Boat Doc Spe­cial

A com­plete road­side re­pair kit can save the day for trailer boaters.

Boating - - FEATURES -

Many boaters ad­here to the be­lief that if you carry a rain suit aboard, you won’t need it. But if you don’t take rain gear, it will def­i­nitely pour.

TTrailer boaters might ap­ply the same think­ing to on-road emer­gen­cies. Take ev­ery­thing you might need to deal with boat-trailer break­downs and hope noth­ing bad oc­curs.

Of course, break­downs do oc­cur on oc­ca­sion. When these hap­pen on re­mote roads, it can be tough to find the right parts and as­sis­tance. That’s when a road­side trailer re­pair kit be­comes valu­able.

Cat­a­strophic trailer fail­ures such as bent axles, bro­ken springs or cracked frames lie be­yond the scope of road­side re­pairs. Other mis­sion-crit­i­cal emer­gen­cies, how­ever, such as tire blowouts, burnt bear­ings and even toasted spin­dles can be re­solved with the right stuff.

TIRE IS­SUES

Blowouts and flats are among the most com­mon boat-trailer fail­ures, and that’s why a spare tire is es­sen­tial. In fact, on long-range trips, two spare tires make sense. If your tan­dem-axle trailer bangs over a deep pot­hole at the edge of the shoul­der, it is likely to af­fect both tires on the right side.

Some­times you can fix a flat us­ing a tire punc­ture re­pair kit such as the TireJect ($6.95, tireject.com). These are ef­fec­tive for punc­tures in the

3 tread up to / inch. If

8 a re­pair kit works, a 12-volt air com­pres­sor such as the Klutch 12-volt Heavy-Duty Tire In­fla­tor ($79.99, north­ern­tool.com) will get it aired up.

Slime of­fers a com­plete tire re­pair kit ($60.13, wal­mart .com) that in­cludes a tire punc­ture kit, spare valves, a tire air­pres­sure gauge, a can of Slime that you in­ject through the valve stem to seal the leak from in­side, and a 12-volt in­fla­tor.

JACK IT UP

Whether you need to change a tire or re­build the wheel bear­ings, you’re go­ing to need to raise the trailer to re­move the wheel. The scis­sor jack in your truck might not cut the mus­tard, so think about a spare bot­tle jack such as the 4-ton Hy­draulic Heavy-Duty Bot­tle Jack ($17.99, har­bor­freight.com).

Road­side boat-trailer re­pairs aren’t fun, but hav­ing the right parts and equip­ment, in­clud­ing spare tires, tire re­pair kits, jacks and lug wrenches, can help you get rolling again.

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