Sep 05 2019 All Articles

Boat Trailer Safety and Launching Tips

When towing a boat, it is important to secure the boat before driving away. Investing in the correct winch to pull the boat onto the trailer is important. There are lots of options – powered or manual.

Are you new to boating? If so, consider some practice at your ramp – or any ramp to improve your backing. Rolling down both lanes of a dual lane ramp isn’t a good idea.

Trailer thefts from boat ramp car parks are common. Make sure your is secured – we have put this guide together for security devices.


When launching

  • Don’t forget to check the bungs are in!
  • If you have a SUV consider popping the back for better visibility when you back down.
  • Don’t forget to remove the rear strop before backing down.


  • Beware of tides and know where the end of the ramp is.
  • Handbrakes aren’t enough – your car needs to be in gear too when parked for launching

When retrieving

  • Put the chain on when driving up the ramp.
  • Don’t forget the safety flag!

In this guide, we will cover the basic trailer towing rules and some trailer towing tips.


  • On a learner or restricted car licence (Class 1) you can tow a trailer but the combined weight of your vehicle, the trailer and its load must not exceed 4500kg.
  • On a full licence the combined weight of your vehicle, the trailer and its load must not exceed 6000kg.


  • Refer to the car manufacturers recommendations before towing a trailer, in particular the weight limits recommended.
  • Refer to the loading limits for the tow bar you are using.
  • Be aware that overloading and uneven loading of car trailers can seriously affect a car’s handling. Additional gear you stow for holidays etc should be over or just forward of the axel(s).
  • You must be able to see behind that old trailer or vehicle. if you can see behind with your rearview mirrors, you may need to fit a special mirror.