What to Know Before You Go
You would think proceeding carefully would be intuitive when it comes to trailering a boat. Still, it’s amazing how many things can go wrong if you aren’t paying full attention to the task at hand. Here’s a few pointers to keep in mind whenever you put your hitch on the ball.
- Time Cushion: Don’t rush. Fully load your vessel hours before a trip to ease the pressure of getting an early start. Racing to catch a prime tide is a classic scenario that leads to problems down the road.
- Accelerate Slowly: Ease your trailer into motion. Whether pulling out of the driveway or accelerating when the light turns green, take your time and build momentum.
- No Tailgating: Leave extra room between your vehicle and those ahead. When towing a heavy load, braking distance may be significantly increased.
- Swing Wide: Trailers need extra cushion when turning. Reduce speed and swing a little wide to avoid clipping the curb.
- Slow Change: Change lanes slowly and deliberately while watching for impatient drivers that pull out from behind your boat and quickly accelerate into your blind spot.
Don’t Be Swayed: If you sense trailer swaying – even slightly - immediately pull over and redistribute weight. Tongue weight (load at the front of the trailer) should be 10- to 15-percent of overall trailer load. If too heavy, the trailer can sway from side to side.