Fortunately owning a drift boat requires little maintenance. But there are some things you cannot ignore. Depending on how much you use your boat will determine how often you must do a check up. Guides who drive hundreds of miles a week need to pay more attention than the family who heads to the river every once in a while.
One of the most important things to check is the wheel bearings. If the bearings are not greased properly bad things can happen and they happen quickly. If a bearing is going bad you will get un-even tire wear that can result in a blow out. The easiest way to check for a bad bearing is to grab your wheel at about 9am and 3pm and pull it towards you and push it away from you. There will always be a little bit of play, but if your tire moves too much it is time to replace the bearings. If you let this go on for to long you run the risk of either having a blow out or having your bearing seize up. When the bearing seize, you are in for a lot of trouble and head-ache. Just Google “trailer bearings seized” and there are many Forums on the internet with either near death experiences or people wishing for it after trying to fix this major problem.
The best solution for this is to have your trailer checked out by your local tire store. If you are handy you can replace the bearings yourself. It is just a really messy job with the grease and all. New bearings cost about $20 and a tube of grease is inexpensive. I would also suggest some latex gloves when doing this job as well. So you can decide whether you want to pay someone or do it yourself.
Another point of safety is checking out your winch and winch strap. Winch straps tend to get mangled in the winch, folded, nicked and etc. There are always those boat ramps that are super steep or pot hole ridden where you want to be sure that when loading up or unloading your boat everything happens safely. If your winch strap has nicks or is frayed it is time to replace it. One if the biggest fails with the winch is the “clicker” that either free’s the handle or locks it in. Over time they have a habit of wearing down and not functioning properly. If this happens you will lose the ability to safely snug your boat up to the trailers mast. This part can be ordered from the manufacturer, but if you are need of a replacement in a hurry new winches can be purchased here at Ro Drift Boats. It’s always a good idea to spray a little lubricant on your winch and trailer coupler to keep them working smoothly as well.
A quick inspection of the trailer is also a great idea. Making sure the lug nuts are tight, the lights are in working order and the mast is firmly bolted on. Keeping up on general maintenance on your trailer will keep you travelling down the highway and off the side of the road.