Did you just buy a new boat? Maybe youíve had your boat for decades, but sheís been in storage for the last couple years. Or maybe your hauling, launching, and retrieving skills could use a little work. No matter the reason, itís never a bad idea to brush up on your boat trailer handling or your launching and retrieving!
Before you hit the road, itís important to give your trailer a once-over and make sure everything is in working order. This includes making sure the tow lights are working properly, the tires are properly inflated, and the trailer is secured properly to the tow vehicle. On longer trips, itís a good idea to make occasional stops and double-check that everything is still secure and functioning properly.
Once youíve reached the boat launch, itís important to stay calm and organized, as the launch can be a hectic and noisy place. Before backing your boat down the ramp, make sure all of your plugs are secure and that you have a way of controlling and retrieving the boat once itís in the water. Tying a line to the bow is a simple solution. When itís time to back the boat in, use a spotter to help guide the trailer down the ramp. Itís a good idea to have an agreed-upon set of hand signals, as you may not be able to hear your spotter. When backing down the ramp, take your time and use small adjustments to keep the boat straight. Overcompensating will only make the situation worse.
When retrieving your boat, it may be necessary to redistribute the gear and equipment on it to make sure the boat sits evenly on the trailer. Itís also important to use and secure the ratchet straps in back and lock the winch strap in front. Use of a safety chain is also encouraged. Taking the boat out on the water is a fun and relaxing time. Donít let the towing and launching of your boat ruin that perfect day! With a little preparation and practice, youíll be a pro in no time!
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