So you’re looking at buying a second hand boat. You have your check list ready – is the hull ok, does the motor turn over, does the interior have any rips or scratches, but what about the trailer? Do you have a check list for that? Most people don’t even think about looking at the trailer, as long as the wheels are on and it has rego the trailer must be fine – Right? Wrong.

There are a number of things that should be checked before buying a second hand trailer. Let’s start with the obvious:

  • Are the lights attached and working?
  • Do the rollers move on the trailer/
  • Are the skids in good condition?
  • Is there any cancerous rust in the frame (rust that has eaten through the metal)?
  • Is the axle rusted out?
  • Are the rims and tyres in good condition?
  • Is there any play in the bearings?
  • Has the trailer ever been in an accident?
  • Is the trailer plug and wiring in good condition?

And if the trailer has brakes:

  • Does the brake adjuster move?
  • Is the brake cable rusted out?
  • Do the callipers move?
  • Is there plenty of pad left in the brakes?

Thirdly, to make sure you can get the trailer registered in your name:

  • Make sure the current owner can provide you with registration paperwork for the trailer (even an old out of date rego form is fine)
  • Make sure the details on the rego paperwork are identical to the details on the trailer and the trailer’s compliance plate (usually located on the neck of the trailer)
  • If there is a number plate on the trailer leave it on (even if it is from interstate)
  • Check there is a VIN number on the trailer – again usually found on the compliance plate and can also be stamped into the chassis – usually on the neck of the trailer.
  • Check the trailers registration (NSW only) online :

Repairs on a boat trailer can cost well into the thousands so keep that in mind when you’re negotiating a price on a used boat. If you would like to know more about repairs to trailers, contact BOLD Trailer And Caravan Repair Centre on 8544 0493.