How To Wash A Trailer

By Michael Vatalaro
Published: Summer 2013

A good rinse in fresh water protects your investment and helps defend against invasives.

Ridding your boat of salt isn't the only reason to spray the hull and trailer. Aquatic nuisance species, also called "invasives," are a threat to lakes and rivers. In a sentence, these are plants, fish, and crustaceans that aren't native to your local waters but have taken up residence, anyway, disrupting food sources, out-competing native aquatic species, and clogging municipal water intakes. Depending on where you boat, you may have invasive species inspectors on duty at your local ramp. Many boat ramps in Minnesota have inspection stations and if an invasive is found, the boater is required to go through a "decontamination wash" with high-powered, hot water sprays to remove the "hitchhikers" as they are often called.

Illustration of a truck and trailer back view

Inspect Everything

Take the anchor, anchor line, docklines, and other gear out of the boat. Spray thoroughly. Lake Havasu, Arizona, inspectors say a majority of the small snails/mussels on trailer boats are found here.

Leave The Critters Behind

Live wells with water from a lake need to be emptied back into the same lake. Don't transport live well water from one body of water to another.

Get Spraying

Spray the trailer, the outdrives of the engine, prop, intakes, bilge, trim tabs, and docklines.

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