Trailers, Aluminum vs galvanized

Discussion in 'Boat Yard Basics' started by firecat1981, Jan 9, 2011.

  1. firecat1981

    firecat1981 BBA Counselor

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    Well lets hear them pro's and cons. I need to buy a new one in the next few months for my boat build, last one was only 3 weeks old when it was hit by an SUV. It was a galv. steel magic-tilt. I can buy a new MT steel trailer for about $900, for about $600 more I can get an aluminum magic-tilt. I know the obvious corrosion resistance issue aluminum is well suited for, but I remember hearing something about electrolysis between the galv. steel tongue and the aluminum trailer frame. Looking for any real insite. Also worried about theft as aluminum is pricey stuff these days.
     
  2. cvilt

    cvilt I Love microskiff.com!

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    I had a Continental Aluminum trailer under my Montauk that was 6 years old and is now my buddies. The only thing that needed replacement was the leaf springs that became solid. :-?. I think torsion springs would be better.
    If you can spend the $ I recommend the Aluminum for salt water.
     

  3. cvilt

    cvilt I Love microskiff.com!

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    Firecat after reading your post and realizing your in Lakeland I don't know if you fish fresh or salt. Steel trailers have lasted along time for me in fresh. When buying aluminum look at the hardware there are some rolling around with rusty nuts and bolts.
     
  4. Brett

    Brett > PRO STAFF <

    If you sink your trailer to float your boat and you fish salt,
    then an aluminum trailer is probably your best choice.
    But if you set your trailer up properly, only the tires get salty,
    and then a galvanized steel trailer will be the bargain.

    [​IMG]

    If you only fish fresh, then a painted steel trailer will be fine.
    However all trailers have to be inspected regularly.
    The fasteners, rims, hubs and springs, don't always hold up as well as the frames.
    Aluminum trailers have to be watched closely due to galvanic corrosion.
    Steel fasteners through aluminum frames will corrode out
    and you may find yourself losing your trailer at speed while towing.
     
  5. firecat1981

    firecat1981 BBA Counselor

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    Brett as always you have what I'm looking for. This is exactly what I've heard of, and seen pictures of (Aluminum I-beams rotting away...). I do fish saltwater mostly, and rinse everything after each dunk. I have been dunking the trailer due to shallow ramps and my trucks low hitch mount, however I'm seeing that the less expensive aluminum trailers still use galvanized hardware (bolts axles....). Since the frame is usually the last thing to rust out I think I'll be sticking with galvanized. All the trailers I'm looking at have a 1200lbs and up rating and come with torsion axles and sealed bearings. Anything bad about the torsion axle or sealed bearings, I'm nervous about not having bearing buddies... :-/
     
  6. Brett

    Brett > PRO STAFF <

    Sealed wheel bearings have been around for years. Heavily used in the automotive industry.
    One detail to be aware of, they are not air tight. The seal is there to keep grease in and dirt/dust out.
    You need to talk with a trailer tech to get more information.
    I use standard wheel bearings as I don't mind pulling, cleaning and repacking them.
    Never had a torsion axle trailer, that info will have to come from someone else.
     
  7. mark_gardner

    mark_gardner I Love microskiff.com!

    ok take a look at bretts pic then imagine less tire in the water and the very tip of the bunk just slightly touching the water and thats what my continental a.s.1616 looks like when launching or loading the boat, with the bunks that close i drive up with ease never even thinking of getting my feet near the water much less getting the bearings, lights, or torsion axle wet at all  ;) and being how its an aluminum trailer with stainless hardware it may very well be the last trailer i ever have to buy  :p ;D
     
  8. firecat1981

    firecat1981 BBA Counselor

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    I was thinking about a continental this time if I go galvanized, but last time I checked there prices jumped alot for aluminum. I was going to buy the trailer from outcast again since they were the cheapest I could find within reasonable driving distance. Last trailer turned out pretty well so we will see. I'm just more nervous about the sealed bearings then the aluminum now. heres a link to the trailer I'd be getting. The size is over kill but the price is right. Does anyone know of any other place I can get a trailer like this for this price range?
    one I'm looking at is the ALS161700
    http://www.outcastwatersports.com/trailer_inventory.html
     
  9. noeettica

    noeettica Well-Known Member

    If I touch salt I rinse well as you do ...

    I am a cheap 'N good kind of guy

    With a Flat Economy you should be able to find a" Killer" deal on a used Galvanized trailer ...
     
  10. firecat1981

    firecat1981 BBA Counselor

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    I've run the used route before, I'd rather buy new, especially since I'm replacing a trailer that was only 3 weeks old. I may just buy a galv trailer again and save the cash for my next build in a few years ;)
     
  11. mark_gardner

    mark_gardner I Love microskiff.com!

    get a hold of nate (forum memeber preseverance sp??) and tell him what your looking for and i'm sure he'll guide you to a local dealer (he's a rep .for cont.trailers ;)) i might have spent more than on a gal. trailer but i gotta lot of trailer for my money, all l.e.d. lighting, spare tire and aluminum rim mounted on a quick change hub plus the other tires are on aluminum wheels with torsion axles and quick lube hubs. like i said, i might have spent a lil more but in the long run i have a trailer that will serve me a long long time and its a super sharp trailer as well, i have no regrets :cool:
     
  12. swaddict

    swaddict Thread Killer

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    I would choose aluminum if financially feasible, I believe some are powder coating the galvanized trailers (or another type of finish). I feel in the long run an aluminum trailer will last longer and hold it's value a little better than a galvanized trailer.
     
  13. paint it black

    paint it black Paddling away...

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    I got my aluminum trailer for $1200 new.

    I say aluminum.
     
  14. lilredfish2

    lilredfish2 Well-Known Member

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    The trailer that I bought new in 1986 a "Boatmaster trailer" by JDCI enterprises, Inc. 12301 Metro Parkway, Ft. Meyers FL 22912 (239-768-2292) came  packaged with a 18' Ranger CC.  The Ranger is long gone, but this trailer is still my favorite.  All aluminum with exception of the galvanized tire rims, axel and hubs, hub bolts and springs and spring mounts.  The entire trailer is put together with stainless steel bolts.  I have completely disassembled it and painted it with "Rustoleum" just to keep it "purty".  I have not experienced any galvanic corrosion, but just a little white dusting from the salt.  Needless to say, the trailer has had numerous bunk mods to make it my gheenoe hauler.  Once a year I pull the hubs, clean, inspect and repack the bearings as this trailer freguently goes over the hubs when launching!
    [​IMG]
     
  15. firecat1981

    firecat1981 BBA Counselor

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    I'm listening ;)
     
  16. mark_gardner

    mark_gardner I Love microskiff.com!

    $1200 sounds like an amazing deal :eek:, i would like to compare it side by side to mine just for shirts and giggles ;D
     
  17. levip

    levip I Love microskiff.com!

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    fire cat pick up a boat trader and look in the back theres TONS of adds for aluminum trailers in there i called around about 2 years ago and got a quote of $1300 for a 21' dual axle with one axle brakes 4000 lbs capacity for my mako 19 the company i got the quote from was miami trailer they told me on the phone that they ONLY use stainless fasteners
    its a buyer market and while its been a few since i priced em but 1300 seems pretty high for what your after even for the aluminum
     
  18. firecat1981

    firecat1981 BBA Counselor

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    Levi when i was pricing them out a year ago a decent aluminum trailer was anywhere from $1700-2500. However I just got a call back from a local custom trailer shop here and they said it would be about $1200 for what I want. So it looks like I'm going with aluminum.
     
  19. levip

    levip I Love microskiff.com!

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    see ... buyers market, aluminum has gone WAY down since the begining of the recession
     
  20. mark_gardner

    mark_gardner I Love microskiff.com!

    heres a pic i shot this afternoon before loading my sled :D, you can see how much tire is in the water and ive got more to go till the rim gets wet, the bunks are just a inch or two above the water and i can easily drive the boat up no problem at all , notice the position of the taillights also mounted on custom brackets i fabbed up :cool:
    [​IMG][/img]
     
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