The Handbook of Iowa Boating Laws and Responsibilities
The Official Boating Handbook of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources - Web Version
Table of Contents
Before leaving home:
- Secure all gear in the vessel and arrange it so that the weight is evenly distributed in the vessel.
- Properly secure the vessel with several tie-down straps and/or safety lines to prevent it from shifting. If transporting a canoe or kayak, make sure it is fastened securely to your vehicle.
- Tilt and secure the engine to increase clearance.
- Crisscross the safety chains when attaching them to the towing vehicle.
- Make sure the trailer brakes and lights are working.
On the road:
- Think farther ahead on the road than usual. Remember the length added by your trailer.
- Be aware that there may be lower speed limits for vehicles with trailers.
Launching your vessel from a trailer:
- Prepare your vessel well away from the boat ramp.
- Back the vessel into the water until the lower unit of the engine can be submerged while on the trailer.
- Once the engine is warmed up, back the trailer further until the vessel floats. Then back slowly off the trailer.
Retrieving your vessel:
- Back the trailer into the water so that approximately two-thirds of the rollers or bunks are submerged.
- Move the vessel onto the trailer far enough to attach the winch line to the bow eye of the vessel. Finish pulling it onto the trailer by cranking the winch.
- Tow the vessel off the ramp out of the way of others.
- While at the ramp area, remove all weeds from the vessel, remove the drain plug, and drain live wells.