Setting your boat trailer up correctly is more important than you think. The correct placement will ensure your boat is towed safely and also positions your trailer securely behind your car. It will also help the trailer not swerve and allow for better access to the boat.
Here are some tips on setting up your boat trailer.
How to Set up Your Boat Trailer Correctly
Setting up your boat trailer is about getting the boat level fore to aft and side to side. Ideally, you should be able to sit in the driver’s seat of your tow vehicle and not see any part of the boat or trailer. This makes it easier for you to drive the rig into position when it’s time to launch or retrieve.
The rear of your boat should touch down on its trailer a little before you reach your maximum rear axle load capacity, which is usually around 30 per cent for most trailers.
How to Check if the Boat is Level
The easiest way to determine if your boat is sitting level is to place a level board under the hull from side to side. If it’s not even, you’ll need to adjust the trailer tongue weight or the trailer axle position fore and aft until it is. The rear of your boat should be a little lower than its bow so that water can drain out of the bilge area and for less stress on the transom.
How to Use Weight Distribution Bars
To set up your trailer, you need weight distribution bars, which you can get from any boat dealership or rental yard.
It’s important to know that a trailer without weight distribution bars will not be able to properly distribute its weight. This will negatively impact your boat, which could cause damage and even tip over. If you’re not sure whether or not your boat needs them, don’t take any chances.
Where Should the Bars be Placed?
As a general rule, the centre line of the two bars should be under the axles. If this cannot be achieved, move the boat forward until it can. Do not try to adjust your tow bars so that they are level with their top surfaces resting on top of the tires.
This will cause an unstable situation and make it more likely that your boat will tip over when you drive away from a loading dock.