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I just bought my first bass boat. It is a 2008 Triton 17 Explorier.  The trailor is painted steel.  I was told it was never in saltwater.  I took it in for service.  The guy gets his pocket knife out and starts tapping on the trailor.  He says he can tell the the trailor has been in saltwater because it made a thud noise instead of a Ping type noise.  Is this a reliable test.  He says the trailor could break apart.  Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks

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Does Not have to be saltwater, I have a 2007 Stratos 176Xt that never seen saltwater and the trailer from below the bow of the of the boat to the coupler was rusted from the inside out. I poked holes all thru it. I bit the bullet and bought a new Tidewater galvanized trailer to replace it. I just didn't trust iy anymore especially if I want to do some long distance traveling. Just because it's painted steel on the outside the inside is what rusts from water getting in the frame. I would start worrying once you can start poking holes thru the frame with a screw driver.

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Tube trailers are notorious for rusting from the inside out and you'll never see it until it's too late.  It doesn't have to be saltwater but that just speeds the process up.  As has been said, poke your trailer and inspect it for soundness.  

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Don't panic.  Some rust is normal and if there are weak spots, there's a good chance the trailer can be repaired.  

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The tidal Potomac ate my original trailer in just 13 years so bad I could put my hand into the rusted openings in each cross member.  The company drilled drain ports just kept getting bigger and bigger.  I went to galvanized  with a removeable tongue four years ago and it still looks like new (wish I could have afforded aluminum).  

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Like Toxic said if it's a tube trailer be aware.  Also check the axle.  A couple of years ago I was coming home from FL and a tire on the boat trailer was crooked.  A few more miles and the axle would have broken in half.  I built a new axle and it's been OK ever since.  The trailer frame is a C channel.

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Screw driver....get out a hammer! Depending on where you live roads get salted during the winter and tires pick it up all year. When you launch salted water can get trapped inside the trailer frame and rust results. Air circulation is your freind to dry out trapped moisture.

Tom

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