The Tongue Weight of a Trailer Should be What Percent of the Total Weight of the Boat?

The tongue weight of a trailer is an important factor since excess weight can lead to imbalance and unacceptable tilting at either end of the trailer. Ideally, this weight should not be more than 10 – 15 % of the weight of the boat. When the trailer is too heavy, it can make steering difficult and significantly affect the rear end. It may also lead to uncontrolled swaying at the back and a subsequent increase in fuel costs. All this can be avoided with some foresight and simple calculation at the very beginning.

How do you calculate the ideal weight of a trailer?

You can easily calculate the ideal trailer tongue weight with a weighing scale. If you don’t have access to a weighing scale, simply add up the weight of all the items you have on your bill to calculate the total weight. Make sure that you move the trailer off the scales before you try and adjust it with a tongue jack. Once you find the trailer weight with the axels, minus that from the total weight to arrive at the tongue weight.

How can you adjust the weight of the trailer?

After you’ve calculated the tongue weight, you may find that it is either more or less than the desirable weight. In such cases, try moving some items that can really make a difference. Moving items like tools to or from the back to the front can reduce weight at the rear and vice versa. If you’re still unable to arrive at the ideal weight, try moving the axel as a last resort to try and balance the weight.

How do you make sure that you have the right trailer?

  • Check the capacity of your trailer before you leave. It should withstand the boat’s weight, the motor, fuel, and other equipment.
  • Note the tongue weight to make sure it matches your requirements.
  • Lastly, check the size of the ball hitch and make sure that the coupler is also of the right size. And don’t forget to check whether the ball and the hitch are secured.

What do you need to check before you finally head out?

  • Keep the boat in the middle of the trailer and distribute all other equipment according. This is because keeping the load even, will help maintain a balance during transit.
  • Fasten or tie down all loose items so that they don’t hamper speed and cause imbalance.
  • Check the brake lights, tire pressure, and rear mirrors to make sure you are visible to other people on the road, and you can keep an eye on the traffic as well.
  • It would be worth the effort to tie the boat firmly to the trailer so that it doesn’t shift from side to side.
  • Choosing a slightly oversized trailer can be a great option as it will ensure that the boat is securely placed on top. It will also guarantee better balance and help you speed up a little more on the road.

References:

BoatBlurb

Boaterexam.com