Are aluminium boat trailers better than steel?

In this article, we will answer the following question: Are aluminium boat trailers better than steel? We will discuss the main differences between aluminium and steel boat trailers, and explain the pros and cons of both types. 

Are aluminium boat trailers better than steel?

Many consider aluminium boat trailers better than steel, and we can see why.  All aluminium trailers are made of metal, except the axles and hitch. This makes them more durable.  They are more expensive than steel trailers and have a higher resale value even after years of use. Also, aluminum trailers are lighter than steel ones and can be towed easier. 

Please see the table below where we highlighted the main differences between aluminium boat trailers and steel trailers. 

Comparison pointsAluminium boat trailersSteel boat trailers
WeightLess than about 20%. An advantage on the overall weight is obtained from 35% to 45% on the hulls and from 55% to 65% on the superstructures.Heavier and less versatile and resistant like aluminium. Requires a more powerful tow truck for towing.
SpeedGreater speed and lower consumption.Lower speed and higher consumption.
MaintenanceAluminium is easier to weld and model, obtaining very detailed hulls.It cannot be welded and requires a mould.
RepairsVery easy to repair the damage, normally it is enough to repair with simple hammering, otherwise it is possible to cut and replace the piece.Repairs are genrally very expensive because it takes a long time.
LifespanIt lasts many years, and is resistant to shocks and corrosion, compared to fibreglass and steel hulls.Very fragile and a bump is enough to compromise the safety of the boat trailer.
SafetyAluminium is not a flammable material, so it is safe.The boat trailers are in some cases treated with a very flammable resin, in the case of open flames, this will burn easily.

Aluminum vs galvanized steel boat trailers

The difference between aluminium and galvanized steel is obtained by comparing the properties of the two. Aluminium is a metal that has all the attributes of metal: ductile, corrosion-resistant, flexible and a good thermal conductor. Aluminium is also weather resistant and can be machined, thinned into wire and sheet, or welded.  Aluminium makes alloys with other metals, and aluminium alloys are known for their lightweight and economical properties. 

While galvanized steel is obtained, carbon steel is dipped in molten zinc which adheres to the steel like a thin film. Steel is an iron alloy, known for its strength and used as a building or building material. It can corrode and to make it anticorrosive, the process of galvanizing the steel is necessary. An Italian, Luigi Galvani, invented this process to protect steel from corrosion and rust with a zinc coating.

The process of galvanizing carbon steel produces various effects, which facilitate the manufacture of various parts of industrial objects. It is available in different forms. Galvanized steel is also used in the construction of housing frames, truck and bus bodies, household appliances, electric towers, metal buckets and various other items essential to our daily use.

Aluminium has a low density, which results in a greater heat exchange compared to galvanized steel. In various industrial devices, aluminium is preferred over galvanized steel due to its increased performance and low weight. The low density of metal helps to become a better thermal conductor. 

Regarding the weight, aluminium over galvanized steel gains Its quality, lightness, efficiency in heat transfer, cooling and defrosting properties, as well as economic advantages, make it a better material than steel.

Aluminium products are also preferred over galvanized steels due to their antibacterial properties and easy to clean nature, especially where food is involved. Compared to hard and smooth aluminium surfaces, galvanized steel surfaces are porous and rough; they can trap and accumulate bacterial growth and contaminate food processing.

Galvanized steel is the ideal material to use for industrial processes involving caustic soda and potassium hydroxide because galvanized steel has a zinc film resistant to mild alkaline solutions; more than aluminium. 

Aluminium and galvanized steel are compatible with each other and adjacent to each other on the galvanic scale. There are many aluminium structures with galvanized steel exteriors built over the past fifty years.

Boat Trailers: How to Choose the Right Trailer for Your Boat

When buying a new boat or pontoon, the trailer you are going to tow it with often takes a back seat. You focus on the size, power and features you need to make your summer dreams come true. The boat’s trailer is relegated to the background.

But not all trailers are created equal. Pick the wrong one and you’ll have a harder time on the road and with the launching you need.

  1. Trailer length: It’s simple, the length of your boat determines the length of the trailer you need.
  1. Trailer weight: Each trailer has a maximum weight. This value takes into account the total weight of your boat, equipment, engine, fuel, and whatever else you will be carrying. We recommend that you take into account a margin of 15% to be sure to respect the maximum authorized weight.
  1. Types of axles: There are two types of axles: single axles and double axles, both available from Legend Boats. Single axle trailers are lighter and therefore more fuel-efficient. They are cheaper to buy, easier to move and easier to maintain.

Two-axle trailers support more weight and provide more stability, making them safer on the road.

  1.  Trailer brakes: If your boat and trailer have a combined weight of 3,000 pounds or more, the Department of Transportation requires your trailer to be equipped with brakes. The trailer brakes provide great assistance during sudden stops and help prevent jackknifing.
  1. Structural support: The trailers are optionally offered with side sides and/or rollers. The side sides provide better support on the surface of your case. The rolls are much easier to load and unload.

Conclusions 

Your boat trailer can be aluminum or galvanized steel. Aluminium is lighter, cheaper, and a little less likely to oxidize. But the differences are subtle. It’s a matter of personal choice.

What would you prefer: an aluminium or steel boat trailer? Let us know what you think or if you have any questions!

FAQ on Are aluminium boat trailers better than steel?

Which is stronger: steel or aluminum?

Steel will hold about 4 times more impact than aluminum. Steels: are heavier than aluminum, they are also more resistant. Raw steel has the disadvantage of rusting so it must either be protected or made stainless.

Is aluminum a type of steel?

Aluminium is a very light metal with a specific density of 2.7 g / cm3, or about a third of that of steel (7-8 g / cm3) or copper (8.96 g / cm3).

Which steel or metal is stronger?

The hardest and most well-known metal is steel. Combined with stainless steel, it can be even more resistant. You can find guardrails in Alsace entirely made of these materials. Certain aluminium alloys are also very resistant, especially to deformation.

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