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Boat Trailer Safety

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On: Wed, Aug 4, 2010 at 1:49PM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Many avid boaters try to keep up on the latest safety issues related to their favorite water sport, but what about boat trailer safety? Many principals of keeping your trailer safe may be overlooked, so here are some tips on how to keep your fishing rig safe when it’s on the road.
Below are the top 3 reasons that boaters report needing assistance on the road, according to “Trailer Assist,” the roadside assistance program for boat trailer and tow vehicle problems:
  1. Flat tires are the most frequently reported road emergency for boaters' trailers. Tires need to be inspected before and after each trip, and inflated to proper level, which is usually around 50 PSI. It’s important to carry a spare, along with a working jack for your trailer at all times, just like you do for your car. It is not a great idea to wait to replace worn tires, as having tire emergencies on the road is the quickest way to get stuck on the side of the road with your boat and trailer.
  2. Bearings should be inspected, cleaned, and repacked at least once a year, and even more frequently if you put your boat in salt water—which most Floridian boaters do. It’s also wise to keep dust caps in place to ward off wear and tear. Bearing problems are the 2nd most common boat trailer disasters reported by boaters. Note: The best clue that your bearings need some attention is when the hubs get unusually hot to the touch. Each time you stop to gas up, it’s a good idea to check them.
  3. Axle problems are 3rd on the list, particularly the ones that have been regularly towing boats frequently submerged in salt water. It is important to inspect your axle frequently for rust or corrosion whether you have a standard leaf-spring mounted axle or a torsion axle. Be sure to inspect the bolts as well.
If you would like more information on the Trailer Assist service, or to sign up for the roadside assistance program designed to help boaters get back on the road after an accident or trailer breakdown, go to, or call 800-395-2628. The annual membership fee is only $14 and the association membership is a one-time fee of $24. The U.S. Trailering Club is an advocate and support program for recreational boaters. The roadside service program will not only tow you up to 100 miles in the misfortunate event of a trailer or vehicle breakdown, it also offers assistance for flat tires, lock-out service, and ramp-winching.

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