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Guidance When Towing Boats on the Road

When you are towing a boat on Australian roads, there are a number of regulations that apply. In most cases, boat owners tow their boats with vehicles that are under 4.5 tonnes, but larger boats require bigger vehicles to haul them and you must check the specific rules if your towing vehicle exceeds this weight. Nevertheless, towing a boat trailer with a normal car or van means you still have to comply with the law of the road in each state where trailers are being used. Let's examine what you need to take on board in more detail.

Securing the Boat

The trailer you are using to tow your boat must be suitably sized for the job and able to cope even when you are driving with a cross wind. In other words, if you have recently upgraded your boat, then you may also need to invest in a larger trailer. Secondly, trailers should be fitted with good quality boat rollers and winches so that you can more easily load and unload your trailer close to the water's edge. Larger trailers, which will handle the bigger sorts of boat, should be equipped with a braking system to help you maintain control in traffic and when heading downhill. Boats thatare deemed to be insufficiently secured on their trailer may land the driver in trouble with the authorities if you drive on the public road.

No Go Areas — Things to Avoid

You must hold a full driving license in order to tow a trailer in Australia. Learner drivers must not take part in any towing activity. Secondly, you must make sure that no passenger is carried in the boat. Anyone coming with you should be in the towing vehicle with the driver. In addition, you are only allowed to tow one trailer at a time. You could feasibly have a trailer large enough for two small boats but, in most cases, this means one boat per vehicle.

Rules for P1 Car License Holders

If you hold a P1 car license, as many provisional drivers in the country do, then you are allowed to tow a boat trailer that weighs up to 250 kilos. If the trailer weighs more than this before you load the boat on to it, then you will have to hire a specialist driver with a full license to do the job for you. If you are towing your boat on the open road — one that is defined as having no street lighting installed — then you must maintain a gap of at least 60 metres from any goods vehicles ahead of you. This measure is designed to reduce the risk of accidents when driving at higher speeds.