Local boat launches and Florida waters have seen a lot of traffic so far this summer. If you currently trailer your boat, we want to ensure you know how to launch your boat properly to avoid accidents. Backing your boat trailer into the water can be a daunting task for many. Continue reading to learn how to launch your boat safely and efficiently so that you can maximize your time out on the water and stay safe. If you’d like to take the stress out of your boating launching experience, consider storing your boat with TNT’s Marine Center at our dry or wet docking location. Click here for more information.
Before you can go boating, you have to get the boat into the water. The last step in that process often involves backing a trailered boat down a launch ramp, an endeavor that can sometimes be stressful or intimidating for many boat owners.
Check out our Boat Towing and Trailing Guide for information on all aspects of towing and launching, but read on here for some tips on successfully backing down that ramp, with minimal anxiety. These tips also apply to backing the trailer away from the ramp, into your driveway, for example.
8 Steps for Backing Up a Boat Trailer
- Before you leave the staging area, always walk down and inspect the ramp.
- When possible, align the boat and trailer so you can back straight down the ramp.
- When possible, it’s handy to back down the ramp with a dock to the left, or driver’s side.
- Slow is pro! Back up slowly, so you have more time to correct the trailer if needed.
- Remember, with a trailer, steering is backwards: steer the wheel to the left and the trailer will steer to the right—and vice versa.
- When it doubt, pull forwards to straighten out and start again.
- Consult your rear-view back-up camera, if applicable, but also consult your exterior mirrors.
- Finally, once backed down the ramp and the stern of your boat is floating, don’t forget to set the parking brake before exiting your vehicle