Hitting the water on a boat in the summer is the ultimate freedom: clean air, water spray and the ability to pick your own swimming or fishing location. However, the details of where to keep the boat and how to transport it can make things difficult anytime you are hoping to take it out. Here are some good ideas to keep in mind when it is time to haul the boat to your favorite dock and put her in the water.
Top Up on Fuel
Fueling up the tow vehicle and the boat are extremely important. Towing a boat, especially a big one, can put a lot of strain on the vehicle in question and means more fuel expended to get the boat and vehicle to the destination. However, the timing of a fuel up is important. In this case, the time to fuel up the boat and to fill all water tanks is as near to the launch point as possible. This will cut down on some of the strain on the towing vehicle because it eliminates some of the weight from the boat. Fuel is heavy, and waiting until near the launch point means your vehicle is not hauling that extra fuel weight long distances.
Maintenance Is Key, Particularly on the Trailer
Keeping up with the small details, like regularly rinsing off sea water and making sure to do a thorough inspection once a year to make sure nothing needs fixed or replaced means you can continue to have the most fun possible on your boat. If you do all the maintenance yourself, consider a visit to a professional once every few years, just to get a fresh perspective in case you happen to miss something. This is not an insult to your abilities; it is simply a method a lot of people use to check their own work on a semi-regular basis.
Always Check the Lights
Having the proper lights in working order means you will get from home to launch point without getting pulled over or having someone hit you because they weren’t aware of an upcoming stop or turn. The new LED systems help ensure the lights are working the majority of the time. However, it does not hurt to check those lights – the brake, turn signals and tail lights specifically.
Be Aware of the Proper Procedures to Jack the Trailer
Knowing where to place the jack so all the weight is balanced correctly is very important. The boat could be the reason the frame bends if you are not careful and use the jack in the wrong location. It is best to know all the specs regarding your particular boat and trailer. Each boat and trailer has a different ideal location and procedure for jacking the trailer. Also, keep in mind that if you plan to not need a jack since the spare tire for the trailer is in the garage, there is a chance your day of fun will be put on hold when the trailer needs a spare and either
a) you left it at home or
b) the spare tire mount on the trailer has not been properly maintained and the tire is stuck.
Make sure you have the chance to enjoy every warm day of the summer without issue by being aware of the procedure to jack the trailer and making sure the spare tire is properly maintained and able to be easily separated from the mount if necessary.
Make One Last Check Before You Get Into the Driver’s Seat
You may be sure you checked every detail and the trailer and boat are ready to roll. However, it only takes one minor distraction – a question from a family member or a thought about the day ahead – to make you miss an important detail. That detail may sideline you halfway to your destination. For that reason, make sure to do one final inspection and walk around the major points just before you slide into the driver’s seat. You may catch something you missed before, or something that changed for some reason in the last few minutes.
See also video about how to trailer a boat