To Trailer or Not To Trailer: 5 Important Questions

One of the best things about trailerable boats is the flexibility they provide. You can keep them in a marina or at a public dock, or you can tow them to the cruising or fishing grounds of your choice. If you want to try both, you can trailer for one season and then rent a slip for the next. The boating world really is your oyster.

To decide which option is best for you, ask yourself these five important questions:

Marina vs Trailering
1. Do you intend to spend most of your time on one body of water, or would you like to try different lakes, rivers and reservoirs?
Boaters with large vessels are limited to their home marinas, unless they’re on a big cruise. And then they’re limited by how far they can cruise in the vacation timeframe they have available. With a trailerable boat, however, you have the freedom to access any preferred launch spot, anywhere. In fact, for many people, a trailerable boat becomes an important part of the family during summer vacation. Think of that big cross-country road trip – and all the delightfully kitschy attractions that are just waiting for you to arrive.

2. Do you mind launching each time you use your boat, or would you rather simply cast off the docklines and go?
A marina slip certainly is hassle-free, and your boat always will be ready to go. If you’re trailering, you must consider congestion at the launch ramp, and factor in the time necessary for boat prep, transit, launching and hauling out.

Marina vs Trailering
3. Do you have adequate storage for your boat?
When your on-water adventures are done for the day, you want to have a safe, secure place for your boat. If you’re trailering, be sure that you have space in your garage or yard, or at a local storage facility. At a marina, not only will your boat have a slip for the season, likely you can arrange an offseason home as well. Most marinas have outdoor, warehouse or dry-stack storage available.

Marina vs Trailering
4. How important is a boating community?
Boaters naturally gravitate to other families, couples or groups who share their passion. If a boating community appeals to you, you might want to consider visiting marinas near you or near your favorite cruising grounds. If you find one that suits your personality and lifestyle, try it out; you might discover that it enhances your entire boating experience.

Marina vs Trailering
5. If you’re considering a marina, are you looking for a few essential amenities or a major social and educational outlet?
Some marinas offer just the basics — a protected slip, fuel, water, ice, a boating store and perhaps a fish-cleaning station. Others are veritable resorts. They provide amenities such as showers, laundry, picnic areas, outdoor grills and fireplaces, indoor lounges, water-toy rentals, swimming pools, and live music on weekends. Many also provide workshops, seminars, and fun social events like boat parades, barbecues, rendezvous cruises, Fourth of July fireworks and even Halloween trick-or-treating.