While some people might tell you it's not the size of the ship that matters, this is certainly not the case when hauling a large boat yourself. Heavier loads will often mean extra equipment, alternate routes, and even special permits. Below you'll find some general tips to get you and your large boat to your destination without putting you or your transport vehicle at risk.
Treat Your Truck: Pulling extremely heavy loads can put a great deal of strain on your transport vehicle. Keep a sharp eye on your temperature gauge for overheating and take occasional breaks to give your truck a chance to recover.
Each state has its regulations for the height and width of a towed object. If you are traveling through multiple states, it's important to make sure your truck and trailer meet the required laws of each state you'll visit.
Don't Get Stuck: In addition to the state laws, it is important to know exactly how wide and tall your trailered boat will be so you can confidently sail under any bridge without causing extensive damage to your vessel or public property. Similarly, you'll also want to avoid a route that takes you through a busy downtown or around any hairpin curves.
"While some people might tell you it's not the size of the ship that matters, this is certainly not the case when hauling a large boat yourself."
It's Not a Sports Car: The turning and stopping times that you have spent your entire adult life learning will mean nothing with a nine-foot-wide boat behind you. Your best bet is to take it slow for the safety of you, your boat, and everyone else on the road. Take special care when going up steep hills, where it can sometimes feel like your truck is barely crawling along. Downgrades can present their own set of problems. Once again, watch your speed and try to use lower gears to slow the truck's engine rather than slamming on the breaks.
Stay Safe: In addition to your own safety, consider the well-being of other drivers on the road. Stop often and make sure that your boat continues to be safely hitched to your transport vehicle and that any tarps or other equipment are also firmly battened down. If you plan on stopping for the night, remove anything valuable from the boat that could be stolen and take anything out of your truck that might be visible to would-be thieves.