Many people are taking advantage of off shore boating and taking their boat on a trailer to waterways away from home.
If taking a boat for Fishing, Skiing, or just for new experiences additional skills and knowledge is required for taking a boat on a trailer.
To ensure the safety is maintained at all times, careful preparation is required at all times.
Pre Trip Preparation:
Before leaving home, there are some important safety related issues that need attention.
Once the boat has been securely hitched to the vehicle, the following need to be checked.
- Make allowances for the additional length and weight of the vehicle combination when towing, particularly in relation to braking and acceleration.
- Be aware of the extra fuel consumption, particularly when towing larger trailer boats.
- Use extended towing mirrors for larger vessels if you can not see the road behind you due to the width of the boat and / or trailer.
- Ensure the towing hitch is fully engaged on the ball and the security lever is fully engaged over the tab. It is recommended, to ensure ongoing security, that the lever tab is pinned or locked.
- Attach security chains and ensure chains are not dragging on the ground, but are long enough to enable full manoeuvrability. If double chains are fitted, ensure they are overlapped.
- Connect electrical power supply (normally 7 pin flat or round). Check the operation of all trailer lights.
If inoperative lights are discovered, they need to be repaired prior to any trips made.
- Secure or remove the jockey wheel.
- Ensure any equipment, personal effects and luggage (Esky's Bags, etc...) are fully secured and correctly loaded, as to not adversely effect the Gross Trailer Mass (GTM) or Ball weight.
Poor load distribution is a major cause of trailer sway and instability.
- Ensure all canopies, aerials, masts etc... are lowered and secured.
- Ensure security straps are attached and the motor support is in place.
Pre - Ramp Preparation
When arriving at your destination and ramp and when it is time to prepare for the launch of your boat.
Rampow etiquette is probably the most important aspect of pre launch and Launch activities.
This etiquette includes both how to prepare and how to launch a boat.
Pre Ramp Preparation includes:
Ensure that you are parked in a dedicated boat set up zone, (if available).
Remove all safety straps, motor supports, etc..
Raise motor to fully trimmed up position, ready for launch.
Fit hull bungs, raise aerial, canopies, etc ....
Prepare the boat for use and launch, including distribution of equipment and personal effects.
Raise masts, if applicable, but only if it is safe to do so.
Ramp Launch preparation includes:
Ensure you have a clear view of the allocated ramp area available to you.
Keep a close eye out for other ramp users, in particular children who can be unpredictable.
Reverse the vehicle down the ramp, with confidence and as quickly as possible, to the required trailer depth required to launch your boat.
Launch the boat, move it to the side of the ramp and secure it.
Drive your vehicle up the ramp to a dedicated parking area and secure it.
Remember to be patient on and off the ramp to ensure that everyone has a great day and log a departure call with the local VMR or coast Guard with all the appropriate details.
RACQ in association with Marine Queensland provides Trailer Boat Towing Courses to assist.
The courses ensure that your towing experiences are enjoyable, enabling you to have a great start and end to Boating.
Give RACQ is call to arrange a personalised or group training experience.
RACQ Driver Education
07 3361 2382 / 1800 680 039