Built to last a lifetime
More and more people are replacing their galvanised steel boat trailers with aluminium. The advantages are aluminium does not corrode like steel, can withstand salt water and is lighter - reducing overall weight for towing purposes.
The majority of aluminium trailers these days have been custom built to suit the vessel’s hull. MSC Fabrication in Rockingham has designed its premium trailer to suit the local LeisureCat brand of fibreglass boat.
The MSC trailer is manufactured to carry 4.5 tonnes and all trailers come fully welded using heavy duty aluminium.
Most big cat owners drive their boats on to the trailer when retrieving the craft at the ramp so the trailer is designed with special guide rails with nylon skids throughout its centre length.
Once the boat is in position at the end of the trailer, there is nowhere else for it to go but up and along the cradle designed to fit the twin hulls when the power is applied.
A heavy-duty braking system is used plus the tyres are rated to 1250kg each. Aluminium rims to suit six-stud Land Cruiser hubs are used plus a 70mm coupling and LED lights.
The 50mm steel axles are treated with an anti-corrosion industrial coating which is also applied to the suspension gear.
MSC director Darren Geurts said the company uses heavy duty aluminium for strength.
“Plus we can reinforce it when required, ” he said.
“We will measure the hull of the boat plus the location of the rib frames and chines and then customise the aluminium frame so that the vessel sits into the cradle, avoiding any points where flexing of the boat skin might occur.
“When the boat is locked into the bow chocks at the front it becomes part of the trailer, adding to its rigidity when you are travelling along the road.
“Cost wise, a custom-built aluminium trailer will be dearer than galvanised steel but you have no corrosion issues and it will last forever.”
The nylon skids are also used when building aluminium trailers to suit mono-hull vessels.
The boat and cradle can be moved forwards or backwards so the correct weight is applied to the vehicle’s tow ball. This makes towing safer and balances the vessel to assist with launching and retrieval.
© The West Australian