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How Do You Keep the Weight Evenly Distributed on a Trailered Boat?

Written by Anthony Roberts / Fact checked by Jonathan Larson

how do you keep the weight evenly distributed on a trailered boat

With those who are new to using boat trailers to transport their vessels, adjusting the craft’s weight seems to be impossible, especially since your boat’s cargo capacity needs to be distributed evenly.

This leads us to the question “How do you keep the weight evenly distributed on a trailered boat?”

In this post, we will show you the answer and provide information on calculating the cargo capacity of your vessel.

Also, tips on loading crafts on trailers will be highlighted throughout the article to help boaters practice this process. Continue reading to learn more!

Measuring the Trailer’s Weight and the Boat’s Cargo Weight

You have to understand your trailer’s load capacity before you can assess if the boat cargo’s weight is properly distributed. This involves examining your trailer’s GVWR labeled on the VIN sticker.

The GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) is the maximum weight that your trailer and cargo can carry. In addition, it is necessary to acknowledge GAWR (Gross Axle Weight Rating). This is the largest weight that your car’s axle can support when distributed evenly. The rear axles are usually indicated by the letters FR or RR.

Aside from calculating cargo weight and the trailer’s load capacity, it is crucial to evaluate the trailer’s weight when it is completely empty. The trailer can be inspected at any truck garage or other location with a registered scale.

Then, you’ll have to figure out your cargo capacity, which is equal to the GVWR – the trailer’s weight, divided by 80 percent. The result is the maximum cargo your trailer can carry.

It’s also vital to keep in mind your trailer’s tongue weight. If you can’t remember this easily, just follow the general rule that has been set among boaters: tongue weight = 25% of the trailer’s total weight + cargo.

Tools to Distribute the Boat Weight Equally on a Trailer

After determining all specifications of the trailer and boat’s weight, it’s time for you to load your vessel onto the trailer. Hence, the following sections are some guidelines on choosing tools while proceeding this.

Single, dual, and triple axles, together with torsion axles, are utilized in trailers. Fortunately, regardless of the sort of axle you have, there is one gadget that can assist you in leveling your boat. It’s an adjustable hitch.

If you own a dual-axle boat trailer, you’ll need to utilize an adjustable hitch. When you do not ensure that they are equal, they’re prone to damage and corruption.

If you only use a single trailer, it may be easier for you to level the weight using a sturdy ball mount. Retractable hitches could be used if problems persist. Based on the weight and trailer structure, you’ll be able to modify the height.

It’s also critical for you to tie your vessel’s contents or gears securely. When you link your trailer to your vehicle, straddle the chain that runs through the trailer’s frame. You should choose a chain capable of supporting the entire cargo weight to provide safety in the event that the hitch fails.

Ways to Maintain the Vessel Weight Evenly Distributed on the Boat Trailer


There are few techniques that boaters can use depending on the current situation of the vessel and trailer. Read these methods thoroughly and select the suitable one for your boat:

1. Examine the weight by a hitch

One of the most practical ways to regulate the boat’s weight on the hitch is to use a scale. You can’t depend on a household scale for this procedure. You’ll need to buy a heavily loaded scale and place it underneath the hitch to determine the weight distribution. When you’ve correctly aligned the watercraft on the trailer, the weight shouldn’t be any more than 12%.

2. Assess while on water

It is always advisable to assess the water in your watercraft depending on the weather in your area. If you have recently experienced a wet season, there is a significant probability that several gallons of fresh water is stuck inside your vessel. So, ensure to drain all the water first. This may help position the boat, and establishing the ideal stability over the trailer will be much easier.

Many customers skip this step and try to level the boat the same way they’ve always done. When you’re driving, however, this can cause the trailer to swing. As a result, be sure to set aside some moments to evaluate your boat and trailer carefully.

For more information and details, please check out this video


Evenly distributing the weight on the trailer is an important task to achieve before transporting your vessel on the road. You can easily finish this by inspecting the trailer’s total and cargo weight and spending time examining the boat while it is being carried by trailer. That way, you will be able to assure your safety and the safety of those around you. You also can refer more about boat trailer accessories by checking it out here.

We hope that the tips and techniques we have mentioned will help you keep the weight distribution even on your trailer. Did you enjoy the article? Do you want to add anything else? Please let me know and leave a comment below.

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