Finding The Right Trailer Jack For Easy Handling Of Your Boat

Finding The Right Trailer Jack For Easy Handling Of Your Boat

A boat trailer jack is one of those essentials that every boat owner needs. Yet, unless you’re experienced with boats, it’s something people often overlook as they dream about all the fun things they can do once they’ve bought their boat. While all the attention goes to the vessels and their performance on the water, transferring the boat from trailer to water is often overlooked. In many cases, the trailer boat jack may be too small or underpowered to get the craft in and out of the water, leading to challenges and potential damage to your beloved boat. To ensure a safe, seamless boating experience, it's essential to choose the right boat trailer jack, and the team at ARK is here to help you make an informed decision.

Types of Boat Trailer Jacks

Trailer jacks, in general, come in various weight and length capacities, each designed for specific trailer configurations and towing needs:

  • Swivel jacks ‒ are a popular choice for boat trailers. They feature a swiveling design that allows the jack to pivot up and down, making it easier to raise and lower the trailer tongue. Swivel boat trailer jacks are typically mounted to the trailer's frame or A-frame and offer convenient operation.
  • A-frame jacks ‒ are commonly found on trailers with an A-shaped tongue. They are designed to bolt directly onto the A-frame of the trailer and provide stable support for the tongue. A-frame boat trailer jacks are known for their durability and reliability, making them popular in marine environments.
  • Drop-leg jacks ‒ heavy-duty jacks designed for trailers with a high tongue weight. They feature a telescoping leg that can be extended to provide additional support and stability. Drop-leg boat trailer jacks are ideal for larger boats and trailers that require extra lifting capacity.

Choosing the Right Size Trailer Boat Jack

To select the best boat trailer jack that meets your towing needs, you need to assess your boat and trailer first, including their weight, tongue weight, and configuration.

For the Best Boat Trailer Jack, Measure its Weight

Generally, a boat trailer tongue jack should be capable of lifting at least 10% (preferably 15%) of your trailer weight. To calculate it, you need to know the weight of your boat. Not the size and weight as stated in your boat brochure, but the "wet" weight, which includes the vessel itself and all the loaded gear and fuel combined, along with bath/shower/sink water if required. Keep in mind that boating fuel can add significant weight - around 7 lb per gallon. Depending on the size of your craft's fuel tank capacity, it can weigh 500 lb or even more when fully loaded.

Consider Boat Trailer Size and Configuration

The type of boat trailer and its size and dimensions are also important when choosing the right trailer boat jack. For example, bunk trailers have flat bunks to support the boat's hull, while roller trailers have rollers that support the boat's keel. These features may affect the positioning and installation of the trailer jack. Additionally, longer boat trailers present distinct challenges when it comes to jacking them up. They often have more uneven weight distribution and dual wheel designs, making the jacking process more complex.

Pay attention to the width of your trailer frame where the jack bracket mounts. Most trailer boat jacks are designed to fit frames up to 3 inches high and 5 inches deep. If your trailer frame exceeds these dimensions, you must ensure the boat trailer jack can be adjusted to fit.

Measure the Lift Height for the Best Jack for Your Boat Trailer

To determine the lift height required for the boat trailer jack, measure the distance between the ground and the hitch when the trailer is level. Most trailer hitch receivers are mounted around 14 inches off the ground. However, the height can vary depending on the vehicle model and ball mount size.

To ensure the jack can raise the trailer to the desired height without straining or bottoming out, we recommend choosing the boat trailer jack with a lift height of at least 4-5 inches higher than the tow vehicle's hitch height.

Additional Features and Considerations

  • Wheel attachment: Consider whether you need a boat trailer jack wheel attachment for easier maneuverability when the trailer is not attached to the towing vehicle.
  • State regulations: Most states have laws governing trailers over 8½ feet long, considering them "oversized" and subject to additional restrictions. States also regulate the maximum length of boat trailers and the maximum size of the trailer and tow vehicle combination. Take note of these rules to ensure compliance and safe towing.
  • Durability and construction: Look for a trailer boat jack made from steel or aluminum with corrosion-resistant finishes for long-lasting performance in fresh and saltwater marine environments.
  • Ease of use: Choose a trailer jack with user-friendly features such as a crank handle or motorized operation for easy raising and lowering of the trailer.

Find the Best Boat Trailer Jacks at ARK Corp

Selecting the best boat trailer jack that meets your towing and handling needs is important to ensure smooth boating days and the easy operation and maintenance of your boat. With over 45 years of experience and our trailers and accessories tested in the world’s toughest conditions, you can count on our expert team if you have any questions or require help selecting the right boat trailer jack for your needs. As a leading trailer equipment supplier in the US, we offer quality products, professional support, and excellent service.

Back to blog