Every boater knows that safety out on the water is paramount to having a great time. Whether you’re fishing, tubing, exploring or just lounging in your boat, making sure you’re prepared and safe means being able to focus on your chosen activity and not having to cut the day short because of unexpected mishaps. But out on the water isn’t the only place where boat safety is essential. From the moment you hitch up your watercraft to your vehicle to the moment you berth it into the water there’s another aspect of safety you absolutely need to concern yourself with: boat trailer safety. If your trailer isn’t up to scratch and ready to handle hauling your boat, you might not even make it to the water!
Take a look at these 7 Simple Boat trailer safety tips to remember this summer and remember to use this checklist the next time you’re getting ready to spend a day on the water:
- Check the tire pressure: Be sure to check the PSI of the tires on your trailer and make sure they’re inflated to their maximum PSI. Too high or too low PSI can put stress on your tire causing a blowout, along with premature tread wear. Be sure to check your tires’ PSI every 50 miles or so.
- Make sure you have the right tires: Trailer tires have a variety of ply ratings—meaning they’re rated for different loads. Know the maximum weight capacity of your trailer’s tires and make sure to stay below it!
- Always use a safety chain or cable: The last thing you want is a runaway boat while you’re on the road! A safety chain will prevent your boat from running loose in the event of a trailer disconnect, keeping your cargo safe and your face off of the 5 o’clock news!
- Check the electrical: Do your trailer’s brake lights function? Are there any stray wires hanging around? Is your electrical connection protected and stable? All of these things and more need to be considered before you travel with a boat in tow.
- Secure your load: Towing a boat behind you isn’t like hitching up a bike—we’re talking about a massive vessel weighing hundreds (potentially thousands) of pounds! Make sure you’re using tie down straps at the correct anchor points to keep your boat securely fastened and in place for the length of the journey.
- Check Your Lug Nuts: Check your lug nuts and ensure they are tightened to the correct torque. Visit, our torque setting guide to learn more about common lug nut torque specifications.
- Check and carry a spare tire: Like a Boy Scout, it’s your duty to be prepared for anything when hauling a boat behind you. The simplest thing you can do to stay prepared is to carry a spare tire and, moreover, make sure that spare has the proper tire pressure and is in the right condition to be used in the event of a blowout.
Most people tend not to think about trailer upkeep, maintenance or thorough safety checks unless they’ve had a bad experience in the past—a tire blowout, which leads to hassles, delays, frustrations, damaged fenders and worse: damage to their boat. Avoid the headache this summer and give yourself complete peace of mind before you hitch up your boat for a day of fun in the sun and make sure to take a look at the 7 simple boat trailer safety tips above.