Knowing how you will transport your boat legally and safely to its launching destination is a major factor. You must know the towing capabilities of the vehicle that will tow the boat and this towing rating (measured in weight) should be recorded in the vehicle’s handbook. If it is not listed, you need to contact the manufacturer. Each state and territory has differing regulations governing towing and it’s very important for boat owners to ensure that your rig complies completely with local regulations. These regulations may include things like maximum boat lengths and heights as well as various kinds of braking set-ups according to weight. 4WDs and AWDs are an excellent choice of tow vehicle because all 4 wheels are used to drive the vehicle forward. Other features such as high engine torque, higher ride and better suspension
means that 4WDs are far better equipped to handle the task of hauling a boat out of the water up a slippery ramp.
When towing a boat, you will experience a decrease in your braking and accelerating capabilities, so you should adjust your driving accordingly. If you have not had much experience towing, there are specialised towing courses available providing insightful information and practical skills which can help you gain new skills and confidence.
And because trailer boats are so portable, many boat owners will eventually find themselves towing their boat on holidays so take this into consideration when selecting the size of your boat and also look at trailer options. Double axle trailers offer more stability when driving at highway speeds, are more responsive to braking, and are far safer if you have a tyre blowout. The double axle also allows a better weight distribution so if you travel a lot, tow offroad or will load up your boat to store camping gear, firewood etc, the tandem trailer may have some distinct advantages for you if you can afford the extra cost.
A single axle trailer will be significantly cheaper. Off the vehicle it is far easier to manoeuvre a single axle trailer by hand than a tandem trailer so for home storage this is often the better choice. Most small – medium trailer boats come standard with a single axle so the majority of trailer boat owners stick with this option unless towing long distances frequently.
Although it may seem obvious to wash off salt water to avoid corrosion, many people don’t start off with good habits which means wheel bearings, couplings, safety chains, springs, shackles and U bolts prone to rust and damage. If you don’t wash and check your trailer after every outing, at least make sure that you regularly check and test the trailer’s braking, winch systems and other electrical systems such as tail lights.