March 1, 2006
Boat towing or trailering across the United States is subject to different state laws as far as maximum speeds, trailer equipment requirements, trailer dimensions, brakes, insurance, and accessories such as reflectors are concerned. A separate permit for boat towing in each state is also required.
Most Americans live within a 100 miles of boatable waterways, and boat trailering is something of a national craze. Statistics show that the easiest boats to tow on a regular basis measure within twenty-five feet in length, since these allow for easier maneuvering on highways. Boat-towing vehicles and trailers differ quite a bit from other kinds because of the unique shape and dimensions of these crafts.
There is a mind-boggling array of towable boats available on the market today. These include air boats, fishing boats, bow riders, canoes, cuddy cabins, day sailers, deck boats, sailing dinghies, flats boats, jet boats, inflatable boats, and a host of others.
If one isn’t an expert, it is important to follow a trailering-safety checklist while towing. The checklist should include guidelines to loading, leveling, driving, unloading, and launching. Probably one of the most common and dreaded hazards that all boat towers face is compromised tightness of the nuts on the trailer wheels. These tend to loosen with distance covered. Wheel maintenance in all its aspects should be a primary concern of every boat trailer owner.
As with most other kinds of towing, each state has its own set of trailering laws that will prescribe limits to weight, speed, and minimum equipment. These are strictly enforced, and it is wise to be prepared for all eventualities.
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