Chapter 3 X Vessel Operation
TRAILERING AND STORAGE All trailers owned and operated in the State of California, and used to transport boats of any size, must be registered with the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The Boat Must Fit the Trailer The length of the boat determines the length of the trailer. The beam of the boat determines the width of the trailer. Your boat and its contents should not weigh more than 80 percent of the trailer’s weight capacity.
When the boat is placed on the trailer, make sure that the rollers and supports are adjusted to fit the shape of the boat’s bottom. And be sure to secure the boat to the trailer.
Trailer equipment Your trailer should be equipped with the following: Brakes (these are optional, mainly for heavier trailers) Lights Trailer hitch
Brakes for Your Trailer Usually, small trailers do not have brakes of their own. But larger trailers need special brakes. You have two main choices in braking systems: surge and electric. Surge brakes work from the trailer’s momentum. When you apply the brakes on your vehicle, the trailer surges ahead slightly and the trailer’s hydraulically operated brakes take hold. Trailers equipped with surge brakes also have an emergency release cable that must be attached to the towing vehicle. If for some reason the trailer breaks free of the towing vehicle, the brakes on the trailer will engage. Electric brakes go on when you apply the car’s brakes. This system works well on the road, but not as well when backing up. Lights for Your Trailer In California, your trailer must be equipped with taillights, brake lights, turn signals, and clearance lights. If possible, mount your trailer’s lights on a removable board, because water, especially salt water, is hard on trailer lights, and some light fixtures are not waterproof.
WEBSITES For information about boat and trailer registration, scan the QR code to visit DMV Online Vessel Registration Web page .
California Course for Safe Boating
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