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How to Help Trailer, Tow and Launch Your Boat Safely

Before you can begin a season of boating, you must first get your boat to, and into, the water. While towing and trailering are necessary to get your boat to the water, they can be potentially dangerous if the necessary precautions are not taken.

Making it a priority to inspect and maintain your trailer, secure your vessel for transport, and then tow and launch it safely is as important as following safe boating practices once you are out on the water. Following are some tips to help ensure your boating adventures start off without a hitch.

Towing Capacity and Trailer Compatibility

Before you even consider trailering, you must ensure your vehicle is capable of towing your trailer and boat. Your vehicle needs to be properly rated to pull the combined weight of your trailer and boat. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines to determine your vehicle’s towing capacities. Ensure the towing hardware of your vehicle matches that of your trailer. Also, make sure your vehicle is properly maintained. You must also make sure your trailer is properly registered and inspected, if required. Each state may have different regulations concerning trailers. Consult your local Department of Motor Vehicles for specifics.

Trailer Inspection and Maintenance

Be sure to adhere to a regular trailer maintenance routine in accordance with manufacturer specifications. You should also inspect your trailer before every trip as trailers, like boats, can be subject to harsh environments, such as salt water when launching the boat. This checklist can help you, and never take your trailer out on the road — with or without your vessel — before addressing any problems you discover. Read More

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