Captain Bill Jenning’s Checklists: Trailering your Boat

Captain Bill Jenning’s Checklists: Trailering your Boat Jul 7, 2022

By Captain Bill Jennings

When it comes to boating, there can be a lot to remember. A checklist for the important activities relating to boating can be a lifesaver. Here is the first in a series of “checklists” that can help you remember the important steps to perform different tasks quickly and thoroughly. 

According to Global News surveys, 2.2 million boat trailers have been sold in North America since 2000. 

Print this handy checklist before your next adventure

 

Preparations and Considerations:                                                                       

  • Insurance: Read the fine print to see if your trailer is covered.
  • Local regulations: EG: 8’6″ is not always the max-width rule. 
  • Trailer Tires: Check tire load rating, condition, and air pressure.
  • Spare tire available 
  • Bearings: If your trailer has bearings, check they are greased.
  • Brakes: Check they work; if hydraulic, check the brake fluid.
  • Lights: check they all work.
  • License Plate and Ownership Papers: Current and secure.
  • Trailer Ball: Good condition and greased
  • Tie downs: Load rating and condition

 

Things to Pack:                                                                                                    

  • Gloves and work Rags
  • Wheels: A lug wrench and jack
  • Tools: Electrical tape, knife, wrench, pliers, plastic ties
  • Drain plug: For boat
  • Road sign: Should you need to stop.
  • Wood Block: To block wheels and adjust trailer jack height
  • Lock: For trailer ball
  • Mini air compressor: Runs off 12-volt outlet

 

When a boat is on a trailer:

  • Boat balance: Proper position & 15 to 20% total weight on the tongue.
  • Ball latch: In lock position with safety pin inserted.
  • Trailer Chains: Secure and crossed beneath the tongue.
  • Tie Downs: Set so the boat cannot shift position. 
  • Nothing is dragging on the ground
  • Stop periodically to check

 

When you stop to check trailer status:                                                 

  • Wheel Bearings and Tires: Cool enough to hold hand against 
  • Boat: The boat has not shifted, and tie-downs are secure     
  • Tongue Coupling: Nothing is broken or loose                      

 

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