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How to Measure a Boat Trailer

how to measure a boat trailer

Indeed, boat trailers come in different sizes, so you must know exactly what size you need before purchasing one. Measurement of a boat trailer is important to ensure that it can safely and efficiently transport the boat.

Three key dimensions should be measured: width, length, and height, as they will help you determine if your chosen boat trailer can accommodate your boat and how much clearance is required when maneuvering it.

How to Measure your Boat Trailer

You only need a measuring tape to determine your boat trailer’s sizes.

Step 1: Measure its Width

The width of a boat trailer starts from the outside of one fender to the outside of the other. When measuring, make sure that you include any protruding accessories, like a bow or stern rails.

Typically, you will get a result of around 8 feet range.

Step 2: Measure its Length

The length of a boat trailer is the distance from the front of the tongue to the back of the trailer frame. This measurement does not include any bunks or extension arms.

To measure the length of a boat trailer, start at one corner and measure to the opposite corner. Be sure to include any tongue or drawbar.

You should also know that the maximum trailer length can vary from 36 to 60 feet, so the figure you get should probably fall into this range.

Step 3: Measure the Trailer Height

The height of a boat trailer is the distance from the ground to the tallest point on the trailer. This measurement should include any fender or accessory below the frame.

When measuring, use a level surface and measure to the highest point on the trailer. Do not include any tongue in your measurement.

Tips for Taking Trailer Measurements

  • To ensure that your boat and trailer are compatible, add at least six inches to each dimension when choosing a boat trailer. This will give you enough clearance when turning and maneuvering
  • If your boat has a motor, you will also need to factor in additional height for the propeller. When measuring your boat, be sure to consider any equipment that may be stored onboard, like fishing gear or life jackets
  • You can compare them to the specifications of your chosen boat trailer. If they match or are close, your boat will fit safely and securely on the trailer
  • If there is a large discrepancy between your measurements and the specs of the trailer, then it is best to find a different model that will better suit your needs

By taking the time to measure your boat and research different boat trailers accurately, you can be confident that you are choosing the right one for your needs. With the right trailer, you will be able to enjoy many years of safe and worry-free boating.

What size Boat Trailer do I need?

what size boat trailer do i need

There is no definitive answer to this question since there are many factors to consider when determining the size boat trailer you need. Some of these include the length and width of your boat, the type of boat you have, and how often you plan on using the trailer.

However, you can follow some general guidelines to help narrow down your search.

  • The first thing you’ll need to do is measure your boat. This includes taking into account the length, width, and height of your vessel
  • Once you have these numbers, you can start looking at different boat trailers that will accommodate your vessel. It’s important to remember that longer and wider boats will require a bigger trailer
  • If you’re unsure about what size trailer you need, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and go with a larger size
  • Another factor to consider is the type of boat you have. Heavier boats will need a sturdier trailer that can handle the weight. Conversely, lighter boats can be towed behind smaller trailers
  • If you’re not sure about the weight of your boat, it’s always best to consult with a professional before making your purchase
  • Finally, you’ll need to think about how often you plan on using your boat trailer. If you only use it occasionally, you might be able to get away with a smaller size
  • However, if you plan on using it frequently, you’ll need a larger and sturdier trailer to accommodate your needs

What Equipment is Required to be on a Boat Trailer

A few things are required to be on a boat trailer for it to be legal.

  • First, there must be two functioning brake lights
  • Second, the boat trailer must have working tail lights
  • Third, there must be reflectors on both the front and back of the trailer
  • Fourth, the boat trailer must have a license plate light
  • Fifth, the boat trailer needs working turn signals
  • And lastly, the boat trailer needs to have a breakaway switch

All of these things are important and required by law in most states.

A boat trailer needs several basic pieces of equipment to tow a boat safely. These include:

  • A trailer ball mount attaches the trailer to the ball on the tow vehicle
  • A hitch receiver is located on the tow vehicle and provides a place for the ball mount to attach
  • The trailer wiring harness provides power to the lights on the trailer
  • Brakes: The trailer must have brakes that can be activated by the tow vehicle
  • Tires should be properly inflated and in good condition
  • A light kit is required when towing it at night
  • Reflectors: At least two reflectors must be placed on the rear of the trailer


Choosing the right boat trailer can be a daunting task, but it’s important to do your research and find one that fits your needs. By measuring your boat, considering the type of boat you have, and thinking about how often you’ll use the trailer, you can decide which model is right for you.

And remember, all boat trailers must have several basic pieces of equipment to be legal. So, before hitting the open road with your vessel in tow, make sure your trailer is fully equipped and ready to go.

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