Advice for Towing from Craftinsure

It is that time of year when many of us leave our boats for a while and concentrate on something a little warmer, However, since you are not using your boat, we suggest now is a good time to start thinking about next season! Boat maintenance is an all year round thing after all, and why not do the jobs that need doing now so that you can spend more time on the water when we have glorious sunshine? It may even save you a few bob down the line!

One thing we have noticed is the importance to check your trailing equipment after it has been unused for a while, as bearing seize up, tires go flat and straps just don’t seem to do the job they did 6 months ago. From experience we at Craftinsure know that it is when you have not towed for a while when the accidents are most likely to occur!

This year alone both Tim and Rob have felt the sting of failing trailing equipment and have spent time well into the evening making what usually is a short routine journey home. So this article will look at their mistakes and our top tips for trailing your boats in 2013.


Straps left out in the sun can suffer from UV damage and fail

Rob managed to park his rib on the tarmac on a small journey back from the sailing club a couple of weeks ago, causing some damage. The culprits were the straps, as the rib had not been used for a while, and the straps were left out in the sun causing UV damage.

As you can see from the picture (left) it is two straps and rope that have snapped, this meant that the boat was able to slide right off the trailer. “The good thing was that the driver of the car behind me was awake and didn’t pile into the boat!”


Major damage to Rob’s rib after sliding off the trailer

As you can see from the picture (right) this has caused some major damage to the bottom of the hull.

Luckily for Rob a few people were more than willing to help lift his sizable rib back onto the trailer, which is no easy task! Although we hear that he was still very late home and missed a fantastic Sunday roast. Let this be a lesson for all of us to check our straps and replace them on a regular basis.

Tim recently suffered a very different fate when towing a National 12 along the M4. A journey only meant to last an hour and a half took more than seven hours to complete. Tim used a trailer that had not been used for a couple of months which was perceived to be in good condition, however on the drive home he discovered the little dinghy looking very wobbly in the rear view mirror so pulled over to have a closer look and inspect the vessel. Upon pulling over he had discovered a flat tyre – no problem just get the spare out and change it over. However, Tim in his hurry to leave had forgotten this, so was stranded and had to make a very embarrassing call to the AA who would take him to the nearest service station in an hour or so meaning a long cold wait by the side of the motorway.


Tim waiting beside the motorway due to forgetting his spare trailer tyre

Luckily for Tim his flat mate just happened to be driving home from Wales and seeing the incident stopped to have a chuckle at the situation. Once his laughing had settled, he then offered to drive home an hour to pick up the spare tyre. This was a lucky situation for Tim who managed to get home at around 11:45pm on a cold Sunday night. Tim offered two pieces of advice for us, “Always carry a spare! Mine stays in the car at all times now and secondly don’t borrow a trailer that has not been used for a while, the AA man told me that tyres on trailers that are use very little seem to get punctures more often than those used on a regular basis, and the bearings often fail if left for a long time”.

Lastly we look at claim where a boat has hit a curb and toppled over on the trailer. As you can imagine this can cause a lot of damage, as seen in the picture below, and can be a very stressful time for anyone!


Rib damage caused after hitting the curb

Claims manager Katy has the has the following advice for anyone who finds themselves in this sort of situation, “As a golden rule you can’t go far wrong if you act as though uninsured in protecting your property and preventing further damage, although your personal safety takes priority. If you have Roadside Assistance they may be able to assist you in recovering your craft. And take photographs of the damage wherever possible. If in doubt call the 24/7 claims helpline 0845 2607 999”.

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