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Thread: Import boat trailer from UK

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Default Import boat trailer from UK

    Anyone have experience with importing a boat trailer (it would be included with boat) from the United Kingdom to the US?

    Looking for recommendations for customs brokers or other tips on how to make sure that I don't end up with a trailer that can't be registered in the states.

    Thanks in advance

    KV

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Import boat trailer from UK

    I remember many Drascombe boats being transported on trailers into the US.

    Probably easier than registering a foreign built car, no engine, smog requirements, etc

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Import boat trailer from UK

    You will almost certainly need to do a hitch transplant.A 50mm hitch won't fit a 2" ball and you may need to look carefully at light location.Many of our boats have lights hung from the transom,with no provision for attaching them to the trailer frame.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Import boat trailer from UK

    50 mm is pretty darn close to 2"
    (I would use that, the trailer won't notice and it's all about the clamp anyway)

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Import boat trailer from UK

    If it comes with no paperwork, your worst case ( at least here in NY) is registering it as a home-built trailer. What does Colorado DOT say?
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Import boat trailer from UK

    You can grind a 2" ball to fit. I use a light board with mine.
    Ben Fuller
    Ran Tan, Liten Kuhling, Tipsy, Tippy, Josef W., Merry Mouth, Imp, Macavity, Look Far, Flash and a quiver of other 'yaks.
    "Bound fast is boatless man."

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Import boat trailer from UK

    Hitches ( in the US, anyway) are on the vehicle.
    Couplers are on the trailer and they bolt on if you need to swap out.

    Screen Shot 2022-09-23 at 5.50.47 PM.jpg

    Kevin
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Import boat trailer from UK

    I dislike those cheap pressed steel couplers ..
    The difference between a 2 inch ball and a 50mm coupler is 0.8 mm.
    2 inch balls and 50 mm couplers have a uncertainty of construction larger than than this.. you'd be extremely unlucky for it not to fit or hold on..
    Even the UK government web site says MAY need changing, not must be.
    Last edited by The Q; 09-24-2022 at 01:45 AM.
    Just an amateur bodging away..

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Import boat trailer from UK

    On the light subject, cars in UK have separate turn lights, while in the US flashing the stop on the side was/still is, common. Just the number board, so not a big deal.
    I was building trailers in UK when the 50mm ball came in, lots of problems then.

    OP doesn't say how big the boat/trailer is, brakes might be a problem..

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Import boat trailer from UK

    Quote Originally Posted by Breakaway View Post
    Hitches ( in the US, anyway) are on the vehicle.
    Couplers are on the trailer and they bolt on if you need to swap out.



    Kevin
    We tend to describe the part on the car as the towbar and the mechanism on the trailer as the hitch.I have a quite vivid memory of a man with a 2 inch ball on his car and a 50mm hitch on his trailer and he was lifting the back of the car by cranking the jockey wheel down.A big hammer and rude words came into play just before I had to leave and the trailer was still attached.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Import boat trailer from UK

    As it turns out it's pretty much impossible to import a boat trailer from the UK.

    The trailer has to have a placard that specifically states that it meets Federal Highway standards. If the UK manufacturer has registered with the feds and certifies that their product meet standards then importing is not a problem. The trailer I was looking at was EU certified. Not sure how many UK manufacturers would follow US standards.

    There is a way to import through a registered importer but unless a nearly identical vehicle is on the list they need to petition the feds (read jumping through lots of hoops for $$$$$$$) which makes it cost prohibitive. Unless the vehicle is something really expensive & special it's not going to be worth it.

    Cheers

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