Once everything freezes over in Minnesota, snowmobiling, ice fishing, skiing, and ice skating become some of our favorite pastimes. But what about the boater who just wants to be out on the water? Staying here all winter seems like a bore.
It may be too late for a fall foliage trip to Minnesota’s best lakes and rivers, but that doesn't mean you have to put your boat away for the whole season.
Let Canvasworks help you prep for a boat trip down south this winter!
Preparing Your Boat
The goal of any boat trip is enjoyment, and it’s especially exciting when traveling to another state to see the sights and discover the beauty in other rivers and lakes that aren’t so close to home.
But to make the trip enjoyable, you should take the time to get your boat and trailer prepped for the road.
Get a Custom Boat Cover for Traveling
No matter what type of boat you have, the safest way to travel with a boat is to cover it with a high-quality, custom-fitting cover. A boat cover will not only protect your boat from the weather, but can also guard it against flying rocks, gravel, and dirt from the road while driving.
The Road Armor ratchet strap cover is expertly designed for traveling because it fits snugly over your boat and doesn’t flap in the wind even when cruising down the highway. It also fits lower over the hull of your boat protecting it from dirt and rock fly-up from even the dustiest gravel roads. Adding a trailer bra to your trailer can provide even more protection for your boat.
Boat covers are also helpful when stopping at a hotel overnight because they prevent prying eyes from seeing into your boat. Even with a cover, though, it’s still a good idea to remove boat cushions and electronic devices from your boat and lock them in your vehicle or keep them with you while traveling just in case.
Protect the Transom
If you have a boat with an engine, the transom is the place where your engine is mounted to the boat. Though the transom is reinforced to be strong enough to hold the engine, every bounce down the road is an added shock that can weaken or even crack the transom of your vessel.
Use a transom saver to alleviate the stress on the transom while driving and transfer the force of the bumps to the trailer. A transom saver is a bracket which can be placed under the foot of the engine and connects to the trailer.
By trimming the motor down, you create a wedge onto the trailer that ensures the force will move into the trailer and will protect your transom.
Pack the Safety Gear & Boat Tools
Whether a new or experienced boater, it’s always vital to remember your safety gear and basic boat tools when traveling. It’s easy to grow complacent when boating in familiar waters all summer and fall, but if you’re going to a place you’ve never been before, you’ll want to be prepared for anything.
Make sure you have life jackets for everyone who will be on the boat, as well as a throw device, like a detachable cushion, for a man overboard situation. Double check that your fire extinguisher is free from rust and corrosion and still within its expiration date.
Check that your anchor and manual bilge pump are in good working order. And verify that you have everything you need in your first aid kit, from bandages to pain relievers to alcohol wipes.
Keep a set of boat tools handy, too. From GPS and other navigational devices to basic crescent wrenches, needle nose pliers, and screwdrivers.
You can’t foresee what will go wrong on a trip, but you can be ready to fix it by keeping some tools on your vessel at all times.
Preparing Your Boat Trailer
Along with your boat, do a careful check on your trailer before starting your trip. Don’t ruin your trip south because you assumed your trailer was sound!
Here is a quick checklist of what to look over before you hitch up your trailer and hit the road:
- Check your tire pressure on all your tires, including your spare, and air up as needed.
- Hook up your trailer lights and make sure they’re working properly.
- Use a trailer lock (boats and boat trailers are stolen more often than you might think).
- Strap down your boat, either with ratchet straps or boat buckles.
For more information on ways to stay safe while traveling with your boat this winter, read our boat and trailer towing safety tips, too!
Choose Canvasworks for Safer Boat Travel
Winter trailering doesn’t have to be hard as long as you have the right tools for the job. Let our experts ensure your boat is ready for anything this winter with custom boat covers, winter storage covers, and tarps designed to protect your investment.
Contact us today and make your trip happen!