What is a Trailer Jack?
These jacks are attached to the front of your trailer and do the job of lifting your boat. Most are fitted with a manual jack that is raised and lowered by cranking an arm. Most are equipped with wheels where the jack meets the ground. This gives you the ability to move the vessel short distances without attaching it to the trailer ball of a towing vehicle.
Jacks can also be used to regulate the height and angle of your boat. This can be helpful when storing your vessel to ensure that water runs to the back and out of your drains. Most are locked in place by pins and are swung out of the way once attached to your vehicle; others are simply raised high enough to not interfere.
Types of Jacks
These are attached with bolts to the tongue of your trailer and feature a wheel on the bottom. A swing jack swings upwards once it is connected to the tow vehicle. This ensures the jack won’t interfere when towing your vehicle. They are usually equipped with a ground wheel. These wheels have 360-degree swivel abilities and allow you to move most boats by hand. They max out at about 2,000 pounds of weight capacity.
A fixed jack does not swing away once attached to the tow vehicle and is often welded instead of bolted to the frame. They must be raised to a height that won’t interfere with the ground while towing your boat. Because of this, they require more cranking than swing-away jacks. Most fixed jack options come with a simple plate that contacts the ground. They do have a higher tongue weight capacity than swing-away options
A power jack uses the towing vehicle’s battery to raise and lower the jack. These are nice because they don’t require cranking, but there are several drawbacks. They require a power source to operate and rarely come with a wheel and are also prone to corrosion in saltwater environments.
Which Jack is Right for Me?
Choosing one is simple, but it is important to get the right jack for your vessel. Getting a jack brand that has the correct tongue weight rating is imperative. Failure to do so could result in the failure of your jack. To estimate the approximate tongue weight of your trailer, take 10% of the total weight.
So, if your boat and trailer weigh 4,000 pounds total, your jack should be able to support at least 400 pounds. Always err on the side of additional capacity; it’s much better to have a jack that’s a little too big than one that’s a little too small. If you find yourself wanting to move your trailer while off the vehicle, make sure your jack has a sturdy wheel to help roll it.
These winches attach to the bow of your boat via a strap or cable when loading and allow you to pull it forward onto it until it contacts the bow roller. Once it is seated, the winch locks it in place. Like jacks, the proper winch goes a long way in the ease of loading. A winch also uses a cranking arm to give you leverage while loading.
Manual vs Electric Winches
Powder-coated bolts are used in highly visible areas where hidden bolts are needed. By changing the color of the bolt, it is less likely to be seen. Powder coating also adds increased corrosion resistance to the bolt.
There are several available colors to help find the perfect match for your hull or deck.
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