Choose Stainless Over Galvanized

QuestionI have an aluminum trailer and I need to replace a lot of U-bolts. What type of bolts should I use: zinc plated, galvanized, or stainless steel? The trailer is six years old and was used in Florida the whole time. The boat and trailer will now be used in fresh water in Michigan. I have read a lot of different information on what bolts to use on the internet, and I would like some help.

– Rich Weber, via

AnswerAlthough galvanized hardware will certainly last longer in fresh water (particularly as compared to salt water), my vote is for using good quality marine-grade stainless steel hardware.

One point to remember when using stainless steel hardware is that it should be tightened by hand only. Threads for stainless steel bolts, U-bolts, etc., tend to seize or gall when impact tools are used. For this reason, it’s recommended you use an anti-seize compound or thread lubricant during assembly. I also recommend you use nyloc nuts.


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