A boat should sit on a trailer so that the center of gravity is slightly above the axle.
Why? Your boat will eventually lean over into the wind when you drive away from the dock. If it sits too far back, it’s harder to steer. If it sits too far forward, you can lose control of the boat while driving down the road.
The best way to check is by using a level. Place the level across the trailer tongue and measure from top to bottom of your boat’s hull. If you’re close but not where you want to be, you can adjust your boat’s position by adding or removing a bag of ballast.
A good rule of thumb is to keep the center of gravity above the axle but below the top edge of the trailer.
Placing a Boat on a Trailer Step-By-Step Guide
Now to place the boat onto the trailer, all you have to do is:
1. Park the truck and trailer in a level area where you have enough room to maneuver both units safely.
2. Put your boat on its trailer dolly or ramp, if you have one, and drive the boat up onto it.
3. Remove any bow or stern tie-downs you might have used during storage.
4. Put your safety chains onto the boat and connect them to the trailer.
5. Put your straps onto the boat, and use them to secure it tightly against the front of the trailer.
6. If you have a trailer dolly, drive it up to the trailer and line it up so you can easily roll your boat onto it.
7. Drive your boat off its dolly or ramp and onto the trailer.
8. Put your straps onto the boat, and use them to secure it tightly against the back of the trailer.
9. Connect both safety chains to their respective clevises.
10. Put your bow and stern tie-downs on the boat if you have them.
11. Have Fun!
Loading a Boat on a Trailer in a Windy Weather
When loading a boat on a trailer in the wind, it is important to watch other boats load to gauge the situation. If possible, it is helpful to approach the trailer upwind so that when you reach the trailer, you’re lined up with the bunks.
Once you’re ready to load, use a little more power to quickly secure the boat on the trailer bunks before the wind or current gets you crossed up.
When you’re ready to leave the dock, back the trailer downwind or current so you can safely turn around and head out.
What Equipment will you need to place a boat on a trailer?
The ramp or trailer dolly will help you load and unload your boat. A ramp is the easiest to use, but it’s also possible to use a trailer dolly if you cannot get a ramp.
A strap is used to secure the boat to the trailer and prevent it from moving around while you are driving. You should use one strap per boat.
A safety chain is used to secure the boat to the trailer and prevent it from falling off if you hit a bump in the road or have an accident. There should be one safety chain per boat.
The best practice is to use a ramp or trailer dolly, two straps, and one safety chain per boat. If you are using a trailer dolly, straps are also essential because the dolly will not prevent your boat from moving around.
What common mistakes do people make when placing a boat on a trailer?
Some common mistakes people make when placing a boat on a trailer include:
-Not using the correct size ball receiver on the hitch
-Not securing the hitch pin
-Connecting the trailer to the tow vehicle incorrectly
-Not connecting the trailer’s lights and brakes
-Leaving the trailer with no working brakes or lights
What should you remember when placing a boat on a trailer?
The most important thing to do when loading a boat is to use common sense. This includes, but is not limited to, ensuring the trailer has enough ground clearance and that you’ve put aside enough time to load and unload the boat.
The next thing is to ensure that you have a good grip on your boat because if it falls off of the trailer, there’s a good chance it will be damaged.
The last thing to do is ensure you have the right equipment. You’ll want a ramp or trailer dolly, straps, and safety chains. The best way to load a boat is to have one person hold the ramp and another guide the boat onto the trailer.
What are some tips for placing a boat on a trailer?
One tip for placing a boat on a trailer is to block up the boat for winter storage. Look for 12″ x 12″ pressure-treated wood blocking. This will keep the boat from freezing to the ground and make moving more effortless when you’re ready to go out again.
When blocking up a boat, do not use a three-point blocking stance. Instead, use two blocks in the front and two in the back. Do not use cinder blocks working on the bottom of the hull because they can damage the hull.
Make sure you tap the bottom of the hull to find the inside supports so you know where to place the blocking. The boat stands are used to keep the boat balanced and level.
Why is it important to place a boat on a trailer correctly?
It is important to correctly place a boat on a trailer to prevent damage to the boat and trailer.
Incorrect placement can cause the boat to sit crooked and rub against the sides of the trailer, which can wear down the paint or even cause holes. Additionally, if the bunks or rollers are not correctly positioned, they can damage the boat’s hull.
What happens if you don’t place a boat on a trailer correctly?
If a boat is not placed on a trailer correctly, it can damage the boat or the trailer. The boat may not sit level on the trailer, which can cause problems when towing. The bunks or rollers may be positioned under strakes or other protrusions from the bottom of the boat, which can damage the hull.
The transom may not be well supported, which can cause problems when launching or loading the boat. Bunks may not be located under interior stringers, which can cause damage to the hull.
How can you ensure that you place a boat on a trailer correctly?
When you are ready to put your boat on the trailer, make rough measurements to allow the boat to sit straight and level on the trailer.
Position each bunk, ensuring that the bunks or rollers are positioned next to, not under strakes or other protrusions from the bottom. To help support your boat’s weight, provide that bunks are located under the interior stringers and any other areas needing additional support.
Should A Boat Trailer Be Level When Towing?
Yes, it would help if you tried to level the weight of your boat equally on the trailer. This will help with towing and keep the boat from shifting during transport. The weight limit is 10% of the total weight of the boat and trailer.
Remember one thing when you’re finished. That is, you may use boat tying rope for this. This will help keep your boat secure on the trailer during transport.
How do you raise a pontoon boat on a trailer?
To elevate the transom of a pontoon boat on a trailer, lower the tongue of the trailer to the ground.
Place a hydraulic bottle jack beneath the trailer tongue and raise the front of the trailer. Continue increasing the front of the trailer until the boat is level or slightly bow high. Next, block the transom using a cinder or wooden blocks.
How high can a pontoons trailer go?
A pontoons trailer can go as high as 5 feet taller than the “bridge clearance” listed on your manufacturer’s specifications. This is because a pontoon boat is not as tall as a typical powerboat.
The higher you go, however, the more likely your trailer will scrape against overhead bridges (and the less likely you are to be able to see over the top of your windshield).