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    We are having problems with tyre wear, our boat trailer is about 4 years old and are lucky if we get a year out of a set of tyres, I have checked and the wheels do seem to be aligned ok and the tyre pressure is ok
    The wheels are 400×8 4″PCD but I do not know what make or rating of the suspension units.
    Been to the lake district (200miles per trip) three times now and the tyres are worn out. Looking at the rear of the trailer the wheels looked to be splayed out, we did have some camping stuff in the boat but it was only the bulky light stuff like sleeping bags.
    Does any body else experiance tyre wear like this, is this normal, our last boat a GP14 lasted over 4 years on a set of tyres.
    Thinking of changing the suspension units and tyres to mini wheels but from experiances with another boat latching the launch trolly and road rolly together was a problem as the road trolly was higher.
    Any help or opinions would be appriciated.



    Change to 10″ wheels! I’ve not regretted it. As to the splaying, check the bearings and the cross frame of the trailer – IMHO more likely to be the cause of splaying rather than the suspension units themselves.



    I agree with 10″ wheels. I used to have blow outs on every journey (200 miles+) and kept the spare(s) + jack etc ready to hand to change the wheel in around 3 minutes! I now have 10″ mini (car) wheels, haven’t had a blow out since and will admit I sometimes don’t even take a spare. Its an enormous worry off my mind – especially on the motorway.


    We’ve fortunately had no problems running on 8” wheels but we do trail at minimum weight. Our first set of tyres lasted around 3000 miles over 2 years. In April this year I had a new set of tyres put on – the garage commented that the old ones were ‘only 4 ply’ and the ones they were putting on were ‘6 ply and will be much better’. They also assured me that the new tyres should be kept at 70 psi which sounds a lot but I assume they know what they’re talking about. Since April we’ve done over 2000 miles on them and happy to say hardly any wear so far.



    Johnathan – I haven’t had your luck but I tow full of cruising gear which raises the weight quite a lot. I did pump my 8″ tyres to 90 psi (in error – don’t embarrass me and ask why!!) and one of them blew with a ginormous bang after 100 miles.
    I guess its down to weight as the previous owner of mine managed with the 8″ tyres but he always towed an empty boat and never very far. My previous boat was a clinker built Yachting World Dayboat and that was ok on 8″ tyres
    To be safe I’d investigate 10″ wheels and indispension units (ebay?) or get hold of the technical dept of the tyre company. Mini wheels are ideal as they keep the boat quite low but I know they are becoming difficult to find.
    As a point of reference I seem to remember weighing my boat and trailer full of gear on holiday and it came to around 300Kg
    I hope this helps – its a shame that a decent trailer can cost almost as much as the boat but the peace of mind is worth it



    The link above I found useful (nr. the bottom it covers tyre pressures). …
    “Tyre pressures. Correct pressures are more crucial for the trailer than for your car. Scaffie & Dabber trailers will have 8″ diameter rims with cross ply tyres marked 4.80/4.00-8 sidewall 4 plies. These should be inflated to 50 psi cold. Lugger trailers may have 8″ or 10″ rims, the newer trailers having the larger rims. 8″ Rims should have 6 ply tyres, 4 ply are not adequate for the load & may blow out with disastrous consequences. Inflate the 8″ tyres to 50 psi, 10” tyres to 40 psi.

    All tyres fitted to 8″ rims are rated to only 60 mph. Imagine how fast these small rims must rotate to keep pace with your high performance tow car!!

    For other sizes & types of tyre, look carefully at the manufacturer’s data plate affixed somewhere to your trailer. It should tell you the pressures the tyres should be run at.

    Make your own checks. Once you have done some twenty miles or so, stop & feel the tyres. Warm is good. Hot is not! If hot, increase the pressures. Up to 60 psi may be used.”

    I think this last line above is the key. It holds good whatever boat you are towing.

    I’m always wary about blow outs after overinflating rear tyres on a campervan on a hot day and before I knew anything. I wasn’t towing. Since then I have towed our Wayfarer heavily laden to the south of France a couple of times and the tyres are still fine. 10 inch wheels though. No-one has confessed they cruise towing at high speed but speed on 8 inch wheels would obviously be significant to wear and tear……
    The difference between a wrongly inflated tyre at high speed and perfectly inflated at moderate speed…..


    PS Apologies if this is basic stuff and sourced from heavier boats but there is a lot of experience behind it that should be of wider interest


    A very useful and interesting thread.

    I had my original 8 inch 4 ply tyres until this week and they have lasted me more than 4 years with at least three trips to Scotland, visits to Norfolk, the Lakes and the south coast many times. They were still going strong but I was never sure of the tyre pressure; usually judging it by the deflation at the start of the trip – that said I never had any problems.

    After reading the above I checked my tyres and realised that whilst still sound it might be prudent to change them prior to going away again this summer. My local tyre garage recommended the 6 ply tyres but thought the 8 inch wheel would be fine. They only inflated them to 40psi because I said I put a bit of extra weight in the boat. Otherwise they indicated 30 psi was about right.

    The trailer plate gives a max tyre pressure of 45psi. I have found the higher the pressure the more the trailer bounces on the road – not something the boat will thank me for.

    I try to put all heavy items in the car – only putting the lighter more bulky items in the boat.

    I do however have significant problems with my trolley tyres – with punctures and blow outs (whilst sitting on the towing trailer at home) galore. I have just bought some new ones as the last blow out disfigured the rim of the trolley wheel – such is the power of the sun I guess.


    Have made loads of trips over the years, open meetings, Scotland, Holland, Brittany, Denmark sometimes well loaded and have had very little tyre wear even on 8″ rims. A few years ago I swapped to 10″ rims and the ride was for sure even smoother. I had a new support cradle fitted to the trolley/trailer at the Welsh Harp Boat centre in London. I took the opportunity to have new wheel bearings fitted and they recommended 35lb pressures – I had been using 30lb. They seem to run pretty cool. I do check the wheel bearing grease most trips.



    Thanks for all the help,
    I checked the bearings, found no problem here, changed the wheels to 10″ and just come back from a week in the lake district, on our return checked the wheels and they still look like new where as previously I would have noticed wear, and the problem of the wheels splaying out has gone.
    All very successful


    We have been running our 8″ wheels at 50 psi, probably too high as I note that the tread is wearing in the centre more than at the edges. Will try 40 psi now. Nick Giles


    Splayed trailer wheels. David Maynard comments that IMHOs are more likely to be at fault than suspension units. Please what are/is IMHO and why should changing to 10″ wheels solve the problem?
    Nick Giles 9922 Lizzie B



    Sorry about the abbreviation – IMHO= ‘In my humble opinion’! – bearings and cross frame of trailer more likely the cause of splaying than suspension units themselves.



    Many thanks, I’ll check the bearings for play. However, why should it be that some Wayfarers have found that 10″ wheels solve the problem? As we trail and sail ease of docking the trolley onto the trailer is important and I can imagine that 10″ wheels could make it even more of a struggle.
    Nick 9922


    @nickgiles wrote:

    As we trail and sail ease of docking the trolley onto the trailer is important and I can imagine that 10″ wheels could make it even more of a struggle.

    I had a Moores combi with 8″ wheels for about 30 years, trailed all over the place, no problems with the wheels. I changed the tyres every 2-3 years I suppose. BUT I did have a replacement “axle” (actually quite a heavy channel section) fitted to the base unit quite early on when the original became distorted under load, allowing the wheels to splay.


    Colin Parkstone

    I have trailed my boat all over and only have ever had 8in wheels,all been fine.
    What has come to mind over many years is that so many factors have an effect on tyre wear that it can not be just one thing ?
    Weight in the boat,speed,kind of road surfaces all over europe and many other things have done many things,or not to my tyres.
    Had a tyre wear on one side very badly on my trip to Holland, on as long a trip to Denmark it did not do the same thing to the same wheel with a new tyre ?
    As the kids say” Whats that about “
    Had the use of a new combi with 10in wheels recently, what a pain it was to get the boat off without the boat hitting the ground on exiting the base,so high of the ground and the boat so far forward on a very long trolly that I will not be having that combi next time round.

    10in wheels are very good and must be better than 8in in many ways like speed and distance,just have to think you need them I think.

    A tip I can pass on,I leave the base connected to the car now and bring the boat on the trolley to the base as it does not move around when I pull the hulk onto it. May help!
    I also have a spare wheel and a BIG brace,one of thoes four end types that fit many nuts. Found in the past I was the only person to have the right end at one open I went too. Plus lots of leverage too!

    CP 🙂

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