Harbor Freight boat trailer

For anyone who can't afford a Trailex trailer or for whatever reason opts for the cheap alternative from Harbor Freight. I replaced the tires and rim that came with the trailer with two from West Marine. I also added two brackets and changed the bunks to 6 foot 2x4's covered with bunk carpet from West Marine. I just completed a 1400 (approximate) mile trip towing my Skerry on this trailer from Fort Myers, Florida to St. Joseph, Michigan. I kept my speed at between 65 and 70 mph and had absolutely no problems at all. One thing that worried me was the lightness of the trailer and load so I bought a large roll of bubble wrap and some packing tape. I wrapped my cutout but unfinished rudder and daggerboard parts. I have two 14 foot cypress boards I'm going to use for my mast which I wrapped and laid across the three seats.  I had a bunch of other things, Dremmel tool box and everything was wrapped in bubble wrap. All in all I probably put maybe a hundred pounds in the boat.  I bought a roll of that thick plastic drop cloth , not the blue tarp kind, the semi clear kind, draped it over the boat and cut it just below the top plank around the hull. I fastened this with clear packing tape and a 1/8" line under the rail pulled tight. Then I bought a roll of that stretchy packing wrap (the kind like thick Saran Wrap) and went around, over, under and all over the boat. I finished this off with a closely spaced "X" pattern all over the boat with the ends of each piece of tape secured to the second plank down. I also have a bronze bow eye on the boat secured to the trailer and straps across the whole thing fore and aft. Ran into a terrible storm just South of Atlanta on Tuesday evening but everything made it safe and dry.  

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RE: Harbor Freight boat trailer

Sounds good.  One thing though.  Do you immerse the wheels in saltwater when you launch and, if so, are the wheel bearings sealed?  I was riding with a friend years ago when a wheel bearing on a homemade trailer failed and the wheel went bounding down the interstate.  It was fortunate that the runaway tire didn't hit anything before bouncing into a nearby pond.  Almost wrecked the boat on the trailer, though.


RE: Harbor Freight boat trailer

   I've never dunked the trailer, salt or fresh and because it is painted steel rectangular tubingand I don't think it would last long if I did, so I just back it to the water but not in and pull the back of the boat into the water then lift the front down. I'm pretty sure the tubing isn't coated on the inside at all.  Really no reason to dunk the trailer with such small light boats anyway. The trailer came with their version of Bearing Buddies which are pressed metal, not cast, with a zerk fitting for grease.  They seem to work well enough but like I said, I wouldn't test it under water.  Before the trip I went to West Marine to replace the Chinese lights and wiring that came with the trailer and found their lights are exactly the same, "made in China" and all.  Harbor freight sell a replacement light package for about $20 and West Marine gets about $40 for the same thing, same quality (or lack of quality, depending on how you look at it).

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