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A guide to trailers

You’ve got a beautiful boat however, you’re not sure what to do with it.
A marina or mooring is the best choice for large boats. However, for boats up to, say, 25 or 26, it is possible to store your boat on a trailer could be a very viable option. Small vessels, RIBs and dinghies can easily and securely be stored and transported using a properly constructed trailer.

So , what are the advantages and disadvantages of a trailer?


Let’s start with the cost. A good, new, trailer for a 16 foot boat costs about PS2500. Marina berthing costs usually are about this, however, you must pay them each year. You’ll earn 100% on your investment when you save the marina fees. That’s a great financial incentive.

It is simpler to repair your boat at home rather than to visit the marina. I know from bitter experiences that when you go down to the marina, it is often that you don’t have the right tool with you to finish the job

It is not necessary to maintain your boat on the water, and you can provide it with freshwater after each excursion. This will help keep the hull in top condition. It also means that it is not necessary to spray antifoul on the hull, which is another year of financial savings.

You can bring your boat with you wherever you want. All you require is a suitable ramp or slipway. There are many across the nation, and the public ones are offered free of charge.


Of course, you’ll require four things – a boat small enough to be trailed, the trailer itself and a vehicle capable of towing the trailer and boat, and finally, a place (on your driveway or elsewhere) to keep them. If you don’t have the above then a trailer is not feasible.


The right size trailer to fit your boat is essential.

A trailer is typically suitable for any type of vehicle from a small sailing boat to a large yacht that is 25 to 26 feet. They are not suitable for deep-keeled sailing vessels. Although you can get trailers to move small deep-keel boats but it’s more costly than hiring ramps. Additionally, the crane is more expensive, making any savings negligible.

The weight and size of your boat determine the size of the trailer you require. The LOA (length overall) as well as any outboards should be considered.


The weight that is relevant is the weight of the vessel dry, as well as the weight of freshwater, fuel and blackwater on board and all the other ‘essential’ bits and bobs that are crammed into boats. Twin-axle trailers might be needed for heavier boats.

If the total weight of the trailer is not more than 775 kg, or half of the towing vehicle’s weight, brakes aren’t required. The rules are complex.


The most important thing to consider when choosing a suitable trailer is adjustability. It should be able to fit the boat you are using. This requires a variety of components.

The rollers will be able to adjust to the profile of your boat as you load it.

Indespension trailers accomplish this using their swing axle system to ensure that any alteration in the bow-stern dimension are completely covered. (see photo). The change in the portstarboard dimensions (i.e. the angle of the keel) is covered by the pivoting of the arms of the rollers (see photo). This swing axle design was developed by the Indespension trailers (see video below). It is a key feature in their boat trailers.

For better adjustability for greater flexibility, the main parts must be connected to the frame with U-bolts. This allows you to quickly adjust the dimensions by unscrewing the nuts, shifting the U-bolts, then tightening them again. Indespension is focusing on completely bolted trailers. The bolts are rectangularly shaped to conform to the shape of the part instead of being ‘U-shaped’, but they’re still referred to as U-bolts by all! This gives you the ability to adjust them and also the ease of replacing damaged components.

Boat manufacturers may try to sell you trailers once you buy the boat. This is all well and good however there’s a caveat. The trailer is typically designed just for that type of boat and typically does not have any or limited adjustment capabilities. What happens if the purchaser decides not to buy the trailer after selling their boat? The trailer could be unusable. We recommend you buy one with a wide range of adjustability such as the Indespension range.


You have your boat. You have the right trailer. You now require a car or a towing vehicle.

Most cars can take tow bars at the rear. Notable exceptions include Porsche 911s, as well as some other cars that are specially designed. The towing capacity of a car is defined by the manufacturer. It’s sometimes referred to as the ‘gross train weight’, and may be in the owner’s manual or even on the VIN plate on the car. It is essential to calculate the total weight of the trailer, boat and any other boating paraphernalia you plan on putting into the boat.

You should confirm whether your specific model has the required towing capacity.


The trailer hubs are subject to continuous immersion in sea water. They become corroded due to this! Indespension has two excellent solutions. Indespension has two excellent solutions The brake flushing kit lets you quickly flush saltwater out using freshwater and their hub-savers safeguard your hubs.
Pretty Colours

A brightly painted trailer may lure you. Our advice? Don’t be. Saltwater can wash away even the most durable paint particularly if it’s damaged or scraped. An all-galvanized trailer, such as those offered by Indespension is the most suitable option. A painted trailer can appear more attractive, but it will only last for a short time.


The weight you are able to tow is determined by the time you pass the driving test for your car. If you passed the test before or after the 1st of January 1997, you can:

You can drive a van or car up to 3,500kg maximum authorized mass (MAM) towing trailers up to 750kg MAM

to pull a trailer that weighs more than 750kg in MAM so long as the combined MAM of the trailer and towing vehicle is not greater than 3,500kg

The maximum weight of a vehicle when loaded is referred to as MAM. You must pass the driving test if you want to tow anything heavier.

It is possible to drive a vehicle with trailers that weighs up to 8.250kg MAM if you have passed your car exam prior to January 1997. For more information, visit the Government website.

When purchasing a trailer, the primary factors to consider are weight, size, cost savings and complexity of the rules. You will then be able to have fun sailing by ensuring you have all of these things right.

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