Via Wisconsin DNR
Via Wisconsin DNR

An Affectionate Homage to the Humble Canadian Boat Trailer

On the map, you can see all those main roads meandering north into the backwoods. Forking out like trees, they gradually divide into thin branches and crooked twigs that finally peter out into dotted lines here and there that may or may not be driveable logging trails. Road building is a mug’s game in northern Canada, because if you shoot a line in any direction, you hit water. The landscape is riddled with lakes, thousands of wild and uninhabited lakes, and each one is full of fish. Just looking at all those lakes is enough to make your head swim. The problem is, how to access them?

The answer lurks in the driveway. Do boat trailers hate anglers? Probably not. They just don’t care. Of all the gear in the modern angler’s possession, the boat trailer can be the most uncooperative. Ranging from lightweight rigs with dinky, blowout-prone tires to heavy-duty models requiring the hauling muscle of a $75,000 pickup truck, a trailer can make your day or ruin it—or both. It can leave you stranded on the side of the road with the sun beating down and a lug wrench in your hand. It can make you into the comic entertainment at a launching ramp. And if you hit a dead end on a logging road, it can make you wish you’d just taken up canoeing.


But in the right hands, a boat trailer separates the pros from the schmoes. Anyone who can thread a trailer backwards through a maze of vehicles in a marina parking lot gets respectful nods. And when a good trailer is lubricated, tarped and properly maintained, it’s a force multiplier, a ticket to adventure, a magic carpet that can take you anywhere there are tire tracks. So get out the maps. Check the wires. Check the tires. Hook up the trailer. And go.

Winnipeg contributor Jake MacDonald has two boat trailers and both function perfectly, sort of.