pontoon trailers - the weight is in the back

The Weight is in the Stern

Pontoon boats have almost doubled in weight in the past few years. With larger heavier engines, granite counter tops, 50 gallon fuel tanks, and huge captain’s helms, modern pontoon boats are much heavier than their predecessors. Some pontoon trailer companies recognize this and add extra bracing in the stern, but many do not. The longer your trailer, especially anything over 24’, you should have some lateral braces to tie the front and back together. If you get a trailer without bracing, it will buck and flex at highway speeds.  

The trailers in the photo below have vertical reinforcement (2” x 3” box steel) between the back two cross members in the stern of the pontoon trailer. The second cross member is 44” from the back of the trailer. This provides additional support for the weight in the stern of your pontoon. Few pontoon trailer manufacturers seem to do this. Some don’t seem to recognize the need for extra support. Some have the second cross member (from the back) as far as 6’ or 8’ forward, or none at all. You’ll feel the frame flexing when towing these brands of pontoon trailers.

rear pontoon trailer bracing
triple tube pontoon trailer
This brand of pontoon trailer is for a triple tube, but doesn’t have much bracing.
Modern tri-tube pontoons have all the weight in the stern but this pontoon trailer
basically has the entire stern supported by a single back cross brace.

The middle cross brace is almost 10’ from the back and all it does is hold the
center of the trailer together.
Extended Pontoon Trailer Transom
Extended transoms and moving the engine back help distribute weight better and increases performance for pontoon boats. Some brands of triple tube pontoons have center tubes that extend back two feet or more and the engine may extend an additional couple of feet. Most manufacturers refer to the pontoon tube as the boat length. But a 22’ pontoon with an extended center tube might actually be 24’or even 27’ length overall with the engine. The extra length may not affect weight distribution on the trailer, but it may look “funny” to have so much boat and motor hanging off the back of the trailer. If you’re traveling and want to support the stern better, you have a couple of choices. You can step up a frame length 22’ to 24’, 24’ to 26’ or you can select the stern extender option offered by some manufacturers.