Tackle Trailering Better

Posted: November 1, 2012

By: Zuzana Prochazka

I’ve been trailering boats for years, and it seems nothing much has changed. Are there any new trailering products on the market?
There have been a number of improvements over the years, especially in the quality of trailer braking systems and frame construction (weight/strength ratios), but those changes are not always readily apparent. Here are some more-tangible recent innovations that can be added to trailers for better performance or appeal.

Check out the Fulton F2 winch, which has a completely enclosed and ergonomic design. The handle can be configured for left- or right-handed drive and is fully adjustable from 6 to 9 inches to balance torque, speed and clearance. Single- and two-speed models are available with 600-, 2,000- and 3,200-pound capacity.

'LED lighting is everywhere these days, and it’s easy to add safety or bling to your trailer. New lights from manufacturers such as SeaSense and Wesbar consume less power, put out less heat, are very bright and come in a variety of colors as single lights or light strips. Lighting for some uses is waterproof and DOT approved.

Safety items include backup cameras, so you can see where your trailer is for easy hitch alignment. Master Lock’s easy-to-install camera kit plugs into an existing tow wiring outlet. There are no batteries to recharge, and the monitor plugs into the 12v auxiliary power plug on your dash.

A convenience item is the Bow Step by QualityMark, which is a mini-ladder to get you onto the bow of your trailered boat quickly and easily. No more wading in to step on the trailer wheels. You can also climb right up even when the boat is in your driveway. The Bow Step mounts to the ttrailer, where it rides out of the way even when you’re towing.

Finally, another convenience item from QualityMark is built for the single-hander. The Rope-A-Boat system has been billed as the “catch-and-release system for you boat.” The kit is a system of ropes, catches, connectors and an electric winch with a remote control that is designed to catch and hook your boat while you drive it onto the trailer. It aligns the boat even if you’re not perfectly straight and winches the boat up without power loading.

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