About the Study Guide

You are looking at a preview of what’s in the timed Boat Pennsylvania Course. Feel free to look around, but you’ll need to register to begin progress toward getting your Pennsylvania Boater Education Certificate.

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Backing the Trailer Into the Water

Back the trailered vessel into the water far enough so that the lower unit of the engine can be lowered and submerged while the vessel is still on the trailer.

  • As an added precaution, always set the parking brake on the towing vehicle.
  • Lower the engine or outdrive, and start the engine. If your vessel is still on the trailer and you have engine trouble, you can retrieve the vessel easily.
  • Once the engine is warmed up, back the trailer further into the water until the vessel floats. Undo the winch line, put the vessel's engine in reverse, and back slowly off the trailer.
Launching a Boat

Novice boaters should practice towing, especially backing up, in an open field or empty parking lot before their initial launch and retrieval. This will give you a feel for the trailer and how it maneuvers in relation to the towing vehicle.