10 Risks of Buying a Used Jet Ski / PWC Trailer

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Hazards Of Used Jet Ski Trailers

You’re ready to buy a used Sea-Doo trailer to haul your jet ski around from boat ramp to boat ramp, but is it really worth it? Let’s find out.

Used PWC Trailer Dangers

I think it can be dangerous to buy a used jet ski trailer, whether that’s Sea-Doo or Yamaha. Today I’ll expand on why that is.

Now don’t get me wrong, there can be times when you’ll have no problems at all. In fact, many people have zero issues, but there is an elephant in the room and I need to talk about it.

1. The trailer could be stolen

Even if you’ve run a state check, then the trailer could show up as not being stolen. This is because thieves are about to easily change VIN numbers and licence plates.

Used Sea-Doo Trailer
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It’s quite common for a jet ski to get stolen, though I’ve written a comprehensive guide on how to stop that from happening. What thieves like to do is separate the trailer from the jet ski, then add decals to the jet ski to make it unique.

2. You might not see the rust

When a trailer has been used around water, it’s going to start rusting after a while. Aluminium trailers defintely are very slow to start rusting but it does happen after some time, especially when more exposed to saltwater.

While you can easily inspect the outside, it’s hard to know what’s happening on the inside. Many people miss inspecting the undercarriage too, where the real damage happens.

3. Rollers could be seized.

While you’re inspecting a trailer, it might be carrying a jet ski already. This way the owner has made it almost impossible for you to check the free-wheeling capacity of the rollers.

It’s important to check these because any seized rollers will greatly impact the ease in which you can launch and retrieve your jet ski. Also, those same rollers could cause scratches/stains on the hull if they aren’t turning.

4. Wear and tear on the winch

You really need to pay attention to the winch. It’s going to make the difference between an easy launch or retrieval process or a hard one.

Pretty much any used jet ski trailer is going to have wear and tear on the winch. Often you can’t see it, as there is rust happening on the inside.

5. Tyres might be bald

The obvious thing that people check is the tyres when inspecting a used Sea-Doo trailer. Guess what? They’re often bald and the owner isn’t too excited to replace them.

So while you’ve saved a few pennies instead of buying a new trailer, now you have to open your wallet so you can buy 2 new tyres. Also, check the spare tyre as often these aren’t found on used trailers.

6. It has already been exposed to the elements

A used trailer is exactly that – used. It has already been used at the boat ramp numerous times and the owner wants to move it on, likely because they are getting a new one.

Old Jet Ski Trailer Used
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With so much use you’ve got exposure to the elements to take into account. It’s that obvious wear and tear that makes people question if it’s worth it.

7. You’ll probably have to buy a new Sea-Doo trailer in 6 months

While it’s great that you’re saving money today, you’re probably going to need to find more money in 6 months to get rid of this trailer that is causing you so many problems.

Instead, you could have bought a new trailer from Day 1 that will survive several years of use. Plus, you’ll have the pride of knowing you have a new trailer.

8. Harder to make custom modifications

Adding cool accessories on your jet ski trailer such as extra gas cans is a great way to create more fun. With a used trailer, you’ll be anxious about adding further modifications, since you know the life-cycle of the trailer is short.

Jet Ski Trailer Modifications
This is one cool modification that’s difficult with used sea-doo trailers

Now you’ll have a trailer that really limits what you can do. Want to go jet ski camping? It’s going to be a bit harder with a used trailer to haul around all that stuff.

9. The embarrassment of a squeaking trailer

Imagine you rock up at the boat ramp with your brand new Sea-Doo trailer and jet ski. Perhaps it just has a few hours on it. Regardless, you’re excited and proud! Oh, except for the trailer…

It’s squeaking and rusty. It’s old and everyone knows it. You went the cheap option and everyone is scratching their heads. It’s quite embarrassing and something you don’t need to put up with.

10. You’ll have to wear gloves

With a new jet ski trailer, you can get away without wearing any gloves, because there are no rusty spots to be mindful of. Compare that to a used trailer that looks very average, and you’ll be wanting all the protection you can get.

This isn’t really a big hazard since you can just wear your existing jet ski riding gloves to get the job done. It will just look a bit odd at the boat ramp to be doing this.


There are times that a used jet ski trailer will be a wise decision to make. This includes:

  1. The trailer quite clearly has had very little use
  2. Its condition is almost identical to a new trailer
  3. It is listed at half the price of a new jet ski trailer

If what you’re looking at doesn’t subscribe to these 3 rules, then pass on that rusty bit of metal and spend a little extra for a new trailer.

After all, you’ve already spent a huge amount on your personal watercraft. An extra $1,000 for a trailer that will haul your toy safely to your favorite riding spots is a worthwhile investment.

Often dealerships do have great Sea-Doo trailer + jet ski deals as a package. Even if they don’t, they can certainly point you in the right direction.

Joshua Smith - Editor

Joshua Smith

I became obsessed with the marine industry when I was just 7-years old. Today I’m thrilled to share my knowledge online. When I’m not out there riding, I’m engaging with industry trends and eagerly helping people get more time-freedom online so they can spend more time out there riding their jet skis around.