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Old 10 June 2008, 07:27   #1
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Towing check list

Over the weekend I was showing a friend what to check before towing the boat, and realised how many times I'd narrowly avoided making a costly mistake through missing something pretty simple. There are quite a few examples on the forum where things have gone wrong and I have done or tried to do most of them - just been luck that it has mostly been a few choice words, a red face or a bit of time on the ramp and that nothing serious has happened.

So here is the check list I use now. Takes 30 seconds or less to do. It will be different for each setup, but best to keep it to some easily remembered sequence. This one starts at the car and moves backwards sequentially. Also, not a subsititute for a careful look over for flat tires, etc etc. Would be interested in any other things you routinely check.

Trailer Check List 10 - 6 - 3 Rule
(NB Covers trailer and attachments only)

Before towing (10 Checks):
1 Coupling attached to tow ball
2 Safety chain attached to car
3 Trailer light socket attached to car
4 Brakes released (override released and hand brake released)
5 Jockey wheel released and secured to trailer
6 Front of boat secure (D ring attached to safety chain and winch and winch ratchet locked)
7 Nothing loose in boat that will fall out or blow away, tools left on tubes, unsecured cushions
8 Rear of boat attached (ratchet straps on both transom)
9 Motor is safe to tow (tilted with towing support if used)
10 Check lights

Before launching (6 Checks)
1 Brake override on
2 D ring safety ring finger tight (so can release it quickly at launch)
3 Bow line free to run and within reach
4 Keys in ignition and cut out switch set
5 Rear ratchet straps released
6 Motor will trim down (checks that towing support is released and battery is connected

Before retrieving boat from water (3 Checks)
1 Boat sitting correctly on trailer
2 Front of boat secure (D ring attached to safety chain and winch and winch ratchet locked)
3 Engine trimmed up and switched off (NB 4 stroke owners!)

Before towing away, stop sort boat out and do first check list.
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Old 10 June 2008, 11:13   #2
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Before towing: Tires inflated, Antenna down.

Before launching: Drain plug installed (if it has one.)


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Old 10 June 2008, 14:06   #3
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I don't need a check list, I have a set order that I do things in and provided that I stick to the system then I'm OK. If crew start helping me or talk to me then it tends to put me off what I'm doing and I have to repeatee the procedure
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Old 10 June 2008, 14:55   #4
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trunks up

fuel on

air vent if one fitted open

rear rope ready to go if needed for additional help in fast currents etc

handle fitted to winch ready to wind if removeable

rear light board removed

children and others clear behind boat before reversing down ramp

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Old 10 June 2008, 16:04   #5
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Originally Posted by Hightower View Post
I don't need a check list, I have a set order that I do things in and provided that I stick to the system then I'm OK. If crew start helping me or talk to me then it tends to put me off what I'm doing and I have to repeatee the procedure
Ditto, and she wonders why I get peeved
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Old 10 June 2008, 16:13   #6
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Ditto
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Old 10 June 2008, 16:31   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hightower View Post
I don't need a check list, I have a set order that I do things in and provided that I stick to the system then I'm OK. If crew start helping me or talk to me then it tends to put me off what I'm doing and I have to repeatee the procedure
Yeah I do the same, its sort of a mental checklist, so if I get to the back of the boat and am only upto 9 then I've missed something! It does take a while and a few mistakes to get the system right.

Whew, the list gets long. I like Hugh's comments - that would make a 10 point launching list as well. I'd forgotten the antanae it's just been installed.

Any more suggestions?
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Old 10 June 2008, 18:26   #8
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Yes I find it easy to forget to slide the trailer board supports back in , also my evinrude has a spring down lock on the tilt which my last suzuki didn't have I have to remember to trim the motor up and lift the spring bracket before trimming down .
It would be a sod to reach while floating in the tide after sliding off the trailer .
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Old 10 June 2008, 18:50   #9
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So how many people retract the trailer board mounting poles? I haven't, however I found a little gouge just under the Bow in the gel coat that could have been done by this. However I can't remember an incident when the bow came that close! At launch I just push the boat off and let gravity do the rest, this takes her straight out and off the trailer.
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Old 10 June 2008, 19:25   #10
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So how many people retract the trailer board mounting poles? I haven't, however I found a little gouge just under the Bow in the gel coat that could have been done by this. However I can't remember an incident when the bow came that close! At launch I just push the boat off and let gravity do the rest, this takes her straight out and off the trailer.
I took mine off and binned them for just that reason. Light board is now hung from the U bolts on the transom and retained by the transom straps. Much easier to get to than getting on your hands and knees with those silly poles.
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