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Boat Towing and Launching


Lauching at Port Stephens, January 2006

Preparing a boat for towing

  1. Check motor has cowling locked on and is tilted up.
  2. Check motor rests fully on towing brace. Check if towing brace is strapped on properly and strap is on and tight.
  3. Switch battery main switch into position off (check with up/down buttons on motor).
  4. Check towing brace and strap (needs to be tight).
  5. Check if safety chain between trailer and car is on and shackle is screwed in tightly.
  6. Make sure that winch strap is pulled all the way up and tight.
  7. Store winch handle safely (in anchor compartment, in the compartment next to the console, or into your car).
  8. Lower aerial (antenna) and tie it on.
  9. Make sure the jockey wheel is up and the handle secured.
  10. Check if sounder is taken off and stored in its case (take case into your car or put it into the console).
  11. Check if there is enough oil in the oil container (in console). Fill up if necessary.
  12. Make sure console doors are closed properly.
  13. Tie down petrol tanks and jerry cans with rope.
  14. Make sure you have the correct sounder (in its box) and the correct foot pump (in the console).
  15. Make sure nothing is lying around in the boat can be blown out by the wind (e.g. dive flag). Attach everything securely.
  16. Lower pontoon pressure (especially if towing from the coast back to Canberra, but also if you drive to the coast).
  17. Check the trailer tyre pressures (including the spare) and inflate if necessary (correct tyre pressure is written on the mud guards).
  18. Make sure trailer lights are working (indicators, brakes, lights).

Drive responsibly and adjust your speed to road conditions. Remember the Pufferfish trailer does NOT have brakes!

How NOT to tow a boat: See this story from Western Australia.

Please report any problem to the trip organiser and boat officer.

Preparing your car for towing

Bob Jane T-marts recommend that you over-inflate your tyres by 14kpa (2 psi) to compensate for the additional static load.

You should also inflate your tyres before you pick up the boat as even the short trip from the boat shed to the service station can permanently damage your tyres. Of course, you should also check your tyre pressure when the tyres are cold.

Preparing a boat for launching

  1. Are petrol tanks (and jerry cans) full? Use unleaded petrol for the boats.
  2. Is there enough oil in the motor? Fill up if necessary.
  3. Is the towing brace and strap off?
  4. Is the safety chain between trailer and boat on? Do remove this safety chain as late as possible, e.g. on a steep boat ramp not until the boat is the water (to prevent it from sliding off the trailer).
  5. Is the aerial up? Make sure the way to the boatramp is free of obstructions like trees etc.
  6. Is the sounder installed and working? Check the position of the sounder sensor (must be horizontal).
  7. Are the drain screw caps closed properly?
  8. Are life jackets, full water bottles, dive flag and the correct foot pump (in console) on board?
  9. Is the battery switched on? Is there enough battery power?
  10. Is the motor tilted up?
  11. Are motor support feet up?

Returning the boat

  1. Before disconnecting the trailer, check the trailer lights. Report any faults to the boat officer as soon as possible.
  2. Return the boat to the shed and return the equipment to the cage.
  3. Ensure the cage, garage and shed doors are locked and the lights are off.

Important note about fuel storage

ANU OH&S guidelines only allow for a limited amount of fuel storage in enclosed spaces, the limit determined by the area of the space. For the club gear shed, this means we can store no more than two black jerry cans full of fuel in the shed (~45 litres). Fuel stored in the red boat fuel tanks do not count toward this limit (so long as they are actually put in the boats). Fuel stored in the black jerry cans does count toward the limit, regardless of whether they are in the boats or not.

Please make sure that if there is more than two jerry cans of fuel in the shed, the excess is transferred into the red boat tanks. At the coast, consider selling any excess fuel to trip punters/towers if you think you're going to end up with too much to store in the shed.

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