How to Drive Your Boat On The Trailer

How to Load Your Boat

Once you pull your boat up to the dock, make sure you secure it before going to get your truck and trailer. There is a handful of dock knots that will do the trick, but truly all you need to do is to make sure the nose and butt of your boat are lined up and secured to the dock – if possible make sure it is secured on the opposite side of the ramp to allow others to continue launching and loading. However, if that isn’t an option then you simply have to do what you have to do and others will have to wait.

Then, back in your trailer. Again, backing up is super simple, start as straight as you can and find a reference point. Ideally, you want to line up the mirror closest to the dock as a reference. However, even the edge of a ramp is going to work great. Remember, don’t over correct. Do as minimal corrections as possible while staying lined up.

As for how far back you should go into the water – it will depend heavily upon your individual trailer. However, I have always found that keeping the guides slightly out of the water tends to work well for me. This not only allows me to have enough guide to bounce off of, but also is deep enough that I can crank in the boat with ease.

Next, hop in your boat, untie from the dock, and drive it onto the trailer. You don’t need to force it all the way up. I will usually get it on straight just far enough to hook up the strap. Then, I’ll turn off the motor and hop out to crank it by hand the rest of the way up. When it’s all the way up, hook on the safety chain. BEFORE DRIVING AWAY, make sure you trim your motor ALL THE WAY UP so your lower unit doesn’t hit pavement as you drive out.


  • Attach Safety Chain
  • Put Motor (and even kicker if applicable) Up and Out of the Water Before Driving Away