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Old 26 November 2011, 14:28   #1
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Never towed before

As it says above. I have never towed a boat before. I pick my boat up in two weeks or so.

How would you suggest that I approach learning to tow.

Ive got a Kia Sportage 4x4 and am quite a capable and confident driver in all other circumstances.
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Old 26 November 2011, 14:45   #2
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How would you suggest that I approach learning to tow.

Ive got a Kia Sportage 4x4 and am quite a capable and confident driver in all other circumstances.
The Sportage is a decent towing vehicle for a start!
Take things easy and slowly
Remember you will have less stopping power so think ahead
Remember you will have more length (some peeps on ere might think that's an inuendo!) so give yourself more room when turning.
Towing is not a big deal
You may get a bit mixed up when reversing but practice will sort that out
The 'Scouse' phrase comes to mind
'Caarmm Down Carrm down'!

You will be fine
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Old 26 November 2011, 14:49   #3
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How would you suggest that I approach learning to tow.
Practice
Seriously, just take it SLOWLY. Assuming your concerns are reversing - Start somewhere where you can do no harm, a deserted car park for instance, and give it a go. With a 4m boat and trailer, if it starts going pear shaped you can always un-hitch it and start again.
You will need to check out which technique you are most comfortable with, screwing your neck around and twirling the wheel whilst watching the boat, or sitting square and watching the boat in the mirrors - I tend to use either, depending on the situation.
If you are talking about practicing before you collect the boat why not try hiring a small-ish trailer and try reversing with that. Not much help for you, but strangely I find reversing with a bigger trailer to be a bit easier than a shorter one, but all it takes is practice
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Old 26 November 2011, 14:55   #4
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I see your in Manchester - where abouts? I am in that area?

I did some work with a guy called Ben Shaw - A very good guy - I needed my B+E, but he will also do 1 hour sessions - and he has Kia of some kind, a big empty car park, and a box trailer.

Ben Shaw Training Home Page
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Old 26 November 2011, 15:02   #5
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I see your in Manchester - where abouts? I am in that area?

I did some work with a guy called Ben Shaw - A very good guy - I needed my B+E, but he will also do 1 hour sessions - and he has Kia of some kind, a big empty car park, and a box trailer.

Ben Shaw Training Home Page
Ben shaws I thought they made pop
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Old 26 November 2011, 15:14   #6
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Just take it steady it won't be you that's the problem it will be some idiot pulling out in front of you, so be 2 steps in front.
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Old 26 November 2011, 15:31   #7
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Guys,

Thanks for the solid advice. A big car park and a few cones was my plan, glad it meets with approval. Im quite happy with dealing with the other idiots on the road as, amongst my other skills I'm an advanced bike instructor so I'm quite used to thinking ahead!

Steve, im in Leigh - Thanks for the heads up about ben, I hadn't realised that you could actually get trained in this kind of thing. Ill give him a good dose of looking at!

John
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Old 26 November 2011, 15:42   #8
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Shouldn't be a problem for you then you will be used to all the idiots just enjoy your self.
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Old 26 November 2011, 15:57   #9
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Yes seems to be a lot of trainers out there for this, as they changed the licence requirements so I didn't have the trailer bit to my driving licence so I couldn't pull anything of a good size.
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Old 26 November 2011, 16:10   #10
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Make sure the trailer is set up well before you start. Its not uncommon, even on brand new boats, to have very little nose weight. You want something like 50 kg ideally. So it should be hard but not impossible to lift. Then make sure you have safety chains or "emergency brake cable" connected in case it falls off. Check your lights before you start. Check everything is still secure after a mile or two - make sure the hubs aren't getting hot (bearings are dead) - I check mine every time I stop somewhere. You should have an audible warning when indicating - if you notice this has stopped along your journey then your electrical socket has probably worked loose.

Otherwise what the others said. Worth practising stopping quickly somewhere its only then you realise how much of a difference it makes. More time and more space and doing things slowly is the key. Remember the trailer when overtaking/pulling back in etc. Also you'll have less punch when overtaking so things you might have done with little thought might be harder.

Remember you are not allowed in lane 3 on the motorway, and have lower speed limits.

Reversing definitely the hardest bit, with the boat on the trailer its not too bad (although an audience doesn't help, and neither do inexperienced "guides" who say "left a bit" - which, the car, the boat, the trailer, the steering wheel?)... reversing the empty trailer down the slip to recover the boat - an absolute PITA with a small trailer that you can't really see etc!
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