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Towing your boat

October 24, 2018 2 min read

We saw the below video online the other day and it made me think about how many people just load up their boats, throw them on a trailer and off they go. If you do it wrong you can see what could happen.

Since we've had our big event trailer I've had to attend a trailer training course and then take the DVLA test. For me it was really helpful in learning so many things about towing, everything from loading up correctly to what you should and shouldn't do. It also allowed me to perfect the techniques for reversing with a trailer - how many of you could honestly reverse a trailer back down a single track lane?

Over the years we've been fully loaded up and have gone as far as Ibiza and Southern Germany and have (touch wood) had to problems.

If you are not confident or feel you could improve then my advice would be to take a course, even if you don't have to complete the test at the end of it (it depends on your age and when you passed your driving test).

Here are some of our thoughts around what to think about, we're not towing experts but here is a first stab.

What to think about when towing your boat

  • When was your trailer last serviced?
  • Do you have a spare wheel?
  • Is your lighting board or lighting system working as it should be? Take some spare bulbs
  • Are all items which go further than the trailer visible, for example a mast which sticks out
  • Is your boat sitting straight on the trolley/trailer as it should be?
  • Is all weight distributed evenly, the heaviest items should be over the axle ideally
  • What countries are you towing through, what do they ask for?
  • Do you have trailer recovery allowed on your recovery policy - leaving your boat at the side of the motorway as you get rescued isn't ideal
  • Have you planned your route? If it's a large trailer then plan your route carefully
  • Is everything secure - when do you plan to stop and check it all during your journey?

Essential items for towing

  • Spare road wheel(s)
  • Ratchet straps and ropes
  • Undercover to protect your boats surface
  • Lighting board/system
  • Wider mirrors for your car (in some cases)
  • Plenty of padding
  • Security locks for your trailer (useful for parking the boat up at services)

Happy towing/sailing!