Section 14, Trailering

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America’s Boating Course
3rd Edition
Trailering
Chapter 4
Section 14
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Trailer Types
Bunk – fixed, padded supports
Roller – boat rests on rollers
Single & multiple axles
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Size & Load
Must be sized for the boat
Weight capacity – boat + motor + trailer +
15% extra for gear
Tongue weight – 5-7% of total
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Trailer Tires
Small wheels rotate faster
Heavy loads
Pressure & condition are
critical
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Bearing Protectors
Water causes corrosion
Positive seal created
Keep hub packed with
waterproof grease
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Safety Chains
A backup to hitch ball
Always cross chains
under tongue
Insert S-hook from
bottom of hole – not
top
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Winches
Loads boat on trailer
Connect to eye on boat
Beware cable tension
Less tension with rollers
Check for wear
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Wheel Jack
Elevates tongue over
ball
Easier to couple & uncouple
Keep lubricated
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Tie-Downs
Braided straps
Bow tie-down
Transom tie-down
Gunwale tie-down
Ratchet to tighten
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Trailer Lights
Connected to vehicle
Must match vehicle lights
Side markers required
Meet state requirements
• Registration
• Inspection
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Tow Vehicle
Power to accommodate trailer
Check vehicle specifications
Extra cooling
Heavy-duty brakes
Wiring for trailer lights
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Hitch Systems
Class of hitch based on tongue weight/load
Adjust tongue weight by moving boat or axle
Mounted to frame - preferred
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Trailer Checklist
Checklist:
 Emergency equipment
 Rear-view mirrors correctly positioned
 Equipment inside the boat tied down and secure
 Boat drained of water; drain plug installed
 Coupler fully seated on ball and locked
 Safety chains installed correctly
 Electrical harness connected
 Vehicle and trailer lights working
 Boat securely attached to trailer
 Tongue jack in full “up” position and locked
Tools
 Outboard motors/stern drives in up position
 Projections over the stern clearly marked
 Upward projections lowered and tied down, or removed
 Vehicle and trailer tires; correct air pressure
 Wheel lug nuts tight on all wheels
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Trailer Operation
Vehicle handles differently – acceleration,
stopping, turning, passing
Trailers tend to sway
Use your mirrors
Practice backing in parking lot
Hold your course when being passed
Straighten vehicle-boat on ramp
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Launching
Actions:
Prepare away from
ramp
Minimize time on ramp
Park away from ramp
area
Disconnect trailer
lights
Install drain plug
Raise engine, or
remove trailering
supports
Let bearings cool
Remove tie-down
straps
Leave winch connected
Install lines & fenders
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Launching
Keep vehicle tires out of water
Set brakes on vehicle
Release winch cable
Disconnect
Move boat away from ramp
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Retrieving
Put trailer bunks under water
Align boat with trailer
Connect winch cable & winch in
Prepare for travel away from ramp
Drain water, remove marine life
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Sailboat Trailering
Travel with mast down & stowed
Watch for power lines
Step & un-step mast on solid ground
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Trailer Maintenance
Inspect trailer after use
Check cables, tie-downs, components
Check tires,
wheels,
bearings,
lights
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Trailer Maintenance
Grease bearings as required
Check for loose nuts, bolts, fittings
Store trailer on flat ground
Wheel Bearings
Elevate tongue so boat drains
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Theft Prevention
Defend against theft:
Store boat & trailer out of sight
Secure / lock coupler
Remove expensive electronics
Cover your boat
Remove keys
Remove one trailer wheel
Record all serial numbers and HIN
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End Section 14
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END
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