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How to Lock Boat Trailer

how to lock boat trailer

Locking up your boat trailer is important to prevent theft and keep your investment safe. If you own a boat, you’re going to need to know various methods you can use to secure it when you store it away or dock it somewhere. In many cases, the combination of different locking devices will simply dishearten the thieves.

In this blog post, we’ll show you how to lock up your boat trailer so you can rest knowing it is safe.

How to Lock Boat Trailer

1. Use a Sturdy Chain and Padlock

The most important thing to remember when locking up your boat trailer is to use a sturdy chain and padlock.

Make sure the chain is long enough to wrap around the trailer’s frame, and the padlock is strong enough to dishearten thieves when they come close.

Indeed, along with a study lock, you should find a solid object to secure your boat. Find a large tree, a post, or anything else that is sturdy and won’t budge to prevent thieves from being able to tow your trailer away with ease.

2. Install a Hitch Lock or Tongue Lock

For an extra level of security, install a hitch lock. Just be sure to read the instructions carefully, so you can install its two parts correctly and secure the boat.

Indeed, this type of tongue will cost you a bit more than usual types of boat lock, but the heavy-duty devices will be worth your investment, especially when you dock your boat near somewhere not that safe.

3. Invest in a Security System

If you want to step up the security of your boat trailer, invest in a security system, like an alarm system, motion-sensor lights, and cameras.

As you sync the system with your smartphone, it will be easy to track the location of your boat. Having a security system will help to ensure that your boat trailer is as safe as possible.

4. Use a Pull Cord Alarm

You might encounter this type of alarming device used in medical settings to monitor vulnerable patients. The nice thing is, you can use it to warn you about potential threats towards your boat, like someone moving from where it should stay put.

It is compact and battery-operated, thus super convenient when we are just moving from one place to another when boating.

How do you Secure a Small Boat to a Trailer?

secure a small boat to a trailer

There are a few different ways to secure a small boat to a trailer, you can choose one or simply use two methods to ensure that your boat is safe.

1. Using Tie-Downs

The most common way to secure a small boat to a trailer is by using tie-downs. There are several different tie-down types, but they all work in essentially the same way. The tie-downs attach to the boat at various points, and then they’re tightened down so that the boat is held firmly in place.

Some things to keep in mind when using tie-downs:

  • Make sure that the tie-downs are made from durable material that won’t break or stretch
  • Inspect the tie-downs regularly to make sure that they’re still in good condition

2. Using Winches

Another way to secure a small boat to a trailer is by using winches. Winches work similarly to tie-downs, but they’re generally more expensive and require more setup time. They’re also not as common, so not all trailers will have winches installed.

  • If you do decide to use winches, there are a few things to keep in mind
  • Make sure that the winch is rated for the weight of your boat
  • Be careful when using the winch, especially when tightening the cable. Always wear gloves and be cautious when handling the cable, as it can easily cut through the skin

3. Using a Cradle

A third way to secure a small boat to a trailer is by using a cradle. A cradle is essentially a metal frame that the boat rests in, attached to the trailer. Cradles are generally the most secure option, but they can also be the most expensive.

They’re not common, so not all trailers will have cradles installed. If you do decide to use a cradle, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Make sure that the cradle is rated for the weight of your boat
  • Be careful when using the cradle, especially when moving the boat in and out of it. Ensure that the boat is properly secured before moving it to avoid damaging the boat or the cradle


When you’re not using your boat trailer, it’s essential to take precautions to keep it safe. Lock your boat trailer with a sturdy lock to deter criminals from taking it or damaging it. Choosing among these simple methods or incorporating several of them can help you rest easy, knowing that your boat is protected.

Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for properly attaching and securing any type of locking device of the boat to the trailer.

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