Ask Barry: Is Your Trailer Ready for Winter?


Barry Paulsen breaks down the process of getting an important, but overlooked, piece of boating equipment ready for the cold weather ahead.

It’s getting chilly in the midwest, northeast and northwest. The time for fall joyrides has passed, and while some of us like to pack up and head south, this is the end of the season for many boaters.

For those of you who have to wait out the winter freeze, you probably have a checklist to tick off to prepare your boat for safe storage. Winterizing your boat is really important, and we’ve covered it before. However, the rest of your boating gear could use some attention, too.

One piece of equipment that could use some maintenance is the trailer. During the year, your trailer gets a rinse, a few shots of grease and a tire pressure check. That sounds pretty sufficient, but regular old wear and tear can take a toll. Every couple years, we recommend you put your boat in a slip. Not only can you take care of your hull this way, now you can access all areas of your trailer as well.

Check your bunks. Is the carpet in good shape? Are there any scratches in the gelcoat or paint? If you have rollers, make sure those parts are intact as well. Look over the whole trailer for rust, corrosion or anything that just doesn’t look right.

With the bunks, paint and rollers intact there are a few more checks you need to perform. How are your lights and wiring? Are there any electrical components that are exposed? That could be dangerous for you when you’re handling the trailer or for drivers behind you when your brake lights and signals don’t show up. If you have brakes on the trailer itself, how are they? Are the tires and axle in good shape? Remove the tires and inspect the hubs. A little touch up and cleaning as needed can go a long way.

Now your trailer and boat should be ready for winter. If you have a need for last second tips about winterization, check out Discover Boating. Also, take a look at our partners for great holiday boating gifts and deals!

Happy Holidays!

Want to ask a question for the next edition of Ask Barry? You can contact Barry at or call 916-712-7500.

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