If You Tow A Trailer, What Is A Self-propelled Boat Trailer & Who Needs One?

by | Jun 3, 2014 | Automotive

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A boat trailer is a fairly obvious thing and relates to the general meaning of the word trailer – something that has to be towed along behind a separate prime mover. Obviously, it is not a trailer in the sense of a towable mobile home. (Although I do have a friend who owns a small motor cruiser and he tows it from lake to lake and, for any overnight stops en-route, he climbs up onto his boat’s trailer to sleep in the cabin of the boat).


So, How Can Any Trailer Propel Itself?


Obviously, if you add an engine or other propulsion unit to a trailer and then install controls you can then get on board it and move it around. It would somewhat resemble an automobile chassis, engine, transmission, etc with the body totally removed. But, it would not be a trailer and it would usually require a driver and not be able to move by itself.


If you sort of made the chassis in the same shape as the framework of a boat trailer, you could say that you have made a driveable boat trailer but that isn’t actually a self-propelled boat trailer. It also would not be a particularly comfortable vehicle to drive from place to place. (Passengers sitting inside the boat while it is up on the trailer might be OK but the driver would have to be located somewhere on the trailer that is outside of the boat).




As often happens in specialized fields, jargon creeps in. To those in the know, a Self-propelled Boat Trailer is a basic boat trailer that has been modified and customized to move a boat that has been hauled out of the water and placed upon the trailer. The power for the movement has been incorporated into the trailer and no separate towing vehicle is required. It might be possible to further modify so that the trailer becomes a sort of computer controlled machine capable of self propulsion under its own (or remote) control.


Who Uses One?


Logically, such a, so called, Self-propelled Boat Trailer would be impractical to use for transporting any boat over long distances. It would also probably be very uneconomic for use with the smaller sized boats.


However, it might be just the thing needed to move larger boats around on land over short distances. Using it almost as if it was a forklift truck made in the shape of a boat supporting cradle. This would have obvious advantages for the owners and operators of boat yards and marinas. Boats are regularly taken out of the water for maintenance and/or hull cleaning purposes and many owners prefer to store their boats on land when not in regular use. A Self-propelled Boat Trailer would simplify yard operations.


Boat yard owners looking for a suitable self-propelled boat trailer should look no further than HOSTAR Marine Transport Systems, Inc. They have a range of standard models to suit most needs with additional options and customization for special requirements.