Proper trailering and storage of your performance boat are essential to protect your investment and ensure it’s always ready for the next adventure. Whether you’re hauling your boat to a new location or preparing it for off-season storage, the right techniques will keep it in top condition. This guide will cover the essentials of trailering, including maintenance, loading, and unloading, as well as the best practices for storing your boat.

Trailering Tips:

  1. Selecting the Right Trailer:
    • Weight Capacity: Choose a trailer with a weight capacity that exceeds your boat’s total weight, including fuel and gear.
    • Length and Width: Ensure the trailer is suitable for your boat’s length and beam, providing adequate support for the hull.
  2. Maintenance:
    • Tires and Brakes: Check tire pressure regularly and inspect the tread for wear. Test brakes and ensure they’re responsive.
    • Bearings: Grease the wheel bearings frequently to prevent overheating and seizing.
    • Lights and Wiring: Ensure all trailer lights are functional, and inspect wiring for corrosion or damage.
  3. Loading and Securing Your Boat:
    • Alignment: Align the boat with the trailer’s keel rollers and guide posts for centered loading.
    • Winch and Straps: Use the winch to pull the boat onto the trailer, securing the bow eye firmly. Use additional tie-down straps to secure the stern.
    • Transom Saver: Consider using a transom saver to reduce strain on the transom during transport.
  4. Towing Safety:
    • Weight Distribution: Distribute weight evenly to prevent swaying or fishtailing. Place heavier items toward the front of the trailer.
    • Driving Techniques: Drive at moderate speeds, allowing extra time for stopping. Avoid sudden turns or swerving.
    • Clearance and Bridges: Ensure your total height clears any bridges or overpasses.
  5. Launching and Unloading:
    • Prepare in Advance: Secure lines, remove tie-downs, and ensure the drain plug is in place before launching.
    • Backing Up: Use side mirrors or a spotter to guide the trailer down the ramp.
    • Winch Control: Use the winch to slowly release the boat into the water, keeping the stern secured until it’s fully afloat.

Storage Tips:

  1. Cleaning and Winterization:
    • Thorough Cleaning: Clean the hull, deck, and all onboard equipment to remove salt, grime, and algae.
    • Winterization: Flush the engine and cooling system, change the oil, and add antifreeze where necessary.
    • Fuel Stabilization: Add a fuel stabilizer to prevent the fuel from breaking down over the winter.
  2. Protective Covering:
    • Boat Covers: Use a high-quality cover to protect against UV rays, moisture, and dust. Ensure the cover fits snugly.
    • Shrink Wrapping: Consider shrink-wrapping your boat for maximum protection against the elements.
  3. Indoor Storage:
    • Temperature Control: Store your boat in a climate-controlled environment to prevent freezing and condensation.
    • Pest Control: Set up traps or deterrents to keep rodents from nesting inside the boat.
  4. Outdoor Storage:
    • Raised Platform: Store your boat on a trailer or boat stand to keep it off the ground and prevent water pooling.
    • Regular Checks: Inspect the cover regularly and remove any accumulated snow or debris.
  5. Battery and Electrical Systems:
    • Battery Maintenance: Disconnect the battery and store it in a cool, dry place. Keep it charged to extend its life.
    • Electronics Protection: Remove or cover electronics to protect against moisture and dust.
  6. Insurance and Security:
    • Insurance Review: Review your insurance policy to ensure your boat is covered during storage or transport.
    • Security Measures: Use locks on the trailer hitch and install a GPS tracker to monitor your boat’s location.

Spring Preparation: When it’s time to bring your boat out of storage, follow these steps for a safe and smooth launch.

  1. Visual Inspection:
    • Inspect the hull, engine, and electrical systems for any signs of damage or corrosion.
    • Ensure the fuel system, cooling system, and batteries are in good condition.
  2. Testing and Tuning:
    • Start the engine and let it idle to confirm everything is running smoothly.
    • Test the steering, throttle, and gear shifts for responsiveness.
  3. Safety Gear Check:
    • Ensure life jackets, fire extinguishers, and signaling devices are in good condition and properly stored.
    • Replace any expired or damaged safety equipment.

Proper trailering and storage are key to maintaining your performance boat’s condition and value. By following these tips, you’ll be ready for smooth, secure transportation and off-season storage. Plan ahead, maintain your trailer, and practice safe loading techniques to protect your boat for years to come. With the right preparation, your boat will be ready for high-speed adventures whenever you are.