Before boats are recovered at the end of the season, all trolleys should be checked and any necessary repairs carried out a couple of weeks before they are needed.
Every year we seem to have problems which are usually caused by poor maintenance. It is simply not good enough to have a quick look at your equipment and decide it might be OK.    
Also, you might find that if there is an accident your insurance will not wish to know. You cannot insure against negligence.   

The following notes are not comprehensive but give a framework for carrying out checks.

Tyres: Usually the tyre wall fails rather than the tread. Ensure there are no cracks or bulges.

Wheel Bearings - All wheel bearings must be carefully examined in particular if there is water or emulsified grease in the bearing.  The only proper check is to strip down, clean and examine.  Remember if the bearing has failed the wheel can fall off.  Rusty bearings must be renewed.

Steering: This is usually a van front axle not designed for marine use. Check all joints for damaged seals and damage. There should be toe-in and no obvious play in any components. We have regularly had problems with the welding on the main frame. Check your trolley runs true before attempting to recover your boat it very difficult for the crew in the water to line up a trolley that has a fault in the geometry.

Docking Arms: Often overlooked they must be firmly pushed and pulled to ensure welding is sound as they take a considerable force due to the leverage applied at the end.

Main frame: Mild steel is not ideal for marine use and cannot be expected to last nearly as long as the boat that sits on it. We are lucky to have Alan Sergeant our caretaker, who is available to carry out repairs but give him plenty of notice if you need work done.

Trailers with Brakes: There are few in the boat park still with brakes fitted. The drums usually bind on to the brakes with rust. The correct remedy is to remove and clean the drums and brakes.

Jockey Wheels - It is amazing how quickly a jockey wheel can stick and will not run. The solution to this is to strip and grease.

In conclusion, if your trolley or trailer is not in a good state of repair do not be surprised if you are not allowed to recover your boat.



Harlow (Blackwater)

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