Radial vs. Bias Tires on Boat Trailers

Bob’s Discount Marine Supply has had some great customer interest lately in our store’s wheels and tire promotions. The store has had excellent prices on wheels and tires – realmarine saltwater wheels and tires.

People often ask me about putting radial tires on boat trailers. Here’s the deal: Radial tires are for going straight. They don’t have the tolerance for the kind of torque you put on wheels and tires when pulling, loading and unloading a boat on and off a trailer. 

When you back up a trailer, the wheels actually deform. Bias tires have strong sidewalls and carry high pressues. They allow more of a twisting motion and work in tandem together, like when you have six wheels working together in close proximity on a boat trailer.

We've had several reports and personal experience of the entire tread coming off of radial tires (like the 'alligators' you see laying on the side of the road). Sometimes, you’ll see a tire that should be straight and gets more and more crooked as the trailer moves. You’ll tear up the sidewalls of radial tires when towing and moving a boat. Not a great thing, especially if you’re traveling along the 7-mile bridge in the Florida Keys.

It’s almost as costly to replace a wheel as it is to replace a tire and a wheel. Cost is typically $79 to $109 for 13- to 14-inch wheels and tires, hot-dipped galvanized wheels (as opposed to Chinese galvanized, which is akin to gray paint).

Stop in and see our selection. Our prices can’t be beat.

Captain Ed Sabatini