With the days getting longer and the weather warming up we can’t stop thinking about getting our boats out on the water!
But first things first, you have to get that boat to the water, and unless you have a marina slip or a permanent dock to anchor your boat to, you will likely be joining the rest of us in trailering the boat to and from the lakes on the weekend.But hey, that's just part of the adventure!
Here at Legend Boats we get asked all kinds of boat related questions, including questions about towing and the rules and regulations about trailers. And it seems many of you are wondering the same thing, “does my boat trailer need brakes?”
So let’s take a few minutes to put this question to rest once and for all!
According to the Ministry of Transportation, whether you are towing a trailer behind a car, van or truck in Ontario, the same rule applies: If your trailer has a gross trailer weight, vehicle and load of 1,360 kilograms (3,000 lbs) or more, it must have brakes strong enough to stop and hold the trailer.
So there it is, yes, depending on the weight of your trailer, Ontario laws requires you to have brakes.
It's also worth noting that when we are looking at the total weight, you also need to remember to factor in the weight of your fuel and gear into the equation to get a true assessment of what you are weighing in at.
Regardless of how slow you are driving, you will be better off with more than just the tow vehicle's brakes if you are trying to bring the massive weight of a trailer to a dead stop.
That said, there are a few extra precautions that can keep you safe while towing a trailered boat.
Boat owners with years of towing experience will tell you time and time again that safe driving habits are crucial because slamming down on the breaks and making a sudden stop can cause your trailer to jackknife.
And nobody wants that!
So here's what you can do to avoid issues when slowing down or stopping:
- Stick to the slow lane!
- Leave reasonable following distance between yourself and other drivers.
- Maintain a speed that will allow you to slow down gradually before stopping.
It's all about being prepared, cautious, and keeping safe!