Boat Trailers and Tow Vehicles: A User's Guide

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9780070282056: Boat Trailers and Tow Vehicles: A User's Guide

Boat Trailers and Tow Vehicles is packed with information showing adjustment, towing, launching, maintenance, and repair procedures. It describes how to choose the right style and type of trailer, the best accessories for the job, and the best tow vehicle; how to troubleshoot and repair electrics and wheel bearings; how to correct sway and stability problems while towing; and much more. Detailed appendices.

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From the Back Cover:

Trailer boating has never looked better. With slip rental and boatyard storage fees skyrocketing, and with mooring space virtually nonexistent in many waterfront communities, more and more of us are turning to boats we can pull home behind our cars after each use. The range of a trailer boater is virtually unlimited. Depending on where you live, you could be enjoying freshwater cruising today and saltwater fishing tomorrow.

But trailer boating involves its own unique body of skills and know-how, as many an experienced boater has discovered to his embarrassment. From the obvious (but not necessarily instinctive) necessity of putting the plug in the boat's transom before launching, to the subtler nuances of wheel-bearing maintenance and making a rig roadworthy, trailering offers us seemingly infinite opportunities for minor disasters, which often entail personal expense and public humiliation.

Boat Trailers and Tow Vehicles is here to help. Among other things, it tells you how to:

  • find the right style of trailer for your boat and ramp targets;
  • pick the trailer accessories that will be most helpful in your circumstances;
  • choose the best tow vehicle--and not void your car's warranty in the process;
  • adjust your trailer to fit your boat;
  • be sure the rig is legal for highway use;
  • drive with a trailer behind you, with easy, effective maneuvering going forward or in reverse, on ramps or on the road;
  • avoid sway and stability problems while towing;
  • troubleshoot your trailer's electrical system, suspension, and wheels;
  • extend its life with quick, effective maintenance procedures;
  • and much more.

This is the first guide for worryfree trailering, and your best insurance for pleasant experiences on the road, on the launch ramp, and in the water.

There has never been a book that covers the whole territory of choosing, using, maintaining, repairing, and improving a boat trailer, and equipping and handling the right tow vehicle . . .

Until now that is . . .

Here is everything you need to know about the art of trailering, whether you tow a powerboat or a sailboat. Everything.

About the Author:

A resident of Darien, Connecticut, Steve Henkel obtained a mechanical engineering degree from Princeton University in 1955, and added a master's degree in business administration from Rutgers University in 1963. He has been insatiably fascinated by boats of all kinds for over 30 years, and has personally owned more than 30 different types, both power and sail, from Whalers and Aquasports to J/24s and Tartan 27s. Henkel has been towing trailers ever since he bought a bolt-together knockdown kit in 1961, and he has made most of the mistakes and suffered most of the embarrassments mortal trailer boaters can be heir to. He has built a boat from scratch, assembled a 23-foot cruiser from a kit, had a sailboat built to his exacting specifications, and with his family, has successfully refurbished several decaying hulks for fun and profit. With his wife, Carol, he currently takes to the water with a fleet of nine boats, including a 22-foot Aquasport with a 140 hp outboard, a 17-foot cruising catboat, a variety of sailing and rowing dinghies ranging from 7 to 16 feet long, and a couple of Windsurfers. Three boat trailers and a large station wagon equipped for heavy towing help move the fleet between launch ramps. While working in finance, business planning, marketing, and engineering, Henkel began a sideline writing career in the early 1970s with the publication of his first book, a best-selling guide to the care and repair of bicycles. In 1985 he helped start SAILOR magazine, and has been writing virtually full-time ever since. He is currently a contributor to several boating magazines, including SAIL, Boat Journal, and MotorBoat. He is the author of Boating for Less: How to Save Money When Buying, Owning, or Selling Your Power or Sail Boat, published by International Marine in 1988.

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