What to Think About When Towing a Boat
Once the Covid-19 pandemic and statewide shut-downs are a thing of the past, beautiful spring and summer days will stretch before us. What better way to recover from long weeks stuck at home than by hopping on your boat, and spending the day on the water?
Before you grab your keys and rush out to the boat ramp, however, it’s important to remember a few key pointers for towing a boat.
At Bulletproof Hitches™, we take pride in helping to educate our customers on safe towing practices while using our solid steel adjustable trailer hitches.
If you follow these suggestions, you won’t have to worry about potential problems with your trailer. All you’ll need to focus on is what type of beer you’re throwing in the cooler!
Make Sure Your Tow Vehicle Can Handle Your Boat/Trailer
We see situations all the time where someone goes out and buys a nice new boat without thinking about whether or not their vehicle is equipped to tow it. If your vehicle is a small sedan, chances are you shouldn’t be towing a boat with it. You will want to consider the weight of your boat and trailer together when determining if your vehicle is capable of towing them.
To protect your vehicle, hitch, trailer, and boat, it’s essential to make sure everything is compatible and can work together to transport your boat. Unless you have a water front home to keep your boat at, or if you will be keeping your boat in a marina, you will probably be spending a decent amount of time towing your boat, which means you will want a vehicle that you will be comfortable with when hooked up to your trailer.
Most SUV's and half ton pick-ups should be sufficient to tow recreational boats up to about 25 feet or so, but if you're are planning to tow a boat larger that 25 feet in length, you'll probably want to look into 3/4 ton trucks like a 2500 series or dually pick-ups to ensure that you have the pulling power to safely tow a larger boat.
Before you hit the water, be sure to review your vehicle’s towing capacity to confirm that it matches or exceeds the weight of your boat and trailer together.
Use a Trailer Hitch That Can Also Support Your Boat/Trailer
In addition to your tow vehicle, it is also important that your trailer hitch has a towing capacity that matches or exceeds the weight of your boat and trailer. After all, what good is a truck with high towing capacity if your trailer hitch can't be trusted to keep you connected to your trailer?
There are many different trailer hitch options on the market, but the BulletProof Hitch™ is the only hitch that offers both strength and versatility. As the highest rated hitch on the market, you won't find many (if any) boats that will exceed the weight rating of our hitches.
Evenly Pack Your Boat and Trailer
Now that you have a vehicle and trailer hitch that is capable of towing your boat, it is still important to make sure your boat and trailer are loaded evenly so that you aren't putting additional stress on certain sides of your trailer. Even weight distribution is a serious matter when it comes to towing. That’s why Bulletproof Hitches™ also makes an industry-leading weight distribution adaptor to help create a safer towing experience.
Not only should you make sure your boat is correctly loaded onto its trailer, but you also need to check that any gear or equipment has been securely and evenly stowed for travel. If items are sitting loosely inside the boat while driving, they can shift and lead to uneven weight distribution, which could easily present a problem.
Check Your Tire Pressure, Trailer Brakes & Brake Lights
Anytime you attach your trailer and prepare to tow your boat, even for short distances, it's important to do a walk through and make sure your tires have proper air pressure, as well as confirming that your trailer brakes and brake lights are all working.
These three safety checks are important because they all pose a large safety hazard if not working properly, and they are also the most common things to go wrong on a boat trailer. Trailer tires and brake checks are especially important if you use your boat in salt water and regularly put in at a salt water boat ramp because your trailer is regularly submerged under salt water, which can be very corrosive and hard on the different trailer components.
When you’re on the road towing a boat, the last thing you want is to end up with a flat tire or trailer brakes that aren't working properly. Always do a quick check to make sure everything is in proper working order before hitting the road to avoid potential disasters.
Have you ever seen someone driving down the road while towing a boat, and they’re being reckless? It’s an accident waiting to happen!
If you’re driving to the boat ramp, make sure to abide by all posted speed signs and avoid slamming on your breaks or taking sharp turns. Precautions like these won’t just protect you and your equipment, but they’ll also protect the other drivers on the road.
Find Out More About the Safest Ways to Tow a Boat
The Bulletproof Hitches™ team prides itself on being experts in safe and effective towing practices. If you’re still unsure of what type of trailer hitch or tow vehicle you should buy or how to tow a boat, give us a call today at 941-251-8110. Or, you can fill out our online form for more information.