with steel?
  • Does the trailer company offer a variety of plus size wheels options, as well as wider fenders to accommodate those wheels?

Everything I listed there is what you'll find in Boatmate. Not so on my past trailers. And who knows about the small trailer company your dealer is using...??

There is only one reason I can think of that a dealer would go with something other than Boatmate (which is the factor Malibu trailer, if I'm not mistaken)... and that is to save money. That's okay if the quality and features are equal or better. But too often I see that strategy resulting in inferior trailers. Dealers think most of their customers won't notice something as boring as a trailer anyway. Wrong!!

Buyer beware.
Old     (polarbill)      Join Date: Jun 2003       07-17-2012, 6:22 PM Reply   
I have a question for you trailer savy people. Is a boxed frame trailer really better? No matter how they are made fully boxed frames are going to get water inside. I could be wrong but is the steel inside the "box" painted/coated with anything to prevent rust/corrosion? Even if there is I am not sure I really like the idea of a steel trailer that can let water in and can get trapped inside of. A C channel trailer or whatever the other style is would seem to avoid these problems. Especially if you put in salt water at all. A C channel frame there is no place for water to sit and the entire trailer can be coated/painted. Now I won't dissagree with boxed trailers being much nicer looking.

Also, what are everybodies thoughts on torsion axles vs leaf springs? I bring it up because Ryan trailers that is in Portland makes a very nice trailer and swears by leafs while everybody else claims torsions are better. Thoughts?

I use to sell Mastercrafts that had sportboat trailers and centurions that mostly had V/M trailers. I will say that the sport boat trailers towed much better and I really like the diamond plate fenders. Most of it had to do with the sport boat trailers having 4 wheel disc brakes vs the v/m having 4 wheel drum brakes. the drum brakes sucked and didnt' do anything. I towed X45's with my expedition and the trailer actually helped slow down my truck when stopping the 4 wheel disc brakes were so good.

If I got to pick my trailer for a boat I may go with a ryan strictly because it is more local to me and they seem to be good, solid, simple, well constructed trailers.

Here is Ryan's list of comparisons and positives of their trailers. Not sure what makes sense and what is just opinion.
Old     (dougr)      Join Date: Dec 2009       07-17-2012, 7:28 PM Reply   
Every new boat I have had was a boat ate and the last two have been crap. Bad breaks bent bunk holders. Poor wood on bunks. Bolts falling out I hate them all. Trailers are poor at best. Get a custom made the way u want it
Old     (saberworks)      Join Date: Sep 2010       07-18-2012, 9:24 AM Reply   
Brett I've got a VM trailer under my V210 and it has drum brakes only on one axle. They work great and definitely help slow a lot. I'm sure discs are better, but maybe the drums you had weren't working right? I'm probably going to upgrade to discs when these get a bit older just because they have a reputation for stopping better and mine are only one one axle. Mine also has diamond-plate fenders (well, steps on top of the fenders).

I'm also definitely not into boxed boat trailers. I've seen too many fail (not wake/ski boat ones, as all the ones I've seen/used are channels). I'm sure they're nice for the first 5 years or so but I've never owned a boat/trailer that new.
Old     (gdavid)      Join Date: Feb 2010       07-18-2012, 12:04 PM Reply   
I guess I am probably an outsider but I fail to understand the love affair with fancy, custom painted steel trailers with custom low profile alloy rims that water sport boats tend to ride on.

I boat in a brackish area with most of the trailered boats being fishing boats. Galvanized and aluminum trailers are the norm and most boats have as few axles a possible because who wants to buy more tires and service more wheel bearings and brakes than they have to. Trailers are far more utilitarian than a fashion statement around here and they last 15-20 years without a major rebuild. I see guys on there talking about sandblasting and repainting/rebunking 5 year old trailers that have only seen fresh water, that is just crazy to me. And matching your truck and trailer wheels, really? I mean really? May as well make sure your lipstick matches your pumps.

Rant over.
Old     (saberworks)      Join Date: Sep 2010       07-18-2012, 1:41 PM Reply   
George, I just love the dual-axle trailers. They tow much nicer. No sway for me. They launch much nicer, too. Many of the ramps up here in WA aren't fully paved, they are basically ladders made of concrete, like this:

The problem is that sometimes some will settle more than others (esp down in the water) and thus there can be drop offs. The dual-axle trailers help to smooth this out and make launching and retrieving the boat a lot nicer.

I've also lost a bearing on a single axle trailer and that's a nightmare. I think you can limp to the nearest shop if you lose one on a dual-axle. Even if you can't, at least you won't drop one entire side and end up dragging metal.


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