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Course Outline

Secure the vessel on the trailer and the gear within the vessel.

  • Secure all gear in the vessel firmly to keep it from shifting. Arrange the gear so that its weight is balanced side-to-side and front-to-back.
  • Secure the vessel to the trailer with several tie-down straps and/or safety lines to prevent the vessel from shifting. Use extra tie-down straps in case one fails. Never trust the bow winch alone to hold your vessel onto the trailer.
  • Put the engine or drive unit in the raised position and secure it.
  • Attach the safety chains between the trailer and the towing vehicle, crisscrossing them under the trailer tongue.

Inspect and maintain trailering equipment.

  • Check the pressure of all tires on the towing vehicle and the trailer. Make sure you have a spare tire in good condition for both the vehicle and the trailer.
  • Tighten the lug nuts/bolts on the wheels of both the towing vehicle and the trailer, and grease wheel bearings.
  • Make sure that all lights and brakes on the towing vehicle and the trailer work properly.
  • Examine tie-down straps, lines, winch, safety chains, and hitch for signs of wear. Replace or adjust as necessary.
Hands tightening the lug nuts on a wheel
Tighten lug nuts on trailer wheels before departing.
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