Transporting Your Boat With a Trailer

Trailer boating has a number of advantages over leaving your boat in the water at a marina or pier: you can take your boat anywhere you want to, launch at ramps close to different fishing spots, and you’ll save money because you store your boat at home or locally.

So what size trailer do you needs?

As far as weight goes, it all boils down to gross combined vehicle weight (GCVW). Add up the weight of your boat, trailer, and vehicle, and make sure the vehicle you’re considering has a GCVW in excess of that figure. Tongue weight should always be between 10 and 15 percent of the total boat-and-trailer package (gross towing weight, or GTW, which is the GCVW minus the tow vehicle’s weight). If it is outside of these numbers, trailer sway is a possibility.

Swaying is extremely dangerous—if you detect sway in your rig, slow down immediately, pull over, and adjust your load. You cannot continue to drive if you cannot control what you are towing.

Hitches are rated by class, and depending on how heavy your boat and trailer are, you may need a Class I, II, III, IV or V hitch

Practice, practice, practice. Before you tackle any busy roads or long trips, take your rig to an open parking lot. Practice backing, turning, and making other maneuvers in a controlled setting.