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SUBJECT: # 13349: Trailer fixed with a welder - opinions?

Submitted by okeespec from GEORGIA on 6/22/2009 1:31:00 PM

I had a near disaster a few weeks ago. My trailer is a steel trailer and 9 years old. It began to rust through on one of the beams that runs near the tongue and back. The trailer is a tandem axle and supports a 2000 Nitro 901 with a 200 merc.


The machine shop I took it too took two flat sheets of steel and molded them to either side of the beam. They then welded flat pieces across the top and bottom spaced out about 8 inches apart. He said he felt good that the trailer should last at least a year, maybe two. Has anyone ever had a repair like this before and would you feel good about towing your boat with this set up?


Thanks.


Craig


  1. 6/22/2009 2:58:00 PM Submitted by Jeff Hahn from OH says Welding a trailer
    Craig: I suspect that your trailer will last another year with the repair. However, consider this...what happens if it doesn't hold? What happens if you it breaks when you are on the road while you are towing? And, what happens if when it breaks it causes an accident in which someone else is hurt? Will the jury in the civil suit believe that you took proper precautions and were not acting negligently in towing a boat with a defective trailer?

    Maybe I'm too cautious, but I wouldn't risk hurting someone else or the civil penalties, and the associated financial problems, that might result if that happens. Do yourself a favor and buy another trailer. But, this time buy a trailer that will last the life of the boat, rather than another Nitro trailer from Bass Pro.

    Jeff Hahn


  2. 6/22/2009 4:26:00 PM Submitted by MikeF from FL says weld will last
    But I doubt if the rest of the trailer will. Listen to Jeff and bite the bullet now. The cost will be the same and you won't spend the next year waiting for it to break.


  3. 6/23/2009 9:15:00 AM Submitted by okeespec #11158 from GA says Great opinions . . .but
    If I had the money to buy a new trailer now I would. They want $2000 at BassPro to replace that trailer. They told me it was a customer trailer. Obviously I don't know much about trailers. Does anyone know about replacing a Nitro trailer with a different brand?


  4. 6/23/2009 9:27:00 AM Submitted by MikeF from FL says where in Georgia
    There are plenty of companies that make boat trailers. The only thing custom about a trailer is the position of the bunks. For $2K I would expect either galvanized or aluminum.

    Your trailer failed because it's a bad design; why would you want to buy another one from them?


  5. 6/23/2009 9:29:00 AM Submitted by CS175 #13967 from VA says You can use another trailer
    Knew a guy that had his trailer for a Tracker Avalanche (same manufacturer as Nitro) replaced with a Shorelander brand trailer - not the brand original to the package (Trailstar, I believe). The important part is making sure the bunks line up for your boat. Any trailer dealer that sells boat trailers should be able to hook you up. That said, $2K doesn't sound too high for a trailer. Probably worth shopping around. Also, I believe the new trailers from Trailstar for Nitro are "galvashield" - that is, galvanized trailers with paint. So make sure you compare apples to apples.

    Might also be worth checking out Craigslist or your local listings for a used trailer in better shape than your own.


  6. 6/23/2009 9:58:00 AM Submitted by RobShaw from VA says Youre lucky
    I bought a brand new Nitro off the showroom floor in 1994 and in early 1995, I found my hull resting on the concrete floor of my garage!

    I had that trailer replaced with a galvanized trailer from a local salt water boat dealer...and then I sold that entire rig to my brother in Mississippi.

    IMO, galvanized is the way to go. I already feel like Im on borrowed time with my 2008 Boatmate painted steel trailer beneath my Allison.


  7. 6/23/2009 10:20:00 AM Submitted by Jmac #10965 from AR says CS175, I think "galvashield" might be one of those BPS words........
    that makes you think it is galvanized, but it is really not. I was looking at one of their aluminum boat catalogs a few months back and could not find anywhere it actually said galvanized. I am not questioning you, but, like you, just wanted to make sure okeespec is comparing apples to apples. I would definitely go with another brand if I had kept the boat inside and BPS was not offering any kind of warranty discount.


  8. 6/23/2009 10:30:00 AM Submitted by FreeOnBoard from TX says Depends on the type of construction
    From your deion of the repair and from my limited contact with Nitro trailers, it sounds like it's made with tubular material. In which case, like Mike said, that weld may be the strongest part on the frame. By the time it rusts through at one place, you can be sure the rust has made good progress everywhere else inside the tubing; trouble is, you can't see how far it's gone. If that trailer frame is mostly open channel, then you might be able to repair a few weakened tubular members with some confidence.


  9. 6/23/2009 1:59:00 PM Submitted by jbz7 #13144 from MA says a little bit about galvashield...
    http://www.nitro.com/about/custom-boat-trailers.cfm

    Yes they are galvanized inside and out.


  10. 6/24/2009 2:27:00 PM Submitted by Fisherboy #10852 from MD says $2K is a deal

    I havn't been able to find a new trailer under $4K for my boat.

    If the welder, knew what he was doing, the weld will out last the rest of it for sure. I would go over the rest of the trailer with a fine-tooth comb. If it rusted in one spot, chances are it's thinner than it should be in other places.

    Another option might be to replace the whole forward section of the trailer if the rest of it is in good shape.

    I'm repairing my trailer over the July 4 weekend and have some welding to do, fortunately, the only thing I need to do is weld a fender support and replace the sheet metal on a step. After I do the grunt work, it's going to Line-ex.


  11. 7/9/2009 8:52:00 PM Submitted by gmbj #13057 from OH says Trailers
    I have a 2005 Skeeter with a EZ Loader trailer. Is my trailer galvanized? I always thought the trailer should last the life of the boat, and Ive seen alot of older boats out there still being used. Its bad enough that I have to put new tires on my trailer every couple of years but now I need to worry about my trailer breaking in half. Maybe I should have taken up golf, but its not as much fun.


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