Towing a boat can seem like a daunting task. But follow this step-by-step guide, and you’ll be on the road and into the water in no time.


  1. Perform a safety inspection. Make sure the trailer is properly hitched, cables are attached correctly, lights are working properly, safety cables and chains are crossed and wrapped to support the hitch, and the bow strap and safety chain are correctly secured.
  2. Secure all gear in the boat. Heavy items should be centered and positioned above the trailer’s axle.
  3. Make sure your truck’s load is level and even. Evenly distributed weight will make towing easier.
  4. Determine the tongue weight to reduce swaying. The tongue weight should be 10-15% of your load. If you start to sway while driving, pull over and adjust your rig. Here’s more information on tongue weight.
  5. Take turns as wide as possible. You don’t want to clip any curbs.
  6. Start slow and give yourself space. Your braking distance will be increased, so leave plenty of space between you and the vehicle in front of you.
  7. Use your side mirrors. Your boat will block your rearview mirror, so make sure to check your side mirrors frequently.
  8. Take your foot off the accelerator—but don’t break—when you feel the wind push you.
  9. Practice. Don’t jump right into hauling a large boat. Use a parking lot to practice backing up, turning and getting used to the added weight and length.

For more tips on hauling and trailering, visit