Buying a new boat is a lot different from buying a car, that is for sure.
You not only have to deal with going on the water, but you also have to deal with going on the road.
For many boat owners, a trailer is just something else to deal with. Tag, insurance, storage and more come with a trailer, so if you don’t need one, then why get one? That begs the question, do new boats come with trailers, and should you even get one?
Trailers Are Not Included For New Boats
The price you see for new boats does NOT include the price of a trailer. Though, there are special deals and manufacturers that may include the price of a trailer, we’ll go over that in a bit.
There are two reasons why boats don’t always come with a trailer.
- Not every boat owner needs or wants a trailer. They may have a place to keep their boat, like a marina, that will take care of all their needs and the boat owner will gladly pay boat repair shops for pickup from the water.
- The last reason why boats don’t always come with a trailer is price. The boat manufacturer can save a couple of thousands on the price of the boat if they don’t include the trailer. Not including the price also gives them the ability to even upsell you on better trailers if you need one, at least the dealership will try.
If new boats don’t come with a trailer, should you get one? Also, does every new boat not come with a trailer, are there boats that come with trailers?
Should You Get A Trailer For Your New Boat?
Since new boats don’t come with trailers, you need to decide if you should get a trailer for your boat.
If you want my opinion… if you have the space to store the trailer, then get the trailer.
It maybe a hot take by some to get the trailer even if you know you’ll never need it, but life happens. Here are only a few reasons off the top of my head, but rest assured, there are even more reasons to get a boat trailer.
- If you decide to sell your boat, having a trailer is a huge upsell and can help you sell your boat quicker.
- Boat trailers only go up in price every year, so when you do need one, you’ll be paying more in the future.
- A trailer makes it easier to work on or clean your boat.
- You can go to more places if you have a trailer.
- They hold their value so well you may not lose much money on the trailer when you sell (if kept in good shape). The used market for boat trailers goes fast as everyone thinks they don’t need one, until they do, then they overpay to get a beat up one.
- Boat trailers are simple and easy to fix.
- It’s a gray area, and I don’t suggest this, but I have used my pontoon trailer for other things besides my boat. When I needed 5 sheets of plywood, it was the only thing that could carry it. Again, I don’t suggest doing this.
- A boat trailer is perfect for long-term storage, especially over the winter.
- You can go in half on the trailer with family or friends who also have the same size and type of boat.
- The trailer often outlasts your boat, so if you buy the same style boat and length you can keep using the same trailer so long as you maintain it.
What Boats Come With Trailers
There are a few boats that come with trailers, either because of the manufacturer or the dealership.
One example is the Sea-Doo Switch, it has a custom-made trailer and the price is factored into the price of the boat. The Sea-Doo Switch is already priced nicely as it is, and it gets even better when you realize it includes the trailer.
You tend to see boat trailers being included for custom boats or special or even new to market boats. It’s not uncommon for cheaper or even fishing boats to include the price of the trailer, but it’s not always a guarantee.
Let’s not forget that boat manufacturers will run special promotions that either includes the price of the trailer or greatly reduces the price.
Lastly, the boat dealership may include the price of the trailer within their margins. You see this with a few dealerships whose customer base is most likely to always get the trailer, so they may as well work it into the numbers.
Who Makes Boat Trailers – In House Or 3RD Party
It’s more common for boat manufacturers to use 3rd party boat trailers for their line-up. Karavan is a huge boat trailer manufacturer and used by many manufacturers of boats.
Even the boat trailers that have the boat’s manufacturer logo on them are often just re-branded from the big boat trailer makers.
There are companies like Four Winns and Scarab that make their own boat trailers, which is a unique feature you don’t see often. This means the trailers are better balanced and made for that boat.
The honest truth is that it doesn’t matter too much. I rather have a boat trailer made to fit many boats than one boat, as I might get a slightly bigger boat or want to sell the trailer later.
How They Deliver New Boats To Dealerships
If you order a new boat from a dealership, then how does the manufacturer get the boat to the dealership?
All new boats are shipped by a semi-truck with a trailer that supports boats. The boats can be on a boat trailer or off the boat trailer, it doesn’t matter.
With no trailer, there are supports on the truck’s trailer that lock the boat in place, so it can be shipped anywhere on land. There is no benefit of having the boat on a trailer for the shipping, if anything it would be preferred as they can fit more boats on a load depending on the sizes of boats.
The dealership uses a large boat hoist to lift the boat off the semi-truck trailer. As someone who’s removed boats off trucks with these large hoists, I can say I prefer the boats that are on trailers. It can be a little nerve racking at times as the boats are tilted up or down and have to be lifted high to clear the truck’s trailer. Attaching to a boat trailer is easier than the boat itself; just an interesting tidbit.