Boating Basics

Trailering Your Vessel Safely


Before leaving home:

  • Secure and evenly distribute all gear in the vessel.
  • Properly secure the vessel with tie-down straps.
  • Tilt and secure the engine to increase clearance.
  • Crisscross the safety chains when attaching them.
  • Test the trailer brakes and lights.

Launching your vessel from a trailer:

  • Prepare your vessel well away from the boat ramp.
  • Back the vessel into the water until the engine’s lower unit can be submerged while on the trailer.
  • Warm up the engine. 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 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.