The exams for boaters are not only for getting a license. Keeping the items in your mind will surely make you a skillful boater. One of the useful queries is boat trailers with too little tongue weight tend to do what?
You should know that fishtail movement happens when there’s little or inadequate tongue weight. It’s not something that you can ignore as it can put you in danger.
When it happens, you’ll experience a swinging motion that can prompt your boat trailer and towing vehicle to go out of control. Overturning and skidding can occur. To avoid these undesirable occurrences, learn more about this matter.
Table of Contents
Importance of Tongue Weight When Towing Your Boat
Why is tongue weight important when towing a boat? Since it’s mentioned in the introduction that little tongue weight is dangerous, it’s normal to think about what it does.
What is a tongue weight? It’s a unit used for the amount of force delivered by the trailer’s tongue. This force goes down onto the hitch on the vehicle used for towing.
Therefore, the tongue’s weight affects how the force lands on the hitch. When there’s little weight, the load tends to move forward to the trailer’s axle. Excessive weight is not good as well as it can guide the cargo weight to be more contained behind the trailer’s axle.
1. The Right Tongue Weight
You can obtain the right tongue weight through calculation. The digit that you need to find is called ‘gross trailer weight’. You have to do the math as the manufacturer can’t provide it.
There’s no exact formula as all you need to do is get the trailer weight after you loaded all the stuff when boating. Hence, the weight of the items that you take with you adds up to the boat trailer tongue weight.
The right tongue weight is around 9% to 15% of your trailer’s total weight. Some experts may say that 6% is advisable for a single axle trailer and 5% is just right for a double axle model. But when it comes to a trailer and other larger units, the higher percentage, the better.
2. The Usual Steps to Check the Tongue Weight
As mentioned, the right tongue weight for a trailer is 9% to 15% of its weight. To confirm the percentage, you have to check the gross trailer weight.
- Step 1: The first step is taking your trailer to a scale that has enough space. You can rent a scale in your local area for a few dollars.
- Step 2: Detach the trailer from the towing vehicle. Before checking the weight of your trailer, make sure that the towing vehicle won’t get in the way. Place it far away so it doesn’t touch the scale.
- Step 3: The entire trailer should be on the scale, including its tongue, trailer wheels, and other trailer accessories. It should be done for the precision of the weight. When the tongue is out of the scale, you’ll get a number that is lower than the ideal tongue weight.
You may choose to weigh your trailer with all the stuff that you take when sailing. It’s applicable if you weigh the empty trailer then add the weight of the load. Knowing just the trailer’s weight is convenient as there are various load weights whenever you go boating.
Words to Ponder
After reading this article, you know the answer to: boat trailers with too little tongue weight tend to do what. To be free from accidents, you have to ensure the tongue’s weight is 9% to 15% of the total trailer weight. It’s best to know the weight of an empty trailer then add the load’s weight to acquire the gross trailer weight.
Ten years of enjoying countless trips on boats never made me love them any less! So I am here to put all those experiences into good use for other boaters who want to have a safe and fun trip with their friends and families.