Towing Your Boat: Key Considerations

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Towable boats, such as fishing boats, sailboats, or bowriders allow you to take your boat almost anywhere. With this type of craft, it's possible to enjoy the use of virtually any river, lake, or inlet in your region. Towing a boat behind your vehicle is not especially difficult, as long as you keep certain considerations in mind. This article look of some of the key points involved in towing a boat properly. 


Not all vehicles are suited for towing all types of boats. In some cases, the vehicle simply does not have the capacity to pull a heavy boat. For instance, a sedan may be perfectly able to tow a small aluminum fishing boat, but not a larger bowrider. Larger vehicles, such as trucks and SUVs can generally handle more weight. Always check with your vehicle's owner's manual to determine how much weight it can safely pull. Also, remember to add the weight of any gasoline and any accessories to the boat's total weight, as well as that of the trailer. You may want to talk to a place like John's Wrecker Service, to learn more about appropriate towing weights.


You will need a trailer to carry your boat during the tow. Make certain that the trailer size is large enough to hold the boat. In addition to the trailer's size, another important consideration is the finish. Because the trailer will be in the water at various points, corrosion over time is a possibility if you frequently use the boat in saltwater locations. If you only visit freshwater spots, a painted steel finish is fine. For saltwater locations, get a trailer with an aluminum or galvanized finish. 


To check the lights, have a friend or family member stand behind the boat as you activate the brake light and turn signals. Also check the tire pressure. Generally, the tires on the trailer need a higher psi than those on the tow vehicle. Also, consult the relevant laws of your state and any state through which you are traveling. For example if your load is wider than 8 feet, 6 inches, you may need a special permit. 

Long Trips

If you are towing the boat over a long distance, stop occasionally and check the trailer's wheel hubs. If they are hot to the touch, they may need to be greased. You can have this done at a nearby service station. Towing a boat is not something every boat owner wants to deal with. If you prefer to avoid doing this task yourself, contact a local towing service for assistance.