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On: Fri, Jul 18, 2008 at 12:25PM | By: BoatUS

Few boat owners or anglers with fishing boats think about their boat trailers until something goes wrong. But this out-of-sight, out-of-mind attitude unfortunately leads to problems that a little planning and attention could have helped prevent. Mike Pellerin, director of BoatU.S. Angler, which offers both on-the-water and on-the-road assistance to its members, says that even the best boat trailers, without regular maintenance, may develop problems due to the stresses caused by rough roads and owner neglect. In 2007, the BoatU.S. 24-hour dispatch centers reported the top five reasons for boat trailer service calls and their frequency of occurrence: · Flat tires (44%) · Bearing problems (20%) · Axle problems (14%) · Suspension problems (9%) · Tongue problems (5%) Does this mean today’s boat trailers aren’t well made? “Boat trailers are better than ever,” said Pellerin. “However, because they are constructed so well, boat owners tend to overlook things such as checking tires for wear and forgetting to grease wheel bearings. Driving over the unavoidable rough patches and potholes contributes to early trailer or tire failure.” Many national roadside assistance clubs do a great job helping stranded motorists. But when it comes to boat trailer breakdowns, boaters need to know that their “auto” club may not be their best option because boat trailer assistance often isn’t included. When that happens, boats are left stranded on the side of the highway while their owners seek help. However, most such auto/RV clubs will provide boat trailer assistance for a small additional premium. So will most auto/RV insurance providers, as well as the four major marine emergency/tow programs from BoatU.S., Sea Tow, Vessel Assist, and NBOA. A little extra paid now can prevent a huge expense and a whole lot of hassle later. Whether you buy an assistance program or not, the best thing to do is provide regular inspection and maintenance of your trailer just like you do your auto and other vehicles. From BoatU.S.


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