Boat trailer

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An empty boat trailer

A boat trailer is a trailer designed to launch, retrieve, carry and sometimes store boats.

Commercial boat trailers[edit]

Commercial hydraulic boat trailers are used by marinas, boat yards, boat haulers, boat dealers and boat builders. Generally this type of trailer is not used for storage of the boat.


Self-propelled boat movers are not trailers in the strictest sense of the word. They are hydraulically operated boat movers, with their own tractor unit. They share all of the features of hydraulic boat trailers.

Non-commercial boat trailers[edit]

This type of trailer is usually used by the boat owner/operator. The trailer is also used for storage.

  • Roll-on, also known as a "Roller style trailer", uses rubber and/or polyurethane rollers for ease of launching and loading a boat.
  • Glide-path, also known as a "Float-on" style trailer allows the boat to float onto the trailer; after trailer has been partially submerged (usually ​34 of the trailer). Since its inception it has become quite popular v.s. the "Roller style trailer".

See also[edit]

  • Boat dolly, a device for launching small boats not suitable for towing.


  • Henkdel, Steve (1991). Boat Trailers and Tow Vehicles, A User's Guide. International Marine Pub. ISBN 0877422907.
  • Skorupa, Joe (2006). Chapman Trailering, The Complete Guide to Pulling, Parking, Launching, & Retrieving Your Boat. Hearst Books. ISBN 1588164594.
  • Michalak, Jim (2002). Boatbuilding for Beginners (And Beyond). Breakaway Books. ISBN 1891369296.