If you are new to boating, the “Boating Basics” series of videos from Mercury Marine provides an engaging, educational guide to our favorite pastime that will help you gain confidence on the water. Even if you are an experienced boater, you might pick up a few tips!
A trailerable boat is your ticket to explore new and exciting waters – and to go boating where and when you want. If you’re new to towing a trailer, all it takes is practice. Find an empty parking lot and spend some time maneuvering your trailer in forward and reverse, much like when you first got behind the wheel of a car. This is a great way to build confidence.
The video below (see link) and the following tips will also help you build your skills by showing you the basic steps for getting your boat to and from the ramp.
The first thing to remember about towing a trailer is that you must make wider turns than you would just driving your vehicle to make sure your trailer clears the corner. When you come up to a turn, pull farther forward than you ordinarily would before turning, and favor the outside edge of the lane you are turning into. You should purposely “swing wide” through the turn.
When backing up a trailer, remember this: If you reverse your vehicle one way, the trailer will go in the opposite direction. This may seem counterintuitive, but there’s a trick to help you. Place the palm of your hand on the bottom of the steering wheel of your tow vehicle as you’re backing up. From there, the direction you move the bottom of the wheel with your hand is the direction the trailer will go.
When backing up the trailer in a straight line, keep your eyes on your driver’s side mirror. If you start to see more of your trailer appear in the mirror, that means it’s moving to the left, out of alignment with your tow vehicle. To correct its course, palm the bottom of the wheel toward the right. This will bring the trailer back to the right. It should only take a small adjustment, so go slow and don’t oversteer. Once the trailer is back in line with your vehicle, ease the wheel back to center.
As you continue backing up, you’ll probably need to make multiple fine adjustments to keep the trailer in line. If you accidentally overcorrect and the trailer steers well wide of its course, don’t be concerned. Just stop and drive forward until your trailer and tow vehicle are lined up again. Then start slowly backing up again.
At some point, you’ll likely need to turn your trailer while backing up. This can be necessary to get in or out of a parking spot, to back into your driveway or even to back down a ramp.
Here’s the basic process for making a right-hand turn in reverse:
Mastering this process is all about timing your turns as you learn to direct the trailer and then follow it with the tow vehicle. It’s best mastered by practicing in an empty parking lot, so you can get used to how far to turn the wheel through each step of the process. Remember to keep your eyes on any obstructions, and to go slowly as you’re learning.
With practice, you will get used to the different feel of driving your vehicle with and without the trailer in tow. More time, space and patience are the keys to trailering safely. When you start trailering on the highway, you will find it takes more time to accelerate your whole rig to speed and to overtake other vehicles. It also takes more space to change lanes. The most important thing to remember is that it will take more time to come to a stop. Be sure to keep multiple car lengths between you and the vehicle ahead of you on the road in case it should brake suddenly.
Another thing to keep alert for is sway. If the rear of your vehicle or your trailer should start to sway, it could mean that the tongue weight is off, or a tire is losing pressure. Reduce your speed and look for an opportunity to safely leave the road and make the necessary adjustments.
Practicing different trailering maneuvers will help you to feel more confident and relaxed at the wheel. Don’t just get competent, get good. With practice, trailering will become second nature, and you will soon find you are the one showing new boaters how it’s done.
Mercury Video here https://youtu.be/zNkeHpCF4Zw
Here are some crazy boating tips to not do: https://youtu.be/mZowyfrM--A
E15 gasoline blend (15% alcohol) is usually restricted from sale during the summer. But with the rising cost of gasoline, it will be available at gas pumps across the U.S. during the summer months for the first time in more than 10 years. While it might be a worthwhile alternative for some cars and trucks, E15 is not a good option for marine engines. Among other factors, E15 fuel degrades the fuel lines and other internal parts of the fuel system, causes boats to run hot in some instances and breaks down and separates causing gumming and buildup, which can wreak havoc on an internal combustion engine.
We recommend that larger boats use the fuel from marina fuel docks. There is a great website to help you choose where you can get marine engine safe fuel. WWW.pure-gas.org
Yamaha has a great website to show you that maintenance matters when boating. It gives you an outline of what you need to know and do before, during and after you put your boat in the water. The tips are applicable to any manufacturer, BRP, Yamaha or Mercury. Check it out. www.yamahaboats.com/boating-resources/maintenance-matters/
The good news is that corrosion can be prevented! Marine corrosion is a fact of boating life, but you can protect your investment with diligence and proper maintenance. As the boat owner, you are the most important key to effective corrosion protection.
Here are a few guidelines to follow:
A) Magnesium anodes are suggested for fresh water ONLY.
B) Aluminum Anodes, or Zincs should be used in salt water.
C) Anodes and outdrives should be inspected on a regular basis for signs of corrosion.
D) Do not paint anodes.
E) Not all anodes are created equal, don't sacrifice your equipment with the use of poor quality aftermarket anodes.
Your particular boating environment may require that you install additional anodes or other protective devices.
Corrosion can be caused by many factors, such as the wrong type or improper application of anti-fouling paint, marine growth, stray electrical current (electrolylsis), an improperly wired or damaged Mercathode, etc. These types of conditions are not covered by a warranty.
Please see the next two questions to find the two different applications of corrosion protection.
A galvanic isolator is a solid-state device that is series connected in-line into the boat's green safety grounding or earth line lead ahead of all grounding connections on the boat. This can be done internally in the boat or by using a plug in waterproof unit. This device functions as a filter, blocking the flow of destructive low voltage galvanic (DC) currents, but still maintaining the integrity of the safety grounding circuit. A galvanic isolator is only necessary on boats utilizing a shore power connection. Be sure to also use sacrificial anodes and do not paint sacrificial anodes.
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