If you are new to boat trailers or to towing in general, there are a few things to keep in mind:
First, ask your distributor to show you how to hook up and remove the trailer from your vehicle, ask him or her to explain the benefits of the features and how the lights work.
Before heading directly to the launch, I recommend that you practice with the trailer and boat in a large parking lot. The additional weight of the boat will make the towing experience very different from simply backing up an empty trailer.
Before buying, consider where you will tow the boat and, more importantly, where you will store the boat. As pontoons evolve, they have taller profiles, so sitting on top of a trailer makes them very tall and they may not fit inside any overhead door. Generally, look for spaces over 8′ minimum.
For towing, we recommend removing the mooring cover. These covers are designed to be higher when deployed so that water drains easily. This is not conducive to road travel and the cover will be damaged. Most aftermarket manufacturers or suppliers make travel covers for longer trailers.
When launching the boat, it is preferable that the engine is completely down, if possible. It is important to know if the engine in the down position will have clearance in the water. If the engine does not clear obstacles, you can trim the engine.
If you keep the trimmed engine in the up position while towing, you should deploy a bracket that acts as a kickstand and helps support the engine, taking pressure off the tilting mechanism. Check your engine owner’s manual to see if it has this support built in and what they recommend for towing.
When launching the boat, be sure to unplug the lights before submerging the trailer in the water. This will help the longevity of your light connection. Also, be sure to assess current and wind direction before backing into the launch.
If your launch is a steep drop, you may want to remove the winch strap from the loop on the frame to give it a little more slack. If you don’t do this and pull the boat from a steep angle, the bow will tilt up on the trailer.
This angle puts a lot of pressure on the winch strap and, when the boat starts to level out, it can damage the bow of the boat where the winch is attached.
Make sure the toons are all the way up on the trailer so they don’t hang off the back. You can also add an extra layer of protection by tying down the stern of the boat. Some trailers come with rear straps, if not, ratchet straps work great.
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