Each time we are going to tow our Rib, it is necessary to check thoroughly the trailer to ensure not only our own safety but our beloved inflatable boat as well.
Some of the very important things we have to do, when we are going to transport our boat to feel safe and drive with confidence during towing, are the following:
1. Check the trailer’s ball coupler
First of all, it is very important to check the trailer's ball coupler which connects the trailer with the towing vehicle.
We check its proper condition by carefully inspecting each consisting part and place the ball coupler over the vehicle’s tongue ball securing it by pushing the small locking lever back until it locks in the slot. We inspect the good fitting of the tongue ball with the ball coupler and never forget to attach the safety pin ensuring that the trigger will not unlock in any case
Of course, in the new certified trailers, the ball coupler is locked on the hitch ball of the towing vehicle automatically with the appropriate indication.
2. Attach the safety chains
We should always apply the trailer safety chains to the towing vehicle and be careful that they have the same length in each side, long enough to allow tight turns but at the same time short enough so as not touch the ground.
3. Check the trailer Lights
The trailer lights are essential for road safety and must be in perfect condition.
So, before starting, we’d better check the proper operation of the stop lights, tall lights, turn signals and reflectors.
We should also inspect the cable running along the length of the trailer, which must be in good condition and steadily tied on the trailer.
4. Check the trailer tires’ pressure
>No one wants to get stuck on the side of the road with a blown out tire or, more importantly, be responsible for causing an accident on its way to the sea. Trailer tires problems are the most common reason of troubles during the towing.
Before starting our short or long trip to the slip, thoughtfully we have to check the tires of the trailer.
Proper tires pressure, especially in our case of carrying such heavy loads, are of huge importance.
The tire pressure must under no circumstances exceed the maximum permissible one which is written on the sidewall of each tire, otherwise wear can be caused to the central parts of the tread while there is great danger of blown up caused by the high temperature and excessive air expansion inside.
However, the tire pressure should not be low either, as distortions and wear on the tires edges are caused, while the resistances on the road increase, resulting in greater friction and, of course, an increase in fuel consumption for the towing vehicle.
It is therefore advisable to inflate the tires to the maximum allowable pressure given by the manufacturer without ever exceeding it, because the loads carried are particularly heavy.
That’s why we should avoid loading up the boat with extra weight, such as filling the tanks, during transport.
Apart from the tires psi control, it is also the tires, the breaks, as well as the wheel bearings that should be in excellent condition, checked or replaced during their annual maintenance, and not at the last moment before towing our boat.
5. Tie down the boat on the trailer
When the boat is on the trailer, it is only held by the trailer's winch and the safety chain on the bow eye.
But you should never trust only the winch strap and the safety chain because both of them prevent only the backwards sliding of the boat. Use the proper retractable straps to prevent the forward, backward, vertical and lateral movement of the boat on the trailer.
The best attachment points to properly secure the boat on the trailer are:
- The transom eyes: run two ratchet straps through transom eyes and apply them to the rings located at the rear trailer frame. This prevents mainly the backward movement of the boat and less lifting off, because the transom usually protrudes from the trailer’s ring attachments.
- The bow eye: run a first strap, with a parallel line to the ground, to tie the bow forward on the winch stand, and a second one to tie the bow down and backward on the trailer's frame to prevent the bow both from lifting off and forward movement too. The two above straps secure the bow and reduce the forces on the winch.
- Especially for small or light boats, run a strap around both sides of the stern by passing it over the tubes and secure it by applying it under the trailer frame. This will hold the boat down and restrict the vertical movement of the boat ensuring that it does not jump off the trailer when running over bumps or potholes.>
The three ways described above, ensure that the boat is displaced in any direction and is held in its place even in tight turns, downhill or abrupt braking.
When we tow the trailer we must know that our vehicle is much longer and heavier thus requires extra caution in driving.
Keep greater braking distances, drive at a lower speed and never run faster than 70 km / h.