Summer Boat Safety: How to Safely Load and Tow a Boat

Alpharetta boat insurance

Don’t let this be you! Know how to load and tow your boat safely.

It’s hard to resist the lure of the outdoors during this beautiful spring weather, and if you own a boat it’s even more challenging! But before you pack up for a day of fun at Lake Lanier, it’s important to know how to safely load and tow your boat.

Have the Right Towing Equipment

Step one of towing a boat is having a proper trailer setup. Make sure that when you get a trailer hitch put on your vehicle it matches the size of the trailer. In order to make sure you aren’t overloading your hitch, you’ll need to check the tongue weight. The tongue weight should be approximately 10% of the overall weight of trailer and boat.

Get Used to Maneuvering with a Trailer

No matter what type of vehicle you plan to tow your boat with, it will handle much differently with a trailer and boat behind. In order to get use to the unwieldy setup, practice backing your boat into a parking space until you get a feel for it. In addition to the extra width and length a boat trailer adds, it’s also quite heavy. Be sure to give yourself extra room for stopping when you are towing a boat.

Know How to Launch a Boat

Before you launch your boat, don’t forget to put drain plugs in and untie all straps except for the bow strap. Back into the water enough that the boat is floating off the bunks, but not so far that your tailpipe is submerged. The fenders of the trailer should be just above the water line. Unhook your bow strap and you or another member of your party can walk the boat down the dock with a rope.

Know How to Load a Boat onto the Trailer

After a fun-yet-tiring day on the lake, don’t rush and put your boat on the trailer improperly. If the boat is not sitting on the trailer properly, it is not only unsafe but could cause damage to your watercraft.

First, back your trailer into the water until the bunks are just barely submerged. If they are too deep, they will not be able to guide the boat into place properly.  Either power the boat or manually push it onto the trailer. Then you can use the winch to haul it up the last little way. Turn off the engine, raise the propeller, and attach the bow strap before pulling off the ramp. Then you can park and prepare the boat for transport by removing drain plugs, tying it down, etc.

Protect Your Investment with Boat Insurance

Boating can be expensive, but the fun it provides with your family and friends is well worth the cost. Protect your investment in fun family summers by having adequate boat insurance. No matter how careful you are or how skilled you are as a captain, accidents happen. Boat insurance will protect you in case anything goes wrong.

To speak to one of our agents about boat insurance in Alpharetta, contact Dykstra and Kemp Insurance Agency. Our downtown Alpharetta, GA insurance agency is happy to discuss any of your insurance needs, including any questions you may have about watercraft insurance. We aim to meet all of our customers’ insurance needs, including your toys!

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