Ebook Sample Content Preview:
If you don’t know what you’re doing when it comes to towing and launching your boat, you could turn an easy activity into a nightmare. When you don’t know what you’re doing regarding trailering and launching a boat, you could be in for some serious problems.
As we’ve already told you earlier, All trailers must be licensed and have brake, tail and clearance lights. Laws vary from state to state, so it's wise to check with the nearest motor vehicle department for your local requirements.
The trailer must be big enough for the boat, with the rollers and bunkers adjusted properly! Hulls are designed to be evenly supported by the water underneath them. When taken out of water, an adequate alternative must be supplied. Hulls that are not supported properly on the trailer will be damaged as you tow your rig over bumps and potholes.
The towing vehicle must be big and powerful enough to handle the total, combined weight of the boat, trailer and all the gear. Most of the front wheel drive cars available today are only capable of towing very small boats. Y our owner's manual will clearly state the towing capacity of your vehicle, so refer to it.
Tie-downs are an absolute necessity! At the minimum, you need both the winch cable and a safety stop chain at the bow, a gunwale tie-down amidships and two transom tie-downs.
Never ever stand with your face directly over the winch or winch handle. When deploying the winch cable to retrieve the boat, the winch handle spins around at a fierce rate smashing anything in its path - like faces, teeth, hands - you get the picture.
Make sure you have safety chains that run from the trailer tongue and are attached to your towing vehicle with stout S-hooks or threaded links. These chains must be (a) crossed and (b) short enough to keep the trailer tongue from hitting the pavement if the hitch fails.
Tongue weight - the amount of weight the trailer's tongue is carrying - should be approximately 10% of the total weight of both boat and trailer. If the tongue weight is too high, the strain on the hitch, trailer tongue and towing vehicle’s suspension system will be excessive. Steering quickly gets tricky as now the towing vehicle is out of balance.
Conversely, if the tongue weight is significantly less than 10%, the trailer will start to weave back and forth. In other words, the tail starts wagging the dog; we've all seen this scenario going down the highway.