Having a boat is fun, but you need something to haul it to the water. For that, a durable boat trailer is your best bet. However, many new boat owners have no clue about the cost of boat trailers.
We have researched this topic and show everything you need to know about the pricing of boat trailers and more.
What is the average cost of new boat trailers?
Depending on the size, type, and make, the average price of a new boat trailer is starting at $600 to over $8,000. The price of a boat trailer depends on its gross weight carrying capacity, material, design, and size among others.
Here’s everything you need to know in order to get the best deal on a boat trailer.
Now, there are different trailers for various hull designs and weight specifications. In most cases, people buy the trailer along with their boat.
But over time, you may want something more durable or buy a bigger boat and need another trailer for easy transportation of the boat.
In that case, it helps to know the typical cost of a new boat trailer and the different types on the market.
Price examples for 7 common boat trailer types
- Single Axle Boat Trailer
- Tandem Axle Boat Trailer
- Tri-axle Boat Trailer
- Personal watercraft trailers
- Kayak or canoe trailers
- Submersible/Float-on Trailers
- Roll-Off Trailers
1) Single Axle Boat Trailers
The cost of a single axle boat axle can range from $700 to over $3000.
A small-sized trailer that can haul a 10’-14’ boat can cost between $700 to over $1500.
Factors such as weight capacity, size, accessories such as brakes, and material (steel, aluminum, galvanized metal, painted) and more influence the price.
Different manufacturers also offer single axle boat trailers at different prices. One such type from Continental Trailers costs $1,595.
For single axle boat trailers that can accommodate 16’-21’ boats, you may have to cough out $2000 and above. In the 23’-25’ category, boat trailers can cost upwards of $2000 to $4000 for heavy-duty boats.
For example, BTM Trailers offers a Super Heavy Duty pontoon trailer that can handle 23’ to 25’ pontoon boats at $2,875.
2) Tandem Axle Boat Trailers
Tandem axle boat trailers are more expensive but can handle bigger and heavier boats better.
For boats of 18’ to 25’ long, a new tandem axle boat trailer can cost $1500 to $5000 and above. These are perfect for larger and heavier boats used by families and fishers.
For example, the 2019 BTM Trailers T-24 for 23’-25’ boats costs $3,755 while the 2019 Venture Trailers Alum Tandem axle boat trailer for 25’-27’ boats costs $5,495.
3) Tri-axle Boat Trailers
For heavy-duty boat transportation, tri-axle trailers are the best option. These trailers can cost upwards of $5000-$8000 or more. Most boat owners may not need this trailer as most people buy compact-sized watercraft they can tow with their private vehicles.
A tri-axle requires the powerful torque of heavy-duty diesel engines to reach its destination.
4) Personal Water Craft (PWC) Trailers
If you own a PWC like a Jet Ski, you can get a miniature single-axle trailer that costs between $500 to over $2000 based on the material and weight capacity.
For example, the SEAMAX Portable Boat Hand Dolly Set with 16” Wheels sells for only $499 on Amazon while CONTINENTAL CARGO’s Jet Ski Trailers go for $1,699.
In fact, you can make your own PWC trailer with easy-to-get materials from your local hardware store.
5) Kayak or Canoe Trailers
A trailer that can carry a single kayak can go for $600-$2000.
Models designed to bear more weight can cost up to $5000 or more based on the design, durability and maximum carrying capacity.
6) Submersible/Float-on Trailers or Roll-off Trailers
All the aforementioned boat trailers can be submersible or roll-off.
The main distinction between the two regarding price is that roll-off trailers cost about 20 percent more than float-on trailers.
However, the former is easier to maintain although they can be difficult to use for a new person.
So if you wish to buy the float-on trailer, remember it’s more maintenance intensive because it gets into the water more often, especially if you dunk it in saltwater.
5 Additional Cost of Owning a Boat Trailer
When you buy a boat trailer, you often need to buy the following accessories although some trailers come with the standard.
1) Trailer Hitch
Most trailers will come standard with a hitch to mount it to the towing vehicle. But if you are buying a hitch, a standard model can set you back by up to $200-$500 or more depending on the make and quality.
2) Spare Tire
Many boat owners do not think highly of a spare tire for their trailer, and this can leave them in a tight situation if they suffer a flat one on the highway.
Keep a solid $500 for the spare tire, the bolt-on spare tire carrier, a U-bolt, and straps to secure it tightly while on the move.
3) Side-View Mirror
You also need extended side view mirrors for your boat trailer because its bulk increases your blind spot.
Most models cost $100-$500 based on the design, quality and make.
4) Breakaway System
This system will stop the trailer if it detaches from the vehicle and can cost between $10-$50 dollars.
5) Towing Vehicle Costs
Towing a trailer puts a lot of strain on the engine, radiator, cooling system and overall integrity of the towing vehicle.
Depending on how far you tow your boat and the frequency, your vehicle may need more maintenance, become less fuel efficient and ultimately have a shorter useful life.
To prevent any unpleasant experience, it’s better to tow your boat with a vehicle that has a towing capacity that exceeds the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the trailer by several hundreds of pounds.
This way, the trailer will have little to no effect on the vehicle’s health.
5 Factors that Affect the Price of New Boat Trailers
Several factors can include the price of a boat trailer including:
The bigger the trailer, the more expensive it becomes.
The size of a trailer is measured as the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR). This rating is the maximum weight you can move with the trailer including the boat hull, engine, gear, fuel and others.
If you are looking to cut cost on the trailer after spending a fortune on a boat, don’t.
Most people learn the hard way after buying a smaller-sized trailer as it becomes difficult to handle the weight on the road.
Go for a quality trailer that can handle the weight of your boat with ease.
2) Number of Axles
Boat trailers can be single, twin or tri-axle based on the boat and the amount of weight they are designed to carry.
One-axle trailers are the most affordable and are easier to maintain but have lower GVWR.
Multiple axle trailers are more expensive, need more maintenance but deliver exceptional handling and balance on the road, especially if you own a large watercraft.
Trailers can have frames of galvanized steel, aluminum or painted metal. The most expensive trailers have an aluminum frame because the material is lighter, more durable, and offers higher corrosion resistance.
However, galvanized steel is also sturdy, highly corrosion-resistant but heavier. Galvanized steel is ideal for saltwater but you also need to spend more on hull maintenance.
Painted-steel trailers degrade quickly in coastal waters and are best used for freshwater.
The wiring can also affect the price of a trailer. For saltwater use, get a boat trailer with tinned-copper wiring to reduce the effect of corrosion.
You may also need to install chafe protection at locations where the wires are exposed in the trailer.
5) Launch System
Roller trailers cost more than float-on trailers but they also require less maintenance since they are out of the water most of the time. However, roll-on trailers may not be compatible with pontoon and stepped hull boats.
Float-on trailers are more affordable but may require more maintenance because you drive them into the water to launch the boat.
Should You Buy a Used Boat Trailer?
Buying a used boat trailer might seem like a good idea, but it’s difficult. And the reason is simple.
Nobody with a good boat will sell their trailer except they are selling the boat.
Except for cases of boat theft, hardly will you find a boat owner who will sell the trailer without the boat.
If you are lucky to get a pre-owned boat trailer, it may not fit your watercraft the way you want. You grapple with maintenance issues such as the braking, tires, lubricant, and others.
It’s better to buy a new boat trailer that fits your boat perfectly. If you don’t go for a boat trailer package, then find a custom trailer that will enhance the value of your boat.
Getting a boat trailer is difficult. You have to worry about the cost, design, maintenance, and other factors. But the price you pay for a top quality trailer is worth it.
It allows you to move your boat anywhere you like, store and maintain it at home and avoid the cost and uncertainties of the marina.
We hope that this article has been helpful in shedding more light on buying a new boat trailer.
Morten is the founder of GoDownsize. He has filmed and interviewed people living in tiny houses and RVs since 2011. He grew up on the coast where his dad took him boating from a young age. He has completely rebuilt two RVs in which he travels with his family for months at the time. Read more about Morten here.