I am one of the lucky ones. I have a boat ramp in my neighborhood so the round trip with my boat every day to get to the lake is only about a half of a mile. Still, to break down in front of my neighbors yard would be embarrassing with a truck full of family and friends. Whether you go down the street or across the country to put your boat in your favorite lake this is the article for you. We will discuss ways to get your boat’s trailer ready for the season and make sure safety is your number one priority.
First, take a look at all your rope, chains, straps, and connections. Are any of them frayed, missing, or broken? If so, go ahead and replace them. As a single unit one of these safety devices would probably not hold your boat on the trailer. When they work together, as a well functioning system, the chances are much better that your boat won’t skid off the trailer and go sliding down the nearest hill.
Second, check your lights and electrical connections. I am very bad about trying to have my boat back to the ramp by dark, because nighttime boating is an entirely different animal. That means I catch the sunset on the bow of my boat then book it to the dock. After getting the boat strapped on to the trailer I head back to my house. While I am not on the lake much after dark my truck is on the road and that means my trailer needs light. Some simple items you can check and replace are bulbs, wiring, and any connections. It is a good practice to hook up your trailer lights every time you hook up your trailer. An unconnected fitting on the back of your truck could cause a short to your vehicle’s electrical system when it is dipped into the water. Go ahead and get the light and electrical system of your trailer up to par and connect the fitting every time.
Finally, your tires are what gives you contact to the road. If you do not have a spare, buy one. I drove 60k-70k miles per year across the interstates of America for many years. One thing that was always on the side of the road with flat tires, was boat trailers. Make sure your tires are in good condition and properly inflated. Also if your wheel hubs need greasing go ahead and apply the grease now, once at Memorial Day, once at Fourth of July, and a final time on Labor Day. This makes for a great schedule to check your boat trailer’s wheels and make sure they are in prime condition.
Another thing to consider is the distance you are going to pull your boat to use it. Take into account the cost of gas, wear on the trailer, and mental anguish of pulling a boat long distances. In many cases it might be beneficial to you to go ahead an rent a boat from a local marina if you will have to tow your boat 100+miles. I like to rent boats occasionally in lieu of bringing my boat to unfamiliar waters in some instances. Some advantages are that you will not have to deal with flat tires, the cost of rental can be lower than towing a boat, and you can step off a marina’s dock to board your boat (no trailering).
Keep all these items in mind when getting your boat and trailer ready for spring. Also keep an eye on each item throughout the season. There is nothing worse than missing hours and days on the lake because your boat’s trailer was not taken care of. Do you have tips you would like to share? Send them to us on Google +, Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest.
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