Our Search for an Affordable Boat Trailer
...and what we learned in the process
Oh, the days of boat trailer hunting... how I do not miss them in the least! Buying a boat with a trailer may be more expensive, but it definitely has it's perks (for instance, you get to keep your sanity). Luckily- FINALLY!- we did find a trailer that suited our needs for our Tanzer 22.
In our situation, we needed a trailer that we could drive on the road as necessary (although we don't plan on taking it long distances). We are also dry-sailing out boat year-round, so the trailer is its permanent home when we are not in the water. Thus, we needed something quite sturdy and reliable.
As you may know, trailers are often built specifically for specific boats. So going on a search for a trailer to haul our Tanzer 22 was not easy in many regards. We were also on a bit of a timeline, since we needed to get our newly purchased boat from one location to another by the haul out date in October (we had about 2 weeks in total).
The things we needed to find in a trailer were as follows:
- Single Axle: We needed to find a sturdy single axle trailer mostly because of all the maneuvering we have to do at our sailing club (as I said before, we are dry-sailing the boat, and will need to bring it from its 'parking spot' to the crane on a regular basis)
- The right size (and load bearing capacity): We needed the trailer to have dimensions specific to our boat. This is somewhat of an obvious point, however, we did come across in our search a couple trailers that in theory would have been the right size, but not the correct load bearing capacity. So, it was important to check the specs carefully (according to the manufacturer, a Tanzer 22 weighs approx. 3,000 lbs)
- Ability to go a longer distance: We did find some trailers in our search that would support the boat, however, they were more yard trailer style and thus would not be wise to transport our boat on regular roads. The sailboat needed to travel about 60 km (40 miles) on its first journey to Toronto, and we wanted to be able to tow it in the future as needed. Some kind of road suspension was a must!
With these specifications, it was near impossible to find a trailer in a short amount of time (without a boat attached... one is enough for now, thanks!) If money were no object, we could have sprung for a new one, but that would have been well over $3,000.... 3 times more than what we paid for the boat. That was not a possibility!
Finally, we found something online that we were hoping would work. With our fingers crossed, we did the measurements. It was a trailer that was made for a Shark 24, a similar sized keel boat. We couldn't find ANYWHERE online where someone had put a Tanzer 22 on a similar type of trailer. It was quite nerve wrecking to make this purchase without knowing for sure that it would work, since we bought it used (read: nonreturnable!) But luckily, it all worked out. And now we feel better knowing this information is now out there in cyberspace, in case someone else happens to find themselves in the same stressful predicament!
Since we hadn't quite realized the trailer would jump in price from the expected $250 to $800 (which is still an amazing deal, considering the other options out there), Angie's parents chipped in as an early Christmas gift to help with a large part of the cost. The only stipulation that was given was that Don (Angie's step-dad) got to name the trailer... so it will be sporting the name 'Wing Nut' in the near future! We are very grateful for their generous contribution to this important purchase.
Here are a couple pictures below of our wonderful new trailer, that we hope is with us for a long time.