Futura Trailers, famous for their revolutionary lowering car trailers which are exported around the globe, are breaking new ground with their production marine trailers…
‘The trailer your boat would choose.’ With an intriguing tagline like that, I simply had to know whether my boat (if it indeed did have the capacity to cogitate) would actually choose one.
I met up with Futura founders and brothers Glen and Jake Reid at their Hobsonville facility in West Auckland. Glen and Jake’s father Alan began building trailers in 1956 from the family home at the tender age of 16, before growing the Reid Trailer business into one of New Zealand’s largest and most respected boat trailer brands.
“You couldn’t just buy a boat trailer back then – you had to go to an engineering shop for a one-off build. So, when Dad’s products were picked by the Farmers Trading Company, he became the first boat trailer manufacturer in the country,” says Jake.
With that lineage, as well as a passion for motorsport, Glen and Jake produced the world’s first car trailer with lowering technology. The design point of difference of Futura car trailers is the remote-controlled lifting and lowering technology that allows vehicles to drive on and off – particularly popular with the owners of performance and classic cars because they nullify the risk of damage during loading and unloading.
“Marine trailers have been built the same way in New Zealand for 60 or 70 years – we’re changing that,” says Futura founder Glen Reid.
As keen boaters (Glen has powerboat racing experience) and pioneers in the trailer industry, it was only natural for the Futura head-honchos to start designing and building marine trailers.
“We’re one of the larger trailer manufacturers in New Zealand – if not the largest,” says Jake.
“We know and understand trailers, we have the supply chain, and we have the anodised aluminium expertise. Marine trailers have been built the same way in New Zealand for 60 or 70 years – we’re changing that,” adds Glen.
From afar, the profile of the Futura marine models appears not unlike that of standard Kiwi galvanised steel boat trailers. But get closer, and the differences become immediately obvious.
The aesthetics are fetching, with immaculate, silver anodized aluminium chassis augmented by racing red winch posts and keel rollers. Why does the chassis look immaculate, you ask? Futura marine trailers feature a weld-free design that utilises patented, interlocking componentry specially designed and engineered by the Futura crew. This not only looks great but delivers increased durability (no risk of weld cracks) and means parts can simply be unbolted and swapped out if required.
Instead of the conventional spring axles most Kiwi towers are familiar with, Futura utilise anodised aluminium torsion axles for greater stability, durability, and smoothness
Glen assures me the high-strength 6005-T6 anodised aluminium chassis is designed to last for the lifetime of your craft and is significantly lighter than steel competitors.
“Our car trailers have been running on the Salt Belt in the U.S. [the region where road salt is used in winter to control snow and ice] for almost a decade, and we haven’t heard about even an inkling of corrosion issues.”
The componentry is assembled with isolated stainless steel hardware, and Futura has thought about all the small yet important details to maximise the lifespan of their products – like the drain hole to easily release any water from the hubcaps, for example.
Instead of the conventional spring axles most Kiwi towers are familiar with, Futura utilise anodised aluminium torsion axles. Hand-assembled at Futura HQ, the torsion axles are engineered to provide a stable and quiet towing experience by effectively absorbing shock and vibrations, are low-maintenance, and typically last much longer than springs that are susceptible to corrosion and failure.
With rollers or bunks fully adjustable to fit different hulls, there's a model to suit most PWC or trailerboats – find out more here: https://marine.futuratrailers.com/boat-trailers.
May 2023 - Nick Jones
New Zealand Fishing News Magazine.
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