There are certain rites of passage that most boat owners experience. There’s the naming of the boat, the christening of the boat, the maiden voyage of the boat, the first sunset cruise on the boat, etc. Before these fun milestones occur, there are some important but less-exciting things that need to happen. Buying a comprehensive Boat Insurance Policy is one of them. Mastering the art of boat towing and trailering is another. If you’re still perfecting this art, here are a few tips on how to tow like a pro.
Practice makes perfect. The more you practice towing your boat, the more comfortable you’ll be. Large, empty parking lots are ideal places to practice turning, braking, and reversing your vehicle while towing a boat. Backing up is one of the most challenging aspects of towing. One effective trick is to keep one hand at the bottom of your steering wheel. As you back up, when you move your hand to the right the trailer will move to the right, and vice versa.
Give yourself more time and space to maneuver. Towing a boat adds weight and length to your vehicle. It will take you longer to reach highway speeds and pass other vehicles and it will take you longer to stop. Leave plenty of space between your vehicle and the one in front of it in case you need to brake suddenly. When you go to pass another vehicle, make certain that your car and the trailer have cleared the car you are passing before you move in front of it. (If your car or truck doesn’t have large side mirrors, consider having large aftermarket mirrors installed to increase visibility.)
Go wide. When you turn, the trailer turns on a tighter arc than the vehicle you’re driving. Swing wide and take it slow to prevent the trailer from jackknifing.
Along with the joys of owning a boat come responsibilities. Take care on the water and getting to the water! As the pros at Discover Boating note, always have your boat trailer inspected at the beginning of each boating season. If you are in the market for a new boat insurance policy or haven’t had your current policy updated in a while, contact us at Mariners General Insurance Group at 800-992-4443: we’re marine insurance specialists!