Unless you keep your boat stored in the water at a marina, you will need to utilize a trailer to transport it. Are you ready to go? Here are six tips for towing your boat safely on roadways to prevent accidents resulting in a need for costly boat repair in Fort Lauderdale, FL:
- Check the condition of the trailer: It may not seem like a trailer needs much maintenance, and it doesn’t, unless you neglect some simple steps. Before a trip, check the tire pressure and brake system. And after returning home, always rinse it off completely with water to remove elements like saltwater, grease residue and other waterborne sediments. You can then wipe it dry, if you want to. Perform annual trailer inspections to make sure all parts are in tip-top shape.
- Test all lights: When you hook the boat trailer to your vehicle’s hitch, you will have to connect electrical components so other drivers will know your intentions on the road. While you’re still parked, enlist the help of another person to test that the brake lights, turn signals and taillights are all working properly. If any of your light bulbs are constantly failing, schedule an appointment with your mechanic to find out if there’s a wiring issue.
- Don’t fill boat tanks: Something you may want to consider is not filling up the boat’s fuel tank and water tank until you reach your launching destination. Doing so lightens your trailer load and makes accelerating and braking easier. Towing a boat with a nearly empty tank also makes for safer road travel, because you cannot predict getting into an accident or having the trailer become disconnected.
- Check everything again: After loading up your boat onto the trailer, make sure the trailer is in good working order, check all the lights and check tank levels, then do another complete inspection. Walk around the trailer with the vehicle turned off, then again with it running. If everything looks okay, then it’s time to take to the road. Additionally, don’t hesitate to pull over during your drive to do rechecks.
- Practice driving while towing: Whether you’re new to pulling a boat trailer or it’s been a while since you’ve last towed one, the best thing you can do for everyone’s safety is to practice. With your boat loaded up on the trailer and hitched to your vehicle, practice pulling your boat around the neighborhood to ensure you get the feel for proper handling. Drive forward, try backing up, test your vehicle’s turn radius and practice braking.
- Don’t speed: Once you merge onto a main street or exit onto the freeway, you must remain in total control over your vehicle and trailer at all times. Be alert like you would on daily non-boat-pulling drives, but take it slow and easy. Stay in the slow lane and keep to a low speed to avoid fishtailing or bouncing, and remember that high winds coupled with speeding is a dangerous combination for any trailer haul.
If you are in need of more tips related to safe boat towing, or if you require boat repair in Fort Lauderdale, FL, contact the team at Starboard Yacht Group LLC today!