Coatings Used to Prevent Salt Water Corrosion on Boat Trailers

by Jonita Davis
The trailer contacts the water each time the boat is launched and retrieved.

The trailer contacts the water each time the boat is launched and retrieved.

Corrosion is a reality among saltwater boaters -- one that you can prevent only with extreme care. The boat’s trailer is a forgotten component that often corrodes first. It contacts the water each time the boat is launched and then removed from the water. The saltwater splashes up into the undercarriage of the trailer, causing a great deal of corrosion damage that can prevent your trailer from going anywhere. Fortunately, there are coatings available to prevent corrosion on the boat trailer.

Salt Repellent Compounds

There are a few specialty compounds created to repel salt from the boat trailer while it is in contact with the salt water. The solutions connect to the garden hose and can be sprayed onto the boat trailer’s nuts, bolts, bearings and other vulnerable parts. Some salt repellants come as a wax-like material that is applied every two to three months. A thick coating is said to last six months. Bob Stearns of Trailer Boats Magazine suggests coating the vulnerable parts with lubricants that are normally know to loosen rusted bolts and quite squeaky hinges. The spray lubricant also creates a coating that protects the parts of the trailer by repelling the saltwater. It must be applied before and after a trip into the water however.

Stainless Steel and Galvanized Coatings

Galvanized steel and stainless steel components are already resistant to corrosion and are the best materials for a boat trailer. Order hub caps, hinges, bolts, nuts, bearings, fasteners and other hardware that are galvanized or stainless steel.

Coatings to Avoid

Paint is one coating that actually increases the rate of corrosion as the saltwater reacts to it over time. Avoid trailers that are painted if you boat is used in salt water.

Preventive Maintenance

An effective and inexpensive coating that must go onto your boat trailer after every boat ride is fresh water. Spray the trailer thoroughly with water from you home garden hose, almost immediately after leaving the salt water. This method only works if you live or store your boat a few minutes away from the sea. The fresh water washes the salt away before it can damage the trailer. Replace rusted parts before they ruin other parts of the trailer as well.

About the Author

Jonita Davis is freelance writer and marketing consultant. Her work has appeared in various print and online publications, including "The LaPorte County Herald Argus" and Work.com. Davis also authored the book, "Michigan City Marinas," which covers the history of the Michigan City Port Authority. Davis holds a bachelor's degree in English from Purdue University.

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