Safe Boating Course

 

CHAPTER 3: Trip Planning and Preparation

TOWING AND TRAILERING

SAFE TOWING PREPARATION

The first step in getting ready to tow your boat is making sure your towing vehicle is up to the task—a small vehicle may not be able to safely handle the load.

You also need to make sure that you have the right trailer, hitch and safety chains for the job.

Like your boat, your trailer should come with a capacity plateindicates the maximum allowable weight of persons, equipment, stores, fuel, engine assembly, and steering controls as well as the recommended safe limits of engine power. attached. Before hitting the road, check the plate to make sure that your trailer has the capacity to carry not only the weight of your boat, but also the motor, fuel and any additional gear you are taking on board.

Pay particular attention to the tongue weight the trailer weight when loaded with a boat and on the hitch ball. marked on the capacity plate.A tongue that is too heavy will make it difficult to steer, while a tongue that is too light may result in the boat fishtailing.

Finally, match the trailer class with the proper hitch. The coupler should never be smaller than the size of the ball hitch. Always make sure that that the hitch and ball are secure before leaving the driveway.

MATCH THE TRAILER CLASS WITH THE PROPER HITCH

TRAILER CLASS

TOWING WEIGHT

Class 1

not to exceed 2000 lb.

Class 2

2001 lb. to 3500 lb.

Class 3

3501 lb. to 5000 lb.

Class 4

over 5000 lb. up to 12,000 lb.


MAKE SURE YOUR TRAILER HAS THE CAPACITY TO CARRY YOUR BOAT AND MOTOR, FUEL AND ADDITIONAL GEAR ONBOARD.


 
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