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Premature rusting of Malibu trailer


SBRiverRatz

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SBRiverRatz

I bought my 2017 LSV 23 new in January 2018. Full disclaimer. I am 14 miles upstream from the ICW on the San Bernard river in Texas. Therefore, brackish water. No problem with rust or corrosion on the boat that usually hangs in my lift. Neither boat nor trailer have the "salt water" package.

The trailer is rusting like crazy. Underneath the  trailer lights, all the bare edges, inside the cutouts where the wires are run. It has probably been to the boat ramp 25 times over the past 3 years and always rinsed with fresh water afterwards. I had to replace both fenders after two years with aluminum units.

I think they must have pulled it through the paint booth without slowing down for a second coat. My brother has a 2001 Malibu and not a spec of rust on it.

Has anyone else had a problem with rust on their trailer or did I get the only one painted on the Friday afternoon before the 4th of July weekend?

The body shops I've talked to do not want anything to do with sand blasting and putting a legitimate paint job on it.

Be safe M Crew,

Eric

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31 minutes ago, SBRiverRatz said:

I bought my 2017 LSV 23 new in January 2018. Full disclaimer. I am 14 miles upstream from the ICW on the San Bernard river in Texas. Therefore, brackish water. No problem with rust or corrosion on the boat that usually hangs in my lift. Neither boat nor trailer have the "salt water" package.

The trailer is rusting like crazy. Underneath the  trailer lights, all the bare edges, inside the cutouts where the wires are run. It has probably been to the boat ramp 25 times over the past 3 years and always rinsed with fresh water afterwards. I had to replace both fenders after two years with aluminum units.

I think they must have pulled it through the paint booth without slowing down for a second coat. My brother has a 2001 Malibu and not a spec of rust on it.

Has anyone else had a problem with rust on their trailer or did I get the only one painted on the Friday afternoon before the 4th of July weekend?

The body shops I've talked to do not want anything to do with sand blasting and putting a legitimate paint job on it.

Be safe M Crew,

Eric

If you use it in brackish water, rinsing is probably not good enough.  Washing with a product like Salt-Away is probably not good enough.  Galvanizing is probably good enough if it is a decent hot-dip job.  Aluminum and stainless construction is best.  It doesn't really matter that you only used it 25 times since the salt has a way of sticking around and waiting for a humid day to reactivate and corrode the steel.  If you leave the trailer outside in the rain, it is constantly wet enough to continue rusting.  The primary problem is the use of box tubing construction rather than open I-beam that doesn't trap the water.  You can't get inside the tube to paint it, and the rust eats through from the inside out.

Did Malibu offer a galvanized trailer when you bought the boat?

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vaporbluebu

We’ve had lots of rusting on our 2020 trailer and we don’t use the boat in brackish water and live in a desert.

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jwgrimes12

mine is rusting by the tounge as well. less than a yr old. Let me know what you find out.

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SBRiverRatz
25 minutes ago, justgary said:

If you use it in brackish water, rinsing is probably not good enough.  Washing with a product like Salt-Away is probably not good enough.  Galvanizing is probably good enough if it is a decent hot-dip job.  Aluminum and stainless construction is best.  It doesn't really matter that you only used it 25 times since the salt has a way of sticking around and waiting for a humid day to reactivate and corrode the steel.  If you leave the trailer outside in the rain, it is constantly wet enough to continue rusting.  The primary problem is the use of box tubing construction rather than open I-beam that doesn't trap the water.  You can't get inside the tube to paint it, and the rust eats through from the inside out.

Did Malibu offer a galvanized trailer when you bought the boat?

They didn't offer as this was one of the last units in inventory from 2017 and they were already selling 2018's. With my "new boat blinders" on I assumed it was powder coated and figured I was safe. Wrong.

There are dozens of Malibu's up and down the river. I'm going to stop in on a few of my neighbors and have a look at their trailers.

You are spot on with the box tubing. My fishing boat is on an aluminum channel trailer built for the salt.

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SBRiverRatz
5 minutes ago, jwgrimes12 said:

mine is rusting by the tounge as well. less than a yr old. Let me know what you find out.

Will do.

As a side note. I was in Loudon, TN this week on vacay and tried to set up a tour of the factory. They never replied to my request. Not gonna lie, I was a little disappointed.

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1 hour ago, SBRiverRatz said:

Will do.

As a side note. I was in Loudon, TN this week on vacay and tried to set up a tour of the factory. They never replied to my request. Not gonna lie, I was a little disappointed.

I set up a factory tour a few years ago a few weeks before my visit.  It was a good tour, but you don't see trailers or anything like that.

You can get an aluminum trailer for your boat and never look back.  Yes, it's more money, but nowhere near like dumping more into a painted trailer.  I wish all makers would just galvanize.  It's always a sticking point down here, where a seller from a little bit north doesn't understand why I would value his nice enough but used trailer at near zero because I will have to replace it in three years.  If it were galvanized, he wouldn't have to fix the rust spots before he sold, and he would get his money out of it.

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  • 2 weeks later...
SouthsideBoarder

My 2018 trailer in vapor blue you could see a rust color under the paint when we took delivery. Not sure if it’s warranty covered or not given it came that way. Should’ve asked but didn’t. 

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