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Trailering Experiences

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Reel Lady, Jul 5, 2004.

  1. Reel Lady

    Reel Lady Dreams DO come true!

    Being a new boater, I'm wondering what types of bad trailering experiences people have had. I will admit, that the idea of pulling an object bigger than my vehicle is a bit intimidating. :eek:
    We dont really know the limits of these boat trailers when it comes to speed, turning corners, etc. I have nightmares of losing this thing around a corner!
    So let me hear of your experiences so I could learn from your mishaps.
    Thanks so much for your advice, we appreciate your input. :)
  2. Marshall

    Marshall Catch Photo And Release

    Make sure your tow vehicle can handle the weight. By the looks of your boat any of the larger suv's, f150, chevy 1500, that size vehicle should do. Your owners manual will tell you how much you can pull. At least a 6 cyclidar motor. A transmition cooler is good to have if your boat is heavy and you go long distances. Check tires, air pressure and condition. Make sure your hubs are greased a couple times a year. Make sure all trailer lights work. The ground wire is usually the problem if your lights start messing up. Bulbs occasionally go out but are easy to replace. Carry a small tool kit in your boat with spare bulbs, spark plugs or any tool you may need. Give yourself plenty of time to stop. People always pull in front of the guy pulling the boat so beware. I had a idiot on a motorcycle zip past me then stop in front of me to make a u turn. I almost got him, Had to lock the brake up. People don't understand that you are pulling a heavy object and cant stop on a dime. Thats all I can think of now. Have fun.

  3. ShakeDown

    ShakeDown OGF Staff Staff Member Admin

    Check your bearings regularly, and listen/feel for anything out of whack. Marshall is right, no one ever wants to be behind you when you trailer, and they will try anything to pass...just keep a decent distance and you'll be ok. Make WIDE turns whenever possible. Prolly the biggest thing I've seen a lot of people forget, is not trimming the motor up when they pull the boat out. Do that once, and you'll most likely never do it again ;)

    Best advice I can give, is take it easy and give your self ample room to stop.
  4. Learn to use your rear view side mirrors and learn to watch as you corner and pass. I also carry a complete spare hub assembly. You can get standard hubs at TSC very reasonably. Some trailers require a special hub assembly.
  5. The biggest encouragement that I see is that you ARE intimidated and you ARE cautious! If you ever think that you're getting so good at trailering that you can't have an accident, it's time to stay home! Great tips, guys! One thing that helped my wife learn to back the rig is when backing, put your hand on the BOTTOM of the steering wheel. By doing this, the back of the trailer will move the same way as you move your hand. (i.e. move your hand to the right, the back of the trailer steers to the right.) I think it also helps with the oversteering problem that is so easy to encounter when first learning! Spend some time at the baot launch simply watching others. It's not only entertaining at times, but very educational! ;) :rolleyes:
  6. Reel Lady

    Reel Lady Dreams DO come true!

    Thank you all for the wonderful advice that you have shared with me. What a terrific resource this website has become :)
    What I'd like to know is how fast can you safely drive while pulling an 18" boat? If a sign on the road reads "Curve ahead....35mph" , Does this also mean that I can safely do 35mph, or do I need to always do less? Or what about just turning into a street? Can I take this turn like I was just driving my car?
    On a funny note... well... funny now thats it's past... Our first launch (3 days ago at West Branch), we had our first "almost crisis" moment. (which thank god we can laugh about it now!)
    Rob (aka "Reel Man") backed me into the water. All was going well when Rob said that he was going to back me in a little deeper. Well, little did I know that his intention was to release me! I thought he was just putting the boat in a little deeper! Next thing I knew, this 18' boat of mine is floating backwards and sideways down the loading ramp area (it was windy), and I had someone right next to me who was in the process of launching their boat! Frantically, I replayed in my mind all of the steps that our salesman had gone over with us that had to happen (in a specific order) to start a cold engine. I see boats and docks coming closer and closer to my boat and tried not to totally panic :eek:
    Someone was watching out over me, cuz it seemed that just in the nick of time, the engine started, and I was able to find reverse quick enough to avoid any major collisions. :eek:
    So... the lesson we learned?... lol... always have the motor started BEFORE undoing the winch strap!
  7. Ruminator

    Ruminator TeamOGF

    I doubt that you will forget, but also include a set of spare fuses of the ratings that your boat needs in a break-proof container. And keep a couple in your glovebox for the tow vehicle's fusebox to replace your turn signal and brake light fuses; in case you po them while backed into the water.(getting the pigtail connection wet)

    - Rumi
  8. One other piece of advice I'll share from a lesson learned at Alum last weekend. Fished most of the day. After loading the boat back up on the trailer and pulling back up into the parking lot, my brother notices a note on my windshield wiper. Yea someone had hit my trailer while we were out on the lake but was kind enough to leave a note with a phone number to contact them. Busted off one of the taillights. I was fortunate that this person was decent enough to take responsibility for their actions, next time I may not be as fortunate. So the lesson learned is to write down the license plate of vehicles on both sides of you before jumping in the boat for the day. Just a thought.
  9. Fish4Fun

    Fish4Fun Relaxing.

    As for the 35mph curve, I would say take it easy at first get to know your tow vehicle and trailer and what it can handle each one will be different. If your towing a big boat with a car or small truck you may not like how it feels taking a 35 mph corner doing 35. But if you have a big truck towing the same boat it may feel fine. Know what i mean. You just have to take it easy and you will feel and understand the limits you can put on your package. Thats how i have been doing it and it works fine for me. Remember to secure everything in the boat or when you get were your going you may be missing some equipment wind is pretty strong going 65 or 70 down a major highway. Always remember to plug your trailer lights back in after you load the boat back on the trailer. Muskeye a lady hit my jimmy with her trailer about 2months ago up there had to have new front bumper put on her insurance took care of it.