Aluminum vs. Galvanized Boat Trailer: What is Better?

For boat-owners, trailers are an important addition to their boats. It serves the purpose of carrying goods or fish from one place to another, and opens the door to business opportunities.

Historically, steel trailers are the oldest manufactured trailers for boats, used extensively all across the globe. In the 1970s, aluminum trailers brought strong competition to the trailer market. Steel trailers are prone to rust and corrosion problems, which were overcome by aluminum trailers.

But, with the arrival of the Galvanizing technology, the rust and corrosion problems of steel trailers are minimized. 

Galvanized trailers are steel trailers protected by a layer of zinc-coating to minimize rust and corrosion. Now, it is a tough ask to choose a suitable trailer to purchase. The boat-owners are confused with the question, Aluminum Trailer vs. Galvanized Trailer: Which is Better? Here we will compare these two boat trailers to aid you find the suitable one for yourself.

Aluminum vs. Galvanized Trailers: Comparison Chart

Both Aluminum and Galvanized trailers are in high demand in the boat-trailer markets. Both of them have some advantages and disadvantages. So, it is a tough ask for buyers to choose the better between them.

To understand the trailers better, here we form a comparison chart between the two trailers right below.

Aluminum TrailerGalvanized Trailer
Aluminum Trailers are made with 95% aluminum alloy.   Galvanized Trailers consist of a protective zinc-layer on the steel alloy.
It is very effective in protecting against rust and corrosion.Galvanized Trailer also provides effective protection against rust and corrosion. 
Aluminum Trailers are lightweight. Galvanized Trailers are heavier than the Aluminum ones. 
It provides better payload capacity.It provides less payload capacity than the Aluminum ones. 
Aluminum Trailers are more expensive to purchase.Compared to the Aluminum ones, Galvanized Trailers are less expensive to purchase.
Aluminum Trailers are more economical to fuel usage.Galvanized Trailers are less economical in fuel usage.

Difference Between Aluminum and Galvanized Boat-Trailers:

Most aluminum boat-trailers are made with aluminum alloy, having 95% aluminum. The rest 5% includes composed copper, titanium, and zinc. This composed alloy makes aluminum trailers stronger.

On the other hand, Galvanized Trailers consist of a coated zinc layer on the steel alloy. As steel is generally stronger than aluminum, the Galvanized Trailers are believed to be stronger than Aluminum Trailers.

Here we will compare some aspects of Aluminum and Galvanized boat trailers right below.

Weight and Payload

Steel is a heavy iron alloy. On the other hand, aluminum is a lightweight and flexible alloy. For this reason, steel or galvanized boat-trailers are heavier than aluminum trailers.

The lightweight aluminum trailers benefit in many ways. For example, lightweight aluminum trailers will give you better payload capacity. You can carry goods of heavier loads than galvanized trailers. Because galvanized trailers take up a lot of weight themselves. For this reason, they can carry less goods than their counterparts.

Stresses and Tears

Galvanized Steel trailers are heavier and stronger than the Aluminum ones. So, it is difficult to bend these trailers with heavy loads. They offer you years of heavy-load transportation. Galvanized trailers give you utmost durability.

Similarly, Aluminum trailers offer excellent longevity. It is because aluminum trailers are more flexible than their counterparts. Though they can be bent with heavy loads, they will be more likely to bend back to the original shape because of the flexibility. For the same reason, aluminum trailers can endure more stresses and tears.  

As for the stresses and tears, both galvanized and aluminum trailers offer you strong resistance. Any one of them will give you years of untroubled services.

Rust and Corrosion

The biggest advantage of Aluminum boat-trailers is their rust-free nature. It is the primary reason behind their domination on the market.

The main purpose of galvanizing steels is to minimize the rust. The zinc-layer, coated on the steel, prevents the metal from corrosion. So, Galvanized Trailers are somewhat rust-free. But they can never be as efficient as the Aluminum trailers in preventing corrosion.

The boat-trailer owners are more concerned with the corrosion problem. If their galvanized boat-trailers are damaged by something in the water, and the protective galvanized layer is removed, then the rust will find its way in the trailers.

So, if you are concerned with rust and corrosion, an Aluminum trailer should be the one to choose.

Repair and Maintenance 

It is difficult to undertake the repair work of an Aluminum boat-trailer. Welding aluminum is not a piece of cake. It takes expert and well-trained workmen. 

For the Galvanized boat-trailers, the repair work is a bit easier. While repairing, you must be careful with the galvanized layer. As a damaged galvanized trailer can welcome the corrosion.

To keep the trailers in good conditions, you need to use them properly. Though the aluminum repairing is a bit more difficult, you do not necessarily need to repair them very often. To keep the aluminum trailers in good condition in the water, shining bright, you need to douse them with acid every couple of years.

Cost

Aluminum is a better building material than most of the counterparts. Likewise, Aluminum boat-trailers are more expensive than Galvanized boat-trailers. 

For this reason, budget boat-owners prefer to purchase Galvanized Steel Trailers. But, Aluminum Trailers are worth the money, meaning that they can serve you better in a bigger sense.

After 3 or 4 years of service, Steel or Galvanized Trailers look worn out. The trailers become damaged due to stresses and salty waters. During the years, you need to undertake lots of repairing work. You need to take care of the galvanized layer. It costs a lot of money for the maintenance of Galvanized Trailers.

On the other hand, Aluminum Trailers do not require frequent repairing. It endures stress and tears, maintaining a better condition. To make the Aluminum Trailers shine bright, you only have to douse it with acid every couple of years.

Resale

Finally, for the resale, Aluminum Trailers’ owners get more value. It is because Aluminum boat-trailers are more proven in the water. It offers more advantages compared to the minor disadvantages.

After getting years of service from a Galvanized Trailer, you won’t get much value while reselling. Over the years, it loses its strength and condition.

Aluminum vs. Galvanized Boat-Trailers: Which to Buy?

If you have read this far, you know that both Aluminum and Galvanized boat-trailers have their advantages and disadvantages. Now, as a boat owner, you have to decide which trailer will meet your purposes best.

Aluminum Trailers are more expensive to purchase. But the bright side is that you don’t need to spend a whole lot of money for repairing or maintenance purposes. Moreover, you will get a good value while reselling it. On the other hand, Galvanized Trailers are less expensive. But you need to repair it more frequently than the counterparts.

So, if you are a budget buyer, you  may consider buying a Galvanized trailer. Otherwise, an Aluminum trailer will serve you best.

Similarly, for preventing the rust and corrosion, Aluminum boat-trailers are more effective. Galvanized ones are risky to use in the waters because any damage on the zinc-layer will welcome the rust and corrosion.  

Steel or Galvanized Trailers are the strongest trailers. They can carry heavy loads. Likewise, Aluminum trailers can carry heavy loads because of their flexible nature. But Aluminum trailers are lighter. They give you a better payload capacity. Moreover, the lightweight nature also contributes to better gas-mileage ratio.

At the end, the Aluminum boat-trailers are, undoubtedly, having an edge over the Galvanized Trailers. Though they are expensive, they are worth the money. It would be better if you choose Aluminum Trailers for your boats, if the cost is not your concern.

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