Originally posted by John Kennett
The National Trailer & Towing Association has a a good web site at www.ntta.co.uk with lots of useful information. I have emailed them to see if we can get any more specific information for boat trailers.
Thank you John for inviting the NTTA to contribute. As a boat owner (yacht) and a trailer manufacturer, I know a little about the subject.
I have tabled the dimensions below but there is still a 'grey area' about the length of a boat trailer. Discussions with the Vehicle Inspectorate indicate that in the case of a boat trailer equipped with a winch, any part of the trailer in front of a vertical line dropped down from the front of the winch post, would constitute the drawbar. In other words, the 7 metre maximum length would be measured from this point. However, until an actual case has been before the courts, this is subject to interpretation.
With specific regard to boat trailers, note that they are exempt to some extent from complying fully with the Road Vehicles (Lighting Regulations) 1986. However, it is important that the rear overhang is clearly marked in accordance with the regulations and that there are also issues about the marking of 'dangerous projections' which could well include outboards.
Towing vehicle up to and including 3500kg GVW
Length (excluding the coupling and drawbar) 7.0 metres
Width Maximum 2.3 metres
Towing vehicle over 3500kg GVW
Length (excluding the coupling and drawbar) 12 metres if at least 4 wheels
Width Maximum 2.55 metres
Length of towing vehicle and trailer combined 18 metres
Maximum overhang of load from rear of trailer 3.05 metres
Marking of rear overhang
Between 1m and 2m, ensure the end is clearly visible by attaching a piece of cloth or similar.
Between 2m and 3.05m, a marker board as defined in the Regulations must be fitted and illuminated at night.
If the overhang is more than 3.05m, an attendant must be carried and the police must be notified 2 days before commencing the journey.
I hope this clears the issue up a little!
Please note, the usual NTTA disclaimer applies to this post! http://www.ntta.co.uk/law/disclaimer.htm