You just drove away from the dealership with your brand new PWC and chances are if this is your first PWC or you are new to towing a trailer altogether, you may be trying to balance your excitement with concentration on towing your new prized possession. Before you make your first journey to the boat ramp, you will want to spend some time practicing towing your trailer and especially backing up. As this can be one of the trickiest things to learn, it is recommended that you take some time to learn it right so that you can effortlessly perform at the launch ramp.
There are many tips and videos online about this topic and you will see that everyone has his or her preferred techniques but the basic skills can easily be learned and we have found a recent personal watercraft article that sums it up pretty well. The first thing to do as already mentioned, is to practice before you get to the boat ramp. You want to find a large open space such as an empty parking lot, away from traffic and distractions. The idea is to create a low-pressure environment so that you can practice without any time constraints.
Spend some time backing up and maneuvering to learn how the trailer responds to your steering inputs. You will notice the trailer moves in the opposite direction that your car moves in reverse. A good way to remember is that you “push” the bottom of the steering wheel in the direction you want the trailer to go. For example, push the bottom of the wheel left (turn the wheel clockwise) and the trailer will move to the left.
Once you are fully confident on how your trailer backs up and maneuvers, then you can head to the ramp but you need to also learn a few tips on planning ahead. You want to get on and off the ramp as quickly and safely as possible so that other boaters are not waiting for the same spot. You should do all of your preparation work before you get to the launch area such as deciding what gear to take with you, placing your bumpers or tie down ropes, and checking that your PWC is in operating condition.
Once you are in the water, move your watercraft out of the way before tying it to the dock so that the ramp is free when your vehicle is pulled out of the water. When you are finished riding, just do everything in reverse. Your fellow boaters will be a lot happier and you won’t get those glaring eyes staring at you.