Don't Look Now, But I Think We're Being Followed.
Towing and Trailering.
Wouldn’t it be great to step out of your house and directly onto the water?
Guess what—that dream isn’t as far-fetched as it may seem, because using a boat trailer makes getting to (and from) your favorite watering hole simple. Trailering also allows you to explore different lakes, rivers, streams, bays ... the list goes on and on. Trailers are also an affordable way to store your vessel after you’ve returned to dry land. Trailering—so easy you (almost) want to forget about that beachfront property. Nothing beats getting out and doing it yourself, but in the case of towing, trailering, launching and retrieving, a few words of wisdom are must. Here are a few tips and how-to videos that can help you get rolling.
What's Inside This Chapter:
- Towing Tips and Information
- Trailering Insights and Know-how
- Launching and Retrieving
Towing and Trailering
Be the envy on the open water and the open road.
Just because you may not live close to a boat-ready body of water doesn’t mean you’re landlocked. There’s good probability that you DO live near a great place to boat. In fact, 90% of Americans live within an hour of an accessible waterway, and a majority of recreational boaters count on their trailers to get their vessels to and from the water.
Remember, boating is about freedom. So, enjoy the entire journey from the edge of your driveway to the edge of the water.
Here are a few things to think about while you plan that drive:
- Know the towing capacity of your car, truck or SUV. Don’t force your vehicle to bite off more than it can chew. There’s nothing sadder than seeing a boat on the side of the road (unless it’s your ideal boat with a For Sale sign on it).
- Make sure the trailer bears the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) certification label. Like a life jacket, that certification guarantees your trailer is designed to fit and protect your boat.
- Just like when you’re on the water, drive safely and courteously. When towing a boat, you should travel 5 MPH slower than other traffic on the road and stay in the right-hand lane.
- When turning a corner with your trailer, you’ll need double the arc to take that turn (sounds like a country song, doesn't it?).
- You’re pushing your trailer when you back down a ramp to the water; you’re not pulling. So, remember to turn the wheel in the opposite direction.
There are other guidelines, suggestions and safety checklists you should follow if you want your trailer to correctly follow you. Take the time to learn them so you and your boat can get to know your next adventure location safely.
Launching and Retrieving
If only you could pull off dance moves that looked so graceful.
Getting your boat in and out of the water (a.k.a., “on and off your trailer”) is fairly simple, once you take the time to learn how to do it properly.
Like all good things in life, practice makes perfect.
While we’re churning out clichés, here’s one more: Fools rush in. Take the time to fully prepare for the launch and retrieval of your boat. We don’t want to see you scratch your baby, and we’re pretty positive you don’t want your towing vehicle to become a second boat (word to the wise, SUVs don’t float).
Here are a few simple steps to successful launching and retrieving.