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Sea Tow Blog

News, press, tips and more can be found in the Sea Tow Blog. Have a suggestion for a story? Email us!

Sea Tow Blog

News, press, tips and more can be found in the Sea Tow Blog. Have a suggestion for a story? Email us!

Kate's Korner: The Newbies Guide to Trailering

Kate’s Top 10 Trailering Tips for Newbies

  1. Decide which trailer works best for your boating needs
    • Bunk trailers are less expensive and better for deep water loading and unloading (you will need to back the trailer further into the water)
    • Roller trailers are easier to load and upload in tidal waters (water levels vary at ramp)
  2. Ensure your trailer is in good working order
    • Bearings
    • Safety Chains
    • Bunk slabs are lubricated (they have sprays for that)
    • Brakes
  3. Ensure the towing capacity is adequate on your vehicle
  4. Practice maneuvering the trailer and tow vehicle
    • Get used to the weight, pull, stopping distance, obstructed vision and noises (there are lots of noises!)
  5. Check out ramp before trailering your boat there (See my Top 5 Things to Look for in a Boat Ramp)
    • Incline
    • Ramp width
    • Ramp length
    • Water depth/level/tides (for tidal waters)
    • Environment – sandy, paved, packed dirt, etc.
  6. Assess the winds, water depth and current so you can prepare your launch strategy
  7. Know Boat Ramp etiquette:
    • Prep boat and trailer before backing onto the ramp
    • Boats coming OFF the water get priority!
    • Wait for your turn out of the way
    • No cutting in line!
  8. Remove ALL straps except the bow winch line prior to backing down the ramp (or prepare to go swimming!)
  9. Trim the engine up all the way prior to backing down the ramp
  10. Ensure swim ladder (if used to board vessel) is stowed prior to backing down the ramp

And, ensure the boat plug is secured prior to backing down the ramp… but that’s a given…

Kate’s Top 5 Things to look for in a Boat Ramp

  1. Good Location
    • Convenient to where you plan on boating
    • Easy to find if you need assistance
  2. Easy Access
    • Trailer Maneuverability
    • Ample area for waiting vehicles
    • Parking for tow vehicle and trailer
  3. Water Conditions
    • Water level/Tides (IMPORTANT FOR BUNK TRAILERS!)
    • Currents direction
  4. Good Ramp Condition
    • Longer Length
    • Maintained regularly
    • Wider width
    • Clear of obstructions (environmental debris and sand/large rocks)
    • Good traction for tow vehicle
  5. Dock or Piling Available
    • This allows the boat to be launched and then tied up while the tow vehicle and trailer are parked
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