Wheel Chocks and Cinder Blocks : Storing Your Boat On A Trailer
When it comes to long-term storage for your vessel it can be helpful to pull your boat out of the water and consider trailer storage. This cuts down on the constant corrosion that your boat might be subjected to if left in the brine and it can also save money on harbor costs.
Overall, saving money is something we all like so what is the best method of boat storage when using a trailer? There are distinct advantages to wheel chocks versus taking the wheels off and blocking up your trailer. This article is intended to help you decide which boat trailer storage method is right for you.
Without any delay, let's jump right into things!
If you haven't decided which trailer to get we have an extensive article on bunk trailers and roller trailers. Once you have that decision out of the way you'll need to determine the duration that your boat will spend out of the water. If you're looking at a month or longer you'll probably want to go with blocking for your boat trailer. Before we get into instructions on blocking your trailer we'll go over the advantages that come from using wheel chocks.
Wheel Chock Advantages
You might choose a sturdy set of wheel chocks for your boat trailer if you plan on moving it anytime in the foreseeable future. The mobility and ease of use is a great advantage to a set of good wheel chocks. You can slip them in and out to hold your trailer in place or set it loose in a matter of seconds. Of course that ease of use also means that thieves can do the exact same thing.
Trailer Block Advantages
Tire rot and flat-spotting on your tires is a real possibility if you leave a trailer sitting for months at a time. This happens even faster when you've got the weight of a boat on top of that trailer. To preserve your tires it is a wise idea to put your trailer on blocks when it isn't being used. This also deters boat theft since it will be that much harder to simply roll your boat away.
Blocking Your Boat Trailer
Now that you've been explained just some of the benefits offered by putting your boat trailer on blocks you might be wondering about the best way to go about pulling it off. Luckily we've got a step by step guide that will lay out every step and all the tools required.
- Floor jack
- Four adjustable jack stands
- Lug-nut wrench
- Solid lumber for support under jack stands
- Wheel chocks
- Chain and shackles
The first part of getting your boat trailer on blocks is to pick a spot where it won't need to be moved. Avoid overhangs that might dump snow or rain onto your boat. Ensure that all points where the jack stands will sit are stable and level. You can then chock the wheels, disconnect the tow vehicle, and level the trailer with the tongue jack.
If your trailer has a leaf-spring suspension system then support the axles by chaining them to the trailer frame with an even amount of slack on each side. Make sure you're not running them across any brake lines or wires which might end up getting pinched and destroyed when the chains are tightened. Torsion-axle suspension systems can skip this step entirely.
Raise the trailer with the floor jack and place the jack stands in order to remove the tires using the lug-nut wrench. You might need to use those lumber blocks listed above in order to get sufficient height. Ensure that the trailer is kept even and store the tires once they're removed and, voila, you're blocked up for as long as required.
One of my favorite parts about having my boat out of the water is the ease of access to any part that needs maintenance. You can inspect your brakes, bearings, lights, and remedy any corrosion that might be developing. You can easily apply marine sealant or marine polish to anywhere they might be needed.
While it might be easier for some people to simply replace an entire set of tires, the vast majority of us aren't made of money and will need to repeat this process dozens of times. It's relatively simple and you'll find that the 3 hour time investment is massively worth the money saved. You might even find yourself enjoying the process after doing it a time or two. The skill ceiling is relatively low and it's a great thing to know how to do all by yourself!