Safe Boating Course


CHAPTER 3: Trip Planning and Preparation


Here are the final steps you should take before heading out on the road with your trailered boat.

  • Make sure that your boat is centered on the trailer and that any fuel and gear are distributed evenly. Just like on the water, an uneven load can cause instability.It also makes steering and maneuvering much more difficult.
  • Tie down all loose items and equipment in and on your boat.
  • When attaching the trailer to the towing vehicle, make sure to crisscross your chains under the frame. The chains must be able to support the weight of the entire load. This is critical for safety if the hitch should break.
  • Check to make sure that the trailer brake lights and directional lights are all working. That way other drivers will know when you're stopping, braking or turning.
  • Check the tire pressure and ensure the lug nuts are tight and secure.
  • Adjust your side view mirrors so that you can get a clear view of the trailer and any traffic behind you.
  • Practice turning and backing up with the trailer attached. It takes time to get used to these maneuvers, so it's important to practice to gain expertise and confidence.
  • Finally, use some additional straps to tie down the boat to the trailer frame.

Alright, it looks like we’re ready to roll!